Starkey here, for the first installment of Beat Artillery, a new Seclusiasis Blog posting where I’ll be talking about all things production… new synthesizers, software, production techniques, technology, hardware, blah blah…. basically whatever I feel like talking about with regards to making BEATS! (And of course not try to be too academic about things.)
To kick things off I’ve decided to discuss the changeover to a 64bit workstation. To not bore you with all the details… here’s some key reasons why 64bit DAWs make your production environment better. First we have to talk about RAM. With 32bit native DAWs, you could only access a maximum of 4GB of RAM. It didn’t matter how many GB you had installed. 32bit versions of Logic, Cubase, etc… could only access 4GB of RAM, period. (Yes, I know some people are going to talk about ways individual plug-ins could access more RAM, but I’m talking about the workstation in general.)
Having more RAM allows for larger sample libraries: think pianos and orchestral stuff. As well as increased plug-in counts on audio and software instrument tracks. It also allows for greater resolution when determining reverb tails with modeling reverbs, for instance, which will allow for smoother and more realistic decays.
Now… to make the transition to 64bit somewhat easier for consumers, the software companies have come up with ways of opening 32bit plug-ins in the 64bit environment. In Logic, for example, this is called a ‘bridge’. However, many of the 32bit plug-ins when bridged become unstable, and will often crash. Others may not re-open correctly (after say a restart), causing you to have to change that synth, sampler or effect to get your session to even play a part back. It’s been pretty frustrating, however… the advantages are so great that producers like myself have been putting up with these minor hiccups for a little while now in the hopes that the manufacturers update their software to run natively at 64bit as quickly as possible.
The past few months have seen a pretty steady rollout of 64bit updates to some of the key manufactures lines; Native Instruments’ Komplete series is now fully 64bit, Arturia is slowly getting their stuff to 64bit, and Brainworkx (whose BX1 processor is pictured above) has announced that they will be launching 64bit versions of their plug-ins on January 2nd. The end of the 32bit bridge may finally be near! Producers rejoice. Now lets hope Apple doesn’t get rid of the Mac Pro.