Maybe you're a cache size hoarder, maybe you never realized the option existed. What is the cache size setting in Pro Tools, and what should it be set to? The answer depends on a few variables, let's take a look...
Where it is:
Settings> Playback Engine.
What it does:
Controls how much of your RAM is allocated to storing the audio in your session.
Why it helps:
With modern hard drives, streaming audio from you disk to Pro Tools may not even be a consideration. There's plenty of speed and bandwidth for most sessions, and you may not even notice when the cache is too small. However, If you work off a remote server, have session files on a small flash disk, or want to reduce overhead processing power to get the most out of your system, correctly setting this will greatly improve your workflow.
Yes, I said remote server. Regardless of internet speed (or disk speed for that matter) you can have all of your audio stored in RAM, which allows Pro Tools to seamlessly work with your audio as it it were local to your system.
What setting should you use?
Take a look at your system usage (Window> System Usage) and check out the indicator bars under "Activity". Disk Cache shows you 1, How much of your timeline is stored in RAM, 2, How much of the disk cache is beign used.
An orange bar shows the audio is either currently being loaded into the cache (you'll see the percentage increasing), or exceeds the cache size- (full orange bar reading 100%).
A green bar shows that 100% of your audio is loaded into the cache, with the percentage showing how much of the cache it is taking up.
Ideally, you want to use the lowest setting that allows 100% your timeline to be loaded, with a little bit of overhead. If your system usage shows a green bar at 40%, you can decrease the cache size to the next lowest setting.
Tip: Want to optimize your cache size? Try Strip Silence, and make unused audio inactive.