ASIO-guard peaking although cubase is idle

Sorry if this question has come up before. I’ve searched the forum but I haven’t been able to find an answer.

The projects I work on are usually +20 audio tracks and one instrument track (drum plugin) with +10 outputs. So far I’ve been on the limit on cracks and pops but now I’ve got the wall. Is my system too weak/old or is the asio guard acting up? It hits 100 % even when it’s idle. I would understand if it clips while playback or recording. But should it act like that when idle?

I have asio guard level set to high, audio priority Boost and activated Steinberg audio power scheme.

Cubase 12 elements
Lenovo Thinkpad w510 Laptop
Intel core i7 q820 1.73 GHz
32 RAM
Win 10

One thing I found really helped was to install ParkControl and set it to Bitsum Highest Performance, as recommended by @Norbury_Brook on this forum.

Thank you! I tried to find his posts about it but couldn’t. Is there a specific setting?

I’ve tried it and it’s still 100 % CPU load.

I have mine set to Bitsum Highest Performance in the drop-down.

It’s possible that this is all irrelevant with older processors. I’ve just searched for your processor and it was launced in 2009, so I think what you’re experiencing is down to the performance of the processor.

I tried it and it didn’t work, unfortunately. I’ve tried about everything so I guess my CPU is just too old and slow. Even with Turbo Boost on I got to high CPU usage. And that is with 1024 Buffer size.

I tried to freeze half of the audio tracks and it freed up enough CPU for me to be able to finish the mix. But I obviously have to buy a new machine.

It’s a long shot, but if you can give it a try…

Put anything that needs to stream from/to physical storage on a nice new SSD drive. It probably would not hurt to put at least put the OS memory swap file on a modern/fast drive as well. Heck, even if all you have handy is an external USB platter drive designed for simple backups, it’s still worth giving it a try (disable any parking/sleeping features).

I once had a setup that was nearly unusable. Turned out that the storage drives I had in the machine used drivers that simply don’t play nice with constant streams of audio. They were beastly fast at copying files around and opening documents, but terrible for trickling and constant data streams.

Yep, even simple sample players like Garritan’s ARIA or sforzando in stand alone mode, and playing a SINGLE note glitched out.

Something about my PNY brand SSD hard drives caused constant but quick system interrupts that all my DAW hosts hated. The system would pass latency monitor tests with flying colors, but then I’d try to run a DAW and pop/click/spike.

I put all sample libraries and audio files on a different SSD drive (Samsung 930s and later), and I also made sure my OS memory swap files were on the new drive. and never looked back. It worked great from then forward.

You’ll always need more nice storage, so it’s a good investment that can carry over to a new system if you upgrade later. Try a nice new SSD that’s known to work well with a/v streaming. Samsung models are good. Intel should be good.

Interesting! Might be worth a shot! It has to be an external as I have a laptop. How do you put the OS swap files on the external? And by streaming audio, do you mean your projects? Or just your samples libraries?

I mostly use drum plugins but I will use other sample based plugins later on.

In my case I moved all sample libraries (including the stuff for HALion and Groove Agent) and project files to new storage media just to be safe. You could probably keep the project file itself on any ole drive, but since it nests audio recordings and such in the same directory by default, I’d say keep it simple, and just keep the entire project in a folder on a different drive.

As for swap files…it’s been a while since I did this, but it shouldn’t be hard to find primers on the internet with a good search. I came up with this one right off the bat: Tech Tip: Move the swap file to another drive | TechRepublic

Seems like there are options where you can have your system automatically know if your external drive is plugged in and use that when it is. When not, it’d go back to the swap file on the system drive. So, do a little research to see what options you might have on setting up and optimizing memory swap files.

It might be that you don’t even need a different swap drive. Start by getting any streaming content to a new/different drive and see how that goes.

I just set up a swap file on the new drive as a precaution because it makes sense that the OS might be constantly moving information in and out of that file in tiny bits and bytes at a time. The OS can grow and shrink it on demand as your system runs out of real RAM.