What does RAM do

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Andrew07, May 5, 2007.

  1. Andrew07 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    #1
    What does RAM do for audio recording/mixing? The number of plug-ins is determined by how fast and powerful the processor is, and the speed of the hard drive determines how many tracks can play back at once...right? So what does RAM do?
     
  2. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    Somewhere
    #2
    RAM is where data that the processor is using is temporarily stored, if you run out of it the computer uses your Hard Drive as RAM, but that is slower, so more RAM will speed your computer up.
     
  3. Andrew07 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 25, 2007
    #3
    So in audio recording/mixing what does that equate to?
     
  4. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    Bergen, Norway
    #4
    Less hard drive spinning and at the same time less heat resulting in the fans going on more rarely = less noise.
     
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #5
    Plus fewer delays = fewer dropouts at low buffer settings = less latency.

    THe effect of more RAM will vary by program and what you are doing. If a DAW software can make extensive use of RAM for caching, then it can run smoother and faster with lots of RAM. Sample players almost all prefer to cache the samples to RAM as opposed to stream then off disk, so they also benefit from more RAM available. 2 Gb RAM should be considered standard for anything more than entry level digital audio work.
     
  6. Mac-Addict macrumors 65816

    Mac-Addict

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    London
    #6
    Its like if your typing something in word the stuff you are typing is tempory stored on the ram so you can access and change it quicker rather than the hard drive spinning.. (Right...?)

    I only just realised.. If you have a computer with no hard drive just flash memory.. there would be no need for ram?
     
  7. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

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    May 16, 2006
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    London
    #7
    Wrong :)
     
  8. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #8
    Flash memory is non-volatile, it stores data even when no power is going to it.

    RAM is volatile - it only retains data when power is going to it, usually this is when the computer is switched on but can include when it is asleep.

    Flash memory is still slower than RAM. A computer using Flash memory will still need RAM.
     
  9. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #9
    there are several different places where data is cached, and in general the faster it is, the less of it you have and the more expensive it is to add. (on the flipside, the slow/cheap/plentiful storage you have [i.e. hard drive or even CD backup] is also going to be the most persistent).

    the fastest cache is going to be the registers in your CPU, then probably the cache(s) on the CPUs, then RAM, then your drive (whether spinny or flash).*

    different tools for different jobs, and changing the technology of your persistent storage isn't going to suddenly render RAM redundant, just as getting faster RAM doesn't suddenly mean your CPU no longer needs its registers.

    * forgive me if i've left out or mischaracterized something, it's been ages since i've really delved into this stuff
     
  10. sonarghost macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    #10

    I second and third this reply..Once you start working with large amounts of audio samples within many software samplers 2 gig min. is a must!
     

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