Sharing Projects : Compatibility

Assume a Cubase technical level of not a lot. I am a musician not a Sound Engineer. For some time I have been working collaboratively on Cubase Projects. Assume more or less the same software setup (Cubase Pro 10, VST’s, Samples, etc), but different hardware. Most of the time this works seamlessly. Occasionally minor tweaking with the Audio configuration due to different Audio Adapters, but even that has not been a big deal. Easily dealt with.

Basically we do not have a problem sharing Projects. We exchange them, load them, work on them, and exchange them. Have been for years.

But… the Nerd in me (I am a PC Technician) has a question which would need a level of knowledge beyond mine. Occasionally I notice an issue with latency (MIDI and Audio) that say wasn’t there before a swap but is after, so to cut a longer story short:

Is there anything embedded in a Project which might cause it to perform differently when run on another System? If the answer is no, then job done.

Grabbing a thought out of the air, how much configuration is saved with the Project which will be specific to the System that it was created on or edited on? For example Audio Driver/Adapter/Cubase Setup/etc. The implication being what might happen running it on a different System? Residual Code that could be compromising.

As I said, 99% of the time there is no problem or issue that cannot be resolved quickly and easily. Even swapping Projects from PC to Mac and vice versa. But there is this Gremlin whispering in my ear, and I want the bugger to go away… :wink:

Almost all the time people encounter latency issues is either due to plugin delays or hardware buffer size. Next thing is, if your collaborator adds plugins to the project while he is mixing, he will most likely not notice the latency, if you then open the project with these h plugins to record a new part, the latency will become very apparent to you.
Plenty of posts on the forums.here, where people swear they did not do anything, and suddenly had a high latency - just because they don ˋt understand how full plugin delay compensation in Cubase works.

Comments much appreciated. “they don’t understand how full plugin delay compensation in Cubase works”. That’s me for starters.

Your comment “if your collaborator adds plugins to the project while he is mixing” is exactly the sort of clue I am looking for. It may or may not be relevant in this case but worth checking.

There has to be a reason. When I have to Freeze everything or do a full Mixdown just to be able to record without Latency, it is very tiresome. And we are not talking about huge Projects either. Quite humble in my opinion. And yet on many Projects I do not have any trouble with Latency at all for the whole Project development from start to finish.

Anyway, thanks for the reply. Having spent over 40 years in IT, I am used to workarounds…

Itˋs not about how huge the project is, it is about what plugins get used. Two Multiband compressors (or even one) on one track can be enough to get latency figures that make it almost impossible to record live. Also chack the manual for „constrain plugin delay compensation“ - might be helpful in your case. Also many Steinberg Plugins have a „live“ mode that shortens plugin delay.

Hi “the Wizzard”,

I do not know, if my finding is related to yours, but you are not alone… :smiley:
I have an Instrument Track with way more Latency than it should have. (roughly about 120ms more than normal)
I would guess my session has gone corrupt at some point.
I do share the session/Template between different Computers and different versions of Cubase. (Elements and Pro10.5 on one Machine, Pro 10.5 on another). It is even well possible, that the Template I used was created with 9.5.

I made a Video about it:
https://youtu.be/N8KoOWfDngY

Other than recreating the Track I have no solution, maybe Importing the track again with track Import might work.

So, Gremlins over here as well…

Cheers,
Dirx

Thanks for the responses.

I have up to now been a very superficial Cubase user, even though I have used it for many years. To me it was just a means to get ideas into sound. A long way from the good old days of recording onto a cassette recorder, then playing back through a mic mixer while recording on another input to a cassette recorder to get multi tracking. It’s a fantastic way to generate massive amounts of noise :wink:

As I am now retired, I am spending a lot more time with Cubase, so need to get my head around the animal far more comprehensively.

The Rig I am using is a bit dated but still worthy. Horsepower isn’t really an issue. The UR22 has made it perform so much better with Cubase.

I have spent a very intensive couple of days looking into the System. Playback latency is not a problem. It is when monitoring an Audio Track (and it happens with MIDI too) that the latency can be severe. I haven’t a measurement of how much that is, but as a performing musician, it was basically unplayable.

So I went through a rigorous process of examining all the technologies on the Rig, from the Firmware upwards. Switching off all variable power controls so the CPU isn’t interrupted by changes to state (as much as possible). Removing superfluous applications. Minimising TSR’s etc. All latest Drivers and Updates. Changing Processor scheduling to Background etc etc. Windows 10 is a b itch to nail down but there it is. The price you pay for a comprehensive general purpose Operating System. I’m amazed it performs as well as it does.

Anyway, despite all these efforts I was not able to remove the latency completely but it did reduce it. The Real Time Monitor now ticks over in the 20% region most of the time even with monitoring on. So why the latency? CPU’s (12 Logical) ticking over at 10% average. SSD (SATA) for System Drive. 32GB RAM.

However, I can get pretty damn close now by either Freezing everything or Rendering in Place AND winding the Audio Buffer right down. But even with an Audio Buffer of 32 Samples there is still a tiny latency, but it is useable (which it wasn’t before).

My control was creating a new Track with just 1 Audio Track. Absolutely no detectable latency whatsoever. So whatever it is, it is the Project somehow. Even if no Plugins are being used (just VST Instruments).

My research also revealed that there is no one shot solution for all systems. So many things can contribute. Use a different Audio Adapter can change everything. A badly written Driver. It all seems to resolve to how the Audio Buffer is being handled and that is down to the CPU at the end of the day.

Hark at me sounding as if I know what I am doing. But I have learned a great deal in the last 48 hours. And in the not too distant future I will be upgrading the Rig to more current technologies which I hope (if I get it right) will perform better.

But I do have one scratchy head issue. If I load a Project and do nothing, the Audio Performance Monitor flicks up and down a bit, sometimes up to 20%. What is going on in the background that causes it to do this?

But even more curious, is why the red bar (clipping?) appears and the Average and Real Time gauges haven’t moved at all? Nothing playing. Just sitting there idling. Performance monitors and CPU ticking over at 10% or less, then zap! Red bar. Gauges do not move. I suspect something in the system (background) more to do with the various Firmware and Windows, but don’t know. It just seems weird.