64bit

susiwong kindly provided this brief article about using 64bit supporting hosts.

64bit is one of the most asked for “features” nowadays – justified in a few special situations, not really needed in most scenarios imho. We’re not talking about 64bit data path atm, that’s a completely unrelated phenomenon not connected with a 64bit OS. Let’s compare the possible scenarios using Cubase as an example, other hosts in Windows are similar/identical :

32 / 64 bit

  • Sonically all 64bit compatible plugins are 100% identical to their 32bit equivalents.
  • the 3GB switch can work in some cases, more often than not it causes problems (blank GUI, crashes etc) which might not become immediately obvious
  • The bitbridge is a 32bit to 64bit wrapper that notoriously causes problems, a temporary workaround that will be obsolete once all used plugins are native 64bit, this is the only valid reason for 64bit FX plugins, period.
  • jbridge, a 3rd party wrapper, is better than the built-in bridges but has its limits with plugins of uncommon architecture (take Jamstix’ cutting edge MIDI- and sync features for example – not Ralph’s fault for sure).
  • The only real difference between the three scenarios is the max project size.

Considering that all decent samplers feature disk streaming and/or other effective means of RAM saving (load on demand, purge etc) – how big will your projects become in reality? Personally I never hit the wall with C5/32, XP64, 4GB installed.

A typical project here has Jamstix2 with Jamcussion, Toontrack Superior 2 (with large kits), Kontakt4 with a Scarbee bass and a big piano, often additional strings or a scratch Akkord Guitar, a few other VSTis, 10 to 20 audio tracks, up to 20 groups and between 20 and 70 FX plugins – never had a RAM shortage yet, and I never freeze. Ymmv.

So a safe and trouble free sweet spot for most people would be the combination 32bit host, 32bit FX, 64bit OS – typically only classical or movie composers will need more and will benefit from a pure 64bit system. There always are exceptions of course, but why open a can of worms as long as there’s still Pizza on the table ? 😉

susiwong

Comments

  1. I just want to add that my own plans to upgrade to a 64bit host are at least 2 years in the future and this is although I’m using Omnisphere and some large sample libraries.

  2. Alright, so as I always wondered, I can have for example a machine with Win7 Ultimate 64-bits as the OS, and run a 32-bits host with 32-bits plugins and instruments.

    That’s good to know.

    Anyway it makes sense, because it would mean than if we switch to a 64-bits OS, all of our 32-bits apps would became obsolete.

    So a 64-bits OS is retro-compatible with 32-bits apps, and there are no compatibility problems at all ?

    • Basically most 32bit apps (NOT drivers and some hardware related apps that directly access drives for example !) should work fine in a 64bit OS, though in some cases you might have to work around problems with installers, paths and registry entries.
      What’s safe to say imho is that dll-only plugins like Bootsie’s will not present any problems and personally I’m not aware of any major VSTi / FX atm that won’t play nice.
      No rule without exceptions, though, I guess.
      Checking forums before jumping ship always is a good idea.
      Or you could do a parallel install (with mutually hidden primary partitions) to migrate to 64bit slowly. at least that’s what I did back then.

  3. High Voltage says:

    Im constantly struggling with the limit of 32bit Cubase. I rather often hit the 2.5G wall, where cubase refuses to load anything further, and GUI’s start to melt away, etc etc…
    The main reason for this is that i use Nebula, and one band of (insanely great) EQ can take up like 100-200Megs of Ram… some reverbs can take even more.
    Not to mention if you load up some huge sample library, even if its streaming, for drums it might cache at least 200-300 megs, and all those add up VERY quickly.

    ofcourse i never even think of this problem with your plugins.

  4. My usual projects consist of :-

    Addictive Drums 1.5 or Superior 2.0
    Garritan Steinway Pro
    Manytone ManyBass
    Toontrack Ezdrummer + Latin Perc EZX
    Manytone ManyGuitar

    I also use 3-4 instances of Voxengo Voxformer and Liquidsonics Reverberate on 4-5 audio channels and Guitar Rig 4.

    I tried to replace ManyBass with Kontakt 4 + NI Scarbee Jay Bass and my computer had a RAM error and crashed!

    My systems is an Intel E4500 Core 2 Duo 2.4gHz with 4Gb RAM running XP Home.

    I’ve just bought a new Q9550 Core 2 Quad 2.83gHz and am considering getting Windows 7 64bit to run Cubase 5 32bit. Hopefully that will sort out my problems!

    • Can’t comment on all of your soft but I can speak for Kontakt, Superior and their libraries.
      Kontakt has very reliable streaming with default DFD settings, and even big libraries only use very little actual RAM.
      Superior needs a bit more user configuration, but if set up correctly it’s perfectly reasonable, too.
      Use 16bit (you can always render to full quality later if needed), cached mode, layer- and voice limits, remove unused kit pieces, especially cymbals, check what bleed you really need and so on – a wealth of options, probably more than you’ll ever need.
      But of course a 64bit OS will help big time as explained above.

  5. Forgot to mention I also use EpicVerb, Density mkII, Ferric TDS, Tessla Pro, BootEq mkII on a lot of my projects and am hoping if I get Windows 7 64bit running Cubase 5 32bit that I can still use these!?

  6. I agree with most of what you say, but disagree with your conclusions.

    Yes, the “only” reason to move to x64 host is to get more than 4GB of RAM. (There are some minor efficiencies in writing x64 code, as the creator of Voxengo plugs pointed out on KVR, but most people aren’t going to notice a percent or two difference in their CPU.)

