Possible to compare ASIO usage amongst plugins?

I was wondering if it was possible to compare how much power it took to run different plugins, say for instance that you have two different EQs that do the same thing, so that you can minimize ASIO usage and prevent ASIO overload more easily. Thanks!

Use the ASIO meter.

Two tracks, same audio.
One EQ on one track, the other on the other track.
Turn off one of the eq’s and turn off that track’s monitoring.
Turn on the other eq and that track’s monitoring.
Make note of the ASIO meter’s position.
Switch settings.
Make note of the ASIO meter’s position.


Alright, I wasn’t sure there were any values anywhere that you could compare against one another.

EDIT: Do you know offhand if built in Cubase plugins will always be easier on processing power than 3rd party plugins or does it vary?

You may be able to tell something from the stated latency of the plugin.

On second thought:
I don’t think that ASIO usage is what you’re looking for anyway.
CPU power is what plugins consume.
ASIO is how many tracks you can monitor at once.

Completely depends on the programming of the plugin. Cubase plugs can sometimes be better, sometimes not.

I’m running into ASIO overload (running around 25 plugins across a few group channels) and I’m trying to consolidate the plugins I’m currently using and see if there’s any lighter alternatives to the plugins I am using was why I was asking. Nothing I’ve read on ASIO overload has seemed to help besides the obvious freezing of tracks.

The Buffer size used by your sound card relates to the “strain” put on the ASIO system. If you’re running into buffer under runs then raising the sound cards buffer size can help.

If you are running into problems with ASIO overload due to too many plugins, it may be worth while reconsidering the way some plugins are being used! For example if you are using reverbs as inserts and find you have inserted many reverbs, then using less reverbs on FX channels and utilising the FX sends on the channels will help reduce the load. This goes for other FX that can be run as parallel FX.

A way of finding out how much “strain” a plugin puts on the CPU and hence the ASIO system would be to load up channels with the same plugin untill you start getting dropouts, count how many instances of that plugin you managed. then repeat using an alternative etc. You will note that the number of plugins you can manage will vary with the buffer setting on your card (to some extent) low buffer size = less, bigger buffer size = more (in general)