Cubase on a cluster?

Hi all,

I have reached the limit of my current PC system (running 5.5 going to update to 6.5 very soon), NI Komplete , EWQL, Izotope izone and some more plugs. I notice that my CPU is hitting 93% and when I hit 100% I get cracks and crackling.

I want to upgrade to AMD X6 system with 16 GB Ram, yet I will be left with a AMD Phenom X2 with 8 GB RAM and a mainboard. I could create a second system with a limited budget, yet I am wondering, can I use them as a cluster? I do not mean fx teleport but trully High Performance Cluster. Does Cubase support this? Is there a node process we could use?

I have W7 Pro x64 bit and have a Vista 32 Business also still available, which I could install on the second computer.
If I would go for FX Teleport, will I have latency? Right now, when I do vocals and I monitor there is about 1/2 second delay , so I already need to disable all plugs on the vocals. I am worried if I would go FX Teleport, I will have the same issue even worse.

Anyone with experience on this? Cluster is my preferred way, but, maybe there are other options. Cubase slave node?

kind regards


Clusters do not work with real time applications, they do with NRT apps and some clever coding, however DAW’s are hard RT apps and thus will not cluster, too much latency and not big enough data path.

They will synch however, I currently have 4 computers, 4 core 955 AMD, Dual core AMD with loads of PCI slots, an old socket 462 with some ancient PCI cards in it and an old Athlon 600 machine with ISA slots that drives a couple of Terratec cards, I then have a DVI switch that is hooked up to Screen 2 of my dual monitor setup

I can synch them via optical with 2 cubase instances running or with V-Stack as a plugin host, this is highly accurate very low latency and additional Data is shared via MIDI, this gives the best results, it may be possible to use more than 2 computers in this way but the way I read the cubase manual this is not the case and I have not tried anyway

I can also synch via networking connectors, either via MIDI emulation over IP or V-Stack, this adds a bit of latency and some minor timing errors but the Cubase latency correction for external devices takes care of that for the most part, this can be using 2 or more sequencers of any make or any sort of Plug in host software.

But I find that good old MIDI is the most convenient, just equip each computer with a PCI, serial or parallel MIDI card/box (usb not suitable due to timing issues) and you will get anything working together with only minor latency and usability issues, all four will work together (although I almost never use more than 2 at a time), I have in fact had 6 computers synced up this way at one point, adding an Atari Falcon and an old laptop with some Win 3.1 utilities running on it

Why throw old computers away? When Yamaha SW1000 cards are 5 pounds on ebay why not just stuff the old one full of synth and DSP cards, install W2k or XP and run it as a synth/effect box


I like the idea of what you are saying, yet everything is digital and no outboard gear. I do not mix through an external mixer, so having everything in one DAW is needed. I mix all from the cubase mixer.

What will be the case is for live gigs. There oour drummer will need to be sync’ed to the cubase running the (exported wav’s tracks).

I have linked multiple DAWs (Samplitude SE and cubase and yes that works fine, but as said above, no outboard gear to mix it). Anyone used fx teleport before (I have gigabit lan gear)

best regards


In used to use FX Teleport, and it worked very well, albeit with rather a high latency. Most people now use Vienna Ensemble Pro. The latency is much better for one thing, and it has loads more features. It doesn’t quite work the same way as FXT, so you would have to check that it suited your proposed workflow.


Ha! I still use the SW1000XG on my current i5 W7 32 bit (not working in 64 bit!!!) Cubase Artist 6.5 and still sounds GREAT! Pitty Yamaha dropped this product with no 64 bit drivers…

Some guys I know do this with Sonic-Core boards and a few that are using this with native options, 2 or more computers are connected entirely digitally, there is a bit of a latency doing this via networking and you have to be careful when choosing motherboards and network adaptors but cubase adapts to latency issues very well, in the case of the sonic-core guys they use digital audio transports between the computers to get rid of the latency, that obviously is more expensive with ADAT, SMUX or MADI interfaces needed but there is no need to go analogue, just cheaper

On top of that my first example given in the original answer is actually fully digital most of the time, depends on how I configure it, but personally I have a tendency to go analogue anyway since I have a bunch of small mixers lying around as a rule, YMMV

Well it is 13 years old, I would not hope for 64 bit drivers, I bought it on a whim basically, something like 7 pounds (10 euro/usd) including postage, but it is surprising what sounds you can coax out of this thing one you have got hold of a good editor

Right. That is the ideea, great sounds, good reverb on it, but such a waste for 64 bit users. I still keep my 32 bit system, because of this card. Also bought a QY 100 for my MacBookPro, because of sound quality. If Yamaha guys will threw away this incredible hardware, well, I will not!

