Terrible Low latency Performance VS Logic, heck, even Pro Tools!

Hi… having real issues here… I have gone through 4 different interfaces… MOTU Ultralite MK3, Mbox3, Apollo Thunderbolt (best performer of the lot), and just plain on board mac sound through headphone out.

The thing is, Cubase is almost impossible to play ANY vsti with “in realtime”, under 128 buffer…

i.e if the track is record armed…

64 causes pops and clicks, 32 sounds like a meat grinder.

The latest test was with Roland JV1080, a relatively light VI compared to many others.

I can not play 4 note chord progressions at anything under 128 buffer in Cubase…

HOWEVER… once i have recorded, and the instrument track is shuffled back onto it’s “asio core” buffer (in my case 1024 samples, the normal setting), Cubase actually beats out Logic in terms of instances and polyphony… for example… when i did my last DSP test using kilohearts ONE synth, i got 14 tacks in logic playing same patch and midi file vs 16 in Cubase. Pro tools rules them all when it’s internal high buffer is instantiated… it would play 20 instances in that scenario, for example.

pro tools once again beat out both Logic and Cubase doing the same test with the JV1080, by around 10% this time.

YET, like Cubase, Pro tools suffers under 128 buffer… HOWEVER, it allowed me to play the JV1080 at 64 buffer using the apollo, which cubase could not manage.
But usually, i have to be at 128.

SR is 44.1K in all tests.
If i was to go to 88 or 96k, i’d have to put it at 256 buffer.

Now, the reason why this is an issue is, because logic allows LIVE PLAYING at 32 buffer, for EVERY single instrument where cubase fails at even 64 buffer.
Yes, once the live playing is done, and the VI’s are shuffled onto the higher internal playback buffer, cubase beats Logic… But for me, and i suspect many others(?), low latency performance is what we want.

I am certain if i invested in a killer windows machine it would all be ok… but i am a mac guy… Looking at an imac pro even but not sure if it will solve my issues (after all, playing a single VI at low latency depends on single core performance)…

To rub more salt in the wound, i set 8 of logic’s VI’s in “live buffer” mode, so 8 of them were at 32 samples, and I was able to play away all 8 simultaneously via my keyboard at 32 buffer… I would be a fool to even try this in cubase if i valued my health!

I am far from alone… I have confirmed this now on 8 other macs of various studio friends, before i wrote this topic… I had to be 100% sure… many of them use much newer macs… So 6 other macs, besides my own 2… In every case, logic can easily play love at 32 or 64 buffer in situations where Cubase falls over.

Steinberg, can you improve this please? This isn;'t a case of an issue with my machine. I have done thorough enough testing to confirm as much… It’s just the way it is.

You yourselves know that Cubase does outperform Logic in an outright polyphony test when using Asio guard, but this is not good enough… I want to play my drum Vi’s at low latency… Sometimes i may want to avoid UA console and also monitor external signals through Cubase and native FX at low latency… Right now, Logic is the KING in that regard…I mean it can basically just do ANYTHING “live”, at 32 samples…Why can’t Cubase?

If you are on MAC, and play VI’s at 32 samples in realtime, please state processor spec and interface… Much appreciated!

PS does anyone know if high sierra is any better than sierra in this regard?

How is this a hardware issue? why was this moved from CUBASE issues?

This has nothing to do with hardware… Did the mod even read anything I said? This is a CUBASE issue, cause Logic is fine at 32 buffer on same machine. I can also play VI’s at 32 buffer in S1… And 64 buffer in PT… Cubase minimum is 128.

This is a CUBASE problem.

Sweeping it under the rug and trying to get people to ignore it will not change anything.

This forum is active, and no one is hiding anything.

Largely speaking this is a discussion about Cubase performance vs Logic and Pro Tools, using several audio interfaces, and a request/complaint about Cubase performance. The issues sub-forum is for bugs and the like.

TNM you must be kidding to just CUBASE bashing. A lantecy of 8-10ms should be ok. So check that and you plugins running etc.

