1st snippet – problems with RAM
Currently I have 12 GBs of RAM and it’s the amount of RAM that is the main limit on how many virtual instruments i can have playing at the same time and how many different playing technique patches each instrument has. After first boot with just Windows 7 running about 2 GBs of RAM is used. Sibelius 6.2 uses very little. I use Vienna MIR for the virtual performance space and of course the Jami has to be placed in the biggest hall they have which is the Vienna Konzerthaus and that takes up about 2.5 GBs of RAM alone. So before adding any virtual instruments I onle have about 7 GBs of RAM left but of course the system will unstable if you get anywhere near full capacity so in reality I have less than that.
How much RAM each virtual instrument needs depend on how many patches you want. You can use the custom built sample packages or you can pick and choose your own selection. If I use the biggest bag of custom patches (known as a preset in VSL) for each instruments then that’s anything between 626 MB to 271 MBs per instrument. A full string section, which with Jami is a minimum of 10 lines and a maximum of 30+ would take up all the rest of my RAM before even moving onto the other sections.
However using the big top level presets is useful because VSL lays them out in a uniform way between instruments and it’s easier to use from one instrument to the next. My experience with creating my own custom samples sets is getting endlessly confused with the layout between instruments and consistency in the use of controllers. That way you really need to preplan how you are going to do everything in great detail.
A very useful tool in the virtual instrument is being able to purge unused samples. So I can set up all the strings, perfect the performance, and then purge the unused samples which in a short clip with only a few articulations means getting rid of the vast majority of the samples and freeing up large amounts of RAM. You can then move onto the next section and do the same and so on.
This first short clip of 40 odd seconds from about five minutes into the first movement uses 20 string parts, 8 choral parts, 7 brass parts and 5 woodwind parts. Whilst the symphony has potentially 100+ seperate parts at maximum divisi the most ever used is just over 60 because Sorabji wrote his music by hand on real manuscript. This excerpt uses 40 which is about average.
Let’s compare that with the same exceprt from the older Sibelius Sounds performance.