Is it really not possible? There isn’t any way to use cubase on a cluster?

All the FX-Max VST stuff was only 32bit, and he went out of business before he got on to doing any 64bit. Unfortunate, because he had FX-Freeze with Track Freeze, which could be used to freeze everything up to where it was inserted.

If you are using samplers and they form a large part of your CPU usage, the way to go is Vienna Ensemble Pro (VEP), which allows you to run up to five instances over a network. You can even run instances on your DAW system to relieve the stress on Cubase because they run in their own process. You can even set them up to be independent of the DAW so that they only need to be started once and not per project.

If you have 2 versions of Cubase…even if one of them is FREEBEE, I’d give VST System Link a try. It’s said to be sample accurate. VSL started with VST 5/32 last version, but only works as the slave, and later Cubase versions work as master or slave. In action it can be the best way to work…depending on your preferences of course. Like most anything, it’s a challenge to get going at 1st. With System Link you don’t HAVE to have both computers turn ON (if you don’t want), because you can record all your midi tracks directly into the dedicated VSTi machine - no need to send midi between machines at all. You can do everything you need ‘locally’ on that machine for FX’s etc, etc to your VSTis…THEN you can turn on both machines & System Link them together (after you do all your midi & set up VSTi’s) and either then keep them synced & proceed…OR just send over a stereo VSTi sub-mix to your dedicated audio machine - unless you want to send over multiple audio tracks, but hell, a stereo sub-mix is all that’s needed IMO, then turn off the VSTi machine, and proceed to work on all your audio tracks on the 2nd (audio) machine.

:arrow_right: You do NOT NEED a hardware mixer to use VST System Link with 2 computers either…maybe you do with 3 or more computers…but then again, if you have a very capable sound card in your master machine that has plenty of I/O then you still can do without a hardware mixer.

I’ve extensively worked with simple Ol’ midi networking between computers, it’s a challenge to get going at 1st and you have to really get to know about the midi transformer/filter, otherwise each incoming midi part/track will play ALL VSTi’s loaded on the 2nd machine…it happened to me at 1st, what a mess!

It all began when my old XP DAW had been at near it’s max on my largest projects, ie; too many VSTi’s for it’s comfort. After I offloaded all VSTi to a 2nd machine, my now dedicated audio DAW resources dropped to a never seen before low. That is of course, an audio machine + all midi tracks with that method. Works fantastic. No big deal to buy another sound card with midi I/O. I’ve bought what was a $700-$800 audio cards when new, for like $100 used from ebay. You of course have to have both machines on full after getting started on a project.

I’ve tried FX Max’s FX-Teleport, you can get it for free now to try directly from the site. It was a FAIL for me, my audio/midi networking worked far better. Never tried Vienna Ensemble Pro…I prolly won’t ever. Not with methods of syncing computers available. With both of those methods, you have to have both machine turned on full-time too.

You can also use an old Motu Time Machine (not the MTP AV) but the device meant to lock up all types of various devices, including computers…you can get them used on ebay for less than $100…this is a good way to go if you’re not a Cubase user, or don’t have 2 versions…but then again I’ve seen legacy Cubase versions for next to nothing on ebay. There’s also Steinbergs Nuendo ‘Time Machine’ but wow, I checked and is freakin’ EXPENSIVE! You can work with ONE machine on a time with this method as well (if you want).

A concideration… about VST System Link with buying a 2nd Cubase license… of say, the latest version you have…say it’s Cubase 7…how much does the 2nd license cost, comparing it to buying Vienna Ensemble Pro? I’m still on Win XP and legacy Cubase…I’ve been reading & reading & experimenting with stuff until the cosw come home for a couple/few years to find my own best solution…If I had the money, I’d buy Cubase 7, buy a 2nd license, build (2) killer 6/8/12 core 64 bit machines with ram up the Ying-Yang and use VST System Link. Last night I downloaded the Cubase 7 manual, to see if VST System Link is still included, apparently it is…but the explanation & amount of info on it, and how to set up & use it (which is next to nothing) sucks!

Don’t know anything about “clusters” per say.