Improve Cubase performance? Do I need an audio driver?

I have Mac Pro
S X 10.9.4
Processor: 2 x 3.06 Ghz 6-Core Intel Xeon
Memory: 64 GB 1333 MHz DDR3

I’m using East West libraries (through PLAY) as my VST.

I’m using the built-in audio driver/system in the mac.

I set up a project in Cubase with several East West tracks. Every so often, all the audio will die for a few seconds. The VST Performance meter starts clipping. I even may randomly get the loading “beach-ball” cursor icon and Cubase will stop responding.

In my project, I have about 45 different instances of PLAY through instrument tracks. Each has probably about 3-10 different instruments loaded. So, roughly about 150 PLAY instruments loaded into about 30 instances. I’m dealing with orchestra samples, and have been trying to do everything through expression maps and keep it at one track per instrument. Does Cubase preform better having, say, 5 tracks/instances with one instrument each, or should it be fine handling one track with many instruments loaded? How about Instrument vs MIDI tracks; is there a performance difference there?

If not, what should my ideal Cubase settings be to prevent this?

it’s just that (as you can see from my specs above) my computer is fully loaded with all the RAM it could have and Cubase is still acting up. It may be that I’m pushing it a bit too far, but you could say I was just trying to see how far it could go, and honestly, it’s not as far as I was hoping.

Aloha C,

You won’t be able to record this way but try raising your
buffer level to max to see if your heaviest projects ‘playback’ properly.
(I record with buffers lo then plack-back with them hi)

In the past I would have stopped reading your post at:

I’m using the built-in audio driver/system in the mac.

Because while it does work, that system in the past has been not so good.

But in later years this part of the Mac has become
much more useable; And it now works (in/out) at 24 bit.
(not sure about your specific ax tho’)

That being said; my ears tell me that almost any external 24/44.1 (or above)
audio interface will sound better that the Mac’s built-in kit.

Good Luck!

My buffer has been at max and it’s still having problems.

So, you’re saying that getting an Audio Interface would surely improve playback and VST Performance?

Can’t say that it will be more efficient (give you more cpu juice) but it IMHO will most likely
sound better.

So, you’re saying that getting an Audio Interface would surely improve playback and VST Performance?

A really good one may just do that.
1-Check with the manufacturer.
2-Perhaps a user here will chime in with some info.

If I did not have my two Steinberg/Yamaha n12’s, I would check into some
RME or Focusrite stuff.

The one’s I have heard sound ‘killer’.

Good Luck!

Just a thought:
To access more ram, you are running your ‘puter and Cubase at 64 bit?

One other suggestion and a kool thang about the Mac (if you are brave).

Since you are not using any external audio gear,
(not sure about MIDI) you do not have to worry about ‘drivers’ etc.

So think about running yer Mac in ‘Bootcamp Mode’ (running Windows on a Mac).

Cubase in a Windows environment is IMHO without a doubt more efficient and ‘zippier’.

I say this because my buddy and I have the same exact gear (hence access to the two n12’s)
but he runs his Mac and Cubase in while in Bootcamp.

Good Luck!

Yes, I am running Cubase in 64 bit mode.

Interesting. It is unlikely that I will be able to get my hands on a Windows computer, though…

You don’t need another computer.

Just the Windows OS programme will work on your ax.
Guess Win 7 is the most popular.

Once installed, every time you turn on your machine you have the
option of booting into the Mac OS or booting into Windows. Very kool.

Yes, but how much does the Windows OS Program cost?

There is no need to run Windows on a Mac, though you can if you want. But what would be the point? You haven’t opimized the system you have yet, so imo it would make sense to do that first.

An audio interface will perform much better than the built-in sound on your Mac, even one at the low end of the price range. The software the device uses to communicate with Cubase- it’s drivers– is where the perfromance gain comes in. This would mean lower latency at a given buffer setting for sure, and other gains.

There are many pro recording studios and post production houses who use both Nuendo and Cubase on Mac. Including Curteye’s. (Aloha :wink: )