Oh yes, I am kidding, and am bashing cubase. Are you serious?

No, i do not like 8 or 10ms…

good for you if you are not classically keyboard trained and can not feel that latency… I can.

What’s that got to do with the topic?

it’s not just VI’s… setting cubase to 32 samples even to monitor external audio and it goes crazy whereas logic does NOT on the same machine. Nor does reaper. Nor does Studio one.

So it’s a cubase thing.

128 is where Cubase settles… this is far too high, especially for round trip latency… for Vi’s it is not too bad, as for Vi’s only the output latency matters…

however my virus USB doubles the internal buffer… this is how the dsp works… so it becomes 256 samples… much too high.

In logic i can set my computer to 32 samples which means my virus Ti is at 64. Perfect.

I HATE Logic and it’s bugs… why do you think i don’t use it anymore…

But one thing you can not take away from it is it’s low latency performance.

This is something that only steinberg can improve.

Very funny to me that i never said anything just about the latency, and you come across it is and must be a cubase thing.
And you go futher on it like you need 0 latency. You like cubase but all i hear is bs… I dont think steiberg HAS to improve anything on you assumptions…

Denis, these posts aren’t being particularly helpful. I’ll have to recommend you to stop.

Everyone has different needs. I don’t know if there’s anything he can do to improve Cubase’s low latency performance while using this specific hardware and/or OS setup, but these assumptions you’re making aren’t going to help anyone.

Well i was just defending Cubase and told the user that a 8ms latency is quite good. But hey, each time i say something or try to do something here, i get cutoff… Thx. I will not use the forum for answering other mans questions. Quess you should do that only then for now ??? thx… Even the moderator Steve told the users to be a little less hard on cubase… but hey, This user has needs. And we must protect the needs of the user,.

Posting your opinion is fine, but the way you’re expressing it is only going to start a fight. There’s no reason to assume that he’s posting this in bad faith.

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Too me there are two moderators that did not answer his posting.
If i react on it is not ok. So how to solve the posting then?

‘‘In logic i can set my computer to 32 samples which means my virus Ti is at 64. Perfect.’’

Too me demanding 32 samples from Asio in Cubase is asking for Crazy things to happen.

I have no idea why he is doing this, but thanks for interjecting.

Ok… I will try to explain it more simply…

On both the macs in my signature, not state of the art macs by any means, whether using internal audio or UAD apollo (i have also tried my MOTU ultralite on the imac as that has FW800 port), Cubase when set to 32 or 64 samples can not play Vi’s… Pro tools can NOT do it at 32 samples either, ok. No way. Pro tools HAS to be at 128…

BUT… Logic, Reaper, and Studio 1, can all play the exact same VI’s with exact same settings, at 32 samples. With Cubase, sometimes 64 works.

But it’s not just VI’s… I record 32 audio tracks at a time right, i have 2 apollo 8’s with adat filled on both, so 32 inputs each all recording hardware midi…
If i wanted to bypass the apollo mixer and use native plugins instead, i.e, use Cubase monitoring 32 channels of audio going into it in realtime, through native FX, Cubase is very problematic at 32 samples.Same with pro tools.

with logic, Reaper, S1… I can monitor all 32 audio inputs, in realtime, at 32 samples, and each with a reverb plugin on them! I mean the difference is huge. This is all I am saying…

Even though my macs are not the latest, my macbook pro is not far behind the current very top of the line one… but i admit, my imac is basically a 2600K inside, old processor. But even as such, on the exact same computers using the exact same interfaces, the other DAWs i mentioned CAN do what Cubase can not.

If this guy thinks I am a liar, I am happy to take video to show the difference, the way Logic spreads the load and how there are zero dropouts at 32 samples at ALL… even when i use my midi keyboard to play realtime very hungry synths like Diva… (cubase needs 128 for Diva).

The way I get around it now, is use the apollo for all my monitoring, using UAD dsp effects, and setting Cubase at 128 to play for when I use VSTi’s…

For me, playing piano and drums, 128 is too high… Especially when i use analog hardware synths which are basically instant.

