Extremely slow offline export times on Cubase 12 / Apple Silicon Mac Studio M1 Ultra

Hi all!

We’ve recently upgraded to an M1 Ultra Mac Studio and are mostly happy with the switch from older mac and windows machines. Sessions are snappy and everything works great, except for one major issue: Offline mixdowns in Cubase 12 are taking an insanely long time, longer than if they were done in realtime - About 3 or 4 times the duration of the time selection, and this is with a small handful of plugins. Additionally, with the realtime export option ticked, it fails very soon into the job stating a drop out, despite the project not getting anywhere near the ASIO limit, and there being no issues during regular playback. The fastest way to bounce anything is to route everything to a master group, then record its output as it plays back, however working with several hours of audio eg. from music festival multitrack recordings is so inneficient that its basically unfeasible.

Things we’ve tried:

  • Running the consolidated project from the internal SSD or external SSD
  • Fresh reinstallation/wipe preferences etc
  • Tried the same projects on Cubase 11
  • Tested whether its an issue with bouncing to a different sample rate as mentioned in other threads (Believe this was fixed with an earlier update anyway)
  • Tested all the available audio drivers, including no driver
  • Tested minimum through to max buffer sizes
  • Removed UAD plugins; no noteable difference whether plugins are UAD powered or native
  • Tried various C12 updates (currently on most recent)
  • Removed all input and output busses except for stereo out
  • Killed every other possible app/process just in case

Removing every single plugin in the session makes the offline export take a fraction less than realtime, and the export time does get reduced as more plugins are removed. Switching Cubase 12 from Rosetta to Native with the same plugins does seem to speed it up somewhat, but too many plugins we rely on are not M1 friendly yet so can’t fully test that, nor commit to the switch.

Has anybody else had this issue or found a solution? Is there something very obvious I’m missing? Should we just go back to Intel? :upside_down_face:

Thanks everybody.

For what it’s worth, I’m running Cubase 12 on an Intel 12 gen Windows 11 machine, and am also astonished at the very slow audio exports. It feels like this used to be noticeably faster in previous versions of Cubase, but I don’t have any measurements, so take that statement for what it is …

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Thanks Timo. What’s weird is that offline mixdowns were fine on the previous 6800k windows + I7 Mac machines on Cubase 12, the only variable between the set ups is M1.

Is it still faster than realtime on your end?

It’s barely faster than real time, but given all the processing power I’ve got in that machine, it should be noticeably faster…