Logic Pro 9 Low Memory Problem

Andre Favreau

OK! I'm in disbelief!

I've just spoke with Apple Logic Support, and it seems that all these "out of Memory" messages we get are "normal".

Man, I have 5 frozen audio Instruments tracks and only 2 open Plug-ins. I must admit I also have 35 audio tracks, but would that use all my 4 GB RAM? Is my situation normal?

Apple tells me that L9 takes more memory and it would be just the same if I had the most Powerful Mac Pro. L9 itself cannot use more than 4GB total.

Are you guys experimenting similar problems? Is my situation normal?

Thanks for your help!

Andre Favreau
They also tell me that to use more RAM, it is possible to use the standalone version of plug-ins with SoundFlower to route the Audio and the IAC driver to route the MIDI flow.
There's information you are either not aware of, or something you are not noticing. I have a macbook pro with 3 GB ram and I've been able to play sessions with over 100 tracks in it.

First, get familiar with your Activity Monitor, located in the Utilities folder. This is going to help you keep track of how much available RAM you have. Every Application you keep running in the background will take up and use RAM. Any virtual instrument that is sample based is also going to use RAM - wether you are using it in your session or not. So for example if you are not using the Sampled Piano Instrument in the session, don't load it up. Frozen instrument tracks are still taking up the RAM necessary for the instrument itself, so bounce them and then get rid of the instrument.

If you watch the activity monitor it will indicate how much free RAM you have. I also use a tool called MENU METERS, which you can find that puts a memory display up in the menu bar. It's very handy for letting me know when I'm coming close to the memory limits of the system.

hope this helps

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OK! I'm in disbelief!

I've just spoke with Apple Logic Support, and it seems that all these "out of Memory" messages we get are "normal".

It depends on what you are doing. If you load too many memory intensive plugins - meaning many sample Plugins with many presets - sooner or later you will exceed the memory logic can read, which as with all 32 bit Applications, cannot exceed 4 GB and is in practice somewhat less than this.

Problems such as you raise also occurred with Logic 8, and while it is being reported that some projects which could run in Logic 8 are now giving memory warnings, or won't load, in Logic 9, there are a few things to bear in mind. I am drawing on a veryinformative post on this topic made in the german logicuser.de forum, here is a translation:

If a 32 bit program (including all loaded plugins) requires more memory than the 4 GB minus OS reserve which all 32 bit apps are restricted to using, it will invariably crash, or, OSX causes a crash because there isn't enough memory to select a file for the purposes of saving, or because an Audio Unit requires more memory, or one of several other reasons ...

So you have to avoid reaching and exceeding this limit. In logic 9, logic observes the memory being used and attempts to ensure that, should memory become tight, at least enough memory for a warning is kept free. This in itself means 2-3 % less memory is available for other purposes, but it does help improve stability. This will not however solve each and every potential problem. If for example an Audio Unit doesn't accept that there is no more memory available, the Audio Unit in itself could cause a crash. There is no 100% safety. Logic 9 offers 95% safety, in Logic 8, it was 0%.

This extra measure of safety does mean that Logic 9 requires some more memory. This may result in songs no longer being able to be loaded which "just made it" in Logic 8. But remember that this is a universal issue for each and every 32 bit app, and that with each and every new logic version, a higher demand on resources has been made. Even using a new OSX version could cause one to go over this limit. Even a new Audio Unit, or the installation of Live as a rewire slave may do it. Logic 9 has more features, but they do come at the price of requiring some more memory.

For these reasons, Logic 9 has two warnings. One says "memory is getting low - you have been warned". Click this away at your own risk! The next one is "Memory is full - you can only try to save". This message is there to try to prevent crashes.

They also tell me that to use more RAM, it is possible to use the standalone version of plug-ins with SoundFlower to route the Audio and the IAC driver to route the MIDI flow.

Or use the EXS 24 in extended memory mode, or Kontakt 3.5 or 4, or perhaps Plogue Bidule, or the vienna ensemble. These all offer effective ways to get around this memory limit - I can speak from my own experience with both the EXS 24 and the latest kontakt versions.

HTH, kind regards

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I'd think though that With only 4 GB of RAM though the use of Virtual Serving shouldn't really be an issue. I suspect multiple applications in the background...
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Hi Bob

Those confronted with low memory warning tend to be working with a lot of sampler instruments, prime candidates being large orchestral scores running multiple instances of Plugins such as East West Play, Spectrasonics Omnisphere, Battery etc. It's not hard to fill up memory using this stuff. On the contrary, as you say, Audio projects can be running huge track counts and vast numbers of EQs, Compressors, Delays, Reverb and other studio effects. This has become more of an issue in recent years as the use of internal sample instruments has really taken over from the days of external sampler such as Akai, Emu, Roland etc, or the use of a second computer running gigasampler. That 32 bit memory limit is becoming more and more of an obstacle, but there are ways to live with it. Many of us tend to be a little extravagant with our resources - there was a recent case of a user mentioning having 5 or 6 intances of battery running, each with drum samples loaded so he can have a wide choice of Hi Hats .... that may be fine, but at some stage once the right HI Hats have been found, it is then sensible to close the other instances and save that memory.

kind regards

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Yes, you are correct of course, I'm not disputing anything you say.