I have no idea why this guy has an issue with me…

All i am saying is, since Logic/s1/reaper can do it at 32 and 64 samples, the fact cubase can not, means it’s up to Steinberg to fix low latency performance.
How this is bashing in any way shape or form, i have no idea. But i have muted this guy as i was getting very angry… Even when you the moderator told him to stop he kept going, and i am not going to get into any fights, so i made it simple… i have put him on ignore list permanently and will never ever read any of his posts… ever… so don’t worry, there will be no fighting from me.

Now, just to clarify… once the project starts getting really busy and full, Cubase at 128 samples actually does give better performance than every other DAW i listed, in terms of effect count and VSTi polyphony. I have done extensive tests over and over again to verify this, using multiple VSTi’s. At 128 Cubase beats S1, Logic, Reaper… The only one that matches it is Pro tools.

But the issue is, Cubase simply can’t do it at UNDER 128 buffer… for many people this is ok… for me… well… let me give you an example. IF I bypass the UAD mixer and go native, the roundtrip latency at 128 is 8 milliseconds… this is much too high to use a native guitar amp or for a real live drummer.

In Logic, i set it at 32 and have a roundtrip of 4ms. Big difference, no?

PS about the Virus TI… I use it through USB as a plugin, but the processing is all done in the virus itself, so it doesn’t use any CPU. However, how responsive it is to play, is dependant on the DAW chosen buffer size. The virus is basically always double what the chosen buffer is… So since in Cubase I have to work at 128 buffer, it means the virus is at 256… 256 is just too high… The only work around for this, is to use the analog output for the virus to bypass the USB for monitoring, but i have no audio inputs left! None!
Since i can set the buffer in logic at 32 and never change it, the virus is always at 64… which is still very playable.

Now, I know many people who CAN set Cubase at 32 samples, maximum 64… but they are using computers more than double the power of mine. I used my friend’s 10 core imac pro just 2 days ago… and he uses 4 apollo’s at 32 samples… And on the imac pro it is possible in Cubase.
However… it still falls over at 32 samples, at about 30% the VSTi polyphony that logic does… In other words, you can’t do much at 32 samples… It’s usable, but as the project gets busy, no way… Even with Asio guard on maximum. With Logic on the imac pro, we never ever had to move it from 32 samples in all our tests. So what this tells me, is, that even on very powerful machines, Cubase is still way less efficient at ultra low buffers, than the other DAWs on mac. On windows it might be a completely different scenario, I don’t know?

Can anyone tell me if they can use Cubase at 32 samples on a windows machine? I am looking at a 7900X with 64GB ram built from a local pro DAW computer builder. If i can use Cubase at 32 samples, it means Pro tools will probably work at 32 also… So i will consider to switch to windows rather than buy a ridiculously expensive imac Pro.

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Hi TNM i am using a 18 Core i9 machine on windows side, smaller then 128 buffer no way Cubase needs min.128 i always work on stable 256-512.
I think Steinberg is working on that now.
Interesting why Logic, “Reaper and S1” is better in low latency on macOS is it better on windows to?
Good luck :wink:

Wow ok thank you for that.

I noticed on my old, 2012 quad core ivy bridge windows laptop, that Pro tools works much better than it does on mac… I can set at 64 samples and leave it there… But I didn’t try cubase 9 yet on it, as it’s windows 7 so what’s the point… if i buy a new 10 or 14 core windows computer, it would have to be windows 10, and i know windows 10 has issues with Cubase and many cores.

Logic does amaze me in that regard… I don’t understand it either… I literally set the buffer to 32… and it says, “output latency 1 ms”… same as what Cubase reports… But in Logic i can arm a VI track and play to my hearts content… Or i can arm 32 audio tracks and put effects on all of them… In Cubase I simply can not do that.

I guess this is where hardware DSP solutions like Apollo do help a lot… and as I said, I can work around it simply because I do have the Apollo.

