How to disable and not bypass plug-ins

Hi all,
I have a question here.
Each time I work on a new song I open a template with my latest mix. It’s around a 95 tracks full of plugins.
But for the composition stage I would like to disable the plugings I don’t use to save my CPU performences.
If a click on the insert button on the top of my plug-ins, the blue circle become yellow and all the plugins in the track are bypassed.
But here is the problem, they are Bypassed and not disabled and my cpu almost works like they are active.
Is there a way to disable all the plungins track by track with a shortcut or something ?
I don’t want to open each plugin and clic on the top left button to disable it, the project has around 240 plugins.
Hope there is a way :wink:
Thank you guys.

You could disable all the tracks and enable them as required with a key stroke. That might be more efficient for you.

Hi William,

Coincidentally I spoke to Steinberg support about this same issue just a couple of days ago and sadly they told me there is no way of turning off all plugins in one go.

The only thing you can do is hover your cursor over the plugin in the slot and press Option (Alt) and then click and the plugin will be disabled. You will then have to do this for all your plugins. :frowning:

Hope this helps?

Kind regards

James Colah

someone should make a feature request.
Clicking the bypass blue button with the ALT modifyer to disable all inserts on the track would work for me. And maybe a red color to indicate the disabled state.

The quickest method is to quick link all tracks then turn off each plugin and that will be reflected on all tracks.

Thx guys for your reply.
The Alt click is a good solution while we wait for a cubase update.

Sadly this one doesn’t work for switching plugins off, just for bypassing. Shift (or was it Ctrl/Alt? - sorry I don’t know what my hands are doing all day long…) suspends quick link.

Isn’t there a setting somewhere (Preferences?) that ensures plug-ins are only active if they receive some audio to work with - otherwise they remain in a disabled state?

Yes! It’s VST 3.

The funny thing is that if all developers used VST3 and were able to make it work vst’s would only use cpu when they were actually being used. No signal no processing. I would love to be able to use Diva as vst 3, but for some reason uhe are finding it difficult to make it work.

For instrument tracks: you can enable/disable them with a shortcut on your keyboard. This switches the entire track off. (including inserts/sends…)
For single EFX inserts in the mixer: you have to go through this once, but you can disable them within the GUI (on/off button) one by one, and then save the song. Cubase will remember that the EFX’s status is OFF once reloaded. (and just make a template of it)
Everything on/off at once is not possible. I guess if doing so the program will just make one last sound… “boom”.

Working with a template with plenty of instrument tracks in off status but preconfigured in the main workflow window is a very quick and convenient way to work. You can allways have the entire audio chain with all efx included loaded up in a single click. I use such a template every day, and it has 1000+ tracks preloaded (but switched off). Does not use any kind of resource, and when you need something, click it and it’s there, preconfigured and everything else. It even remembers multiple outs that were assigned. (f.e. for drum kits) And if you also give a little description in the comment field, working with it is great!

The only minus is the fact that you have to do the midi-assignment every time again. You get used to it and it’s a bug, and it is reported.

Kind regards,

I finally found a way to do this IF it’s the exactly same plugin in the same insert column.

It can’t be done directly in a mixer insert slot because pressing ALT key in the mixer is actually turning ON the “Suspend All Channel Linking” function, and on the other hand if you go with ALT+SHIFT for linking, then you can only disable and not deactivate plugins.


If you select all the relevant channels and link them with ALT+SHIFT combo, you can open only one plugin GUI and click on it’s power button (top-left). This will disable/deactivate all the plugins in all the channels that you selected. BUT again, only if it’s the same plugin.

I’m very happy about this discovery I made while making a custom disabled channel strip in all tracks in my 3000 track template.

Great find. Wow, a 3000 track template. What the hell…?!? :mrgreen:

Exactly why do you want to do this? You might be trying to solve a “problem” that doesn’t really exist.

If you are doing this because you are on the verge of running out of computing resources and risking clicks and audio nastiness, then by all means you should do this.

But if your motivation is just that it somehow seems better or more computing efficient to see your CPU running at 47% rather than 76%, then you are investing a bunch of effort in solving something that won’t really benefit you.

The truth is our computers are ALWAYS consuming ALL of their CPU capacity. The ‘use by’ date on every CPU cycle is now, a moment ago that cycle couldn’t be used and a moment from now it won’t exist. Either a cycle is being used to do some useful work for you (play sounds, talk network, etc.) or if it is not being used to do some work it is just thrown away. CPU cycles are not like dinner leftovers, you can’t use them later.

Saving CPU cycles just for the sake of saving them gains you nothing useful. And if you spend a bunch of time trying then it is costing you.