0
Posted October 3, 2010 by Stephan Earl in Tips and Tutorials
 
 

Bridging the 64 bit Gap with jBridge

Bridging the 64-bit Gap with jBridge - Home Music Production

Increasingly the sample libraries we love require more and more RAM.  A few sampled libraries now require upwards of 1 Gig of RAM to play a single sound patch or program.  Although this is fantastic for maximizing realism in virtual instruments, the need for running a true 64-bit DAW environment becomes increasingly more important.

BACKGROUND

Having a 64-bit chain from the operating system to DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) will allow you to access more than 3 Gigs of RAM from your DAW.  Some popular DAWs such as Pro Tools LE / M-Powered, Digital Performer, and Ableton Live are still 32-bit as of this writing.  Cubase 5, Sonar 8 and Logic Pro come with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.   All of these DAWs will work on a 64-bit OS, however only a true 64-bit DAW will be able to address more than 3 Gigs of RAM.

The challenge with using the 64-bit version of your DAW is that a few plug-in developers haven’t yet updated their software to run in a 64-bit DAW.  To combat this, the 64-bit versions of Cubase and Sonar use a 32-bit to 64-bit bridge such as VST Bridge (Cubase) and BitBridge (Sonar).  However these built-in bridges don’t work so well with all plug-ins, so if you’re like many Cubase users, you’re using the 32-bit version of Cubase inside your 64-bit Windows OS.

SOLUTION

Enter jBridge.  jBridge is a program that allows you to bridge a 32-bit VST plug-in with a 64-bit DAW, or bridge a 64-bit plug-in with a 32-bit DAW.  Currently jBridge only works with VST plug-ins.  The cost is about $21.19, but getting access to all your RAM is priceless.

jBridger Tool Screenshot

jBridge 1.2 comes with a jBridger tool which takes the 32-bit plug-in you’re looking to bridge and creates a 64-bit wrapper allowing the wrapped plug-in to utilize more than 4 Gigs of RAM.  In the reverse scenario, bridging a 64-bit plug-in to a 32-bit DAW, such as Ableton Live, allows you to utilize any plug-ins that are exclusively 64-bit.  Also in the latter scenario it will allow you to overcome the limitations of a single 32-bit process.

So for any of you who have more than 4 Gigs of RAM on your computer and are running a 64-bit OS, and specifically to any Cubase users out there who are using 32-bit Cubase in a 64-bit OS like I was, give jBridge a try.  Since most of my plug-ins are now 64-bit, I only have a few 32-bit plug-ins such as my Music Lab guitars and Addictive Drums, and jBridge works perfectly.


Stephan Earl

 
Composing, recording and producing music in the home studio environment for over 25 years, musician and author Stephan Earl now enjoys sharing his home studio setup experience with other home studio recording musicians via HomeMusicProduction.com.