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Topic: Load all to RAM option

  1. #1

    Load all to RAM option


    Just wondering if you would consider adding such functionality to the Steinway. Recently, larger amounts of RAM have become much more affordable. I am lucky enough to have 32 GB of RAM now, which was quite a jump from 4 GB! And it only cost a little more than $200. Assuming this would be enough to load up a single perspective, it would be fantastic if this option was available, since the Steinway is quite heavy on the disk streaming, and would allow playing at the lowest latencies without pops or clicks.

    Thanks so much! Btw the steinway is still my favorite piano VST, by far. Sounds amazing.

  2. #2

    Re: Load all to RAM option

    If you run the 64 bit version and have plenty of ram you can

    1)Start steinway clean (or unload perspective)
    2)Click the INFO tab and change 512MB drop down to something below your total RAM
    3)Load piano perspective.

    The samples wont all load in ram right away, but the engine wont reload the same sound from disk unless
    you haved reached a RAM TOTAL value thats near the total you previously set.

    You can thus play instantly and performance gets "better" after you've played for a while.
    So not exactly what you are after, but close.
    David Viens, Plogue Art et Technologie Inc.
    Montreal. http://www.plogue.com

  3. #3

    Re: Load all to RAM option

    Thanks so much, I'm gonna try that out tonight! If this allows me to lower my buffer settings, that will definitely be a very nice performance increase. With 256 or higher, I seem to feel the latency (not so much hear it). I had thought SSD would improve that, but I guess libraries like these are very disk-streaming intensive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: Load all to RAM option

    Low latency usually has to do with the buffer settings of your sound card. We were running the Steinway at the NAMM show a couple years ago with an RME interface and the latency setting was under 1 ms. My EMU card has a hard time getting under 10 ms.


  5. #5

    Re: Load all to RAM option

    Thanks, yeah I am aware of that. I do have an RME HDSP PCI card. I can get the latency fairly low with the Steinway, but with 128 I get occasional pops/clicks, and with 64 I get popping. I have a pretty powerful computer, latest SSD. So I don't think it's my system. A top developer recently told me the same thing, that even the most powerful current systems, with SSD's and tons of RAM, are still having a hard time running very low latencies, especially in a project with a lot going on.

  6. #6

    Re: Load all to RAM option

    I'd guess the latency is probably not related to your SSD or the disk streaming. For the last few years I've been running a 2006 macbook laptop at NAMM to demo the Steinway along with an RME fireface USB, and solid at 1 millisecond of latency. The hard drive is just a standard 5400 rpm hard drive. On this system I also do fairly well with just the built-in coreaudio headphone jack, or using ASIO4ALL on windows - if I recall correctly, it would do 128 samples (3ms) solid, perhaps even 64.
    I think a huge and under-appreciated issue for latency is the chipset your computer has and the associated drivers that are running. These drivers typically can interrupt any running process, and you want them to be well behaved (to run for very very brief time periods when they interrupt). Unfortunately they aren't always well behaved and if they take too long, they will use up a time slice of the CPU when it's needed for processing audio, and you'll get a glitch.
    For Windows, you can use DPC Latency Checker to identify drivers that are causing you problems.
    Identifying isn't the same thing as fixing, but it's a start. I'm not aware of anything similar for OSX.

  7. #7

    Re: Load all to RAM option

    David, I could not figure out how to adjust the 512MB dropdown-- are you referring to the DYN MAX 512MB dropdown, I think it's called, which offers choice of 128, 256, or 512? I could only choose one of these, I don't see any way of inputting my own numbers.

    However, on a side-note, I did gain a performance improvement by switching pre-caching to 128 kb. This setting allows me to run the pianos perfectly at 128 samples. It still cannot handle 64, however. 128 is very good, nothing to complain about.

    Jeff, thanks for your input. I am familiar with DPC Latency Tool, my numbers are usually fluctuating between 30-60 microseconds. As far as I am aware, this is considered very good, and it is difficult to improve upon these numbers. (Also, interestingly, I found that once I start playing, the dpc latency actually decreases, sometimes into the single digits! Not sure exactly why that happens. I haven't been monitoring the dpc latency as much recently, however.) Am I incorrect, should I be removing unnecessary processes, etc., (carefully, i mean), until I succeed in lowering the DPC Latency further? Btw I am running Windows 7 Professional, I recently built a new computer and was careful to optimize everything to the best of my ability for audio. I have as little installed as possible, other than music applications. The cpu is i7 2600k, 32 gb ram, excellent cooling, Asus p8z68 deluxe motherboard, RME hdsp pci card. And I have done the obvious OS tweaks, e.g. background services, etc.
    (The processor is over-clocked, with the advice of an audio computer professional. Maybe I need to do some more testing to see if going back to the stock speed improves anything for me on the audio side).

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