OSX Mac users - Please chip in.

Hello fellow composers,

Music has always been the driving force of my life. I’ve been a cubase user for awhile now, had a great experience up until version 8.5 on the Mac Pro. The audio engine is fine, but have issues with the GUI being very sluggish, slow and under performing. This includes even a song with 2 tracks or more. When I pick up cubase 8.5 as of late, I find myself being frustrated with how slow the process is and am at the point I walk away from writing - thats un-exceptable for me. Some of the new VSTS are so slow patch switching, the zoom in and out scrolling, all very slow compared to 7.0 or 7.5. I’ve tried other software and the result has been lighting fast to my experience in cubase 8.5. Any fix for something like this?

On my mac pro I don’t have any other issues and honestly am now on the fence with possibly reverting back to cubase 7.5. The previous version of the software was perfect, and now I find myself losing interest in composing having to deal with such a slow composing process, which I cant have! I really just want to get back to enjoying writing, so this isn’t a post meant to offend anyone. I truly just want to get back to a point of steady production again.

My question is, has anyone else experienced this dlemma? If so, what version of cubase is fast and stable, I don’t need bells and whistles of any software at the cost of performance for OS X?

Id really like to enjoy Cubase Pro, but its been a hardship for me rather then a tool I can rely on from a production standpoint.

Thanks for the feedback,

Which mac pro are you using? I use the so called mid 2012 6 core, far less RAM than you, and are very happy on the cubase performance. I cant suggest what to do for you, but I am pretty sure like theres something wrong on your mac or cubase, your described situation is not the way 8.5 works on mac.

I really does sound like something is wrong on your system Scott. I have a 12 core 5,1 MP and before that a quad 2012 Mini i7 and Cubase 8.5 ran pretty quick including patch changes. How’s your HDD space look? If you are near max you might be experiencing page swap issues. I only mean the system drive but you sig says 16TB so it’s a long shot.


I noticed a slight lag when upgrading to El-Capitan.

Not on the scale that you’re talking about but, when I was using Yosemite with 8.5… the visuals were faster to update.

I’m on a 8-core trashcan.

I upgraded to OS 10.11 and C8.5 from OS 10.10/C7.5 last week after installing a new SSD in my 2012 6-core Mac Pro (did a complete fresh install of all OS and software).

I immediately noticed right away the EQ analysis graphics and signal metering is a bit choppy at times. I don’t see nearly as much slow down as you describe, Scott, but my first impression right out of the gate was indeed that the C8.5 GUI is not properly optimized for macs under 10.11. Not cool, considering C8 was a forced upgrade for 10.11 users! :imp:

So I agree… more testing for OS/hardware compatibility is needed… less fluff and stuff!

I haven’t experienced any deal-killing slow downs like some here, but I will say, as I’m mainly a dialogue VO editor, all of the extra, needless, accidental clicking I now have to do with the corner pop-ups, the ruler/loop and the cursor/timeline disconnection issue are by far the biggest annoyances and hurdles for me. None of these “features” are included in 7.5 which is where I lived until recently and still go back to occasionally. I am also still working in Yosemite as things seem stable. I’m too nervous about El-Cap on my now, older machine (2011) and I’m waiting until CB9 to pull the trigger and maybe with a whole computer upgrade next year.


I notice it mainly when clicking between insert, sends etc on the left of the main window, in the inspector.

Hi guys thanks for the input! I certainly love cubase and am in no way trying to make or sway folks into thinking anything else.

Let me get to the specs. I have a 8 core (2 xeon cpus) mid 2010 mac with 24 gigs of ram, SSD drive with a nvidia 980ti.

Audio works fine, tight, but scrolling, zooming, patch switching feels very sluggish / choppy. Other daws on the same system are lightening fast while the audio seems to be not as functional then cubase. Thats the catch!

On Cubase 7.5 system runs smoother, scrolling general usage while hardly using CPU power. On 8.5 its very clunky in comparison. Im wondering in stein berg didn’t optimize something here, or left an option on that is draining GUI resources. I was hoping someone possibly found a cure to this issue or at least the dev are aware of some of our problems.

Anyone find a method to speed up the interface, or uncheck options that are on by default that result in unused cpu cycles? I have a day off from work tomorrow I might give steiny a call and see what they say.

