Migrating to 64 Bit

As more and more plug-in manufacturers are dropping support for 32 bit, in the forseeable future Synfire will make the 64 bit Audio Engine its system default. That is, new installations and racks will use the 64 bit engine, while the 32 bit engine remains as an optional choice (currently it's the other way around). This article outlines how to migrate your existing projects and (global) racks to 64 bit. 

Synfire remembers which engine was used for a particular rack, so your existing 32 bit racks and arrangements will still open, even after 64 bit became the default. There is no requirement and no hurry to do so, but we recommend you migrate at least your global racks at your earliest convenience, because otherwise you will eventually end up with two engines running, if you open older 32 bit projects. While this is no problem on the Mac, running multiple audio programs at the same time can be tricky on Windows. Also, limiting yourself to a single engine avoids some potential confusion when building new racks.

To Migrate, Or Not To Migrate

As said, there is no requirement to make the move. We recommend you migrate only those racks and projects that you are likely to open on a regular basis. Don't waste your time migrating your archived projects. Lack of a 64 bit version of a virtual instrument and/or effect would also be a reason not to migrate a rack or arrangement. If you still use plug-ins that have no equivalent 64 bit version, simply keep the 32 bit rack. 

Hint: We do NOT recommend using 32/64 bit bridges or plug-in wrappers. Always use the original native versions of your plug-ins for best performance and stability.

Before You Start

First off, before you start, make sure you have a backup of all your projects (your entire computer, actually), so you can return to the previous state in case a problem might occur.

Select the 64 bit engine as your default on the "Settings" tab of the Audio & MIDI Setup window. Then launch the 64 bit Engine, if not already running.

Note that, on a Windows PC with ASIO, you may not be able to hear both engines at the same time, depending on your audio hardware and drivers. In that case, please select "Windows Audio" as output for both engines. Sometimes "DirectX" also works.

Automated Relocation

The migration procedure is the same for global racks and arrangement racks:

  1. Open your 32 bit global rack or arrangement and visit the rack under "Sounds"
  2. For each rack module, click and hold the port button until the menu comes up
  3. Select "New" as the destination port on the 64 bit Engine
  4. Synfire will relocate the module to the 64 bit Engine
  5. After all modules have moved, save your rack or arrangement

Hint: If you migrate an arrangement that is tied to a specific global rack, migrate the global rack first and load it, before migrating the arrangement(s). This will ensure the migrated 64 bit arrangement is properly tied to the new 64 bit rack.

There are a few reasons, why a relocation might be disabled or not work:

The 64 bit engine could not find a 64 bit version of the plug-in: Either this version does not exist, is not installed, has a different filename or identifier (VST only), or the 64 bit engine might need a re-scan for installed plug-ins. To be sure, you should re-scan all plug-ins from scratch for both 32 and 64 bit engines before you start migrating ("Audio" menu of Audio & MIDI Setup window).

The rack module has insert effects attached: Save the insert's configuration as a preset, then remove it, and after relocating the rack module, add the insert again and recall that preset. 

The rack module uses a DAW Drone: If you are hosting racks in a DAW, the migration might not be necessary anyway.

Manual Relocation

If an automated relocation is not possible, you'll need to do it manually:

  1. Save the contents of the 32 bit plug-in to disk
  2. Remove the module from the rack
  3. Create a new rack module on the 64 bit engine
  4. Load the plug-in and restore its contents from disk
  5. Select the previously used device description for the module

That's it.

If the 32 bit engine still happens to come up after the migration, it's because a rack or arrangement uses it. You likely forgot to migrate a rack. 

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