Performance Issues

I’ve got an audio performance question:

I’ve got a current project in development (16 channels) – I am having some performance issues (crackling/some dropouts occurring). The question I have is regards to audio performance visual feedback when Cubase is idle (i.e., nothing is playing back). My audio performance meters jump up and down and peak regularly. Is this normal? If not, could it be related to my system setup? I also experience Cubase crashing fairly regularly. I’ve attached 3 screen shots of Audio Performance meters: Two are almost pinned at peak and the other is where the performance meters sit constantly when NOT PEAKING. Again this is when Cubase is not playing back. Shouldn’t the performance meters be sitting idle when my Mac is not grinding away?
Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 11.24.56 AM.jpg
Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 11.24.47 AM.jpg
Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 11.24.25 AM.jpg

Mine is the same on 12.12.6

same computer as yours

if you have a twin i presume thunderbolt? Therefore even though i’m using an apollo blackface 8 we are using the same driver

it’s just the way cubase is…even in an empty project with zero tracks, at 64 buffer the real time meter is bouncing around.’’

The difference is, I am NOT having audio issues, just a bouncy meter.

I can do heaps before i have an audible problem.

Please tell me what buffer you are running the apollo at? If you are 32, then you are asking too much of your macbook pro i feel.

Also try the free turbo boost disable app… our cpu stays at a constant 2.8ghz when cubase is playing… i found i get much more reliable results… cause when the laptop would jump to 3.46ghz in turbo, and i;d get a slight bit more performance out of cubase, it would then go to 95 degrees, fans would spin and it would throttle back down and then i’d get a dropout… my temps now never go above 80 even when hammering all cores and the fans never spin up ! Much more predictable performance. Hope this helps a bit at least.

Thanks for the info - much appreciated.

A couple of notes from current project: This was a project that I started before I bought my Apollo Twin Thunderbolt (although I did have the Satellite UA-2). Maybe, changing from my MOTU 8pre over to UA’s drivers is causing these random crashes in cubase? The project also had a number of non-UA plugins as inserts which may have required too much CPU. I tried to mitigate by using FX tracks so I could use sends to reduce the CPU load. Anyhow – after this I still had the odd random crash. Also – this project would not run well under 768 buffer setting which is brutal.

After reading your message, I did some testing this morning.

I changed my buffer to 128. Anything lower than that will cause dropouts (setting it at 32 simply grinds everything to a screeching halt - 64 is not that close behind).

I opened up an empty project and recorded a guitar track and vocal track (then duplicated to create around 6 audio tracks). Then added 3 VSTi’s (Waves 88 Keyboard, Groove Agent SE and Kontakt Vintage Organs).

I then loaded up on UA plugins and a few non UA plugins (Izotope dynamics and a couple of CPU intensive Waves Reverbs).

I also installed the Turbo Boost disable app (more on that later).

I’m showing 85-90% CPU and 95 degrees with my test project. Dropout still occurs when opening a plugin or instrument during play back (probably normal behaviour).

Turbo Boost - installed the app (had to tell security preferences that I agree to the install). But it won’t allow me to turn off boost? When I try, my mac asks me for my login password. Not sure how to fix this right now (I read that you should not install the turbo boost app from the downloads folder which I did – so I uninstalled and re-installed from my desktop). No joy.

So, the problem may have been due to the change from MOTU to Apollo interface - really not sure. I’ll need to do a full project using Apollo to see if the problems persist.

Off topic question – do you use virtual channels much with your Apollo? I’ve tried them to route an audio track to a virtual channel (with a few UA plugins inserted), then routed back to Cubase. Problem is you can’t mix-down with the effects applied. I haven’t explored too much in terms of virtual channels, but it seems like adding UA plugins as inserts within Cubase is better (obviously with some latency in Cubase).


No i don’t route VI’s to console… but i do use halion sonic and kontakt and nexus… a lot, in Cubase itself with apollo at 64 or 128 buffer… no problems.

Turbo boost app must be directly in you app folder, no sub folders, and the free version requires your password when you start it… that’s correct. It’s only $10 to buy so will do that myself soon, i keep forgetting as have been so happy with the free one.

Maybe high sierra is the issue… i really have no idea…but i don’t think changing from motu to apollo could crash things! I presume you have uninstalled all traces of motU Maybe do that if not, then uninstall UA and reinstall the latest 9.5 and make sure there are no firmware updates needed for the apollo…

Honestly 64 is fine here… even 32 for small projects… the apollo’s thunderbolt driver is one of the best… even dawbench can confirm that on gearslutz with his low latency audio database topic…

But if the motu did NOT give you issues at low buffer, hmm, something else is going on… Was your MOTU Tbolt as well?

I got the same problem. Both Halion sound SE, PadshopSE, RetrolougeSE, GrooveagentSE crashes in Cubase artist 9.5.21. My system is Windows 10 pro, 64 bit, 32 GB ram - top specs on my PC. Audio interface is RME Babyface latest driver. And they crashes also in my other daws Ableton Live std. 10, Reaper. I tried to reach out to steinberg support team (as always have to wait two weeks for a reply (-/:slight_smile: they did not have any solutions - said that they know there were some bugs - but no help there. A part of buying Cubase at the high price is obviously to get acces to such vst plugins. I have looked at absolute 3, but am afraid that I wil find the same issue there. BTW all my other vst instruments work flawlessly e.g. komplete 10, Izotopes VSts, Waves vsts, Output etc.
Get your stuff together Steinberg!