Anyone with an M1 pro care to share what the performance is like with C12

Anyone with an M1 pro care to share what the performance is like with C12 now it’s M1 apple Silicone native?

I have a 5950x in the studio but was thinking about an macbook pro for mobile.


So I tried the Apple silicon mode and it ran fine but none of my plugins were compatible, not really had the time to play with it because I had to leave for work but for now I’ll be using it in Rosetta.
Strangely superior drummer 3 which is Apple silicon did t even show up in instruments, maybe the plug-in version needs updating.

I’ll be honest, if your reasonably up to date you might be fine.
I’ve had a pretty painless transition to M1Pro MacBook Pro. I found Ozone 8 wouldn’t install so I had to upgrade that to 9 and there was a couple of others but pretty much everything works under Rosetta.


Hi HarrySound, do you mean that superior drummer 3 doesn’t show in native M1 mode or in Rosetta mode?
I understand that SD3 being a VST2 plugin won’t work in native M1 mode but should work in rosetta mode.

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Yes your right. I assumed Superior Drummer 3 was VST 3.
It all works fine under Rosetta generally.

They have changed the performance meter layout in C12 so it’s going to be hard to compare C11 to C12 via that. I tried in Rosetta mode and C12 looked to give a better performance than C11 but I’m not sure if that is down to the way the meters have changed.

As for native mode, I’ve opened it, it actually opens in Rosetta by default even though it’s not ticked to. I had to tick it to open in Rosetta and open it and then close it and untick to get to run native.
But once it’s open I realised just how many plugins will not load because they are not VST3 native, I must have lost between half to two thirds of my plugins. That would mean anyone trying to open an old project might struggle.

So it might take someone to build a whole new project in C12 native and then open it in C11 Rosetta before we know the performance gains.

As for M1 MacBook I have one, you cannot go wrong with them really.

But what I would say is Intel have their new CPU which works in a similar way, except the memory config is different. But it’s quicker, a lot quicker. The new Intel laptops using that CPU will be on the shelves soon.

I would wait until those are out and see what ppl think who have bought them. If the Intel keeps up with the M1 or even if it’s not quite as good. Well you do not have to wait for any developers to make native versions. You don’t have to change any hardware because there are no native drivers. You can upgrade your memory or SSD whenever you like. And all the software will be the same as your currently using. You will not lose a ton of plugs.

I would not say that in front of a Mac-head because they will explode if you even dare as much mention that the M1 might not be perfect lol but things always move on so best wait a month for the new Intel’s to hit the streets.

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Coming from an overclocked i9900k 5ghz overclocked cpu pc setup on Cubase 11 I can say that Cubase 12 on Mac mini M1 16gb Ram 512gb SSD that this thing flies.

I could not use my heavy cpu Acoustica Audio (Aqua) plugins on Cubase 11 as it ran in Rosetta mode and just could not even run 1 Lemon Delay plugin … but performance was quite good when running normal plugins. Even surpassing my i9 900k setup. I was running at 88khz as Softube Console 1 just sounded much better with less aliasing.

Cubase 12 can run so many Aqua plugins it’s not funny, zooming in and out on the M1 is way faster than my RTX2070 equipped pc on Cubase 11.

I have to now go through all my plugins and try to really reduce what I need and only run silicon plugins. Oh and Expert Sleepers cv gate plugins don’t crash like they do on PC.

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So I did a little test with the demo project by Austin Hull.
Set the number of samples on the audio driver to 2000+
I selected all the folders and groups track and fx tracks and duplicated them.
I managed 5 versions of the demo project running simultaneously under Rosetta without any drop outs.
I then switched to the Apple Silicon version and did the same thing again.
I managed 6 instances of the demo project without drop outs.

So Apple Silicon native will give you something like 15-20% back in performance.
Unfortunately it’ll be a while before the plugins are up and running, but it will get there.

16" m1Pro 32gig ram 4TB

Hello HarrySound,
Thank You for your comments, I really appreciate the information you are sharing.
I’am not familiar with the demo project you mentioned, how many tracks (audio, instruments) and plugins are in the project?
I have read in other forums that same numbers you are reporting here (about 15-20%) performance gain with native M1 apps vs Rosetta, which, considering the already great performance I’am experiencing with cubase 11 in my 14’ M1 pro Macbook Pro, is a lot of imrovement.
I can’t wait for Superior Drummer to be VST3 so I can use Cubase 12 in Native M1 mode.

