First few days impression with 16 inch M1 Max Pro and Cubase 11 pro - wow

Thought some users might be interested in impressions on how the M1 Max Pro is working via rozetta with Cubase 11 Pro.

In a word - wow.

It is the most bizarre experience having a fully loaded project and not a single fan turning on. Not even on song export. With around hundred tracks. Multiple Kontakts, komplete kontrols with Strings like symphobia and other orchestral elements. Many instances of Soothe 2 (albeit on eco settings) as well as gulfoss etc.

The machine is COMPLETELY SILENT. It’s like it’s just sitting there doing nothing, until you realise it is running a big project.

It took a while to set things up, but only because I had to update all my VSTs and I have a lot. But pretty much everything now runs in Rozetta, other than waves. I need to completely repurchase all waves plugins if I want M1 compatibility and I’ve decided I’m not going to go down that rabbit hole with waves again, apart from maybe one plugin. Everything else works seamlessly. Izotope, NI, Output, Shaperbox etc etc

Battery life is giving me around 6 hours using cubase pro all guns blazing, which is pretty good. I used to get 3 hours with jet fans.

This machine is very impressive, and a joy to use. The keyboard is great.

M1 Pro Max (you probably don’t need the Max) and Cubase Pro 11 is a powerful match. And the crazy thing is Cubase is not even M1 native yet. I’m already seeing approximately a 20-25 percent cpu performance boost when comparing the audio Performance metres in the same project on both the intel mac pro and the new M1 Pro Max.

Once Cubase is M1 native, the mind boggles as to how much more improvement there will be. This is truly desktop class performance gone mobile. The laptops are back ordered for a long time so clearly these machines are selling fast. Fingers crossed Steinberg capitalises on this, and announces M1 compatibility alongside this months 11.5 release.

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Is it just me or is working on the new MacBook pro an absolute blast in terms of power, stability and all round usage with Cubase pro?

It’s an absolutely gorgeous pairing so far. Even the laptop speakers serve as a great monitor! Cubase runs like a dream.

Just wanting to share my joy.

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20-25 percent performance boost does not sound overly impressing though. Not sure if that warrants an upgrade if coming from a specced out 2019 “16 (which I presume to be roughly on par with intel Mac Pro referred to in the post).

Great to hear it works well anyway.

The 25 % improvement is based on the cubase performance metres. The overall improvement is probably many many times more. And this is only using Rosetta. cubase and many of the plugins are not even optimised for apple silicon yet. Once they are, the improvement will be unbelievable.

The part that is so surreal is running huge projects with the fans not even turning on. I’m still constantly surprised by this. The computer is phenomenal. And cubase is finally running amazingly.

Fantastic to hear that!!

Just out of interest, how big are your projects?

I write film scores and up to this point, I was in a world of pain, even with a reasonably powerful computer. Finally upgraded to very powerful PC and life is good : )

But I heard good things about the new Mac.

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My test projects have involved around 80-120 tracks of audio and around 30 VSTis Kontakt strings. Komplete. Arcades. Massive x and various others. Pretty much all tracks have fx on them. Many Soothes which use heavy cpu real time processing. Output plugins like portal. All the fab filters and soundtoys. A couple of izotope 9 advanced master chains. And it’s only at 50/60 percent cpu use on the cubase metre.
I would imagine that running many many orchestral vsts will be fine but as for an exact count I’m not certain at this point.
The cubase settings are on high however. Boost etc. but that’s always been the case in my experience.

This has been the smoothest transition from one mac to another I’ve ever had. And that’s taking into account that this has been a move to a whole new architecture. It’s a really enjoyable experience to use. Smooth. Stable. Fast. Quiet. Keyboard feels great to use. Screen is beautiful. Trackpad feels great to use. I’m enjoying using it more that my powerful desktop which is interesting.

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Yeah, that’s loaded pretty heavily. Great stuff.

Very pleased for you, the running quality of the machine is a huge deal!!

