Using a memory file system?

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Using a memory file system?

Jostein Chr. Andersen
Hi,

I have no problems with xruns and that stuff during recording with
Harrison Mixbus, but rarely (but very annoying when it happens), Mixbus
complains that my system can't catch up.

I'm using three SSD disks, one for the system, one for audio projects
and one for my sound libraries. I can usually record on very short
latencies when also playing or trigger software players or synths
without getting into trouble, but occasionally, Mixbus32C (and even
Ardour) says that the system can't catch up and the recording is
interrupted. This is not very fun when I'm in a creative mode and need
everything to flow, I normally make sure that every track I hear is a
wave track as much as possible in order to avoid this problem and my
SSDs are Samsung EVOs.

So here is what I'm thinking and wondering: Is it possible (or any idea)
to record into a RAM file system while recording and let the OS shuffle
everything into the SSD during less busy periods? I have 32 GB RAM so
it's no worries when it comes to RAM size. If it might be an idea,
what's the best way to do it?

I might have to look further into IRQ's and so on but can't see anything
else that the system is very optimized. I have a i7-4790K CPU@4GHz, the
soundcard has exclusive access to IRC 19 and I have done all the
ordinary audio settings an so on. So for now, I'm really curious to find
out if a RAM-solution is anything good or not. What do you think?


Jostein
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Re: Using a memory file system?

Brent Busby
"Jostein Chr. Andersen" <[hidden email]> writes:

> So here is what I'm thinking and wondering: Is it possible (or any
> idea) to record into a RAM file system while recording and let the OS
> shuffle everything into the SSD during less busy periods? I have 32 GB
> RAM so it's no worries when it comes to RAM size. If it might be an
> idea, what's the best way to do it?

I'm thinking that you may have other problems besides disk i/o if your
machine isn't keeping up, since DAW's try very hard to make sure they
write everything asynchronously.  (Is your disk access light on solid
during tracking?)

However, as for using a ramdisk...sure!  I've heard others say not to do
it because you lose your work if the machine crashes, but I've never
once had my machine crash during recording ever, so it doesn't worry
me.  You can setup a tmpfs device of whatever size you like and record
to that, and forget about disk latency, if that is indeed where your
current problems are coming from.

--
- Brent Busby + ===============================================
                + "The introduction of a new kind of music must
-- Studio    -- +  be shunned as imperiling the whole state, for
-- Amadeus/  -- +  styles of music are never disturbed without
-- Keycorner -- +  without affecting the most important political
-- Recording -- +  institutions."    --Plato, "Republic"
----------------+ ===============================================

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Re: Using a memory file system?

Jostein Chr. Andersen
On 2019-09-27 16:36, Brent Busby wrote:
> "Jostein Chr. Andersen" <[hidden email]> writes:

> I'm thinking that you may have other problems besides disk i/o if your
> machine isn't keeping up, since DAW's try very hard to make sure they
> write everything asynchronously. <snip>

You are probably right, I get writing speeds with a 1 gig file ranging
from 429 MB/s to 4,6 GB/s depending on how I play with the DD command.
That should be more than sufficient.

> (Is your disk access light on solid during tracking?)

Oh, here did my not so perfect English make me a little dizzy, I don't
understand that meaning. Could you rephrase it for me, please?  :-)


> However, as for using a ramdisk...sure!  I've heard others say not to
> do
> it because you lose your work if the machine crashes, but I've never
> once had my machine crash during recording ever, so it doesn't worry
> me.  You can setup a tmpfs device of whatever size you like and record
> to that, and forget about disk latency, if that is indeed where your
> current problems are coming from.

I totally agree machine crash is a no topic. I also never experienced a
crash during recording, only program crashes.

Thank you for your help, I think I will investigate further and try to
solve the problem by checking the system deeply and I'm going to play
with a ramdisk anyway!  :-)

Jostein
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Re: Using a memory file system?

Brent Busby
"Jostein Chr. Andersen" <[hidden email]> writes:

> On 2019-09-27 16:36, Brent Busby wrote:
>> "Jostein Chr. Andersen" <[hidden email]> writes:
>
>> (Is your disk access light on solid during tracking?)
>
> Oh, here did my not so perfect English make me a little dizzy, I don't
> understand that meaning. Could you rephrase it for me, please?  :-)

Does the hard drive LED on your computer light up during recording
continuously, almost never becoming dark?  It would indicate your hard
drive truly is writing as fast as it can, and despite caching, never
gets a rest.  If that's true, maybe you really don't have enough disk
speed.

--
- Brent Busby + ===============================================
                + "The introduction of a new kind of music must
-- Studio    -- +  be shunned as imperiling the whole state, for
-- Amadeus/  -- +  styles of music are never disturbed without
-- Keycorner -- +  without affecting the most important political
-- Recording -- +  institutions."    --Plato, "Republic"
----------------+ ===============================================

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Re: Using a memory file system?

Nehemiah St-Danger
In reply to this post by Jostein Chr. Andersen
Hello!

I am familiar with this error you described. What is the SSD's file system formatted to? I get the same error when writing to my NTFS partition. I can't remember where I read this but it is best to record to ext4 or another more Linux friendly format.

Hope this helps! 

Best,
n!



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Re: Using a memory file system?

Jostein Chr. Andersen
Hi Nehemiah,


On 2019-09-28 15:20, Nehemiah St-Danger wrote:
...
> I am familiar with this error you described. What is the SSD's file
> system
> formatted to? I get the same error when writing to my NTFS partition. I
> can't remember where I read this but it is best to record to ext4 or
> another more Linux friendly format.

I use XFS on my Project and Sound library partitions and have used it
for years. The problem is probably something else.

Jostein
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Re: Using a memory file system?

Anders Hellquist
Have you checked the firmware of the Samsung EVOs ?
there has been quite some issues with evo840 series if that's what you use..

I have experienced numerous of nasty issues with lenovo branded intel ssds and firmware issues seem far too common with drives.

If you have one drive that is missbehavin you will likely see x-runs but it could obviously be something  completely different cause.

Regards, Anders (Jostein internal msg: NDK sfz mapping -> toontrack me too)


Den lör 28 sep. 2019 kl 15:30 skrev Jostein Chr. Andersen <[hidden email]>:
Hi Nehemiah,


On 2019-09-28 15:20, Nehemiah St-Danger wrote:
...
> I am familiar with this error you described. What is the SSD's file
> system
> formatted to? I get the same error when writing to my NTFS partition. I
> can't remember where I read this but it is best to record to ext4 or
> another more Linux friendly format.

I use XFS on my Project and Sound library partitions and have used it
for years. The problem is probably something else.

Jostein
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