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I think 4GB is rather low for a recording setup.  I use an 8GB mac right now and hit memory limits if I get > 15 tracks depending on the song.  This usually only happens if I'm recording multiple takes on different tracks... but even muted tracks can take up a decent amount of ram during playback depending on the # of plugins and what not.  I used to have a 16GB macbook and never had to worry about it.

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8 hours ago, Triffid said:

I think 4GB is rather low for a recording setup.  I use an 8GB mac right now and hit memory limits if I get > 15 tracks depending on the song.  This usually only happens if I'm recording multiple takes on different tracks... but even muted tracks can take up a decent amount of ram during playback depending on the # of plugins and what not.  I used to have a 16GB macbook and never had to worry about it.

Thanks Triffid! 

 That’s what I was looking for. So I should stick to a minimum of 8GB? Preferably higher? 

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2 hours ago, Onewholovesrock said:

Thanks Triffid! 

 That’s what I was looking for. So I should stick to a minimum of 8GB? Preferably higher? 

I guess it comes down to budget.  I think you'd be fine with 8gb unless you're doing some really heavy layering.  Going from 16 to 8 really just made me focus on cleaning up my tracks after comping.  I found a budget 8gb mac for $600 at a used iphone store when I had to give up my 16gb to my previous employer.

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My recording computer has 6G RAM (yes, I know that is an odd number) and runs at a paltry 2GHz process speed (it's a 6 year old Win 7 machine).  I've never had an issue with the RAM - but when I get more than a few VSTi's (virtual instruments), I render them to audio, then mute and disable the plug-in.  Still, I've had as many as 8 VSTi strings tracks plus EZ Drummer all running at the same time - plus another dozen miked or DIed dozen tracks.  When not using VSTi's (except EZDrummer) I've had as many as 40 tracks loaded up (many takes of lead guitars can add up!), and I run up to 4 instances of reverb (which can be heavy on RAM) - all with IRs running, 1 for lead vocals, 1 for harmony vocals, 1 for instruments and 1 for drums.  Latency is not great - about 11milliseconds, but that's never been a concern for me.  For the MIDI tracks I've never noticed a timing problem because of latency, and I direct monitor when I record any other tracks (which eliminates latency issues).

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9 hours ago, Mike B said:

My recording computer has 6G RAM (yes, I know that is an odd number) and runs at a paltry 2GHz process speed (it's a 6 year old Win 7 machine).  I've never had an issue with the RAM - but when I get more than a few VSTi's (virtual instruments), I render them to audio, then mute and disable the plug-in.  Still, I've had as many as 8 VSTi strings tracks plus EZ Drummer all running at the same time - plus another dozen miked or DIed dozen tracks.  When not using VSTi's (except EZDrummer) I've had as many as 40 tracks loaded up (many takes of lead guitars can add up!), and I run up to 4 instances of reverb (which can be heavy on RAM) - all with IRs running, 1 for lead vocals, 1 for harmony vocals, 1 for instruments and 1 for drums.  Latency is not great - about 11milliseconds, but that's never been a concern for me.  For the MIDI tracks I've never noticed a timing problem because of latency, and I direct monitor when I record any other tracks (which eliminates latency issues).

Cool! Thanks Mike! 

There are a ton of 8GB laptops on Craigslist. Most in the $200 range. But I thought I’d keep looking for a iMac. Currently just looking around.

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My Win 10 machine that I use for internet is my 'backup' - if the music computer fails, I'll just load Reaper on to it, and copy all the files (backed up on 3 redundant USB drives!)  and hope it works ok - it's got 8G RAM, 1 T hard drive, 3.2GHz speed, and I picked it up through Walmart as a refurbished with 3 year 'replace for any issue' warranty for a total of $189.   I'm not a fan on Win10, and it locks up when the internet uses Flash a lot, but can't beat that price.

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I'm working on an old Mac book with only 2gb memory and I run into memory issues only on rare occasions and only on songs with too many tracks. Granted I do not run a very robust DAW. It is still GarageBand for me and I can no longer upgrade the OS. So, I am still running 10.6.8 which probably helps on the memory side of things. I'm still able to record my songs and I think they come out pretty good with my limited knowledge. Not bad for a nearly 12 year old computer. That said you could probably make it work. Of course, more memory is always better if you can afford it.

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