OAX-700 Memory Upgrade

Follow along as we upgrade the memory in our OAX-700

We recently mentioned in a comment on a different post that we were going to upgrade our OAX-700 from the base 8 GB memory config up to the max of 32 GB. Thanks to Samuel and Bill for passing along some advice to us regarding the  “pitfalls” of memory upgrades. You will see that we removed the original 8 GB and replaced it with four new matching 8 GB “sticks.” Other than dropping a screw underneath the upper keyboard, everything went without a hitch. The good news is now we also know how to remove the upper manual. I can’t imagine we will need to do that, but you never know!

We found out that all the recent Sonic’s are now shipping with 16 GB of memory installed to help with overall system performance. Since we also fool around with VST’s on our Sonic from time to time, we figured while we had it opened it up we might as well max out the memory. Not sure but as Bill mentioned in a comment the newer Sonic’s might allow more than 32 GB?

Related to this topic – While we working on the Sonic today we did a complete re-install of OAX 2.0 and that cleared up a ton of issues we had after we replaced the Wersinstall.exe file. I didn’t say much about it but we had quite a few sounds and drumkits missing after we did that. We exchanged a few e-mails with Wersi support on that and along the way, we learned about the change from eight to sixteen GB of memory on all Sonics now shipping.

21 thoughts on “OAX-700 Memory Upgrade

  • 08/20/2018 at 17:05
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    I just purchased some extra memory for my OAX1. Went with Gskill Ripjaws. Was deciding between Low latency or low voltage. 1.35 Volt was CAS 11-11-11-28. 1.50 volt is CAS 9-9-9-24. Current memory is CAS 11-11-11-28. Should make a good bit of difference in speed.

    Curt,
    Have you noticed a difference since up grading your memory?

    Reply
    • 08/20/2018 at 19:02
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      Hi Jerry

      The extra memory will help with VSTs as more samples can be loaded into memory, but apart from that the speed difference will be unnoticeable unless you have installed a high end graphics card and are into gaming.

      Bill

      Reply
      • 08/22/2018 at 20:28
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        Bill,
        I’ve loaded Kontakt up with 2 gigs of samples on my OAX-1 and beginning to get some delay in switching presets that are using samples from Kontakt. With your comment about memory speed you don’t think faster memory would help with this delay?

        Jerry

        Reply
        • 08/23/2018 at 02:09
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          Hi Jerry,

          Do you know if Kontakt is a 32bit or 64bit app, as if 32bit, there is a limitation as to how much memory it can address/utilise, so no matter how much you throw at it, it won’t use any more, and thus the only benefit of additional memory is being able to run more apps concurrently without Windows having to page out to disk (I am also assuming the version of Windows 10 is 64 bit too, otherwise it will be limited to 4Gb also).

          You can use Perfmon within Windows to look at utilisation, in order to see what is happening to CPU, Memory and Disk whilst you are performing certain tasks – There are lots of metrics in there, but just looking at these 3 will give you a view of where to look next. The prime thing to establish is that you are not doing lots of paging of memory out to disk (thrashing), as you suddenly move from ns response times to ms response times, which is a huge performance hit. The machine uses system cpu cycles to perform this, thus leaving less cpu cycles for user applications (ie.OAX and Kontakt etc), and if my memory serves me correctly, Windows doesn’t offboard I/O, so goes into CPU wait whenever I/O is being performed, which will probably be exhibited as high “system” cpu with very little user application cpu. You need to dig quite deep into Perfmon to be able to see this.

          In addition to this, you need to see how good Kontakt and OAX are at multi-threading, ie. the ability to fully utilise the quad-core processor used inside our Sonic’s, At a very basic level, if you can get the CPU busy% by core, if the apps are good at multi-threading, you will see good utilisation of all 4 cores, if not, you will see certain cores maxing out, and a core or two not being fully utilised. We used to see multi-core systems running slow with only 50% CPU utilisation, because of single threading, and on some occasions actually downgraded from a 16 core to a 4 core (and turned off cpu affinity) in order to increase throughput.

