Oh my God the POWER (iMac Pro)

So I’m setting up my template for my new iMac Pro with 256 gigs of ram, and, although it’s taking me hours, this is going to change my life.

Every main articulation from EastWest, Spitfire, CineSamples and 8dio Century and Claire all loaded at the same time, all accessible at a click, and the system is yawning and asking for more to do.

I think my mockups will sound a lot better now that I’m able to effortlessly pick the right articulation for the job rather than thinking about whether I want to spend the time searching for one, and making room for it in RAM, or whether I’ll just settle for making an already-loaded articulation do it “good enough.”


Also the rig is portable! I’m using Cubase to play VEP within the single computer, with one external hard drive. Sets up at a coffeehouse in 2 minutes. I am really drunk on this power!

(Now watch me come back next week crying about crashes…but so far, solid!)

Ah man, I want that kind of power too! :stuck_out_tongue:
I am still rocking my old 2013 iMac, and I already maxed out the RAM which is 32GB, and it is the biggest bottle-neck atm.

I am so happy to hear how happy you are though, and that things seems to be working incredibly well.

When it is time for me to upgrade (and I saved up for a long time haha) I will probably choose between iMac Pro and the new Mac Pro. iMac Pro is more bang for your buck (especially if you count in the awesome screen), but Mac Pro is more upgradable in the future. So I have not decided yet.

I’ll be jealous of you if you go Mac Pro, and I couldn’t have afforded $30k, but the portability was important to me. I like to set up at my favorite coffeehouse, take my rig on vacations, etc. I don’t really enjoy working in my home, as there are too many distractions. Plus I am a slob and do t keep my studio clean enough, then it gets depressing.

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Yeah, I’m a studio caveman so portability is not an issue for me. I could have it all in a server rack for all I care :stuck_out_tongue:

It will be very interesting when they announce the prices for the various setups of the new Mac Pro. But whatever the cost will be, I will have to do some serious saving up haha.

But I am seeing it as an investment as I will use it day to day in my business, not only for music production, but video editing, live streaming. Man I would love to be able to live stream at the same time as I produce music for example. That takes a LOT of CPU power let me tell you. So yeah, I would really love a Mac Pro for the expandability and to be able to use it for 8-10 years.

Well … I would have to sell my BMW to get a Mac pro here lol … but it’s true , you can get alot of mileage out of the Mac platform before upgrading …Mac os is well tweaked for their hardware and the performance is solid …my Mac runs an older 3.4 Gig 2600k i7 quad core and 32 gig of ram …no issues on Ableton, studio one and logic pro x … my 8th gen PC is also running these DAWS on Windows 10 and performance is comparable

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An update on how things are going with my new rig.

First, I’ve encountered my first glitch.

I’ve now had Play crash VEP. So the supposed stability you get from using a DAW with VEP is not completely rock solid. I had always suspected Play was the destabilizer with ProTools, and now it’s causing problems again.

Using a DAW with VEP does still help, as I can force-quit VEP only, leaving PT open. But then I have to reload all my samples.

I don’t have a solution yet. My dream of having all open at once is threatened.

Kontakt instruments are all solid so far.

In the meantime, I tried switching to Cubase and found it unworkable after 2 weeks. I’ve returned to Pro Tools.

I’ll add that the crash is very “soft.” First, the Play instrument starts behaving weirdly. It will play the first part of the sample that’s loaded into RAM but seems not to find the rest, the part that’s on the hard drive.

The rest of the instruments all keep behaving normally.

At this point, I can deactivate my Play instrument in VEP and continue working.

But if I try to re-activate it, I get a color wheel and VEP becomes unresponsive.

I may try some different workarounds. One possibility is, when a Play instrument goes wonky, to deactivate or even get rid of the entire VEP instance in which the instrument lives, then re-load the instance. Maybe memory-handling will be less confusing to the software if I do it that way?

The goal is to stay up and running without having to re-load the whole orchestra, which takes 15 minutes.

Thanks for the report Everett…I’m sure the bugs will get sorted …appreciate the insight…

Hey Mikael - depending on what Mac you are using and how far with OS’s it will go - has you considered building a PC for VEPro and plugins? I’d been throwing parts together on an online part picker site and coming up with around US$5k for a machine with a new gen10 Intel 16-core, 256 GB of RAM, two m.2 drives for samples, one SATA3 SSD for OS and another for less-demanding libraries. And the thing is, since their OS’s don’t change that rapidly, it should support VEPro for a good while, and wouldn’t drag your main Mac down at all - and you don’t need a fab video card or thunderbolt 3 or any of that - just fast Ethernet. And if you use a remote viewer, you don’t even really need another monitor or keyboard in front of you, and the PC could be in another room. I love Macs but I think I’m going to go this way - my 2013 Mac Pro is fine for sequencing and lots of mix plugins and the VI’s that need the lowest latency.

Honestly, I am going the “one mega powerful computer to do all” path. Meaning I will actually invest in the new Mac Pro, and upgrade it over the years in order for the investment to last probably up to 10 years.

I am hoping that will be enough to avoid a slave computer setup. Especially since I don’t have a “computer room” and need to have ultra silent machines for my video production and audio recording work.

Understood. I completely get the philosophy as well as the machine room issue. It should be noted that the system I threw together is a very quiet one with quiet water cooling and fans. But there is something great about the whole thing in one box. When I got my 2013MP I really thought that was going to do it, and I did write some big things with it, but then those big things got me work that requires a massive template online all the time. So it’s a great problem to have. I wish you the kind of success that causes these problems. :+1:

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And I should add that regardless of the powerful computer, it’s good to be able to offload functionality, because there are bottlenecks that are hard to get around - as I discovered when I loaded up a massive session with 100+ tracks at 48/32 and tons of plugins and then added high-quality video playback and surround bussing and effects. The video ate lots of cpu and things got thick. Headroom is a beautiful thing. Having my 5,1 (hotrodded with a processor tray upgrade to a 3.4GHz 12-core) to do things like the SampleModeling brass and all of the Metropolis Arks and some Spitfire things means I don’t have that issue at all in my day-to-day. And if I used Video Slave on my laptop to play video, I’d have even more headroom. Just a thought.

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Even with an iMac Pro and 256 gigs ram, I still print audio all the time. It just gives me a sense of security. Plus, I find editing audio Much easier than editing midi.

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I print stems fairly early because sometimes it’s easier to fix things with a single fader move or a fade.

With your iMac Pro where do you have all your libraries? External SSD that you take with you?

Yes headroom truly is a beautiful thing, in music too haha. Well I will see how far the new Mac Pro will take me, and who knows, I might end up with a slave computer later on. If I do I will make sure to make it ultra silent.

I have an 8 tb ordinary platter drive I take with me. There’s a pocket in my iMac case that holds it.

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Well then loading to RAM must take ages, does it not?

If you load (and have active) every possible instrument and articulation at once, yes. But I can load a good basic orchestra in 3-4 minutes, leaving less-used instruments and articulations inactive. Then, activating a different one, causing its samples to load into RAM, takes 5-10 additional seconds.