Are you 64 Bit or 32 Bit?

Just had an interesting “discussion”.

In short, I maintain that unless you are using memory-intensive VIs, there is no point in 64 bit DAWs.

The only advantage I can see with a 64 bit DAW is that it can access extended memory, but my projects frequently have 50 - 100 tracks, with the majority of them having four or more plugins, plus the two-bus, and my memory usage never reaches 1GB.

So what do you use, and why?

Also, do you mix 32 bit and 64 bit plugins in the same project? If so, how?

Mixcraft has an ‘invisible’ 32 bit wrapper. In the 64 bit version you can use either 32 bit or 64 bit plugins. Mixcaft will automaticaly adapt 32 bit VSTs under the hood, the user doesn’t see any difference.

However, use enough 32 bit plugins and the whole thing will eventually grind to halt, so I just stick to the 32 bit version.

I run in 64 bit, for no reason other thanm I do.
I have mainly all 64 bit or VST3 plug ins, but Samplitude has it’s own automatic bridge for the two or three 32 bit plugs IU use.
I didn’t change for any reason, just did it.

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64 bit, just because my computer came with 64 bit windows 7. Didn’t really put any thought into it, and the only plugin I used to use that it’s ever given me grief with was Blockfish compressor. I still miss that little bugger.


absolutely 64 bit. When I had 16GB of ram, I was constantly butting against the ceiling. With 32GB, I never run into that issue any more.

If you are using sample libraries, it’s not even a question. I can chew through 10GB of ram in no time at all.

I’ve sworn off 32 bit plugins because A) if it’s only available as 32 bit it was probably written in synthmaker and uses way more CPU than it needs to and is buggy and B) I don’t love reaper’s bridge.

Having ram allows me to run my DAW with lots of sample libraries, Photoshop, Visual Studio and Chrome (the worst offender) without having to think about ram.

I can’t imagine going back to a life using a 32 bit machine.


I use it all the time. On most projects. :slight_smile:

OK, I’m missing something here. I’ve got about 200 plugins in a 70-track project at the moment, and I’m using about 500MB of RAM. I’m using replacement drum samples too. What am I missing?

I’m still using 32 simply because I’ve simply not got around to setting up 64.
I keep meaning to but have always had other more interesting things to do with my time. Sometimes when I have a HEAP of synths it can challenge my ram but I can usually find a way around that. I loathe ‘just’ doing techie stuff so until I’m jammed up, I’d rather make music… hmmm, must look at that again one day… I’d even forgotten it was on the list…

Plugins don’t take much ram. Sample libraries, especially when you get into multi-layer round robin libraries with multiple mic positions can chew through a lot of ram really fast.

Just pulling up a string quartet instrument uses 4GB of ram for me. I could purge some of the samples from ram, but then it gets less responsive.

Drum sample libraries are some of the lightest instruments on ram that I use. SD uses about 1.5GB of ram. Being able to have solo strings, string sections, brass, woodwinds, drums and synths all open at the same time has made huge improvements to my workflow. Also, being able to do this while opening up other projects and not having to close my browser or other programs while all this is going on.

Combine that with the fact that the computer just runs so much faster in general with more ram. I have a macbook air that has 4GB of ram, and an older macbook pro that I put 8GB of ram in, and the older macbook pro is significantly faster than the newer air. Everything runs faster and is more responsive. The only difference is that the older macbook uses slightly more CPU to run plugins.

You can certainly run a DAW on low ram. It will work, and for the most part, it might not ever be noticeable. But for me personally, I just wouldn’t be able to come close to doing what I need to do on a computer with 4gb of ram.


I’d rather look at this the other way around, there is no inherent benefit in staying on 32 bit vs moving on to 64 bit.

At some point 32 bit is going the way of the dinosaur, one must move on.


I’m on the tail end of trying to decide on 64 or 32 bit. This last month I’ve worked exclusively in 64 bit Reaper.

Some plugins don’t work as well. The Reaper 32-to-64 bit wrapper does OK but it’s a little hassle.

It’s forced me to look at my workflow, take my already-not-THAT-many plugin list and determine what I actually care about and use.

I care about and use: Some VSTi keys. Some VSTi strings. LOTS of tracks. Lots of bussing/auxes. And as much in-and-out analog as I can integrate into my workflow. I don’t use a ton of plugins: a lot of ReaEQ and ReaComp. I’ll use Kush plugins, Focusrite plugins, Stillwell Plugins, Valhalla, Molot, and stock Reaper plugins for most everything else. All of those are 64-bit-friendly. The only things I use that aren’t 64-bit-friendly are some amp sims and the Melda stuff (but that’s just because I haven’t updated the Melda stuff yet) plus some freeware stuff like Audio Assault.

