Are you guys getting real CPU spikes, as in, when you look at the real cpu usage from the OS system monitor?
Or, is this what you’re seeing in the CuBase VST Performance monitor?
Have you run the disk/bus interrupt latency checks recommended by Steinberg?
Is it ‘sounding bad or dropping out’ or is the VST Performance meter just bothering you?
Unless you’re getting bad audio, drop outs, etc…ignore the VST performance monitor.
If you’re getting clicks, pops, dropouts, etc…enlarge the main ASIO buffer size bit by bit until they go away.
For me…I need larger buffers if I disable ASIO Guard (256k for starters) if I plan to run several VSTi tracks with VST effects applied.
If things sound and work fine…simply ignore that VST Performance Monitor. It’s NOT showing your CPU activity, nor does it necessarily mean anything is wrong or abnormal.
With ASIO Guard enabled, I find I can drop back to much smaller buffers on the audio device settings…128k and smaller, and can run quite a bit of streaming VSTi stuff before I have to enlarge the buffers, or start ‘instant rendering’ tracks into an all audio format.
I’m mostly using a quite old Delta 1010 interface over PCI.
A USB2 Tascam 1200 is working fine as well, with even lower latency, but it also pushes the CPU usage up, as well as the ASIO Guard activity up a bit (nothing major though…everything works just fine).
From what I can tell on my ancient Phenom II system, the VST Performance meter is simply showing buffer activity…armed VSTi tracks for recording or monitoring makes that little line spike and idle. Even on this ancient computer that all the experts say is garbage compared even the lowliest Intel atoms…with some decent sized projects, the CPU isn’t even breaking a sweat. It still works and sounds fine, no problems with 40+ VSTi tracks going…so I ignore it. Seems normal to me that if ASIO Guard is buffering and correcting timing, that the buffers are going to fill up and empty on a regular basis. That’s what ASIO Guard is for…to buffer, recalculate, and tighten up the timing on whatever tracks are ‘armed’ as you play or record into them…with all the stuff that is simply ‘playing back’.
Notice…if you disarm everything (no record or monitor buttons), ASIO guard isn’t being asked to do anything, and the VST Performance monitor doesn’t spike and idle anymore.
For the poster who says there is distortion without ASIO Guard. What size are your buffers? If you turn the guard off, then you’re probably going to need to increase the main ASIO buffer size. Much of this will have to do with your audio interface and how its drivers are implemented.
On this really ancient hardware, only problems I’ve had with CuBase 8 were due to some bad SSD drives that just don’t want to cooperate with streaming data, and they also perform horribly when hosting system pagefiles. Tried the drives on more than one system (both intel and amd, with AHCI and IDE drivers), with more than one DAW, and yep…disk loss issues. Got all system page files, and anything that needs to ‘stream’ off of those particular drives and have had great performance since. I have no clue why the PNY drives hate streaming or hosting memory swap files. They bench mark well, and pass the latency checks…but for some reason the DAWs and streaming VSTi stuff I tried to use them with don’t always get the data they ask for in the right time or position they expect it to come.
Try tapping alt-ctrl-del, then start the task manager. Watch your CPU from there. In my case, the performance monitor in CuBase is NOT showing CPU usage…it’s showing ASIO Guard buffering activity. With ASIO Guard totally disabled, the meter shows a little higher average activity, and the spiking activity goes away.
In either case…with the Guard on or off…I can tweak the buffers and get very solid performance. I choose not to tap F11 and be annoyed by that meter. As long as things sound good enough to get an accurate mix and translation through my monitors, and of course ‘render’ without flaw…even the occasional crackle or pop is no big deal (given the age and limited power of my old computer).