Ever since Waves updated all audio unit plugins to 64 bit versions, I switched to running Logic Pro in 64 bit mode. That was my turning point. Instead of the 4 gigs of RAM available (the widely known limit set by running Logic Pro in 32 bit mode) I now have 12 gigs of RAM available. This is quite the leap forward. As a result, I’m starting to notice some workflow changes. I’d like to post these changes – hopefully they’ll inspire you. My Mac Pro has 12 gigs of RAM, powered by 2 2.66 Ghz 6-core Intel Xeon processors. That’s comfortable, but I’m sure some of my new approaches will work on less robust systems too.
Load Plugins By The Bunch – Old Habits Must Die
Throw all your crayons on the table, or organize them by color?
With the 87 stock plugins that Logic Pro offers – and more than 300 audio unit plugins the Waves Mercury bundle includes – picking the right plugin at the right moment becomes a near impossibility. Or it turns into a clickfest, with the chance of a miss being larger than the chance of a hit. You’ve probably formed some old habits too: perhaps you always choose Chorus instead of Ensemble, just because its interface is simpler. Or you’re always sticking to the same compressor plugin because you ‘know’ how it will sound.
With Logic Pro’s ‘Out of Memory’ issue out of the way, I now find myself loading a bunch of plugins by category. Here’s how I do that: suppose I’d like to adjust the stereo width of a track. I inserted a Chorus, Ensemble, Spreader, Tremolo on a track, and saved the channel strip setting as “All Width”, but with every plugins disabled. Whenever it’s width I want to work on, I fire up that channel strip setting, then choose the plugin which I think does the job best, and leave the other plugins bypassed. I worry about removing the bypassed plugins later. There really should be a command for that (another Logic Pro X feature request).
This works well with the Waves One Knob series too. By firing up the entire series in an instant, I can quickly get a feel for what it is I’d like to do with a sound. Then I’ll just work from there.
You can get as organized as you want, mixing Logic Pro stock and third plugins together, or even categories.
Note however, that Logic Pro makes a distinction between channel strip settings for Buses, Inputs, Instruments, Master Tracks, Outputs and Audio Tracks. Once you’ve made your own settings for different kinds of audio objects, and want to be able to use these on any audio object, be sure to hold down
I guess this approach renders this post obsolete.
Bounce & Hide The Source Tracks
For some reason, I like working with homemade audio files. Although it's hard to know exactly when to bounce a track, I tend to bounce quicker. Bouncing a region to an audio file can be very relieving: It's 'no turning back now!' instead of 'tweaking parameters till the break of dawn'. By hiding the track that the bounce came from, I keep my arrangement tidy. Should I run into RAM trouble, I'll just save the instrument settings (adding to my library of custom channel strip settings in the meantime) and delete the track. By doing this, I ensure that the used instruments leave no traces on my system's resources. Nope, I've never been a fan of freezing tracks.
Big Sample Libraries - A Lesser Biggie
With the 'Out of Memory' warning being memory blocks away instead of lurking just around the corner, a second instance of a big sample library is just a click away. While I was working with Native Instruments' Upright Piano (not huge in size, just big), I had one instance play double bass notes, and the other play chords. This way, I could color the two parts individually with EQ, compression, and reverb. From an engineering/mixing perspective, that's a good thing. I would never have thought of this in a 32-bit world. Once I'll start doing this with a big string library though...
A Bigger Undo Buffer
One of the first things I would do to stave off 'Out of Memory' problems in 32 bit mode was to decrease the amount of Undo Steps in Logic Pro's preferences. Now that I'm working in 64 bit mode, I increased that amount.
Sofar, these have been my experiences after the switch to 64 bit mode, I'm curious to see yours in the comment section!