Cubase 11 and 12 performance vs Studio one and Mac m1


I am a very long user of Cubase, and never wanted to change.

I just posted on an other thread on first days with the M1 MAX.

With Cubase 11, things got levelled with windows and other Daw like Logic and Studio One.
All tests I made give better performance to Cubase (with a more fluent interface under heavy load), and the Mac version performs slightly better than the Windows version (under heavy load the interface is not laggy).

I am about to replace my i7 and i9 with a ryzen 59xx, intel i12xxxk, or an M1 MAX , so I played around with a regular M1.

The findings where interesting :

  • Studio one and Cubase performs the same under Rosetta.
  • But with Studio One Native i got a 440% increase with M1 compared to Rosetta on very heavy plugins (Acustica Audio Diamond lift for example), which is off the chart and the scale of performance (see geekbench for example, or the Gulfoss x5 bench on the M1 MAX thread).

And you have a BIG BIG plus with studio One : AU support which means that you can use Apple AU bridge, and thus use all your INTEL plugins inside an M1 native sessions ! And believe me that is a Huge plus ! You have the best of both world.

So now I wonder :

  • will cubase 12 able to perform so well ?

  • will Steinberg provide a VST Bridge for Intel only plugins ? Because right now there is so much non M1 native plugins, that either you drop all your plugins and buy others that are M1 native, or you cant do nothing.

I know Steinberg is very secret, but when I discuss with people, more and more are looking towards M1 MAX and Studio one. So a bit of information about their plans will keep some to move to an other DAW…

I don’t think they will have AU support, and that is for strategic reasons. VST is the foundation for Steinberg. With AU support most vendors will abandon VST for apple platforms. I think it is only Bitwig and Steinberg that is VST only. VST has advantages being multi platform, but Steinberg does not utilize that. (For example having their products for Linux) Apple have the advantage to control ipad and iphone and there you need AU and that marketing is growing.

I turn AU off in StudioOne here as it ALWAYS cause issues.

Not even that they do not support au, if I understand well they will not support VST 2 version starting from cubase 12.

Anything would be very strange. VST2 have been deprecated for more than 10 years. But that limitation is only for native arm as I understand it. The plugin vendors need to do some work on their plugins so it is a good think that they will have to update VST base too. Unfortunately steinberg does not have any certification process so many plugin will still not work as they should.

In my original post I didnt mention the bridge for AU bot for VST of course !
Beeing able to use intel VST in an M1 Arm session is mandatory.
That is why Apple created a bridge for AU.
Without a bridge, you are unable to use your intel plugins, or reopen a session with intel plugins !

Maybe DDMF Metaplugin can be used for some plugins. At least there is software that intend to do this. But the times that I have trying to use it have been to unstable. You can do some cool stuff like oversample single plugins without have to change your whole project.

I don’t expect to be using my M1 macbook pro as my main workstation regardless of how well the Apple native Cubase 12 performs. At least not as my main Cubase workstation.

I have absolutely no expectation or faith that Steinberg will do anything like create a well-functioning intel VST wrapper/bridge so my only hope is plugin devs to do it. By the time all the plugins I use are M1 native there will be an M3 Mac Pro and Cubase 14.

I have been surprised before, though, so here’s hoping.