          My knowledge in this area is from high end systems, and I am about 15 years rusty, but CPU, Memory and Disk all operate in pretty much the same way (laws of physics), and have looked at performance problems on 32 bit SQL systems etc, so hope the pointers help.

          Thanks
          Mark

          Reply
        • 08/23/2018 at 05:19
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          Hi Jerry

          Assuming you have the standard 8GB of Ram, 6GB is available for you own use (Actually a little less as the OS needs some) which will be split between your own sounds, pre-sets etc. and any VST sounds you have loaded, and if go past this limit then various measures are taken to fit any extra in, which in most cases will cause a slight delay in loading. (If this is what is happening to you then more Ram will help as more samples can be loaded into Ram at the same time, however it has nothing to do with the speed of Ram)
          The SSD has a typical read speed of 550 MBs (Actual speed is always less than the interface speed) which means it would take approx. 2s to load a 1 GB sound into Ram from Disc, (Which is quite a delay) however Kontakt (Like most sample VSTs) use what’s known as disc streaming, (NI call it DSD) in which only part of the sample is loaded into Ram and when you press the key this part sample is played first giving plenty of time for the rest of the sample to be loaded from disk without any delay. (This is why you appear to be able to load a lot of GB samples with only limited Ram)
          The latest Sonic instruments use an M2 SSD which uses the PCIe data bus rather than the SATA data bus which means that with current SSD technology can transfer data into Ram at around 3.1 GBs, which means less of the sample has to be loaded into Ram allowing more sounds to be used. (Most pro DAWs use 32GB Ram, although most modern motherboards now allow support for 64 GB of Ram, but this gets expensive)
          NOTE: when you highlight a loaded sound in Kontakt look at the top right and it will tell you the amount of sample in Ram, and if you look bottom left it will show you the full sample size, (Disk + Ram)

          Bill

          Reply
          • 08/23/2018 at 08:39
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            HI Jerry

            Just an additional thought, how are you storing the sounds in Kontakt, singly or in a Multi, (Using multiple multi to expand the number of channels available) as for rapid switching the sounds must be stored in a multi, unless you using only 1 sound per channel. (Plus after every change you make in Kontakt you must re-save the Config)

            Bill

    • 08/21/2018 at 06:39
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      No difference in speed that I can tell Jerry. I haven’t had time to reload any VST’s as I suspect that will be where the extra memory will make a difference.

      Reply
    • 08/25/2018 at 21:00
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      The verdict is in. I tried two 8gb Ripjaw sticks with CAS 9-9-9-24 and then four 8gb Ares low voltage sticks with CAS 11-11-11-28. Tested with real bench and the Ares were actually faster. Now have 32gb of memory. Since I have a lot more memory I was able to disable the paging file. No more hesitation when switching between presets now.
      So far I have 6 multi’s running in Kontakt with about 100 instruments loaded. There are a lot of sounds on the OAS system that are not on the OAX so I have been using SampleRobot to sample these sounds and loading them into the Kontakt player on my OAX1.

      Jerry

      Reply
      • 08/26/2018 at 05:31
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        Hi Jerry

        Virtually all the factory sounds that were in OAS should have been available in OAX, (Even most of the expansion packs) however they would sound different due to the better DACs and sound system in OAX, V2 software has apparently completely reworked all the old OAS voices to give a much improved sound, (Or at least that’s what Wersi claim, but I have yet to see any positive comments from those that have upgraded to V2) so in this case scenario the OAS sounds have effectively gone.

        The above is the reason I no longer recommend OAX to anyone (They should look at Bohm (With Cloud Studio) & Bemore instead) as well as no longer suggesting that users should upgrade to V2 (Wersi have seriously lost the plot with V2) but should instead would be better to stay with V1.51 and expand via VSTs.

        Bill

        Reply
        • 08/26/2018 at 08:17
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          That is true that a lot of the OAS sounds are in OAX but a lot of the ones I use are not their. The other issue is they are live sounds therefore you can only load 1 sound. You can not use multiple live sounds together. 90 percent of the songs I play use multiple sounds together therefore I have to sample these sounds in order to use them.
          I am still dead in the water though because of the issue with saving the live VB3 or OX7 sounds in presets and it not working correctly when switching between these saved presets.

