How to deal with RAM limitations and avoid Out of Memory crashes with the 32-bit version of Live
- Live Versions: Live 1 - 9
- Operating System: ALL
Various information related to memory consumption on different platforms, workarounds and optimization tips.
Live on 64 bit systems
- On native 64 bit systems, the 32 bit-version of Live can address memory up to 4 GB.
- OSX, Windows XP 64, Windows Vista 64, Windows 7 64
Live on 32 bit systems
- On native 32 bit systems, Live can address memory up to 2 GB.
- Windows XP Professional 32 provides a /3 GB flag. If this is set, Live can address memory up to 3 GB:
Thus, when experiencing memory problems with large Live Sets, increasing the memory to at least 4 GB could already help.
What is filling all the memory?
- Live devices or 3rd-party plug-ins that use lots of samples are very memory intensive. Ableton's Latin Percussion is a good example, but also plug-ins like Omnisphere or Kontakt when used with large sample libraries.
- Enabling clip RAM mode loads the audio file referenced by a clip into the memory instead of reading them from disk in real time.
- An extremely large number of clips might also lead to problems, even when the RAM button is not enabled.
- Besides those data, all other processes by Live and the operating system need memory.
Why do 'Out of Memory' crashes occur?
- Live doesn't know how much of the memory reserved for its operation is already filled. With the scenarios described above - having RAM mode enabled for too many audio clips and/or working with large sample libraries, it's very easy to reach the limits.
- Now, performing any action in Live that needs more memory than currently available might result in a crash. These actions could be:
- Editing operations on clips and tracks (e.g. Copy, Cut, Duplicate)
- Adding more samples
- Adding devices or presets
Live Set RAM optimizations and workarounds
- Flattening tracks that contain said memory consuming devices frees up memory.
- First, freeze the tracks.
- The Flatten command then replaces any original clips with the audio files created by the freezing and then removes the devices and the samples from the Set.
- If a Set containing memory consuming devices already crashes on loading, it can be restored like this:
- Open an empty Live Set.
- Locate the problematic Live Set (*.als file) in Live's browser.
- Unfold it by clicking the little arrow on *als file - all the tracks contained in this Set are shown now.
- Import one track of the Set via double click or drag'n'drop into the empty Live Set.
- Now, freeze and then flatten the imported track.
- Proceed with the next and following tracks.
- If a Set containing many (large) audio clips with enabled RAM mode crashes on loading, it can be restored like this:
- Open an empty Live and unfold the problematic Live Set in Live's browser as described above
- Import a track containing clips via double click or drag'n'drop into the empty Live Set.
- For all audio clips, turn the RAM switch in their Sample display off.
- Proceed with the next and following track.
- Save the new Set.