Does track mute decrease CPU burden?

Hi :
Does track mute decrease CPU burden?

Then how about bypassing insert effect?
Is it the same to bypass or to delete insert effect, on the aspect of CPU burden?


To my understanding, mute does not affect cpu, neither does bypassing effects. I could be wrong about that though, but I have not noticed any noticeable difference on my own system when bypassing plugins. But I do see a difference when I remove the plugins entirely. The most effective way to save CPU is to either freeze tracks, or to disable tracks. You could also render tracks with the effects and then disable the original track.
You won’t hear the disabled tracks of course, but you won’t lose any data this way and can temporarily “remove” tracks if you don’t need them for the moment and save power.

I do want to add though, that plugins affect the CPU differently. I have personally never had any cpu-issues with any plugins, especially not with the included ones in cubase (they are well optimized, the rack is really good), and I do not have a very fast computer.

VST instruments are the most CPU demanding. Also, limiters can take some cpu power because they can be quite advanced “under the hood”, especially maximizers, and they sometimes read ahead causing slight latency. But you can wait with limiters on your master-fader until you export your track anyway.

When it comes to 3rd-party plugins I don’t have more experience than with waves and slate digital, and I find in general, that slate seemingly use no power, quite incredible actually, while waves often take a big hit on the cpu.
But, I have never had a problem with these plugins, I think my computer is still fast enough for that.

Do experiment with the power options if you are on a PC. (Mac I don’t know)
Also go to VST audio system in device setup and play around with the options there. Change the latency, ASIO guard, multiprocessing and Audio priority. And it does help to have a good sound card with a proper ASIO driver. I find that the included generic ASIO driver that comes with Cubase is unstable and not very good. A better option would be ASIO4ALL which is free driver and quite impressive and stable.


In MixConsole Alt click on the power button will turn off the plug instead of bypassing which will stop it using resources.

Thank you very much!! :smiley: :smiley: cheers!

Vst3 plugins can turn off processing when no audio is feeding them.
There is a preference for that :
Preferences/VST/Plug-ins/Suspend VST 3 plug-in processing when no audio signal are received