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
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.