Buffer - auto set - feature request

I think it would be useful to have a setting (I don’t think it exists) whereby buffer preferences for mixing vs recording could be set. Enabling a track for recording would automatically switch the buffer size from ‘mixing’ to ‘recording’ - and disabling recording would switch back to ‘mixing’. Currently have to dig into the audio settings and control panel to adjust this each time.


There is something similar in Cubase already. It’s called ASIO-Guard. The manual says:

The ASIO-Guard allows you to preprocess all channels as well as VST instruments that do not need to be calculated in real time. This leads to fewer dropouts, the ability to process more tracks or plug-ins, and the ability to use smaller buffer sizes.

This means, when the track is not Record Enabled (your ‘mixing’ use case), it’s using the preprocessing way, kind of higher buffer. Once you enable the record on the track (your ‘record’ use case), it’s working with the buffer you set up. So in fact, it’s even more inteligent, because it’s working dynamically based on the track, not the whole session/project.

You can set 3 levels of the ASIO-Guard in Cubase.

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Hi, and thank you for your reply. This sounds like it should achieve what I’m after, I’d seen ASIO guard in the settings but not taken in what it does. However, currently ASIO guard is at ‘normal’ default - when I reduced my buffer to 64 to record, and forget to increase it when I started mixing, I kept getting Cubase crashes, - resolved by increasing buffer again, so currently it doesn’t seem to be helping.

Great question and great reply, had no idea, just following in case anyone adds anything…

Hm. Martin, I’m reading that statement from the manual, but I am not too sure that this is happening as it reads.

I have a pretty fast PC and have no issues, certainly no crashes to report, but still, at mixdown I just naturally increase the sample rate. Old habits maybe? It’s not that hard to do and I certainly don’t see a need to have Steinberg create a preset. Mixing is, after all, a different process. If you have ‘tons’ of VSTi and VSTs loaded, it always seemed a sure way to be assured that the session is recalled without a hitch. Again, old habits developed using lessor PCs.

To the OP, I would start looking at other things beyond Cubase. Things like plugins, video cards, apps running in the background, and a good setup in general.


Do you mean the Sample Rate, or the Buffer Size? I assume, you mean the Buffer Size…

It’s not hard to do, but if you are a film music composer, the Buffer Size change means, all the plug-ins (and sound libraries) are loaded again. What takes ages in case of large orchestral templates 1500+ tracks.

If you really mean the Mixdown (the Export > Audio Mixdown), then this is totally different story, if you export offline. Then the Buffer Size doesn’t really mater.

Yes buffer (samples). And no, I mean the mixdown process in Cubase, I meant that I increase the buffer size at mixdown.

Not sure where you’re going, but OK, 1500 tracks of audio? Or are you saying 1500 tracks of MIDI? I’ll assu
me both. And you’re saying the composer is going to turn over a 1500 track musical piece to someone else - or he is going to mix his piece down him/her/self? Is this what the OP was talking about here? I didn’t catch that. However, to respond to your comment, first off I have to think that this composer you present has quite the setup. I doubt he would have any troubles recording tracks without clicks or dropouts or a DAW lockup. As to mixing 1500 tracks, I certainly think that if he could manage recording 1500 tracks with plugins and sound libraries he has sorted his DAW and his buffer needs for his project. Further, if he does intend to pass this project off to be mixed down, then I will also assume he knows someone who can handle that work.

Getting back to the OP’s request, who I assume is not the composer with the 1500 tracks, he was asking for a preset in Cubase to accommodate the moment when he switched from mixing something to recording it (I have to assume he meant to overdub a part maybe?), and he was saying that he wanted to switch quickly (using a preset) between mixing to recording within the same project. ?? I took it that he had plugins on his mixdown and they loaded his DAW down such that he had to increase the buffer size - and yet the recording process did not so he was using a smaller buffer size when recording. Did I misunderstand?


ASIO Guard
Whenever there is CPU time left despite the required real time processing, the upcoming buffer blocks are pre-calculated to have them available for the next ASIO block cycle.

The assignment is an automatic and dynamic process. A monitor enabled channel will be removed from the ASIO Guard mode automatically. Once the monitoring is disabled again, the channel will return into the ASIO Guard path.

For instance, audio channels that are monitor enabled cannot be pre-calculated and have to be processed in the time-critical real time path leaving fewer resources for ASIO Guard. This increases the risk for audio drop outs again.


Audio Mixdown, Freezing and Render in Place can be accelerated by increasing latency. This might reduce the resolution of automation though. VST 2 plug-ins calculate one automation value per parameter for each ASIO block (which equals buffer size in samples), whereas VST 3 plug-ins decide independently if automation data is being rendered blockwise, sample-accurately or at a self-defined resolution.


Hi and thanks for yours, and everyone’s, replies. To clarify my original post - I am working on a laptop - it’s not the ideal DAW set-up by a long chalk, but it’s what I have at the moment - limited RAM and not a high powered desktop CPU (and a comparatively small screen!). I’m following what I see as the recommended practice of high buffer to mix, low buffer to record (which I need to do given the resources) and simply felt that switching between the two processes was a little cumbersome given that it’s something we all need to do (or so I thought, but I can see that folks with a high powered set up may not face this). I’m not treating recording as a pure production process - I record, switch to a ‘rough’ mix, and what I hear may change my composition - so I iterate, hence I’m switching from ‘record’ to ‘mix’ perhaps more often than others.

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The root problem with trying to implement this idea is that Cubase does not set the buffer size. The buffer size is set by the driver software for each individual’s audio interface - RME, Focusrite, UA. Steinberg (maybe they can do something with that one), M-Audio, MOTU, etc. As a convinience Cubase will launch the settings program for your audio interface. But beyond that it can’t set the value in another program’s GUI, especially for a large variety of different programs.

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But when I set the buffer size, it is within the Cubase interface, it doesn’t launch the GUI for my audio interface, so if it can take my input and transfer it to the interface it should be able to do it as an automation surely?

Can you post a screenshot of that. Also what audio interface are you using?

In my experience Cubase has always launched the GUI for the audio interface.

Hi Raino, yes I get something similar - pic1.png (I’m using a Focusrite Scarlett Solo, with Mac OS 10.15 Catalina) - the buffer adjustment is still keyed in within Cubase, it appears to me. The Focusrite has a control panel/app and GUI of its own - ‘Focusrite Control’ - pic2.png - but that doesn’t have any adjustment for buffer available

Perhaps this is managed differently on Macs & PCs.

You must be able to somehow change the Focusrite’s buffer size without involving Cubase - say for streaming video.