I am just tired of using an external mixer, and the apollo mixer… this is why I was considering getting 4 presonus quantum interfaces and having all my external gear go through the DAW mixer so I can use native effects… and that way have total recall… Basically to use the DAW as a “live” mixer/monitor. But yeah, 128 is pointless… it is far too high to monitor all the external synths, vocals, and guitar through.In that case, it makes sense to just keep using the Apollo.

I see you are also using apollo and your system is an absolute beast… I presume all power saving is completely disabled? This can not be done on mac and is why I always presumed Windows could work at lower latencies. However, I’d be using a similar motherboard, same interface, just a slightly lower chip… and if it doesn’t work for you under 128, then it’s likely to make sense for me to just stick to mac and work at 128…

Thanks for your help.

PS re reaper and S1… they are not so great in performance overall, it’s just that they can at least “work” at low buffers, actually in presonus, i can play VSTi’s at 16 samples! But the cpu fills up very fast… Again, at 128 samples, Cubase thrashes them… to give you an example… I copied a synth and midi part over and over… looped 32 bars… In cubase, 14 instances vs 8 in S1 and Reaper, and 12 in logic. So there you go… The actual core spread when asi guard is on, is perfect… Cubase beats them all! it’s just that bugbear for the record armed and live tracks, that i can’t go under 128.


I share your quest to have real time native round trip latency of a couple of ms.
Running a Mac mini 2018 with 3.2GHz 6 core and 32GB RAM. Projects run from external SSD Samsung X5.

I have thunderbolt 2 interfaces. Focusrite Clarett 8PreX and the newest addition a Slate VRS8. Should be capable of 1ms RTL in optimal conditions.

However, in Cubase Pro 10.5.5 I cannot use a buffer of 32 samples without artifacts in the audio monitoring.
Which leads me here and to your post.
I also wonder if the performance is better in different DAWs. I have access to Logic X and Ableton Live and will test these next.

Curious as to how you’re getting on with this issue?
Have you upgraded your system to iMac Pro? (from your signature)


Hi Thor, I just got your PM and apologise I didn’t respond to your post… I honestly had no idea about it, as it did not appear in my notifications at all!

Thanks for alerting me via PM.

Things have changed in the almost 2 years since I made the topic.

The last round of DSP tests I did with various DAWS was in December when PT 2019.12 came out. I only tested with Cubase 9.5 though as that is the one I own, the latest version, on Mojave 10.14.6.

I dedicated one day every couple months to test, otherwise it takes up too much music making time!

Logic is now the king in all tests, with reaper & Pro tools 2019.12 a joint second.

Logic can play VI’s at 32 buffer whilst a bunch of other cores are already being used… What it does is, leave a core free at all times so if you arm a track, even if say 15 of my 16 logical cores (or “threads”) are being hammered, the last one is free and takes on the record armed VI. It’s pretty clever. Logic also is able to provide the best performance for a mixture of armed tracks and playback tracks… what I mean by this is, a mixture of tracks on 32 buffer and others on the 1024 buffer. This works precisely like asio guard… record armed vi and audio tracks go on the low buffer, those that are not record armed go on the higher playback buffer. What Logic does, is devote HALF your system logical cores to the low buffer and half to the high buffer.
Let me give you an example… If you have no tracks armed, logic will spread along 15 of the 16 logical cores (in my case with the imac pro, but it can even use 56 logical cores with the new mac pro top of the range). If you arm a track, it will then engage the 16th Logical core. If you run out of room on that last core or engage more than one track for recording/low buffer, logic will then attempt to shift the playback buffer load on previous cores and provide a second one for you for your low buffer recording, and so on with the more tracks you record arm, up to a maximum of half of your total system logical cores. It works really well and seems to be able to deal with almost any realistic situation, whereas Cubase can not.

Currently I have Cubase 10.5 demo installed as I wanted to see if it was worth the upgrade… However, I have decided to upgrade to nuendo 10 instead while on sale, but I will use the demo license for 60 days and activate it when 10.5 is released so I can get that for free :slight_smile: I will devote just an hour to do a couple VI benchmark tests that I already created patches and midi files for in Logic/Pt… and let you know how I go at various buffers ok? Both playing back the midi (how many VI instances) and also playing the VI in realtime at 32, 64 and 128 buffer :slight_smile: Give me a couple days to do so.

