32 bit sucks.
As you may know, your system is limited to a maximum of 3,2 gb ram if you use a 32bit version of Windows. 64bit lets you use as much as you can fit on your motherboard, and that really boosts your system. If you aren’t sure if you profit from this, open your task manager and take a look how much RAM your reaper and those plugins that run in dedicated processes take; as I mentioned in an earlier post, reaper allows you to run any plugin as a seperate process. I was at about 3.1 gb of ram all the time, which led to some nasty instability issues that made work quite a drag…
A lot of production nowadays happens with the aid of sample libraries (I use Native Instrument’s Komplete Ultimate, among others) and these need lots and lots of RAM, so I had to make this move, but I dreaded reinstalling all my plugins. I use LOTS. There are millions of great free software synths, sample libraries, effects and just as many that I paid for, and you never know if they actually work in a 64bit environment. So I took a deep breath, upgraded my RAM to 12 GB and went and took a loooong walk on the lonely road of reinstallation… In fact I spent about 5 days walking up and down that road, taking many turns up activation & registration alley and some minor detours and after what felt like a month I’m back home and everything works perfectly smooth.
Here comes the fun part: I was worried that some of the older, but much-loved plugins might not be available in 64bit. And they weren’t. But thank god (or any other deity of choice) for REAPER! There is a free 32bit-bridge included that seamlessly integrates anything that is not 64bit 🙂 As far as I know most other DAWs don’t have that, and you need an extra program like jBridge to do that job for you… The only problems I had were activation issues for plugins that changed their activation system between my purchase and the reinstallation, but they were easily solved with an email or two.
All in all I can say this: my 64bit system is perfectly stable, and projects that took 4 minutes to open now take 10 seconds, plugins that took 2 minutes to open and 20 seconds to change instrument banks now do both instantly… All it needed was some time and 60 € for RAM. Especially if you work with sample libraries (addictive drums, kontakt, massive, whatever) you should definitely consider this move. As a side-effect Skyrim plays and loads a lot smoother, too 😉
By the way:
Seems like I needed a break, and some distance from the stuff I recorded over the last 3 years… just a week ago I listened through the as-of-yet-unfinished songs (there are about 30 of them in various stages of finishedness) and 6 of them made a lot of sense as a group, and all I need now is one day each, and the next EP will be done 🙂
With much love,