Since I’ve been off of Cubase for new projects until the Mac GUI problem is fixed, I’ve been mostly back on Pro Tools reluctantly, but have also been checking out Reaper again. I was noticing again that Reaper seemed to be using a lot less CPU than Cubase in my testing sessions, so I recreated an exact mix setup that was very complicated and brought Cubase completely to its knees (maxed out CPU, constant dropouts) – Reaper was sailing happily at only about 70% CPU. This is using the exact same VSTs from the exact same folder as Cubase. I recreated precisely the same routing, inserts, and audio (no VSTi’s in this session, it was just a mix). This happened when I was trying out Reaper about a year ago as well. Reaper was and is between 20 - 35% or so better with CPU efficiency than Cubase in my direct comparison testing. Both Reaper and Cubase were at 512 buffer size (ASIO Guard on high for Cubase, which is the best combination for CPU use on my setup) in this particular test. Pro Tools is also more CPU efficient than Cubase in my extensive use of it but it uses a different plugin type, which shouldn’t matter, but does in conducting the most accurate comparison test possible.
I know this has been discussed here in depth, with no solid answer as far as I’ve seen…but I’m hoping that a mod might step in and explain why this is still the case with C9? I exported both the Reaper mix and the Cubase mix (Cubase worked when exporting offline), and there is no discernible difference at all audio-wise between the two (they don’t null each other completely, but almost) – they both sound as huge, wide, and dynamic as the other. So we can take “Cubase sounds better!” out of the equation.
I’m not crying here, am just wondering why I can get so much more horsepower from these other two DAWs even on the latest flagship version of Cubase (same thing with Nuendo when I recently tried it)?