As you can see in my sig I did end up getting an imac pro, and really, it’s not enough power to go all “in the box”… I went for the 8 core cause I still rely so heavily on UAD for effects and external synths for sounds, so, any higher cpu was not really needed for me. Ultimately I regret it though and wish I went for the 10 core, as it seems to have around 25% more plugins in real world projects, which is a lot, and now I can’t buy one without Catalina. It is also the only imac pro besides the 8 core that doesn’t thermal throttle under heavy DAW load, unlike the 14 and 18 core.

Apple are part to blame for this too, not just steinberg… I have talked in length about this in the gearslutz new mac pro topic, and it seems Apple heard and may be fixing it. Unlike windows, OSX currently has no “high performance” mode which disables cpu frequency hopping. As can be seen with both my imac pro and the new mac pro in tests, the machine is dropping drastically from the intel specified all core turbo speed, even when the thermals are not even remotely challenged. For example, the all core turbo of the imac pro 8 core is 3.93 ghz per core. In windows bootcamp it maintains this speed at all times and NEVER drops. In mac os, when the temp is only 45 degrees even, you can see it hit 3.9ghz under a heavy DAW load then suddenly drop to 3.2 (base clock) then 3.4 and up and down and so on. This is a terrible situation for a low latency realtime critical audio application. Apple are rumoured to be adding a “pro performance” mode in an upcoming catalina build for their pro line of computers, and hopefully this solves that… I mean, it’s embarrassing when windows 10 is beating OSX on apple hardware for DAW performance, isn’t it?

Ableton is one of the worst performing DAWs in the industry, especially for sustained load. I don’t think you will have any joy there at 32 buffer for more than a couple plugins… After you are using some cpu already, you’ll be in dire straits for extra plugin instances. In my tests, Ableton 10 got around 1/3rd the VI count of Logic/PT/Reaper.

Studio one is an oddball… I have V4.5 and only ever use it now for the project page. It can successfully play a VI at 32 or even 16 buffer but only if the project is empty, which I did not properly take into account when I tested it last time. Once you start adding plugins/other VI’s and the like, it’s TERRIBLE and in the top 3 worst DAWs on OSX as far as performance. It’s an abomination. I am talking literally 5x less plugins than Logic, even with the max “asio guard” equivalent setting and NO tracks record armed at all!
So for one or two tracks, it works ok… when you start building a project, the performance is really shocking.

Cubase, even V 9.5, is still not bad “overall”.
It doesn’t perform well at ultra low latency external input monitoring or playing VI’s at ultra low buffer… but it does well at being able to load all the cores up and making a large project with lots of plugins. The solution to this is two fold… Use an interface with DSP for the external monitoring, and leave your buffer at 128 to play VI’s… My apollo at 128 buffer is only 3.5ms output latency to play VI’s, which is faster than many hardware synths. The input latency doesn’t matter here, as I am monitoring external audio inputs through the console app which avoids going through the DAW entirely. If you want total cubase integration, you can get the steinberg thunderbolt interface which has DSP monitoring.

But, Cubase is NOT the DAW to use, on mac anyway, if you want to monitor through native plugins at 32 buffer, or play VI’s at 32 buffer. Well, at least 9.5 wasn’t when i tested it in December. Logic is still king in this regard and just works perfectly… Even on my quad core 2015 macbook, I can monitor 32 inputs in logic at 32 buffer with a slate VMR with EQ and compression on every input, and 2 reverb aux busses with a TOP reverb like fab filter pro R or relab LX480 being sent to as many of those channels as I like… and it’s only using about 50% of 4 logical cores (remember logic only uses half of the available logical cores for low buffer monitoring). I still have the other 4 threads for other duties :slight_smile:
Cubase can’t do this and it’s just the way it is.

