Are any tracks armed for record/playback?
Got ‘inputs’ connected?
Don’t forget that there’s a significant ‘live mixer’ running, even if you’ve got Cubase minimized in the background.
Example: Say ya got 3 inputs active coming off your audio interface. A stereo mic and a mono guitar or something.
This stuff is constantly coming into the Cubase mixing matrix. Meters and stuff are bouncing, even though the transport might be sitting still.
If any of that stuff is connected to armed tracks…it passes on down the line, so add any stuff ya got running in inserts.
Then there’s whatever ‘plugins’ might be doing internally.
Just now while I type this I have a Cubase Project open that’s idling around 5% on a Ryzen 9 3900XT with stock settings (3.8ghz with occasional individual core boosts up near 4ghz). I don’t have the cores locked to run wide open…this is the typical stock cool and quiet configuration for the CPU, so cores step speeds and voltages on demand. 12 physical cores are active, and another 12 virtual cores are also active.
The only window active is the main project window.
It has one set of inputs connected via my Delta 1010 (PCI Audio Interface) > ASIO Link Pro. There is a Roland Fantom XR tone generator plugged in to this as a stereo pair.
The only output’s active right now is the control room > ASIO Link Pro > Outputs 1 & 2 of my Delta 1010.
NO tracks are armed, and there are no loaded/active slot VST plugins on the Mixer. Only thing running on the strips are the default EQs.
It’s hosting 8 instances of Play 6.1 on instrument tracks, each hosting a Multi variant voice of the Symphonic Choirs. Each instance has internal stereo imaging and built in convolution reverb going on.
Cubase was idling at around 5% according to the Windows Task Manager.
I opened my VSTi plugin rack (Right panel, or F11) and disabled all the Play instances by clicking their power buttons to off.
Idle percentage drops to 1% and less right away, which indicates to me that those East West Play 6.1 plugins are doing something while idle. What, I have no idea.
I tap F4 and disconnect the inputs.
Idle percentage is now between 0.5% and 1% with occasional spikes to 1.5%
I disconnect the control room outputs too.
It settles another fraction of a percent lower.
I hide minimize the window so Cubase isn’t responsible for screen draws.
Now it rarely tops 1%
I could keep going…in Studio Setup, and disable more and more stuff.
Awareness of 64 possible ASIO Link inputs/outputs.
Tinker with ASIO Guard.
Other things that might matter:
I’m using ASIO buffer size of 256k. Things are going through ASIO Link Pro, and also routed through an instance of Bidule. Buffers and such are involved with those ASIO back end tasks…which ‘might’ have an effect on Cubase resource demands as well.
Then there is some stuff pertaining to the Graphics Card I could fiddle with as well in Edit/Preferences/General. Stuff like HDPi Application Scaling.
There’s quite a bit going in a DAW, even when it appears to be ‘idle’. Particularly if any Device ports are active.
The important thing is this:
Does Cubase bog and stall or crackle and pop when you’re trying to use it? Does your system bog down in general while it’s running? If not, don’t sweat it. It’s just doing its thing, and the OS and CPU architecture has most of the multi-threading control anyway.
For what it’s worth. I re-enable everything and play my choir project. Cubase never tops 7% CPU while playing it. So, it would appear that there’s not much difference in this particular project with this particular plugin/instrument combo when going from idle to playing (and yes, all 8 instances are constantly going in parallel and making sounds).
As for individual cores. With several browser tabs open, one playing a video, and my Cubase Project going…no cores are maxing out, the highest one gets is 20% (I think that’s the one Edge Browser is using to play my video), and none of the cores are really pegging out and running anywhere near the 3.8gig mark…most aren’t even topping 1ghz. Yes, when I play the project there is activity bouncing around on pretty much all 24 cores.