This past month has revealed to me that 64 bit Reaper is happier doing those things than 32 bit Reaper was. I only considered switching because Reaper was giving me some problems in 32 bit if my projects got larger. It’s smoother now.

Smoother is better. I’m staying at 64 bit.

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Yeah, I guess I just don’t see what the arguments in favor of 32 bit are. I think there are plenty of valid justifications for not upgrading to 64 if you are on a 32 bit machine. Time and money for the most part. I can’t really think of any situations where 32 bit is superior to 64 bit. I guess for some old plugins it can be.

Eventually it will get to a point where you can’t justify it any more based on the fact that nothing will support 32 bits any more. That time is different for everybody, depending on their needs.

Now that 64 bit is pretty much standard, software developers develop for 64 bit environments. Essentially that means that they will be less careful with ram saving, or they will be able to take advantage of higher ram standards, so 32 bit machines will be harder and harder to keep up to snuff.

Plenty of good recordings have been done on older computers. Plenty are still being recording on older computers. But it’s not really an argument in favor of old computers.


[quote=“tachin1, post:9, topic:1124”]
I’d rather look at this the other way around, there is no inherent benefit in staying on 32 bit vs moving on to 64 bit.[/quote]See above. There is one big reason: not all VSTs are 64 bit. That means either doing without, purely for the sake of using 64 bit, or using up huge chunks of resource to convert 32 bit plugins to 64 bit on the fly.

[quote]At some point 32 bit is going the way of the dinosaur, one must move on.
[/quote]Agreed, I just don’t think we have reached the crossover point yet.

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64 bit. Since the transition to 64bit and MAC , never looked back. Did use J-bridge for 32bit/64bit plugins for while but never liked it, intermittent plugin crashes. I’d say go 64bit and do a cull of plugins to what you really need. (10 perhaps). I tend to stick to the same plugins these days which are down to a handful and Cubase 8.5 has been pretty solid.

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I was told a DAW that runs in 32 bit can’t even access the full 8 or 12 cores on a high end mac.

I use 32-lives for a wrapper, mainly because it converts to and from all formats including AAX, and it works in every DAW.

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Also, I believe that a 32-bit OS, at least Windows, is limited to 4GB usable memory. That means that even if you have 16GB RAM installed, you’re not going to be able to access more than 4GB of physical resources. Just a consideration if needing lots of memory as mentioned above. 64-bit solves that.

That said, I went with 64-bit Windows several years ago and went to 64-bit Reaper. I think the coding for 64-bit handling has become more efficient than 32-bit, for OS, DAW, and maybe even plugins. Don’t quote me on that, I think I read it several places though. It’s not a noticeable difference probably, but it just made sense to me. I found that the 32-bit bridge in Reaper64 seems to work fine, when I want to use a plugin that I only have in that format. The bugger is that they open in standalone windows rather than in the FX list for the track. Not a big deal, but can increase ‘window clutter’.


I tend to stick to 64 these days… I just found a replacement for my last favorite 32 bit plug about 9 months ago and couldn’t be happier. I also went 100% reaper last year as well. Reaper will handle 32 bit plugs in 64 and vice versa. But in doing so, the “bridge” is almost like having another instance of reaper running in the alternate bit.
I’ve been running 64 windows since it was available and always run as much ram as possible . So I don’t want to be limited to 4GB… especially since that relates to about 2.5 to 3Gb available to the DAW.
If I had a stripped machine that did nothing but music production, I am sure that I could get by with 32bit. I have a guitar customer that I set up with an old enterprise throwaway laptop with windows xp 32 bit and a $5 ebay 16 bit interface. He has zero $$, so I just gave it to him and he’s making good sounding music with all free 32 bit plugs.
If one is stuck with 32 hardware or software… there is no need to change if one is not having issues.
But I see no benefit to going back to 32… :slight_smile:

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Good on you!!! :smiley:

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I’m still on 32 bit, purely because my music pc is a 32bit system and my plugins appart from a few a quite old so the cost involved in me going to 64 wouldn’t be worth it at the moment.
However, if i upgrade my daw and pc in future (hopefully) i will go 64 obviously.

Hell, it only seems yesterday i was knocking out beats on a16bit atari lol . Technology! Time flies!!!

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Is this still an issue? I haven’t had to worry about this for a couple years now. I went with 64-bit a while back because the evil Apple overlords mandated it so with Logic 9 (I think it was).

Yes, it was a bit of a pain to do the wrapper thing - experience some fail-worthy crashes and decide to do without some favourites - but eventually everything I used came out with 64-bit versions.

Well that’s the ideal scenario. If it could be achieved we could all migrate to 64 bit and sail off into the sunset together. Even if a 64 bit version of your favourite plugin is available, that doesn’t mean you’re going to rush out and buy it, especially when you’ve already paid $hundreds for the 32 bit version.