Considering to leave Cubase for ProTools


I have a high end computer running Cubase 10.5 with Lynx Hilo and i’m just tired of the poor performance, I kinda just got over it and got to work with the workarounds but I really need to just be able to throw whatever I want at a project and have no restrictions. I am tired of the audio dropouts from “too many” plugin instances with my Hilo buffer set to maximum etc etc. I am not talking about real time peaks either I am talking about average load.

Its 2024, you should be able to have a high end computer, install a Daw and just have it work without tweaking a bunch of settings for your pc and software to get decent performance. I never really had great performance anyway.

I have heard people talk about Cubase overloading certain cores etc. for single channels with lots of plugs etc.

My question is, has anyone made the switch to another DAW and noticed a difference? Has, by chance, Cubase fixed anything in the current version (13?)

I am so tired of it i’m willing to put in the work with a new GUI and learning curve of a new DAW even though I love the workflow and intention of Cubase as a decade long user, I think i’ve had enough.


So, really, just a “click bait” thread title?

I suppose the easiest way to figure that out would be to install the trial version.


Haha, no no I am slowly making the change, the gears are churning psychologically, but I am going to try and get more information before realllly pulling the trigger. An update to 13 is cheaper than the big switch. But I guess I can’t put a price on piece of mind. I need my creative process to be unlimited and I’m just sick of not being able to flow.

I think i’ll get PT for new projects moving forward and finish the unfinished Cubase stuff. Sorry to be drab I guess im grasping for help, or a fix or someone with first hand experience that have found solace from the dread…

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Just in case you don’t know, the eLicenser (dongle) service will be obsolete early next year. If you have any interest at all in using Cubase further down the road, you might want to consider updating to the latest version sometime before then. I wouldn’t be surprised if they offer a discount promotion at some point this year. After the eLicenser servers get shut down, you will have no option to update your 10.5 at a discount …

eLicenser Service Closes Down in 2025 | Steinberg

I’m not trying to discourage you from exploring other options, just trying to help your options be more wide open in the future :wink: .

I have never used ProTools, but I know that numerous users have more than one tool at their disposal for various reasons.

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You didn’t state your HW specs, however, if you are on a hybrid architecture CPU (Intel Core generation 12+) you should definitely try Cubase 13.

Quoting from Cubase 13 Release Notes:

Hybrid CPU support

We have invested a lot of time and effort in optimizing and testing Cubase 13 for hybrid-architecture CPUs, and we are happy to offer full support for both Windows and Mac.

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Isn’t protools AVID?
If so, you may be opening yourself up to another world of pain. Sure Cubase support is non-existent, however I’ve heard various stories about Avid’s support, and you’ll also be signing up for $300 USD per year to participate in protools. At least Cubase lets you keep using your current version if you choose not to upgrade one year!
Why don’t you download the trial version of protools, and see if you get the same bottlenecks.


I’ve got licenses here forCubase 13 ,Studio One 6.6 and reaper 7.

On windows 11 with an AMD7950x system I have set up a test mix project in all 3 DAW’s

Reaper is by far the best performer, followedby Studio one and then Cubase 13 . There is a big jump from reaper down to both studio one and Cubase. The main difference is Reaper can utilise the power of the 7950x and it coreloads/thread allocates very well. Cubase will max out on ASIO guard with 25% system usage.

Interestingly on Mac OS and Apple silicon, Cubase threads beautifuly and ASIo guard meter and the system meters seem in sync, so an 80% ASIO guard will show 80% system usage on Mac OS and my MBP M1 max whereas on my windows machine 90% ASIO gard is only 20% system usage.

This is on a realworldmix project with lots of Aux sends , busses with heavy processing, automation etc etc.


Iirc, they attemped subscription only, but it backfired on Avid.

Perpetual is available again.

However in my world, and while there are comon overlaps, Cubase vs. Protools is comparing apples to oranges. One is a complete music production environment. The other is more recording oriented.

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Reaper is the best DAW when it comes to the use of systems resources. Both Cubase and ProTools have older code underpinning them but Pro Tools is the biggest systems hog I have ever used in any time period on any computer.

Ehhh. Guess it depends on who’s using it and why.

I just think PT has too high a running cost and it doesn’t deliver enough advantages for that cost relative to other DAWs, so I’d need actual reasons to invest in it. It would have to be a work requirement.

