Cubasis Secret: Distortion from DSP overload

I’ve been moving along building out a template for recording rock music based on Peter Decker’s methods.

At some point, no matter what I did, the signal began to distort. At first I thought it was a specific plug-in. I tested this theory by swapping in and out plug-ins by FabFilter, MagicDeathEye, DDMF, AudioDamage and even the standard Cubasis and Waves offerings. Only partial success.

It’s when I checked ** System Info and saw DSP usage peaking at 99%** that I understood.

Some plug-ins, especially the ones with very elaborate control systems, eat too much DSP, even on a powerful 2018 iPad Pro.

The solution was to use the more boutique compressors and limiters from MagicDeathEye, AudioDamage and DDMF. ** Now DSP hovers between 56% and 67% and there’s no distortion at all.**

Hi @dovjgoldman,

Thank you for your message.

Please note that the overall performance of Cubasis depends on various factors, such as the processor, available RAM and free hard disk space of your iPad, as well as the sample rate setting, hardware latency setting, and the number of tracks, instruments and effects used in your project.

Alongside, using third party instrument and effect apps in or next to Cubasis, can have significant impact on the iOS devices’ performance and easily lead to serious performance problems and/or crashes of the app, depending on the number and performance demand of the apps used.

To learn more, please check out our dedicated Cubasis 3 for iOS Performance Issues article.

In addition, please give it a try to set “Audio Engine Latency” to “OFF”, to check if it brings an immediate improvement. Here, it depends on the iOS device in use, if the “Audio Engine Latency” feature is available.

Hope that helps.


Thanks Lars,

I have managed to bring the DSP usage in my test track for my template down to 29%-42% just by choosing more efficient plugins from MagicDeathEye and DDMF, and more judicious use of the heavier FabFilter ones. The crackling has completely disappeared, even though my template is pretty large, with 2-6 plug-ins in inserts for most of the 14 tracks and groups in it, as well as 2 in the master channel.

I did just try the option for Audio Engine Latency. Increasing it to 10.7ms seems to increase the DSP usage by a few points. As the crackling was already gone, I can’t say if there is a difference.

Clearly the 2018 iPad Pro does have the horsepower to drive a fairly large project.

If and when I hear crackling as I fill more of my template with audio, I’ll report back.