    And yes, a 32bit host on an x64 platform gives you the option of having up to 4GB all for your host.

    But your opinion (which you caveat) and your personal experience differ from mine. I’m regularly hitting the wall at 4GB in Cubase 5 x86. Between Kontakt, Omnisphere, Halion Symphonic Orchestra, etc. on a project I quickly max out.

    And because, as you point out, bridging solutions aren’t ideal, the only “perfct” solution is to have an x64 host with every plug x64 native.

    I’m really hoping bootsie ships his plugs as x64 soon… and I can’t wait for that channel strip.

    • I’m just getting a new system and going all 64 bit (currently 64 bit OS, C32 because of plug-in incompatibilities). Can’t wait for a 64 bit Ferric, as I use this heavily. It’s going to be the ONLY 32-bit I try to get running on the new system…

  7. This is all well and good, but as things are ATM, developers are making 64bit versions of their plugins NOT because they’re better than their 32bit counterparts, but as a favor for their users who use 64bit OS’s and who have serious problems with all 32bit plugins. For example, everyone who uses Steinberg Cubase (myself included). Thank God many devs are doing this, otherwise there would be no switching to a 64bit OS for a long time.

    And although I agree that many people never use more than 4 GB of ram, this is quickly changing with samplers/romplers such as Kontakt/Omnisphere/Nexus (especially omnisphere), where a single patch can easily eat up to 500MB of ram. I, for one, use my 8GB of ram to it’s fullest, and would not go back to 32bit.

  8. Hi!, I read the article 5 times before understand thath “C32/C64” means Cubase32 and 64bits versions!!, what a dumb!.

    Sorry, I’m really slow on this:
    I work with samplitude 11 (32 bits), Kontakt 4, Nexus 2, Philarmonik, and EzDrummer, and of course de FX goes for bootsy and sam native fxs.

    So if I wanna bougth a new pc, Can I get a good 64 bit processor, 4gb of ram or more, and still using my Daw and plugins? (I guess there all are 32 bits).

    Cheers from Colombia!.

  9. I totally agree with most of you arguing against the necessity of going 64. Nevertheless, in practice many people already work in a 64-environment or at least have plans to do so. In my case the choice was driven by our “video department” so to speak, and audio has to be in the same boat for that matter. What I wanted to say was:

    If there would be a chance for 64-versions of some Bootsy-Plugs, I’d be so happy!

  10. Another year later: agree about stability is most important, but if you use Win7 not just for music porduction but also for other things like browsing, video rendering etc. 4 GB can melt very quickly.

    I upgraded 2010 to Win7 64, made bad experiences and downgraded to Win7 32. Now, I have the feeling that things are more “mature” and will give it another try.

  11. I’m having a problem with presets working when bridged. This is the case with cubase 6.05 built in bridge and jbridge. Has this come up before, and is there a known work around?
    I work in games, and have really large projects sometimes, so I have moved to using 64bit. I use your plug-ins on every gun, cinematic, song, you name it. I would love to be able to use presets again!

    Also, Thank you for all that you have given to the community.

    • sorry that was 6.07 cubase 64bit running on win7x64

      • Ich komme jeden Tag her, nur um zu schauen, ob’s schon 64 bit gibt, weil ich deine Plug-Ins liebe!!! Bridging in Cubase ist einfach keine Lösung, ich arbeite komplett in 64bit und Bridging (Cubase VSTBridge und auch JBridge) sorgt, wenn auch nur in 9 von 10 Fällen jedesmal für einen Absturz, was in einer DAW nicht passieren darf…bitte mach ein 64 bit Update, insbesondere von NastyDLA, das wär’ ein Geschenk ;-))

  12. I currently try to switch from audition to cubase 7 and I try to re-create my audition filter chains in C7 with new/better plugins.
    Now I’m also using your plugins, they are great! For example, I can’t use the built in audition exciter in cubase and had to look for a new one, so I found the thrillseeker xtc.
    Aaaaand, like some other people here, I’m looking for x64 versions. I use cubase 7 x64 and I have major problems with the vstbridge.
    for example, thrillseeker xtc works for some time but then just freezes the bridge when I click to open the plugin windows to adjust some settings. All I see is a white window and C7 freezes until I crash the vstbridge in taskman.
    I really would like to use 64bit versions of your plugins. Don’t you think it’s time to compile them in x64?🙂
    Thanks🙂

  13. Most of the projects for my band use between 70 – 100 tracks, and have more than two hundred plugs, a big part of them beeing freebies. I was so happy to see LePou making x64 versions for instance because I only use them for guitar, they are miles ahead in realism than paying solutions like amplitube, guitar rig imo… So what I wanna say is that here a typical project eats about 8 – 10 gigabytes of RAM *on its own*.

    So please, please, do consider 64 bit plugs! Also, a side question : why not opensourcing them ? Do you plan to release paying versions with same algos but more features ? Because they would be quite nice on a Linux box.

  14. SoundSunPleasure says:

    Just wondering if you’ve changed your mind in the last four years. Do you see a reason for 64bit versions now?

  15. Been using Bootsy’s amazing plugins for some time now and I used to highly recommend them to my friends. But many of us have moved on to 64 bit operating systems for what are now obvious reasons. Hopefully in the future, I will once again be able to use and recommend Bootsy’s great software.

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