29 Mar Predictive loading just saved my a– !
Posted at 16:44h
in Gig Performer Blog
I’m getting ready to go on a tour in Japan with the Security Project. My main laptop is a 5 year old Macbook Pro with a 17″ screen. It has 16Gb RAM and SSDs instead of hard drives for both speed and reliability.
I’ve been preparing for this tour for the last couple of months and audio is completely Gig Performer dependent. No other synths or workstations. My current gig requires about 9.5 Gb and so loads perfectly fine with every single song instantly accessible. As well as Gig Performer, I’m also running MaxMSP and an app that supports my Eigenharp.
Now, I also carry a backup laptop, another 17″ Macbook Pro that’s a bit older but still very good. This morning I loaded the new gig and tried rehearsing. Got audio glitches all over the place. Yuk. Just clicking on another window while playing some notes caused a momentary glitch.
After I got over panicking and worrying what would happen if I got to Japan and my only working laptop failed on me, I started to investigate. Turns out that my backup laptop has only 8Gb RAM in it and the kernel task in OS X was taking up 40-50% of the CPU busy swapping stuff between RAM and the drives. Once I realized what was happening, I turned on Predictive Loading
and restarted Gig Performer.
Problem solved. Gig Performer now requires about 1.8Gb and so there’s no more swapping.
There’s a very slight disadvantage to predictive loading in that you need to have your rackspaces in order if you want to be able to switch from one song to the next instantly. That’s because Gig Performer starts loading just the next few rackspaces in the background while you’re playing. If you jump to a song that has not yet been loaded, you’ll have to wait a few seconds (or longer if a lot of samples have to be loaded) because you start playing again. But when you’re playing to a setlist, that’s not going to be a problem.