GUI Lag and FPS drop when certain plugins are open

Hello there,

it happens to me, that the entire Cubase GUI begins to lag and FPS drop substantially, when using 2 specific plugins.

  • Neural DSP Parallax
  • Mastering the Mix Reference

The FPS drop during Parallax is so heavy, that the Cubase GUI basically does not react anymore besides the Parallax one, when it is open (feels like 10 fps). As soon as I close it, the issue is completely gone.
When using Reference on a heavier project sometimes certain operations do not work, like placing the play cursor by click, etc. The window sometimes just does not react (feels like 20 fps).

My CPU is never near max usage, when having this problem. It happens also on small projects.

I already informed the plugin manufacturers, but is there also a setting we can make inside of Cubase to make this better? Has anyone else encountered anything similar?

(PC specs in my profile info).

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Sure, this is part of the OpenGL issue.

A lot of plugins that use OpenGL, like iZotope plugins, increase the CPU usage by a large amount as long as they are open. As soon as you close their interface the usage goes back down.

You would say, why the heck would it do this, OpenGL is supposed to use the GPU in order to relax the CPU, well no, in Cubase it does the opposite.

The same happens with Sonible Entropy, but with that particular plugin it also causes the whole Cubase GUI to stutter when tweaking parameters, and even more concerning, the audio glitches out as the stutter happens, regardless of the CPU load and buffer settings.

I can post example GIFs if you wish.

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Oh okay, good to know this is a known issue! So this is a bug inside of Cubase only, or more like a general OpenGL issue?

Is there a statement by Steinberg to this perhaps?

Thanks for the info!

Ah, good questions, I have no idea.

To me this looks like an issue with VST. :wink:

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Heh, what did I say.

Oh okay, so this probably happens also with VST plugins in other DAWs :thinking: I am gonna try that today.
I’ve read, that a workaround can be to disable opengl inside the plugin, if there is any option to do that. At least the CPU hit should go down by a bit. So we at least could try to ask the plugin manufacturers to implement such a “feature” in the meantime.

I find it interesting, that there isnt much more discussion about that. Especially if so many plugins are affected.


This probably is also somehow connected to other GUI lag issues I had, without any plugin windows open, but on big heavy projects.

Especially when having multimicd and quantized/edited drums the GUI begins to stutter, when scrolling through the takes, and making minornchanges to the edits. In order to have it working fast again you would have to bounce the files.

Or the laggy feel when having a lot of tracks inside a heavy project, moving around the mixconsole feels a lot less snappy the more tracks you add.

Tested it in Reaper and could reproduce it there with Neural DSP as well, it is a bit better there though. Reference instead worked just fine.

Well, in my case there is no crackling, probably because the CPU is still powerful enough. But the crackling is horrible.

So I was in contact with both plugin manufacturers (Neural DSP, Mastering the Mix) and they will look into it.
The issue for both plugins goes away, as soon as you disable the analyzers shown in the plugins.

@Louis_R the Neural DSP Parallax has a standalone mode, basically an .exe which can be run in Windows directly. And even there is a GUI lag introduced. So I am not sure, if the issue is related to Cubase directly. Probably to the VST format in general?

Do you mean Cubase also lags when using the standalone executable, or is it Windows that lags ?
The .exe isn’t VST, but both are using OpenGL. In that case this looks more like the plugin is requesting all resources to process its graphics, and it takes precedence over other programs.

Windows lags slightly and the standalone window of the plugin lags like it does in Cubase (a simple check is to move the plugin window around, by grabbing the title bar and check if the anmation feels smooth or not).

That’s very weird.
I’m really curious about what the Neural DSP folks will say about that.

If you have some spare time, it would be great if you could download the trial of parallax and try it out. Neural DSP said they were not aware of this issue. When using it in the DAW just open it multiple times.