Thanks again

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You can actually down load the project by Austin Hull in the steinberg download assistant in the Cubase 12 section and open it up in Cubase 11.
Obviously it won’t have everything in there because it’s using some newer Cubase plug-ins here and there (I think) but it sounds very similar at least.
There’s quite a lot of plugins in it. Not very instrument heavy if at all , it’s mainly treatment of samples but if you stack up 6 of them….that’s a lot of plugins.

Excellent, I will download it and test in cubase 11.

Thank You

I did a test with some virtual instruments and and plugins in C12 native and built up a project until it would no longer play properly in C12 native. Then I opened it in C11 under Rosetta and removed enough instruments so it would play again but the power meter was still at 100% in C11, but not flashing red. I then opened that back up in C12 native and the power meter was only at about 75% whilst playing which is great.

So in that example using a few items like Kick 2, Trillion, Go2, Kontact, Spitfire Audio and some FX plugins C12 native seemed to be about 25% better than C11.

Memory usage was about 12.5 gbs on C11 but about 11.5 in C12 (hardly a difference).

Interestingly I did try it in C12 under Rosetta and it seemed to be slightly worse than C11. Maybe thats just how C12 under Rossetta reacts.

I’m a Mac-head and, true, Intel have now CPU that can match the M1, but it’s a lot more powerhungry. I think it uses roughly 3 times as much power as an M1 to achieve more or less the same performance.

In a laptop, power consumption is important. The more power the CPU consumes, the better it needs to be cooled, leading to larger/noisier fans that will kick in early on heavy loads from a DAW. Battery life ville also be affected. Also, historically, Intel chips will throttle down a lot when operating on battery, to extend battery life.

I have a 2020 Macbook Air M1, base model, and I was really surprised to see it perform a lot better than my 2018 15" Intel I7 MacBook pro in almost all areas, Even running on battery, performance does not drop a lot and NO FAN NOISE!!! :slight_smile:

I have not yet installed CB 12, but as I read here, you need to be on the latest, greatest VST3 to make it work in Apple Silicon, which is not the case if you are on Windows.

But give it a month or two to see what the Windows/PC-heads can deliver. The next generation IntelCPU’s will use the same production process from TSCM as Apple are using now, potentially making them a lot less power hungry, but that cab be a long wait.

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I’m not going to disagree with you on the M1. I think March and April will be good months for M1 native software releases…

M1 or new Intel, they are both just product and both can do the job. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

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I still can’t make up my mind :slight_smile: My studio machine is a 5950x and if I’m going to be moving the same project between a laptop and the desktop then perhaps keeping them both windows will be the better option despite the M1pro being better at battery life and noise.

However , planes trains and automobiles have power these days so battery life isn’t an issue unless your off grid somewhere and as to noise, the newer windows laptops about to hit are a Lot quieter than the old intel mac books , so not as quiet as an M1 but not noisy like the old ones.

Also if you’re working mobile on a laptop wouldn’t you have headphones on most of the time? so again is noise that much of an issue?


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I’ve had my m1pro machine since December and I only THINK I’ve heard the fan once while rendering a video.
The noisiest thing I have is my Axe FX strangely. Everything else is basically fanless, it’s glorious.

Fully agree. Both will do the job so it’s all down to personal preferences. And I’m sure the next couple of years will be really exiting in terms of hardware after almost a decade of stagnation.

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just a note in VST2 in C12 Native Mode.

I just used Blue Cat Patchwork to open Superior drummer 3 which is a native VST2 in C12 native. So we can still use some native VST2 in C12 native mode :slight_smile:

You can pick Patchwork up from AudioDeluxe for about $70 as they add a discount when it goes into your cart.

I am not sure on efficiency etc but it does work if the VST2 is M1 native but it seems good. Plus my UAD plugins now work in C12 native :slight_smile:

finished a mix yesterday in c12 native on mini M1. no problem at all.