Cubase 10.5 audio performance vs CPU usage

What are other peoples experiences of how much of their system is used by Cubase when it’s pushed to the limit?

Using 10.5 but had this problem across multiple versions and PCs for years, I’ve got a fairly powerful system (see specs in my signature), so I’m sure Cubase should be able to handle a hell of a lot more than I’m throwing at it, but my audio performance is peaking out even when my system says only around 30% of RAM and CPU are being used and the disk usage is about 5-10% during playback.

  • I’ve tried buffers upto 2048 & 4096
  • Disabling all other programs
  • Switching off antivirus etc.
  • Disabling background processes
  • Dozens of setting variations
  • Boosted Audio Priority
  • ASIO guard on and off
  • Switching GFX card to high performance mode
  • Audio Power Scheme on and off
  • Disabling unnecessary services
  • Changing Windows power scheme options to be all high performance
  • Changing BIOS settings

I’ve tried every performance tip I can find, but nothing seems to give any significant improvement.

Using the following plugins with a buffer setting of 2048 32bit float 44.1KHz my audio performance is maxing out at 100% even while idle 30% CPU 32% RAM and won’t even playback:
90 x Tracks
74 x FabFilter Q2
44 x SB Vintage Compressor
9 x Waves SSL Channel Mono
9 x SB GEQ 10
8 x STL Tonality
8 x Waves Scheps Omni Channel
7 x SB Studio Chorus
7 x Fabfilter C2
6 x Slate Trigger 2
5 x SB Stereo Enhancer
4 x Fabfilter MB
4 x Fabfilter L
3 x Waves Scheps Omni Channel
2 x Slate Virtual Mix Rack
2 x Waves H-Reverb
2 x Fabfilter G
2 x Waves Doubler to Stereo
1 x SB Stereo Delay
1 x Roomworks SE
1 x Pingpong Delay
1 x Ozone 8 Dynamic EQ
1 x Ozone 8
1 x Mono Delay
1 x Melodyne
1 x Magneto II
1 x Fabfilter Saturn
1 x SB Distroyer

That might look like a lot, but most of them are basic compressors and EQs that could easily run hundreds on a 10 year old machine, as for ones that are have any noticeable load increase at all there’s maybe 30 low 10-15 high increase, which isn’t that many IMO

I remember using almost that many plugins 15 years ago on Cubase SX3 and 4 with 3 gigs of RAM, a 2Ghz Pentium on with Windows XP

Am I right to think there’s bottle neck somewhere and I should be getting a lot more out of my specs? Or is there some limitation of Cubase’s audio processing I’m hitting that means it can’t use all of the resources available to it? I’m at a loss, I’d love to know if this is what other people’s experiences are with how much of their full system Cubase uses when maxed out.

No ideas?

It is annoying that VST cpu runs out long time before machine cpu resources do. And I see the same on my systems. I can’t get buffers like 4096. Are you not using any VSTi? Freezing tracks are the option left, and that works best with vsti’s.

I have the same problem on cubase 10.5 artist. Running everything on a mac mini with intel chip. Enough performance I think. But the audio performance is permanently peaking up to 100%. No ideas still?

What VST instruments, if any, are you using? If you arm a VST instrument in a very large project like this, this is where you start to push a machine to try and perform harder at a buffer size tht you set in realtime and this can push things over the edge. Disarm any tracks or simply click onto an audio channel if you have auto-arm enabled and generally this allows ASIO Guard to do its thing and calm things down.

This problem occurs with and without VSTi’s being involved, the ASIO buffer level just starts to be come really unstable after a certain level, all of my VSTi’s I bounce down into audio anyway as I want to save as much processing power for mixing as possible.

I don’t see my system specs included anymore below, but it’s

  • Win10 Pro

  • i7 5960X @ 3.7Ghz

  • 64GB DDR4

  • Libraries stored on separate 2TB Hybrid SSHD

  • 970 Evo m.2 Main OS drive

  • RTX 3080

  • I’ve blocked most apps running in the background

  • Removed most unnecessary processes

  • Latest Bios Updates

The only thing I’m wondering if it will make a significant difference is getting a better audio interface that has better audio drivers. However I’m reluctant to invest in a new interface unless I’m positive it’s gonna make a difference.

  1. The current line 6 one I’m using has 0 latency monitoring with effects that allow me to record guitar with temporary effects in real time while separating the dry signal with it’s build in interface

  2. I’d rather not spend a ton of money on a new interface if it’s going to provide little improvement over my current one.

In case you have not seen these :

Windows 10: audio dropouts on multi-core CPU setups

So Steinberg officially says the problem is gone in version 10. But a lot of reports on forum and outside tend to say otherwise.

10.4 upwards has been a slight desaster performance wise and that has been well documented in the forum
Cubase 10.5 multicore managing

It concerns Asio Guard vs the real time engine. These are posts from the same huge thread :

Quick update on the MMCSS situation with Cubendo (GearSlutz)

We have further optimised Cubase 11 […] (GearSlutz)

Recent one from 2020-11-12 on Cubase 11 :

Unfortunately this is the same issue, going back years, that we’ve seen.

-Turn off power management in BIOS (p states), then try again.
-Turn off hyperthreading in BIOS (disable all virtual cores), then try again.

Both of these steps completely remove the ASIO internal overload issue for me. Disabling CPU power management had the most positive effect, for me.

Ive been building custom systems for 30 years, including audio and video production systems. The system, I built for this is rock solid, clean, and stripped down to the bare minimum, but until I disabled p states and/or hyperthreading, the problem persisted. I also saw a 20-30% average ASIO load improvement before/after.