In this case however he stated he has 5 audio instruments - which we don't know what they are. And regardless if it's 32 or 64 bit, there's only 4 GB of RAM here. The issue would be the same regardless. Logic is very efficient with RAM and is capable of accessing up to 4.5 GB worth in optimum situations using EXS 24 in Leopard. I'm sure you know this. I was merely attempting to offer immediate obvious suggestions to someone who may not be a power user.

My example of audio count was to re-assure him that audio count doesn't typically reflect in a memory error. I should have been more specific.

The post suggested to me a need to expand on his understanding of how RAM is utilized system wide... The tips I gave are things I keep track of constantly on my own system where I only have 3 GB of RAM, and yet manage to mix large film scores and commercial sessions.


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More precisely, this is what I have:

-35 audio tracks
-3 of them have a muted plug-in.

-1 open Plug-in.
-Stylus in muliti

-5 frozen tracks
-Synthogy Ivory
-Sculpture + 4 effects plug-in

I have:

-MacBook Pro with 2.5 Ghz,
-4GB Ram,
-An internal 7200rpm HD,
-FW800 External HD, 7200rpm
-Raid 0 External Drives attached to the faster Sonnet SATA Express card

I just switched to L9 from L7 and maybe that's why, ironically, I'm used to load a lot more!

So I guess most of you would say this is normal?

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The instruments to pay attention to here are Ivory, Omnisphere, and the Stylus Multi. These are sample based and using RAM. Though I can't imagine that just these would be causing the error.

What doe the Free RAM amount show in the Activity Monitor when you get this error?

How many other Active applications do you have running?

Also, be sure that are running the most current updates for Stylus, Omni, and Ivory. It could be that if you were using older versions in L9, could potentially be the cause.
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Well that adds considerably more. FOR SURE be certain your EZDrummer is updated. EZD kits typically take up 256 - 450 ish MB of RAM. Avoid using multiple instances of EZD, as each instance will take up that much RAM. And if you're not using the plug-in, don't just have it opening up as part of a Autoload, it's a waste of RAM.

Actually that goes for all sample based Instruments. Don't instance them til you need them. So if you're not using the muted EXS. De-instance them.

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That to me looks acceptable. You've got 1 GB of Free RAM. Plenty in other words to be functioning properly.

This is the activity monitor with the Session open? If so, it should be performing fine.

Is your FireFace plugged directly into the computer? Or do you have a drive plugged into it? If you're chaning the FireFace then it's best to have it plugged into the Drive, then the Drive into the computer.

I only mention that because if this is the Activity monitor with the session open then the error message may not really be about RAM? Or maybe you have some bad RAM?

What is the Hardware Buffer size you have set in Logic?

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In most every forum I've visited the general consensus is, Logic 9 hits the memory wall considerably sooner than Logic 8. What's interesting is that compared to L8, L9 seems to use more RAM for audio tracks. In the brief testing I've done it seems most operations using flex time are performed directly from RAM. I had a low memory warning with only 15 tracks of audio and a few of Logic's plugins by performing a flex time operation on a single audio track.


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No, Logic was close at this point. There seems to be a kernel task going on taking 127MB + other stuff.

My FireFace is plugged directly in the computer.

My buffer size was at 1024

Howard may be right though. I have 3 drum takes of 8 tracks each (24 tracks in all) and they are ALL using Flex time operations, though 2 of these are always muted of course.

I don't know if this is related, but I just got a Kernel panic, simply trying to restart.

Thanks again
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Don't forget that freezing a track DON'T release the memory the plugin uses, just the CPU...
If You want/need to free up memory also, bounce the track to audio. Easy in L9...
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I had kernel panic problems recently and I took 2 Gigs out of the four the four that I had out of my Mac Pro Quad and now things are working surprisingly smoothly with only 2 gigs of memory. I'm not running huge projects but I do use Ivory and Battery and Garritan Big Band a lot. Bad memory certainly messed up my operations big time before I realized it was bad memory.


10.6 / L9
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I am in agreement with afavreau. There is something wrong with the ram handling in L9 at least in Snow Leopard. The ram runs out at a VASTLY faster scale than what I experienced with the same plugs on a G5 with 4gig. For instance the other day I was composing with ivory, stylus and maybe addictive drums open. Just working on the same song with a couple of midi tracks, the ram ballooned from 500mg usage to 2.21gb at which point, I got a memory message. Rebooting reduced the ram back to 500-700 or so. So IMHO (I've been running this program since Logic 2.3 or so) there is a bug in here - this is not a feature. (I currently have 12gb installed on an 8 core). I for one would love some brilliant person over at Apple to take an hour and look into this.
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Appart from the Hardware Test from Apple's CD installation, is removing some RAM the only way to check if this was the cause?

Are there any other way?

My Kernel Panics only happen once every 3-4 days.


Andre Favreau
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OK! This is crazy now!

I have absolutely NO Plug-in in my session. No effects or Audio Instruments now (except the metronome). I've removed them all. All I have is about 35 audio tracks, some with flex editing.

So all I want to do is replace my snare with the new Drum Replacement/Doubling function that opens an EXS plug-in. However I get this message:

Couldn't insert or delete data

But then, the Drum Replacement/Doubling window opens.

But when I click OK, I get the same Out of Memory message.

I don't understand this. Is there a problem with my RAM or with Logic? Activity Monitor shows 2.80GB free!

Also, is there another way to extract all those great Transient Markers as MIDI events? I would actually like to replace my Kik and Snare with Superior Drummer, not the EXS.

Thanks again

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