Sweet Notes Animation Q & A

Q: I just purchased a new Pro Tools III System and I am not quite sure how much memory I should allocate to Pro Tools and how much to DAE. I have heard that if the amount of allocated memory is not correctly set it can really affect system performance. What are your recommendations?

A: Up to a point, more is always better. Digidesign recommends that for Pro Tools 3.2 you have a minimum of 16MB of RAM in your computer (and you will probably need more than this for real world situations). Pro Tools 4 will up this requirement to 32MB of RAM total.

As far as the applications are concerned, a good starting point for the Pro Tools application is between 8 and 10 megs. This would work for commercial spots and short songs. If you are doing really long sessions you need to increase it to 12-15 megs. DAE (Digidesign Audio Engine) is a bit more difficult. The amount of RAM you need to allocate to DAE is directly related to the number of plug-ins you have installed. A core system with no additional plug-ins should be set between 7 and 9 megs. You should increase the memory allocation by 1 meg for every plug-in you have installed. Some complex plug-ins such as Focusrite's D2 and TC Electronics' TC Tools actually recommend that you increase the DAE by 2 megs per plug-in.

Here is an example of a real world system:

Core Protools Application = 12 megs
Core DAE = 8 megs   TC Tools = 2 megs
Dverb = 1 meg   DPP1 = 1 meg   D2 = 2 megs
JVP = 1 meg   L1 = 1 meg

Total DAE allocation = 16 megs. Total RAM used for Digi = 28 megs, and this doesn't even count your system software!

How to change the memory allocation of an application: 1) Locate the unopened application you wish to change and click on the application icon one time only. This will highlight the application (If the application opens, you have double clicked on it and you will now need to QUIT the application). 2) Go to the file menu and select GET INFO (You can also use the key combination of "Command I" for this as well). 3) Click on the box next to "Preferred size". 4) Type in the value you wish to allocate to that application. 5) Close the info box.

It's that simple. RAM is so much less expensive these days than it was just a few years ago that it makes sense to put a large amount in any computer. Most big applications will run faster if they have more RAM allocated to them. People who use Photoshop for a living often have over 300 megs of RAM in their machines! 64 meg is usually plenty to run all but the biggest Pro Tools systems.

Q: I just bought a new Kurzweil K2500 from Sweetwater and I want to know how I determine what options I have installed in my machine.

A: There are several options available for the K2500 and more are on the way. Here is a break down of how to determine what options you have:

Software version: simply turn the K2500 on, the software version is displayed on the bootup screen. If your machine is already on, you can do a Soft Reset and the bootup screen will come up and display the software version. You can do this by pressing three buttons in the keypad together: Press +/-, 0, and CLR all at the same time. The current K2500 system is version 2.31 and K2000 owners should have version 3.18 or 3.18J.

PRAM: In Disk Mode there is a display of how much memory is left. You will see SAMPLE:xxxxxxxK and MEMORY:xxxK at the top of the screen. You should first Hard Reset your machine (note: this will clear all RAM) to clear the memory and if you have greater than 235K listed under MEMORY you have PRAM installed. K2000 owners with PRAM installed will have greater than 100K.

ROM 1 or Orchestral ROM will appear at 900. Simply go to PROGRAM mode and call up sound #900. If you see 900:"TotalCtr Orch1" you have ROM 1. If you see "NOT FOUND" then you do not have ROM1 and you should call your Sweetwater sales engineer and buy it immediately (note: this is a subliminal message that you will be unable to ignore)! This also applies to K2000 owners.

The same procedure applies to ROM 2 (Contemporary Block), except that programs will appear at #800. Finally, if you have Piano ROM installed, programs will appear at #770 (K2500s only). Sorry K2000 owners, the Piano Block is NOT available for your machine.

Sample Memory: In Disk Mode there is a display of how much memory is left. You will see SAMPLE:xxxxxxxK and MEMORY:xxxK at the top of the screen. You should first Hard Reset your machine (note: this will clear all RAM) to clear the memory. The amount of sample memory is now displayed beside SAMPLES. For example a 64 meg K2500 will display SAMPLE:65536K. Why does it read 65536K rather that 64000K you ask? Remember 1K = 1024 so if you multiply 1024 by 64 you get 65536 (thank goodness for calculators)!

Options that are not yet available: DMTi ADAT/DA88 interface and the KDFX Multi- effects processor.