For many years, the question “How much RAM do I need for music production?” has been asked by aspiring producers.
The answer is simple and straightforward; you should never buy more than you actually need.
As a result, this means that if you are an aspiring producer with a limited budget, then it would be wise to invest in as little RAM as you need (and still get your work done).
"So what do I need exactly?"
In my opinion (and I am talking about general usage here) 8 GB of RAM is enough to handle music production processing.
To understand more about the topic, this article will discuss whether or not having lots of RAM is really worth it for music production purposes. It will also explain how much RAM is needed for various DAWs and plugins.
Finally, we'll offer some advice on how to choose the right amount of memory for your needs!
What Do I Need to Know About RAM for Music Production?
RAM is of the word "Random Access Memory", which is the physical memory in a computer that allows data to be read from and written to.
It’s counted in gigabytes (GB) or megabytes (MB). When you open an application on your PC, it needs RAM space to work with. If there isn't enough free space, then it will close the application and you'll have to restart your computer.
When working in music production software, a good rule of thumb is that every gigabyte (GB) of RAM for the DAW will require an extra gigabyte of RAM for the plugins.
For example, if you’re using FL Studio 20 with only 4GB of RAM, the max amount is 16 synths or samples in total.
Most motherboard (chip) has 4 memory slots. RAM slots are made in pairs of slots, so in most cases, you'll need to buy two of the same RAM sticks for your PC.
DDR3 and DDR4 are the two most popular types of RAM on the market, so make sure you know what type your motherboard uses or it won't work.
Install or replace RAM sticks are relatively straightforward and easy to complete. You just need to open the case of your PC and remove the old RAM sticks. You can then install a pair of new ones in their place.
Therefore, you don't have to invest in a lot of RAMs when you just starting out because you can always add more later.
And it would be wise to invest in as little RAM as you need to get your work done.
How Does RAM's Clock Speed Affect Music Producing?
RAM speed affects the time it takes your PC to run, store and find information. The clock speed of a RAM is measured in cycles per second - megahertz (MHz).
Most people are just concerned with the number and aren't aware that this also impacts how much memory they need for their computer.
The higher the frequency, the better your PC will perform because it has less lag time as information is retrieved.
DDR4 has a range of clock rates from 2133MHz to 3200MHz. You just need DDR4 RAM with at least 2400MHz for music production purposes.
Getting a RAM with the highest clock rates is not necessary because it's only a small increase in performance and it may make your system unstable.
The CPU's clock speed (GHz) determines the majority of the speed for an average computer, not the RAM. If your computer is slow, try to upgrade your CPU instead.
How Much Ram Do You Need For Music Production?
When determining how much RAM you need for music production purposes, it all comes down to your goals and needs.
If you're just getting started and want to start experimenting, then the less expensive option is fine.
For example, for a basic home studio setup, 8GB of RAM can process music production tasks with ease.
If you work on very complex productions that require a lot of sound processing power to use huge libraries of instruments and samples, then it may be worth investing in 16-32GB RAM for your system.
Sampled instruments are made by recording the sound of a real instrument and saving it as data, which is often larger than synthesizers and will need more memory to be opened or used.
When you load a new preset, only a part of the libraries is being sent to RAM. But even then, one instrument library can easily consume up to 4GB of RAM! And that's just one instrument among many others such as piano, guitar, drums, saxophone, and more.
If you're a live performer and need to record at the same time as playing your instrument, then 16 GB of RAM is what most professionals use.
So for those that are looking to set up a professional music production studio, then 64GB of RAM is the best choice as it can handle intensive multitasking and complex projects with ease.
For example, if you're producing an album or working on a track by yourself that requires multiple tracks playing simultaneously, this amount will be the best for you.
How Much Ram Is Needed For DAWs?
There are various DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) on the market, and each one will have its own requirements. Here is the memory requirement of some popular DAWs:
FL Studio: 4GB (8 GB Recommended)
Ableton (Live): 8GB RAM
Reason: 4GB (8 GB Recommended)
Pro Tools: 16GB RAM (32GB or more recommended)
Pro Tools | First: 4GB RAM (8GB or more recommended)
Cubase: 4GB (8 GB Recommended)
Presonus: 4 GB RAM minimum (8 GB or more recommended)
Logic Pro X: 4GB
Native Instruments: 4 GB RAM (6 GB recommended)
Recommended RAM Stick To Buy
There are quite a few manufacturers of RAM, but talking about the reputation for quality, the following names must be mentioned:
Corsair: Based on the reviews of a large number of users, including leading computer experts, Corsair's RAM is ranked at the top of the best computer RAM today.
RAM Vengeance LED of Corsair brand is invested with the technology of lighting effects and radiators. Helps to cool down the computer effectively, bringing maximum performance when in use. Corsair Vengeance's RAM products have a corresponding latency of CL16 and a clock speed of 3,466MHz.
Besides, another Corsair line is the Corsair Dominator Platinum RAM which is the number 1 choice for those who use computers for intense tasks such as design, graphics, or gameplay. This RAM kit also includes a cooling fan with 4,000MHz latency and an upgraded Dominator Platinum C14 with 2,400MHZ latency.
Kingston Hyperx: Among the best computer RAM brands according to statistics, it would be remiss to miss the RAM of Kingston Hyperx. It has a typical product of Hyperx Predator DDR4 RGB RAM.
This RAM is designed with infrared sync technology for excellent light synchronization. In addition, the radiator is designed with a form that is not only beautiful but still ensures good heat dissipation for the device, which is also a big plus of this RAM. The latency of this RAM ranges from CL12 - CL17.
G.Skill: G.Skill cannot be missed on this list with the Trident Z RGB line. Equipped with a rainbow LED system, the RAM of G.Skill Trident Z RGB creates a colorful blend.
To control and adjust this color bar to suit RGB lighting users can use the corresponding software update. The series of latency parameters of Trident Z RGB DDR4 RAM is in the range of 14 - 19, clocked from 2,400MHz to 4,266MHz.
Another product line of G.Skill that also shows efficiency in product quality is typical G.SKILL Aegis. Although it is not equipped with a heat sink and RGB LED system, its ability is enough for you to trust to invest in music production.
As you can see from the article, having lots of RAM isn't really necessary for music production, 8GB is enough.
However, if you are a professional producer who uses high-end plugins and DAWs (or even a sound engineer), then it would be wise to invest in more than enough ram so that your projects don't crash or run out of memory.
In general, the more RAM you have, the better your system will run.