Defining the workflow performance: Orchestral Template and your RAM

HarmonyCore

Active Member
Hey Everyone,

I watched some YT videos talking about different methods to organize your DAW template. One of the methods used VEPRO (Vienna Ensemble PRO) in order to create instances where each instance hosts many MIDI channels (up to some crazy number). Each channel is connected to a Kontakt instrument. Then, in your DAW, you add instrument tracks so you can connect them to their respective channel in VEPRO. I still don't understand how this method saves more memory than loading Kontakt instruments directly in your DAW. Note that VEPRO is hosted on the same machine, not a networked slave. VEPRO is mainly designed to work over a networked machines so you can connect from your master machine to the slave machine that hosts all the libraries. However, in this video, VEPRO is on the same machine, that's why I don't understand what's the benefit.

Another method is to load Kontakt instruments directly in your template but disable tracks when not used. I am currently having 32 GB RAM and it can run up to 70 enabled tracks at the same time. If I turn off some unneeded background tasks, I can free more 2 GB.

Final method is to add just a few tracks and rely on expression maps or key switches to manage articulations instead of loading each articulation on its own track and that's the main reason why your track count grows in the template.

I don't know what is the best method as I don't have VEPRO. I am just using the second method (up to 70) tracks and that's enough for me at the moment.

Can anyone confirm if the VEPRO method has a lighter RAM footprint?
 

David Kudell

Active Member
I also use the second method. I'm not sure what DAW you use, but if you use Logic, it won't load the virtual instrument in the track unless you click on it. So my template has over 1000 tracks of instruments in a project that loads pretty much instantly. I believe Cubase can be set up this way as well.
By the way, there's a 90 day free trial of Logic that Apple is offering, so you could always try that if you're on a Mac.
 
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HarmonyCore

Active Member
Cubase user here. I am working on my template for 3 days now. I reached the 200th track and keep adding. The disable track feature is really useful especially for laptops with inadequate amount of RAM. 32 GB is considered a decent amount of RAM in 2020 (you were a unique person 10 years ago when you had that amount lol). I am on HP OMEN Windows 10 platform, not Mac and it's very stable until now. OS and apps are loading instantly. I am trying to find the best method to balance between creating a huge template with minimal RAM footprint. Also, sample libraries such as CineSamples have a very light footprint. So, getting light libraries definitely helps.
 
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HarmonyCore

Active Member
Maybe VEPRO is also offering a nice CPU optimization feature, I still don't know as I don't own it. My concern is more of RAM optimization in the time being since sample libraries eat your RAM as you grow your template or when working and recording on more than 40 tracks simultaneously. I believe CPU is going to be a concern when you add more effects on each track.
 

ptram

Senior Member
Since I don't always use the same orchestra layout, I prefer to use Channel Strip Settings in Logic. When I need an instrument, I select the corresponding CSS for that track. Only what is needed for the project is loaded.

Paolo
 

matthieuL

Member
One advantage of VEPRO is to minimize the project file size, so minimize the saving time. For example, each Kontakt instrument has to be saved within the Cubase file (if the .nki is 1Mb, the .cpr will increase by 1Mb). An orchestral template in Cubase can produce a huge project file of few hundreds of Mb, then the saving time can be 30s or more... Very impairing according to me.
 

bosone

Active Member
I am on cakewalk and i built a nearly 400-track templates using basically kontakt, garritan, miroslav. i have maybe 25 VI instances, divided in sections. for example i have
kontakt strings
kontakt brass
garritan strings
miroslav winds

etc...

i only enable the VI i need in that particular moment.
it's really easy to do that in cakewalk.
then, if i need more resources, i freeze the section and i go on.

i have an old i7 CPU (maybe 7 years old) and 12 MB ram

PS: hobbyst here, but taking it seriously!

i described it here:

and here:
 

jcrosby

Senior Member
VEP won't impact RAM usage at all. That's not physically possible since VEP is simply a plugin host. It does handle CPU load better than just about anything else though, (unless you use Logic in which case Logic made the need for VEP obsolete.)

The other benefit would be load times, as you can leave a VEP template loaded and connect to it. This would be useful if you're doing multiple pieces of music in a day like a TV series, film score, or you're a production music ninja.

Basically it sounds like you want RAM optimizations which happen by either:

  • Deactivating tracks IF your DAW does full deactivation including unloading plugin RAM. (Live for instance doe not.)
  • Using Kontakt (or a similar sampler's) sample purge function.

So you probably should do a lot more research on VEP before considering it. It's definitely useful, but it has a very specific workflow that may not be necessary for what you do. (Without knowing what your templates look like its hard to make any guesses....)

And that workflow isn't necessarily without some quirks... For example it only takes one bad VEP update for your setup to break. It's pretty rare VSL does this kind of thing, but it has happened a couple times in the past year or two... It's also a bit cumbersome hopping between two windows... And it's another plugin layer, adding one more check in the column of things to troubleshoot if something does break. You basically have to chase down a third developer if this kind of thing happens, which has been more frequent the past couple years.

It's basically a life raft if you need it, but a cumbersome workflow if you don't. Since Logic eliminated the need for VEP I don't even use it unless I'm doing something like working in Live... The TLDR is that although there was a time where it made life easier, I vastly prefer not being tethered to it now that I don't.
 
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