Thanks again,

Very slick here. I don’t experience any problems you describe, but I’m now on Hackintosh (4Ghz i7 16GB RAM SSD). Most stable and powerful system I’ve ever had. No longer need or use Ensemble. But I have no problems on my Macbook Pro, but it’s not powerful enough for big sessions.

I played around a bit yesterday with buffer settings and such to no avail. Again, no scroll or zoom issues like you encountered, but meters and the EQ analysis animations are very “laggy” compared to 7.5.

For ex., after starting track playback, I open a channel EQ window and after a few seconds, the EQ analysis animation will stutter and sometimes even freeze up for a moment. Then it will resume as normal with the occasional stutter here and there (dropped frames?).

It’s OK on my new Hack with El Capitan and Intel HD530 builtin GPU. It was OK on my old 10.9.5 Hack with an AMD6870. Not great, though, switching from arrange to mixer is not instantaneous.

There is some sluggishness in the GUI, but it’s not a showstopper. Erratic button behaviour in the mixer is much more irritating(I’m using a Wacom tablet)

I’m only using one 1440p screen. How many do you have?

BTW, a 980 TI for a real Mac? Why?

Oh, one more thing… It doesn’t seem like 3rd-party plugs are affected - just Cubase’s own graphics. SO it really looks to me like Cubase has an issue with El Capitan’s graphics drivers. And since everyone here seems to be using a different graphics card, this would certainly explain why users are getting varied results in regards to Cubase GUI performance. If I had to guess, I’d say Cubase is using deprecated API code…

Update GUI for El Capitan, please! ASAP!!

Everything is running great here… Producing large pop music projects with lots of VSTi, vocals, FX, groups…
No performance issues :wink:

I noticed this too! Fabfilter is very smooth on its visual representation and response compared to the the native cubase gui, which Id figure it would be the other way around. Im going to give Steinberg a call and see what they say.

Something I found that seem to help a lot so far was to turn off Transparency in El Captian “Preferences / Accessibility / Display / Reduce Transparency”. Hope that maybe this can help someone like it did me.

Best Regards,

Thanks Steve! I did do a reinstall and redid my templates, still working on tracking down this bugger! Feedback much appreciated!


On my MAC Pro CB8 outperformes CB7. I am however very reluctant to upgrade OS. I am still on Mavericks. Well “still” is not quite right. I upgraded from Mountain Lion just two months ago. Except from some re-routing everything works fine.

Tip: When I am doing an OS upgrade I change the system disk (I always have one spare). In this way I can revert by just switching back discs if thing are not working out well. This is a cheap way to avoid frustrations. Yosemite made my Powercore installation go down. So I am staying on Mavericks for a while.

(Not on topic but anyway since you have a MAC and a question of sluggishness. BlueCats “patchwork” lests you load AU pluggs and instruments into CB (not Logics own though). 32bit lives is a program that “converts” 32 bit AU to 64 bit (they will behave graphically like a 64 bit). Patchwork + 32 bit lives is the best way I have found for non updated older VST pluggs to function with better satbility than jBridge).

Is your system drive SSD?

It’s not a performance issue, it’s a graphical issue so SSD or not wont affect it.

On my system it really is the slightest thing… just the graphical update isn’t as quick as it was on yosemite. Performance in general hasn’t gone down.

Did you try the EtreCheck software to see if there are any incompatible files on your system? CS.

The problem with these “GUI feels fast/slow” threads is that everyone has a completely different idea of slow and fast. So the fact that someone says it’s plenty fast for them really doesn’t mean they’re seeing anything different.

Personally in my tests I’ve found Cubase is just slower in screen updates than many competing programs, and there’s nothing you can do to change that. Also, on OS X the UI is slower on the same hardware than on Windows. So while I can’t say for sure without seeing the system myself, my guess is outside of switching to a PC at this point (which, considering how much hassle it’ll be, I would not recommend unless you’re otherwise inclined to do so), this is the performance you’re going to get.

The bottleneck with the Cubase UI seems to be single thread CPU performance. When Apple hopefully updates the Mac Pro at WWDC, look up the CPUs at http://www.cpubenchmark.net and compare the “Single Thread Rating” to your current ones to get an idea of what kind of percentage improvement you’re looking at.