High performance professional bullet proof Mac setup

I’m tired of having issues, so this is the question:

I want a stable system. I am a demanding user and my system is always fully loaded, with lots of tracks and plugins. I have tons of plugins (legit), external synths and fx and I produce, compose and mix for advertising, records and film (so I need video output).

Is there any 100% stable setup for that?
anybody can share his/her winning setup?
Should I try another Daw?

I’m having most of the common issues (CPU annoyances, video output, GUI related crashes, etc) and it’s a deal breaker.


PS: I’d like to keep using Mac, btw

My system in my signature is very stable and is somewhat older than yours and I am even
running an unsupported OS.

Looking at your signature the first thing I would ditch would be the nocturn I had one and it was crash city for me

Also be aware of any plug ins that cause gui crashes if they do forget them and use an alternative
Even though I still have a DSP card a powercore I only use it for the Acess virus these days. I used to have a UAD2 as well and I have found the more you bolt on your system the more problems you will have. I gotta say since that the Steinberg audio interfaces I have never let me down. Before I bought the MR816Csx I had an RME Multiface PCIe which had better low latency performance but would sometimes kernal panic my system.


Thanks for answering.

I use the Nocturn just as MIDI device, so Automap is not involved. The RME is working great here.

Roll back to 7.0.4. See if it’s more stable for you.

The ASIO meter is very power user unfriendly… because it doens’t tell us what’s causing the meters to spike. So you must stress the system, and then remove stuff until you find the culprit.

7.04 es buggy as hell, so it’s not an option

IMHO 100% no.

And the more (and varied) 3rd party stuff added will diminish
this goal even further.

This might be the best option for you; reason being you said:

PS: I’d like to keep using Mac, btw

Even tho Steinberg does make a version of Cubase for use on the Mac platform
for the most stable system using Cubase 7.0 (and above) Steinberg recommends using an HP 'puter.

From the site:

Made for each other: Cubase and HP
Finest software requires finest hardware. That’s why our best software specialists rely on the world’s leading PC hardware manufacturer. Cubase 7 is quality-tested with HP’s professional Z series workstation computers, ensuring highest performance and maximum reliability packed in a rock-solid chassis. Carefully selected components optimized for recording, editing and mixing allow for efficient audio data transfer rates throughout the whole system. Be it the industry-proven Intel XEON processors or the ultra-fast SSD drives, HP Z machines squeeze the best out of Cubase, speeding up your entire studio software environment.

Antonio as a Mac user I know from personal experience Cubase is more efficient on a PC than a Mac.

Also I believe these days PCs can be just as stable as any thing else on the market and unlike a Mac
you can get PC’s built specifically for DAW use. Hard to get more stable than that.

But even then as I stated above, the more 3rd party stuff added, the greater the chance of conflicting

Good Luck!

Antonio, I was in a similar situation some months ago: I couldn’t make Cubase performing as I wanted in OSX. It’s a well known issue. I’d recommend you to try Windows 7/8 via Bootcamp, you’ll see the difference, in my case it was like night and day: some around 30% more performance using the same plugins at the same latency settings. So now I use Windows 7 for audio tasks and OSX for the rest of daily duties.

If you want to stay in OSX, I guess your alternative should be Logic X, it’s tailored for that system and well known to perform nicely at low latencies and fully loaded with plugins.

At the end, for me it was a decision between sticking with my favourite DAW (Cubase) or my favourite operating system (OSX). Cubase won… for now, at least. And I must admit I was one of those people who sweared they would never touch Windows again… :wink:

It’s solid on my Windows system. Maybe it’s a mac thing?

edit: This seems to corroborate with the other posters suggestions. Boot camp your mac, install the plugins, open your template and see if there’s a significant difference. Good luck.

Hi António,

i am using 32 bit version on osx, seems workable (still with a few bugs but not has annoying has in 7.10) update your OSX to latest mavericks.

Without a doubt IMHO there WILL be a significant diff.
As far as speed and efficiency. ‘you gon’ like it’!

The only minor setback will be finding Windows drivers etc
for 3rd party gear but like I said, that part is minor.
You should have no probs finding what you need.

Good Luck!

Thanks for the answers. I think I’m going to try Mavericks, but I do not expect any improvement. Anyway, Cubase is supported in MLion, so it should work perfectly.

But 100% ???

Why not?

I mean, did I pay for an unfinished program?

Every piece of software I have ever used is unfinished. There is no such thing as bug free software, and the closest I can think of is software that is used to fly an aeroplane. However, I doubt that they get this software for a few hundred pounds.

The best that one can hope for is that enough bugs get fixed to make a good workflow possible before development finishes on that version.

BTW, your computer OS contains lots of unfinished software. If it didn’t, there would be no update patches to fix things, so it is not exclusive to Steinberg.


Hallo Antonio, this is a good question, but I’ve another question for you, do you need your expensive plugins? and expensive external hardware? if not, Cubase 7 seems to be your best choice, other ways the most stable version is 6.5 under OSX in 64bit mode. I’ve tried and spent days with cubase 7 and logic x, tryin to update the system but, I use a LOOOOOT of tracks, sometimes 200 or more MIDI and Audio, and huge quantity of expensive plugs like Komplete Ultimate, PSP, IK, Izotope, Nebula, RobPapen, Sylent, (sorry nothing from steinberg), and tons of libraries, and of course External hardware compressors, like Elysia, Maselec, SSL Buspressor, Joemeek etc. Then Cubase 6.5 is just 10% of this complete budget but the most important part. Is the engine of all the other things, Cubase 7 is not COMPARABLE with 6.5 performances, but some one is happy with C7, personal workflow is very important factor in this decision.

ah yes I’ve forgot about the system, Mavericks is terrible for audio application, then choose 10.8 is a killer together with Cubase 6.5. my system workflow is impressive actually :slight_smile:

There is no 100% stable system. No matter what DAW, Mac or PC.

One thing i would like to add is:

The PC is not really faster or better than a MAC.

Cubase on PC is definitely a bit more responsive and snappier.
For me this was never an issue, its just obvious if you compare Cubase directly on MAC vs PC.
But this applies only with projects that are not very big.
As soon as you run big projects, the performance and responsiveness is actually quite similar.
The big CPU sucker in your case ist the Video. Keep the Video small,
or much better, go for a professional external solution.

Also as already stated:
the more components, plugins and 3rd party stuff is involved in you system,
the potential for conflict gets higher. This applies actually for MAC and PC.
For that reason one should use only high quality, proven hardware.
And reliable, stable plugins.
Less is more! :wink:

Cubase runs fine and stable on my system (see my sig), it almost never crashes.
I use it for live recording up to 64 tracks, film scoring, producing, mixing and mastering.
I am actually very happy.


Just to add another perspective:

My system runs great with C7.5.2 and Mavericks.
Really no problems at all.


For me the biggest difference between OSX and Windows is the ability to run at low latency, but if you don’t need to run large projects and get down to under a buffer of 256, it may not make any difference. There certainly was a time where my projects wouldn’t have run at low latency under OSX, but these days I think that would be the exception rather than the rule.