Loading Audio Tracks into the RAM.

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Loading Audio Tracks into the RAM.

Postby Hidden Temple » July 23rd, 2014, 1:24 pm

So, I have a couple of HDD's in RAID 0 and they're not keeping up with me. (They are old HDD's that I got used about 5 years ago, so perhaps just getting new HDD's would help..) I have some projects with up to 50 stereo tracks in there, and the play back will just stop, and I'll see the HDD's are overburdened. So I was wondering if there's a way to load all the audio files into the ram so that I could mix things from there instead of from the HDD's. I have Sonar X2 Producer at the moment, and I'm not seeing any way to do this in there, so my thought was just to create a RAM Disk and move the project folder to there.

I don't think there is a way within Sonar, but I thought I'd ask and see if anyone had any ideas on that.
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Re: Loading Audio Tracks into the RAM.

Postby TimOBrien » July 23rd, 2014, 3:07 pm

Ram disks have been around a long time, but the major problem is if there is ANY blip to the system you lose everything.

A defragmented 7200rpm drive should be able to stream well over 100 tracks.
Are you using software or hardware raid? (software are slower)
Quite frankly, raids on desktops just aren't that great. Years ago Sound-on-Sound did a shootout and found that raid only added 10-15% in REAL WORLD speed and often ran slower. You're usually better off using separate dedicated disks (sample libraries on a secondary drive, tracks and projects on a third drive).

I've always set all my daw's up with 3 separate drives and never had a problem.
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Re: Loading Audio Tracks into the RAM.

Postby Hidden Temple » July 23rd, 2014, 3:48 pm

It is a software raid, and yeah, I have 3 separate drives, but the Audio drive is 2 HDD's in a RAID 0. And you have a point about any kind of power situation... Maybe make a backup of stuff before I move things around. Hopefully soon I'll be able to upgrade my computer and get SSD's for stuff. Well, that's the tentative plan at least.
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Re: Loading Audio Tracks into the RAM.

Postby AwwDeOhh » July 28th, 2014, 12:08 am

Newer drives are much faster. You might just want to grab a new one for data safety sake (they only have a 5-year warranty usually anyhow) if nothing else.
A decent (modern) 7200rpm drive should keep up with a 50 track project.
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Re: Loading Audio Tracks into the RAM.

Postby Farview » July 28th, 2014, 10:54 am

I don't normally start having problems until I get over about 85 tracks. I'm pretty sure that old drives plus the raid is what is slowing you down. 1tb drives are about $50 at tiger direct or new egg, just about any one of them should get you much better performance than you have now.
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Re: Loading Audio Tracks into the RAM.

Postby Big Tim » July 29th, 2014, 3:31 am

RAID 0 is the "fastest" of the RAID levels in terms of read & write, so if it's not keeping up with your requirement then you either need to get a decent hardware RAID controller installed, or just ditch it entirely and go to standard disks. RAID 0 also gives you no data protection, as it stripes across both the disks with no parity, meaning that if you lose a disk, you lose the whole thing and you'd better have a backup.

Personally I'd split that RAID up into its separate disks and use one to back up the other without using RAID at all, just script a backup copy and run it when you're finished.
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