Disabling or freezing tracks on OSX doesn't seem to free memory

I’ve been reading a lot about creating large orchestral templates in Cubase and how useful disabling all the tracks by default is so the template loads fast and only enabling what you need for a project.

This has been working well. My fairly large template loads in a few seconds with minimal memory and then I start turning things on.

However, if I watch memory usage in Activity Monitor, it goes up as I enable (expected) but never goes back down if I disable or freeze and unload VST for a track.

If I disable and then close and reopen the template, the memory usage is lower as I would expect, but I really want to be able to freeze/disable in the middle of working and not have to restart to keep going.

Has anyone else seen this on OSX?

Macbook Pro
Cubase 11.0.40

I use an app called CleanMyMac to free up the memory, but there are also free apps you could try (click me).


I guess I’m not that worried if it’s “free” but cubase is just holding on to it for now and would use it later. I am just worried that it’s still actually taken up by that VST even though it’s disabled and if I use all the other ones I won’t get that memory back. That seems like the whole point of disabling tracks.

It seems that saving RAM is the whole point, yes. But it’s not.
Here’s what the operation manual says:

  • Disabling a track zeroes its output volume and shuts down all disk activity and processing for the track. ---------- (source)

CleanMyMac or similar software will allow you to keep going.

Create separate templates with different ensambles and compose for that ensambles. As an alternative to enabling/disabling instrument tracks, there’s the possibility of creating track presets.


Actually, the bummer about enabling/disabling VSTi tracks is that they don’t switch to a disabled state on their original slot. The slot empties and the remaining VSTi tracks are placed 1 slot back (ripple effect).

For example, "Bank 4" here (on slot 4!) is disabled.

Notice that slot number 4 should’ve been empty. Instead, it got occupied with an enabled VSTi track.

CleanMyMac Free Ram didn’t make any changes in how much memory cubase is holding on to after disabling tracks.

Memory usage as reported by Activity Monitor still grows when I enable a track and does not reduce when I disable them.
This is something that absolutely works on windows as most of the tips/tutorials online show reclaimed memory as one of the key reasons for disabling tracks. (example on youtube showing memory usage changes with enabling and disabling on windows Save (lots of) RAM on Cubase 8.5 - Freeze & Disable explained - YouTube)

I just wish it did that on mac.