How to optimize large loading time for an existing project?

Let’s say I have a project with multiple tracks, VST ect. It quickly takes VERY long to load every time I open it. I was wandering how can I optimize this, because sometimes I want to bring a musician to record and I don’t want to make him wait for my computer to load, it’s ridiculous.

I tried to freeze all the tracks before, but that didn’t seem to work. I tried to disable the tracks before loading but it still took time to load. (I expected it to load as fast as a new project)
Anything I am missing here? What can I do to optimize this?

Get a faster computer. Or faster disks. Or faster VST’s - some VST’s takes forever to load even when disabled. “multiple tracks” and “very long” doesn’t say very much - are we talking about hundreds of tracks and minutes in load time?

Without changing hardware or VST setup I guess the best thing would be to have the VSTs loaded outside of Cubase and not being a part of the project. If you use e.g. Vienna Ensemble you can have all VST loaded there and the Cubase project only include a midi port reference to Vienna. That way the Cubase project will load much faster provided that the corresponding VSTs are already loaded and resident i memory in Vienna (otherwise you will get the same load times there).

Having lots of VSTs constantly loaded in Vienna of course use up memory resources, but if your problem is mostly affected by VST load time (which it seems to be) I guess it’s the only way unless you can mixdown VST tracks and completely remove the VSTs.

Why would Cubase load the VST when it’s disabled? It makes no sense
I don’t need the VSTs if I’ve frozen the tracks… that’s the whole point.

I’m not talking about hundreds of tracks, but it can be about 5-10 different VSTs (Counting kontakt libraries as different) when the loading time starts being ridiculously annoying (Up to a minute or more). Perhaps my disk is not as fast as possible but I was wandering if there’s a way to prevent Cubase from loading them at the first place since, again, I don’t need them - they are frozen.

Reading my previous post I realize it sounds a bit rude. That was not my intention, sorry.

I agree that it doesn’t make sense to load a disabled VST but from what I can see Cubase still does it. And different VST behave differently. 10 tracks with disabled Keyscape have a very minor impact on project load times even though it takes forever for each VST to load all the samples once the project is loaded. 10 tracks with disabled Avenger put a considerable delay on the project load time even though each VST load it’s patch very fast. And I cannot see any significant difference in load times if the VSTs are enabled or disabled.

Hopefully someone else have some good advice on how to lower load times but the only thing I know of is to remove the VSTs from the project - hence my recommendation to load them in Vienna instead.

If you ask me, that seems like a bug on Steinberg’s side…

I suspect the question you really need to understand is what is causing the increase in load times.

If disabling the Tracks didn’t reduce the load time that kinda implies that VSTi loading probably isn’t the cause (never say never). Your going to need to do some detective work to find the cause.

I just did quick test. In all cases the load time includes both launching Cubase and opening the Project.

  • Empty Project with zero Tracks - 20s
  • After adding 3xBFD3 & 4xKontakt with big libraries - 50s
  • After disabling all the Tracks - 17s
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OK, I seems to have misunderstood the initial question. For me, times are as follows (only project load times, Cubase is loaded all the time)

  • Empty project < 1 s
  • 10 active tracks with 10 active Avenger VST - 18 s
  • 10 active tracks whit 10 disabled Avenger VST - 18 s
  • 10 disabled tracks < 1s

I tried with just disabled VSTs because I got the impression that this was the question, but you’re right @raino - if all tracks are disabled the VSTs aren’t loaded.

…Freeze VST with “Unload instrument when frozen” seems to be a possible solution. It also avoids loading the VST at project load.

ShacharHarshuv , can you clarify a couple of things?

When you refer to Tracks do you mean Instrument or MIDI?

What specifically are you disabling?

If using VST’s that have large presets, delete the parts of the preset not in use.

Avenger VST can have almost entire songs of settings in 1 preset… I was mistakenly duplicating these tracks, using 1 part, and leaving all of the elements not in use in the preset. My computer benches top 5% core speed and even small projects were taking FOREVER to load!!! that’s with NVMe PCIe. Deleting the unused elements improved things as there’s much less to be loaded into RAM.

Another note… Cubase only seems to use 1 core when loading, the 2nd core (Core 1). So fastest core wins here for audio again. We may see this improve in the future (I don’t know). Locking that core purely to Cubase might see some improvements, I did read up on it a while back but it’s a bit too complicated for the average user.

Load times are my biggest hate of Music Production (should I write noise production). Interesting results with the freeze, disabled etc.

There is a lot of things that can be done. For example make it multi threaded. However, it is only Steinberg that have that option.

Perhaps I didn’t disable them right. Can you clarify the difference between disabling a track and disabling a VST?

In that specific case I froze a rack instrument and disabled the MIDI track. Perhaps it didn’t really unload the instrument.
I tried to unfreeze and refreeze all the instruments and make sure I check “Unload Instrument when frozen”, and it works! Loaded in a few seconds.

For any future reference, can someone clarify when exactly is a VST being unloaded? Because it’s seems to be confusing - it’s not happening automatically when you freeze the track, and it’s not happening automatically when you disable it…? How do you manually unload a VST except by checking the “unload when frozen” option?


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Is there a way to unload the instrument after it’s frozen if you forgot to check the “Unload instrument when frozen?”

Also I don’t understand why does that option exists in the first place. Why isn’t it unloading the instrument by default ?..

That is what will happen if you are using an Instrument Track because they have a one to one relationship between the Track & Instrument. But MIDI Tracks & Rack Instruments do not have a that same one to one relationship. You can have multiple MIDI Tracks using the same Rack Instrument. For all Cubase knows right after you disable the Track you might assign a different Track to the same Instrument the now disabled Track was using.

If you want integrated control of both the Track and the VSTi use Instrument Tracks.

If you want flexibility to control the Track & VSTi independently use MIDI Tracks. But the cost of this flexibility is additional setup & configuration effort by the user.

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