Hard Disk Load

Not sure which forum to post this issue in, but I’ll start with a story:

I’ve got a song that I’m working on that has a hell of a lot of polyphony and effect layering. All at 96khz, so we’re talking a big amount of data. I’m still on XP so I’ve only got 2gb of RAM and a quad core that was probably fast in 2008 but not cutting edge anymore. I’m up to the point in the production where I am recording longish vocal recordings. At one point the song comes to a thick climax and then end of one of my desired vocal phrases trails out as another major set of guitar phrases come in. BUT, when the change-over occurs my recording of the vocal cuts silent and records nothing while the new load comes in. So I end up with a little blank spot at the end of my vocal recording where the last note should be… A problem!

So I figured it was a problem due to hard disk load issues. I muted some channels that were triggering large samples, and lo and behold I’m able do the full recording! This is ok, because all I want to do is do the recording with enough channels to get a reference - but the issue did bring to mind hard disk load monitoring.

Obviously I have Live in mind when I suggest the possibility of some sort of hard disk / RAM load meter for Renoise. Probably too late to suggest this for 2.6 - but for future’s sake it would be great to know if there were a risk of loosing recording data. Imagine loosing a really killer take because your computer just couldn’t hack all the data? I don’t know what is happening internally with Renoise in the management of all this data, so maybe the devs can shed some light on that.

IT doesn’t sound like this has got anything to do with diskstreaming… diskstreaming would probably even make this situation worse.

simply bounce your project or attach a second harddisc and let some of your VST’s stream from there. if you use NI disc streaming software, you can alter in options the behavior, for instance reduce the polyphony,
reduce the amount of streaming and so on.
after every tuning in this section you should save and reload your song, NI instruments get unstable after
such changings.

Yep, good workaround.

not necessarily: implementing an HD streaming feature which only preloads the beginning of a long sample could improve things in such scenarios: it may be that the problem mr_mark_dollin is experiencing is due to the need to reload the entire WAV file from the HD because there was not enough consecutive free RAM to load the sample in memory, so the HD has been used as virtual RAM

I want to resurrect this idea. There are some of us that are still stuck on old machines with 2gb of ram and it is unlikely with current budgeting that I will get a new computer/hardware within the next few versions. While a full blown solution along the lines of an ‘arranger’ may or may not be way off, I think if we can at least have some sort of sample-based option to do disk streaming of long files then that would be a real big help. Like stated earlier I do so much guitar and vocal recording causing me to go through tricky work-arounds. If Renoise had a very basic disk streaming ability then I could ditch using Reaper entirely (by using bounce methods).

Could be a simple as a check that defaults as ‘off’ in the Sample Properties. Would this be difficult?

in the private discussions, taktik has always said that this is a big beast to deal with, so the answer is yes

I can second this.
It has not been shuffled to the oblivion chamber though, it is still on the todo list but it costs a lot of time.

Indeed. I will keep this impression in mind. Might have to start saving my pennies for a serious system upgrade over the next 12 months.

An addendum to the this topic:

On I plod with rendering the parts of complicated songs into Reaper. I have one song in particular where the ‘Out of Memory’ messages got so bad that the song would come up a part where a large audio clip was being used, and Renoise would just CRASH - no warning, blink: gone. The only way I was able to salvage the Renoise song was to change the XRNS to a ZIP and hack out some unused samples I had archived elsewhere, bringing the overall file size down. This diminished the amount of ‘Out of Memory’ warnings I got and I was able to render out the stems I wanted. Obviously this is consistent with what has been previously posted in this thread, but it is important to note that if you’re pushing your RAM that hard, a crash can be expected.

Yay, we’re kinda doing what we can to cleanly handle out of memory errors. But Renoise relies on a lot of third party components too (not just audio plugins). And if one of them fails, the whole house of cards will very likely break together.

Things like loading new samples which do not fit into the RAM anymore or whole songs should never cause a crash though. Will try to double check this in the next weeks…

I got clear recommendation after my last post that I should just get on with it and put money into buying a new computer with oodles of RAM. Of course. Yes. When I can.

Taktik: my song had got up to around 120mb in size, and it had quite a plugin-load as well (all stable well known plugs). In this case I wasn’t using any big samplers like Kontact or Addictive Drums. I’d go as far as to say that there’s probably very little you can do about it aside from re-engineering fundamental concepts like disk-streaming (as previously discussed). I guess there’s very few Renoise users using the program in quite the same way as I am. More power needed!