Inserting a plugin on 1000 tracks at the same time takes too long

Hello! I’m making a huge template (about 700 tracks in total) and I ran into the following problem:

If I select all of my tracks and insert Steinberg’s Studio EQ plugin on all of them at the same time it takes about 4-7 minutes. Then, if I delete the plugin from all of the tracks at once it takes about 5 minutes of waiting again. There’re no VST instruments loaded on instrument tracks and no plugins in the project. The cpu meter in cubase always stays pretty low.
Is it a normal and expected behavior? Is my PC way too slow? Is there some kind of a setting I’m missing (I checked them though, including Windows performance)? If I insert a plugin to a couple of tracks at the same time, they load immediately.

My buffer size is 1024, PC specs:
Cpu: AMD 3600
Motherboard: Asus x570-PLUS(wifi)
RAM: Crucial DDR4 16GB x4 (=64GB)
Graphics: Asus Radeon RX580 DUAL
System SSD: XPG SX8200 Pro (512GB)
OS: Windows 11

Why are you doing this? Every track has an EQ already… and it’s the same EQ type.
I don’t get it.

Ok. let’s say I insert Magnetto to get some saturation or a SoftClipper or any other plugin for any reason. (There’s already Magnetto in the channel strip, but I use Steinberg plugins just as an example here to exclude any issues caused by 3rd party plugins first. It could be any other saturator or whatever plugin from other vendors). Some controllers like Softube Console One even require you to use their plugin on each track.
Anyway, my point is:
I was doing some testing to see how heavy my project is and how well it responds to basic tasks, so I got really surprised by the time it took to load a single plugin on multiple selected tracks and it’s suspicious whether it’s a normal behavior or not.

Your experiment cannot really a be used as a benchmark of computer performance, though

To put it simply my Question is: Does it take more than 3 minutes to load a plugin on 1000 tracks at the same time?

Could it be useless?

Well, in my actual template I have all of my go-to intruments loaded, named, colored and routed. It turned out to be around 700 tracks. I said there’re no instruments loaded, because I got rid of them to see if the waiting time would be reduced and to make sure they’re not an issue here.

Let’s make a simple calculation:
5 minutes are 300 seconds. Divide that by 1000, that’s around 0.3 seconds instantiating time per plugin. For a simple plugin like that I think it could be lower, but as Cubase most likely does the operation sequentially for each channel, I think it is not outrageously off.

1 Like

For this kind of long process, may be it could exist a batch mode to do it in background ?

Not really, as a batch operation doesn’t really make sense for an action that affects real time audio processing…

This is like inviting ten orchestras, hundred bands with all their instruments plus all exotic musical instruments at the same time into the studio - just in case some of them could be needed.

I dare to question the approach.

I don’t really want to take this post into this direction, but I’ll answer. This “questioned” approach is used by many professional composers (Junky XL, Alex Pfeffer, Blakus just to name a few that came to my mind rtn). It saves a ridiculous amount of time for them and it works wonders for me as well too. I just was surprised that loading a plugin on multiple tracks can take a while. The whole Vienna Ensemble Pro app was built for that purpose (to run smoothly a ton of VST instruments) and is widely used in the industry.

Your comparison with having 10 orchestras in one studio is a bit off to be honest. The hundreds of VST musicians are still there for you, except you have to “call them and wait for them to drive to your DAW studio” whenever you need them. While having a template in this case just places them closer to your finger tips, because modern technology allows you to have that luxury. (I also doubt you can realistically have a single orchestra in a studio to compose, improvise and experiment as it would be too expensive to pay for their time). I personally don’t have every instrument I own loaded there and it really depends on what you personally expect from your Template and how well it serves your purpose.

1 Like

If these professional composers are your reference point, maybe you should investigate what kind of machines they are using. Without knowing too much about your CPU AMD 3600 I dare to doubt that those guys run their mega templates on such a tiny cpu…

1 Like

Thanks for sharing your view!

I brought up mine just to give a hint: It happens to all of us in live that questioning our approach can simplify things a lot. Sometimes we tend to look how others do things without knowing how exactly they are accomplishing what they do. THere is an excellent video on youtube by Guy Michaelmore where he discusses the pros and cons of huge templates.

1 Like

I know what gear some of them are using cuz there’re literally videos on YouTube where they explain their setups.

I have referenced those composers just to support my approach and my point of view on building a template in a certain way. I’m building my own template that just happens to have many tracks in it. I was just surprised that on my machine (which is why I specified it) the process takes a while and I was wondering whether such a loading time is actually ok for an average desktop PC or there was something I could be mussing.

I think I understand your point.

I just wanted to give a hint that if you want to play like the big boys (using templates with thousand tracks) then you should better have the money to invest in big boys toys.

Hi Andre,

I think that jazztom is right in that all those composers you quote are using systems that are very much more powerful than that which you are trying to do the same thing on. I know Junkie XL was using (he’s no doubt moved up now) a base 16core PC with 6 ethernet connected servers running Vienna Ensemble Pro to get to that 1000-track template you desire. What you are trying to do on a much more modest machine is always going to struggle.

I do understand the templated approach and it’s flexibilities but we are always at the mercy of our available hardware, it’s certainly not a fault of Cubase.

So you want to play real time audio when inserting an effect in 1000 tracks ?
Strange ?
May be you have not correctly evaluated my answer.
This kind of massive action has always been better assumed by the OS when triggered in a background process, what we call a batch.

The whole Cubase engine is a real time audio, and you are inserting 1000 plugins into that. You could debate whether Cubase should lock the GUI thread during that time, but I guess there’s some good reasons for that (developers usually aren’t stupid).
Apart from that, it really doesn’t make sense to waste any developer time on such an edge case. There is really much more important stuff to do.


Batch doesn’t mean background…

1 Like