          Jerry

          Reply
        • 08/27/2018 at 01:14
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          Hi Bill,

          Contrary to the above, and even my own prior opinion, I have warmed to V2 quite a lot. The quality of the samples has definitely improved, but what they have done, on some selectors is either completely reordered the sounds on the buttons on screen or removed them completely, however all the ones I have searched for so far have been in the big long list, which I have been able to load and change my presets.

          I remain unimpressed with the OX7 and VB3 simulators (I used to have an OX7 box and it was fab), however I don’t really use these, or any VST’s or MIDI, so not hitting any of the other issues others are having.

          My only remaining problem is with the KWDrawbar samples, which used to be my favourite, and now no longer any good – they seem to have introduced “decay” to the sound, which was never the case with the sine wave drawbars on either Helios or DX series (or my prior OX7), and still to find a way around that, but think I will be reporting that to Wersi.

          I thought about a Ketron SD40, but decided I didn’t really need any more sounds at this time, and in any case a new car and some new watches were calling!

          Mark.

          Reply
  • 08/14/2018 at 11:11
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    Hi Curt, hope you can help with this, I downloaded the manual for the SD40 via your site,
    and noticed that under the chord type as well as having normal and close, jazz, folk and
    something else were also shown, my SD40 does not have these additional features, am I
    missing an update or is this only applicable to the AJamSonic version, hope you can clear
    this up.

    Reply
    • 08/15/2018 at 06:37
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      Dave – Two questions for you. What page in the manual are you referring to and what software level are you running on your SD40?

      Reply
      • 08/16/2018 at 06:48
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        Hi Curt, the page number is 60 and the software is 1.1.0 firmware v3.09, hope this helps.

        Reply
        • 08/16/2018 at 12:36
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          Good catch Dave. I just tried it and got the same results. The online manual has not been updated for the latest software release that both you and I are running. I also checked the manual installed on the unit and wasn’t able to even find that option.

          Yikes! Let me reach on to Ketron support and see what I can find out. Might be a few days for an answer and I suspect even longer to get a “Fix.”

          I’ll keep you posted as I learn more.

          Reply
          • 08/16/2018 at 14:38
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            Hi Curt, nice to know it’s not just me!! I thought I was having another senior
            moment.

  • 08/14/2018 at 08:34
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    I am very happy that I helped something modest in this forum.
    Our friend Curt has , as he knows very well , completed the work with his video.
    As to me,I do not have to deal with the memory expansion .When I ordered the organ ,I saw the foresight , and knew that in the computers, at some future time, I would have to expand the memory, so I asked to install 32 GB.
    Regarding the electrostatic issues,I think that nowadays, unlike in the past, every e-card is created with internal electrostatic protection so there is much less to worry about damage that may result from touching them without grounding, I say that from my experience working electronics for more than 30 years
    Samuel

    Reply
  • 08/14/2018 at 04:20
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    1 question, have you checked to see how it affects your warrantee if something goes wrong, as those less savvy may have problems, there was also no mention of grounding yourself before touching anything so as to get rid of any static.

    Bill

    Reply
    • 08/14/2018 at 06:34
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      Bill – Good questions. I didn’t check on warranty status. Not too many service options over here other than me, myself and I. I did think about a grounding strap. Don’t have one and much to my surprise there was nothing mentioned about that in the package that the memory came in. Not that makes it OK.

      I guess you could say on both of those I took my chances and so far, got away with it. Let’s hope it stays that way!

      Reply
  • 08/13/2018 at 21:49
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    I see the original memory was DDR3L. L means low voltage and less heat but expensive.

    Reply
    • 08/14/2018 at 06:30
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      Jerry – Wersi recommended 1.35V. I ended up replacing with 1.5 – 🙁 Hopefully not going to be a heat issue. Time will tell as the unit stays powered on at times for hours when I work on a video. Many times I’m logged in from my office upstairs via Teamviewer and get distracted and the Sonic is sitting there doing nothing.

      Reply

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