I don’t think i would have an issue writing music in it, though. Sometimes, I intentionally use DAWs with less bells and whistles just to enjoy a more spartan canvass. Decreases distraction and allows me to focus better at times.

I wonder if the plug-ins have anything to do with that.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to compare to Intel Mac since Apple always had old hardware in their macs and the Intel variants were about 2 generations behind by the time M1 arrived.

I never found Studio One to perform that well though, which is why I deleted my PreSonus account with Pro 6 on it. The crashing when opening up a Virtual instrument in a project with many in the session also became unbearable, so I gave up it.

well yes that will have some effect, for example with regards to performance IK TR5 tapes run great on apple silicone but poorly on windows for some reason, this is the one plugin I’ve found with such a discrepancy though.

I originally did the test using various VST3 plugins from UA native, Acustica Aqua, Softube, etc etc on a current mix project I’d finished. It was this that made me realise there was something wrong with ASIO guard/Cubase performance on windowsd compared to Apple silicone as my MBP M1 max with only 10 cores and 3.2GHZ machine could match my 16/32 5.4GHZ AMD machine , both have rthe same 64GB DDR5 ram by the way.

This then took me down the rabbit hole of setting up the same mix in Studio One and Reaper to test the same metrics.


IKM T-RackS plug-ins are pretty high CPU, in my experience, which is why I stopped using them. I found them practically comparable to iZotope Ozone plug-ins.

I’m not sure if they have anything thoroughly unique or so good compared to alternatives that it would have been worth keeping them. I deleted my IKM account like 2 years ago and simply replaced the ones I liked with alternatives that didn’t ramp up my DSP usage in-DAW. The T-RackS CPU utilization was basically the core reason.

I didn’t find that to be a product of any specific DAW, though, as I noticed the same high CPU utilization in Cubase, Samplitude Pro X and Studio One - all of which I was working in regularly back then.

I do think Cubase performs better on macOS than Windows. I have a MBP and would mirror that sentiment. Studio One, though? Nah… Not really. Not with the way it utilizes cores on Apple Silicon. Could change in the next major version, though. People have been complaining about this for years.

I’ve never used an Intel BIG.little CPU to compare. My next PC Laptop upgrade is likely to be Intel, and I’ll be able to see for myself at that point :stuck_out_tongue:

AMD has things like Preferred Cores that only work with specific system settings, so that would also have to be looked at. If you’re using something like the Stock Windows High Performance profile, it doesn’t work properly and core load distribution can be inoptimal, etc.

well I tested my mix project again yesterday after doing some BIOS updates/tweaks etc . My mix project has 8 mix busses all of which have the same plugins on with a set of deactivated analogue obsession channel strips

I then activate them until I hear drop outs.
Cubase yesterday managed 8 of these on the busses befor the ASIO guard hit the red and dropouts occured. Windows System performnce from task manager was about 25%

reaper managed 76 of them!!! yes 76 . windows cpu/System performance was around 50% this time.

Same hardware, same mix set up with the same automation /busses/aux sends etc

That’s a massive difference in performance.

With the same bit and hz settings?

everything the same otherwise it’s a pointless test :slight_smile:

If anyone’s interested, Studio One managed 18 FrankCS bus plugins.


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Correct me if im wrong but reaper can work on Linux? And there for a light daw with lesser stuff in it, like less stock plugins and less advanced system coz of the light daw. And i dont say its a bad daw. Its way beter to start working with if you can have that meny tracks extra. I just wondering why, if its just of less stuff and code in it and light for linux? Have you tryed with izotope neutron and ozone and how it compare there, and have you test with Process Lasso with ProBalance enable to se where the bottleneck is? Just interested. Maby go over to reaper in some stages when prod.

On Mac OS and Apple silicone there isn’t the same difference , so it’s a windows Cubase /ASIO guard issue. I’ve tried this project with many different plugins and it’s the same everytime on Windows/AMD7950x , Cubase ASIO guard , maxes out with system performance less than 30% .

On Apple silicone on my M1 Max the ASIO guard meter correlates to the MacOS system usage.


Dame i hate Windows, they do a system to fått aaaaallllllll diffferent work. Just make a realtime audio win lite like linux but easy like win. Tired of all poopies i med to do to optimise every time. In and out from cmd and powershell policy, service, debloat ect. Make a button like game mode to be creator mode.

it’s not windows it’s Cubase and windows/AMD, as I said Reaper runs like a dream on the same hardware/OS