Good luck with your projects!

Many thanks. This really has made me fall in love with cubase all over again.

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Thats great news, I just tested cubase pro 11 with an m1 macbook air with 16gb ram and the performance is very very good.
I’am ordering a 14" macbook pro with M1 pro expecting 4-6 years of solid performance, my projects are not that big (40-50 tracks of audio with 4-6 VSTi’s) so it should be plenty of power for my needs!

Thanks for your impressions!!

No problem. Thought it would be useful as theres lots of varying real world use opinions out there. Some valid. Some not so valid. I’m still walking around on cloud nine. Not sure how long it will last before the novelty wears off, but I’m SO enjoying cubase 11 on this Macbook Pro.

The crazy ironic thing is I’ve been reading about lots of issues that people are having with Logic Pro on the machine, or at least on Monterrey! How crazy is that. Steinberg are seriously working some magic right now. Latest mac, latest OS, latest cubase build and it works seamlessly.

By the way I don’t think I made it very clear about the performance gain. The computer I am comparing the new M1 to is the 2020 Mac Pro 16 core desktop. Not a laptop. A top of the line MAC PRO. That’s insane.

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Exactly that’s insane!!
Are you using Mac OS Monterey or Big Sur?

Monterrey. Works great. I’m always seeing posts about never upgrading to the latest cubase. Never upgrade to the latest Mac OS etc. and if you do you’re a fool. So here’s testament to the fact that that is complete nonsense. I have never seen cubase run so well before.

Excellent!!
Thanks for sharing your experience, very useful information!

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Just wait until everything is completely Apple Silicon native. I for one am not a fan of having to run Rosetta 2 at all. As a matter of fact, when my machine arrives I don’t even want to install it. We are coming up on year 2 of this transition. It will not be long before Apple completely drops Rosetta 2 support. I wish they would do it now to force the hands of the lazy developers. They have had plenty of time with the M1 architecture to get their software ported over. Time to stop relying on Apple’s bandaid, Rosetta…

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In the short time that I have used cubase in a M1 macbook air, I can tell you that you won’t notice rosetta is translating the software, cubase runs better thru rosetta than in my intel core i7 machines.
My 14" macbook pro is on it’s way and I can’t wait to use cubase in that beast of computer.

hi m8 thanks for sharing!!

Do you have time to do a test for us?

Can you please take a stereo audio channel with audio, and add 5 x Gulfloss on that same channel?

Then keep doubling it until it chokes?

I can open around 12-13 channels with 5 x Gulfoss (so around 60 in total) and still work (Windows 10, 8700K @ 3.7Ghz, 3 years old from Scan)
I have a 2020 maxed out macbook but its WAY slower than my pc…its more for on the road only.

Intel and AMD are history.

Hi, I also ordered the m1 max and am curious how it would compare to my pc.
I did this test, never worked with gullfoss, but for this test installed a demo and set something so that it works.

50 stereo tracks. hear crackling from time to time, but nuendo runs.

windows 10, 21H1
AMD Ryzen 5900X
32 GB RAM
Audient iD44 (128 samples)
44.100 kHz
Processing Precision: 64 bit float
Multi Processing: on
ASIO-Guard: normal

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Thanks for sharing! How many tracks your 5900X can handle without any dropouts though?

My overclocked i9-10850K 4.9GHz handles 59 tracks with 5 Gullfoss plugins on each (Gullfoss realtime quality set to normal) with unusable constant dropouts, and completely stops playing audio when I add 60th track. BUT I can have only 9 tracks with a dropout free playback. Gullfoss is without any doubt a CPU hungry plugin, but it still seems kinda low, doesn’t it?

The settings/hardware difference besides CPU is I have Audient iD14 mk1 128 samples, 48kHz and processing precision is set to 32 bit float. Even the audio sample is the same :smiley:

I’m also super interested on how M1 Pro handles this. @luke7020, I would really appreciate it if you could run such a benchmark for us!