Hey Fabio and the other,
So I actually was writing a very long post regarding the tests I just carried out, but unfortunately my computer decided to die on me and cancel out everthing I had written but since this is a very improtant problem to me I must re-write it for you. I carried out two tests, using plugins from Steinberg and 3rd party (including virtual instruments). Here are the results:
CPU: Intel i7 6700K
RAM: 32GB DDR3
MOBO: Asus Z170 Pro Gaming/Aura
Audio Card: RME HDSPe AIO
OS: Windows 10 64bit
Software: Cubase 9.5.10
Number of Channels: 24+1 (24 VSTi + Stereo Out)
Number of plugins used in total: 400
Number of unique plugins (including VSti’s) used in total: 84
Plugin Companies used: Fabfilter, Waves, Cableguys, XLNAudio, IK Multimedia, iZotope, Steinberg, Xfer, Plugin Alliance, Vengeance, ValhallaDSP, Slate Digital, MeldaProduction, Audio Ease, Antares, Voxengo, Zynaptiq, Sonalksis,
Comment: I stopped adding plugins since the computer audio was crackling and lagging in various other applications. CPU usage was around 70-75%. RAM usage 30%
Number of Channels: 25+1 (25 VSTi + Stereo Out)
Number of plugins used in total: 388
Number of unique plugins (including VSti’s) used in total: 48
Plugin Companies used: Fabfilter, Waves, Lexicon, ValhallaDSP, Soundtoys, ArtsAcoustic, iZotope, IK Multimedia, Cytomic,Audio Ease, Slate Digital, Lennar Digital, Xfer, Native Instruments, XLNAudio, Steinberg
Comment: So I managed to load little more than half the amount of unique plugins in this test compared to Test 1. The big difference that silently confirms my thoughts is the difference in plugin companies between the two tests. Some companies are the same (Fabfilter, Waves, ValhallaDSP, iZotope, IK Multimedia, Xfer, Steinberg, Slate Digital, Audio Ease) while others are different. Stopped adding plugins when I reached the 70-75% CPU usage and 30% RAM usage for test’s sake, since it was lagging in various other applications.
Ok, so I am no developer and don’t understand much about .dll limitations and how Windows and DAWs handle them. What I do find interesting is how plugins from different companies affected differently Cubase, making it hit before or after its .dll limit.
My finger points out to one company in particular, and that is Soundtoys. I found that Soundtoys, even in previous projects of mine where this problem happened, was always present in some plugin form or another. The same can be said about Waves and ValhallaDSP, which in a few projects would disappear upon loading and I would not retrieve them in their saved settings. However, Waves and ValhallaDSP plugins which were affected were only the Pitch Shift and Reverb plugins (Soundshifter Pitch Stereo, ValhallaPlate). Soundtoys plugins affected would be LittleAlterBoy and all other Soundtoys 5 plugins.
Whilst there are some companies which did come up in the test 2 which did not come up in Test 1, I believe these do not influece negatively the outcome of Test 2, however I must retry Test 1 with Lexicon and Lennar Digital plugins as I am a bit suspicious.
I hope this has helped a bit and can’t wait for more updates on the problem!