Audio-Performance average load problem

Hi guys,

I have problems with my average load of my audio-performance.
I mainly do music and therefore I use more or less only VST instruments / plugins and some audio clips / tracks.

Unfortunately my system / Nuendo often comes to its performance limit very fast… in this case the project has 14 VST instruments and 7 audio tracks with several plugins in the inserts (mainly Waves, FabFilter, PluginAlliance, …). My ASIO buffer size is already set to 2048 samples, hyperthreading and ASIO guard are on (otherwise I’m not even able to start the playback and the average load and real-time peak meters are clipping!) - see the attached screen shot. Sometimes there are dropouts even with these super secure settings! While playing, Nuendo is on 50% to 56% CPU usage.

In the second screenshot, you can see the average load while the project is not playing (also very high)! Nuendo is on 41% CPU usage in the task manager.
RAM usage in the task manager for this project is 2316,4 MB…

So is there something wrong in general with my setting? Do I use to much VST instruments? I thought my DAW is strong enough to handle such projects or am I too naive? Would be nice to know which plugins, instruments cause the highest CPU usage…

Here are my system specs

  • Win 10 Pro 64bit
  • i7-4820K @ 3.70ghz
  • 32GB DDR 3 RAM (4 x 8GB)
  • Nuendo 10 latest
  • RME Fireface UFX+ (latest driver)

Would be nice to get any suggestions to make my system more “powerful”.
Thanks in advance and all the best!

Try Freezing VST instrument tracks and Audio tracks with their plugin effects. This will save a lot of processing power.

You can always un-freeze a track if you need to edit it later.

Thanks for your reply. Yes you are right, freezing might be an option… Although I experienced, that I have to freeze a lot of tracks to get advantage from this method, and then the (my) complete workflow in arranging my compositions is gone (because you can’t change the parameters quickly unless you un-freeze).

Will it get remarkable better with a stronger CPU? Can’t believe that this is already the limit of my DAW

Where are the composeres out there, using tons of heavy symphonic orchestral kontakt instruments? No performance problems? Or do you just use a more powerful system?

I’m thankful for every suggestion!
All the best

14 Instruments and 7 audio tracks! And those pictures?! Something is probably not right with your system!

I can work with at least 50 instruments and 50 audio tracks here on my system running at 3.4 Ghz Ryzen first generation. With the buffer size of only at 256 samples. And I have a very complex surround to stereo downmix template setup with plugins even on the master bus.

Please do the following if you already have not,

  1. Remove VST plugins and Instruments one by one and see what happens. Because one or more particular plugin may cause this.

  2. Update Windows 10 to the latest version (currently 1903).

  3. Update the BIOS to the latest version.

  4. Disable Hyperthreading, C-State, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep (EIST), Intel Turbo Boost one by one and check if your situation improves.

How much RAM are you working with?

32 GB

Thx, I’ll give it a try next week when I’m back in the studio. Will try to debug my instruments and inserts…
I think the BIOS and Windows should be up to date, but I’ll check that too.


That should enough.

// Update //

  • updated Win 10 Pro 64bit to version 1903
  • removed instruments / plugins one by one, found some power hungry ones (Waves MetaFilter, Waves ReelADT, Waves L316, …)
  • BIOS was already to the latest version
  • disabled hyperthreading, C-States, EIST and Intel Turbo Bosst modes in the BIOS, but nothing changed…

So I think there are some plugins in my inserts using “lots” of performance, but I don’t think they are my main problem (as far as I don’t use tons of them).
I don’t know… any other ideas, suggestions?

At this point, I am running out of ideas. :disappointed_relieved:

Not sure how huge your sessions are, but I think a lot of them use VEP to host massive kontakt/instrument sessions on second and 3rd computers?

that’s the thing, my sessions (in my opinion) aren’t that big! As I wrote, in this case 14 instr. tracks and 7 audio tracks…
Sometimes they are bigger…

I have a question: every time after leaving Nuendo 10, the program is not unloaded from memory. (Windows 7, Windows 10) Does anyone else have the same problem?

There is definitely some plugin instrument or effect causing the issue here. 14 tracks is barely a load. For composition I’ve run around 50-60 instrument tracks without any issues on a laptop at a much lower buffer. And for music mixes I’ve crossed over 270 tracks+ on the same laptop.

I recently had a similar issue on a post-session, where everything was fine during most of the session and suddenly the session starts overloading. It ended up being an effects plugin on a certain buss.

As suggested above, try removing plugins/effects one at a time to see what is causing the issue. Alternatively, start a new session and import the tracks from your current session one at a time while monitoring the CPU usage.

Unless you’re using extremely CPU intensive plugins such as Diva, Falcon or Serum at max oversampled quality, you should be able to fix this.

Try turning on and off one or several Waves plug-in, like an L2 for example, and see if the load drops.
This may be a resurfacing of an old bug that had to do with the order of the plugins, specially if they were powered.

Yes, but this seems to happen on all (Windows-)systems and shouldn’t bring down the performance with just those few tracks the OP uses.