Some 64 vs 32 bit stupid questions.

Hi all, I will be soon building a supermachine for my work which will have a huge amount of RAM, and the only way to make good use of it is by installing a 64 bit OS. If I do my audio production in 64 bit, will I still be able to use VST plugins with wine and FST (Not ardour VST but outside of it connected via JACK), and things like that, actually also run 32 bit appz in my 64 bit OS?

I know this is really a stupid question but this will be the first time I will be running a 64 OS and the audio production is a high priority for me, and I want it to run at its best.

Also, I might just install an aditional 32 bit linux (Maybe Fedora + CCRMA) for my audio production, although that one will only detect a minor part of my RAM, will that cause any issues? Will the system still run properly without flaws or errors just using the detected RAM?

Man I really sound like a noob on this one re-reading my post :slight_smile:
Just never experimented with 64


as Paul mentioned a few times, what counts is the host (e.g. ardour): it must be 32bit to host win32 VST dll’s.
So it does not matter that your h/w and OS are 64bit. You can always get or compile a 32bit version of ardour with VST enabled. I presume you also need wine in 32bit. Recent versions of jackd at 64bit can accept connection from 32bit client (and vice versa).

Note that some people were reporting that an app like LMMS compiled for 64bit can host VSTs. I cannot speak for it as I don’t have a 64bit system and never used LMMS.

I also believe you can use more than 4G of RAM with a PAE enabled kernel, even with a 32bit architecture. You should read more about it before you dive into 64bit land :wink:


Will your “supermachine” try to take over the world? LOL

I have built some Debian -rt PAE 32bit Kernels, The caveat being you have to use a Debian OS to try them…AV Linux comes to mind.

Seriously though, I built them but only have 4 Gigs of RAM so I’m waiting for feedback from testers to see how well they support and report RAM usage. They work perfectly well on systems with less than 4 Gigs as well, Feel free to try them if you’re interested.

Ok, I can give AV a shot GMaq! Once I have all the parts and build it, I will download yours to test and give you feedback.

I did a bit of reading also thx to thorgal I am seeing a lot of options here. So I don’t think I’ll have too much issues.

Still thx for feedback.

For the record, I compiled FST on my 64-bit work computer. Now I can run amp modeler plugins and play the communal company guitar on slow days, although the sound card is really not suitable for this. Anyway, FST can be built to host your VST plugins in a 64-bit OS–it’s just a matter of getting the right 32-bit libraries.

Ok so running 32bit VST plugins in a 64 OS works with FST works. That is good news. Just have to see what 32 libs and how to setup wine - packages to work.



Won’t VST plugins (especially with GUI’s) require a bit of RAM?

I’m running 32 bit with 4096 MB of RAM and all seems fine… but have not pushed plugins much on this system yet… and no VST’s as yet…

With linux you can use more than 4GB ram when running in 32bit mode

Yes you can use more than 4GB on 32bit, but to paraphrase Linus Torvalds himself “why would anybody be that stupid?”.

If you’re only using the bigmem machine for audio it’s usually a waste; Ardour reads and writes to/from disk. The only RAM needed is the actual amount the OS and programs require (ok, you might want to load a really big sample or something) so the 3.xGB a standard 32bit kernel can address should be enough.

Now if you’re doing something else as well that really need lots of RAM, why not do a 64bit install on a separate partition?

Hey kiol, if you’re going to post something like that you could at least include a link to some erectile enhancing drugs or loan institute or something.

joegiampaoli, your assumption that you need a 64bit system to make use of a lot of system RAM is not correct. With linux you can use more than 4GB ram when running in 32bit mode as well. Of course the processes will still not be able to use an address room bigger than 32bits.

So, if that 4g address size is enough for single processess (in what split version you want, typically 3g/1g), you can still use a 32bit Linux.

If you want to optimize your ‘supermachine’ for high end audio, there are much more important things to do than this.

Unless it’s really sloppy programmed a VST shouldn’t take that much more RAM than a LADSPA/LV2 effect.
After all it’s just a box that takes a signal, applies some fancy math to it on-the-fly and passes it along. There shouldn’t be anything RAM needing there AFAIK. 1 GB should usually do and 2 and over should be plenty.

They are, however, CPU demanding (to a varied degree of course) so the faster the CPU, and the higher the latency, the more the effects you should be able to apply.

Very cool app. Can you tell me where to download the Help files? Apparently they didn’t make it during the install process, so it won’t load them. Thanks!

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