[ardour-users] Looping with punch-in/out; huge memory usage leading to crash

Steven Chamberlain steven at pyro.eu.org
Mon Jul 23 07:35:49 PDT 2007


I really like the new feature of being able to loop over a range which
also contains a punch range, recording a new 'take' each time.  This
allows me to repeatedly play a short drum part until I'm happy with it;
then when I'm finished I'll be able to refer back to any of the previous
takes and keep the best one or edit several together.

...or that's the idea, anyway.

If I record too many (30 or more) takes in one go, then as soon as I
click the Stop button (I think this is when the regions get split into
sections) my system grinds to a halt.  If I'm quick enough I can bring
up a terminal and see that ardour2 uses over 3GB of memory (according to
the VIRT column in the output of 'top').

The system gradually slows right down then hangs unrecoverably (I think
this is because JACK crashes with realtime priority).  If I kill ardour2
within 30 seconds or so of it crashing, the system recovers fully.  I
don't notice any kernel errors and I don't notice crashes when doing
anything else on my system.

I'm looping over only a short section of around 15 seconds.  I'm
recording 8 tracks at a time, and have only one stereo track present
other than those 8.  I am using no LADSPA plugins except for 'Simple
amplifier' which is just adding 20dB gain on the 8 tracks I record to.

Ardour is 2.0-ongoing SVN, R2168.

The system has 2GB RAM plus 4GB swap space on two RAID-mirrored U320
SCSI drives (not the same drives storing the session data).  It has two
Opteron 285's running 4-way SMP kernel  In case it
might be relevant, I use jackdmp instead of standard jackd.  Distro. is
Debian 'testing', 64-bit userland but most audio programs were
recompiled from source.

Should ardour ever be using 3GB of memory?  Why does the system actually
crash?  Even with a very basic session (8 tracks, each with 2 15-second
regions) ardour uses just over 600MB.  Does this seem like a leak or
bug?  Or am I pushing my system too far, and would I benefit from more
RAM or faster disks?

Thank you very much,
Steven Chamberlain
steven at pyro.eu.org

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