CPU / RAM questions for the highly experienced

Hi, just throwing up a few scenarios as my template is getting rather large. Appreciate you seasoned pros out there replying! Thanks!

Is there any difference to CPU whether…

  1. MIDI track is disabled vs. MIDI track has all contents deleted
  2. MIDI track is disabled vs VSTi is switched off
  3. MIDI track is disabled vs Has content but it Muted?
  4. Purge VSTi (e.g. Kontakt) vs Disable MIDI track?
  1. NO
  2. YES/NO Midi track itself hardly use resources. It’s the VSTi connected that uses much more.
  3. NO
  4. Again it’s the VSTi using resourses. A midi track with no link (deleted VSTi) uses virtually nothing.

Everything that plays and produces/calculates data uses CPU. Even midi tracks, although this is neglect-ably small compared to instrument tracks. VSTi uses lots more resources but it strongly depends on what VSTi is used and how the used patch is build. A patch that uses a single oscillator to generate a simple sine wave with maybe some basic filters uses almost nothing compared to one with 4 oscillators using granular synthesis with morphing. Also some VSTi’s are better written than others and use fewer resources when producing the same type of sound.

And don’t rule out your inserts and send effects. Also these can put a lot of stress on your CPU!

It helps to use VST 3 in stead of 2.4 if possible because you can specify these to automatically render inactive when not actively used. They will only become active when receiving events.

Thanks for the helpful reply, Nickledome!

I was aware of those VST3 advantages, but thought they were automatic (I.e., I thought there was no user action necessary).

Where do we need to go to specify that sort of thing?


It might be enabled by default with the latest versions, but I’m actually not sure about this? Anyhow, you can enable/disable this under Preferences -> VST -> VST- Plug-ins -> Suspend VST 3 plug-in processing when no audio signals are received.

Additionally you can also experiment with ‘Asio Guard’ under the device settings of your audio interface and see if this improves performance.