But let me see how 10.5 behaves monitoring at 32 and 64 buffer and playing VIs at low buffer and I’ll get back to you.

Do note as one final thing, some VI’s are too much even for logic at 32 buffer… You need a really good mac with a very high single core turbo boost to play those… but it still does a better job than all the other DAWs I know of.

Talk soon.

10.5 seems to be very good with initial quick test…

so far I am record arming FOUR DIVA VI’s in “great quality mode”, using 32 buffer on the ancient quad core macbook, with turbo boost disabled (for better thermals), so just 4 cores/8 logical cores at 2.8ghz max… and it is playing them without any pops or crackles. Obviously i’ll put it through heavier paces but this is pretty impressive… I am literally using all 8 voices on each instance by playing a long release pad, and I am hitting all 4 instances simultaneously at the 32 buffer every time I play a chord since all 4 instances are record armed. This means 32 voices of Diva at a real buffer of 32… This is impressive on such an old laptop. yes, my laptop was made in 2015 but it is part of the July 2014 model lineup and a 6 year old cpu. I can’t wait to try it on the imac pro tomorrow. I hope Nuendo 10 is performing as well as Cubase 10.5 as this is excellent. I really don’t like the new GUI, I can’t explain it but it’s like it’s too “shiny” if that makes sense, but I suppose I can get used to it. You can clearly see all 4 cores being used evenly via istat’s real cpu monitor, and Diva’s own multi threading is disabled therefore Cubase has total control over the core distribution. It’s doing a really good job Thor, thus far at least.
I am a bit shocked… S1 can’t do more than 2 instances of the same diva patch at 128 buffer.

Edit, OK, i just tested Logic, and it can do maximum 5 Divas at 32 buffer record armed (to arm multiple VI tracks in logic at the low buffer you need to put them in a track stack, but it works), and 4 of the 8 threads are being used. A 6th instance adds horrendous pops and clicks. For uniformity across DAW testing, I have the Divas playing back a midi file rather than “live playing” with the keyboard… So will duplicate this scenario in Cubase and see what it can do and BRB. Same test conditions exactly, same Diva patch, same midi file. Just duplicated instances till clicks and pops occur.

Logic can do 16 of these when the tracks are not record armed, ie on the higher playback buffer… It can do around 13 if I mix 9 on playback buffer and 4 record armed, so will test that in cubase also.

Damn, that new GUI though… just so dark and depressing and hard on the eyes.

EDIT 2, I can’t believe what I am seeing… Cubase is playing 8 Divas at 32 buffer, i.e all 8 tracks record armed… using ALL available logical cores…

Maybe there is an issue with the Clarett Driver? This is the first time ever Cubase has beaten Logic at ANYTHING with 32 buffer… Obviously logic’s limitation here comes from only being able to assign half the system logical cores to “live” tracks, but nevertheless, Cubase is impressive indeed. I am totally shocked. Now to see how many it can play back in asio guard mode, and then to test audio input mode with effects… Say, 32 inputs at 32 buffer.
Also want to pit PT 2019.12 against it as PT may actually be behind Cubase for the first time, especially at 32 buffer. Shocked isn’t the word for it.

Note, Cubase was very very problematic for me with Mojave and C 10.5 until the patch came out for 10.5.10 a couple days ago. Pauses, beach balls, non responsive mouse clicks, etc… Anyway, I just don’t see the point buying cubase upgrade now for 250 AUD when I can get Nuendo 10 for basically double that and have all those lovely features I might use down the road. I really need to make sure Nuendo has this excellent performance too though.

EDIT 3, Ok final post till I test audio input performance tomorrow (bed time now)… cubase gets 13 Divas vs 15 in Logic (not 16, I remembered incorrectly) on playback buffer, non record armed tracks… So, it’s ~10% behind Logic but it’s very close and is performing well on record armed tracks so it more than balances out :slight_smile: That is how it stands as of Logic 10.4.8 vs Cubase 10.5.10

Wow! Thanks so much for the elaborate answers and testings!

From my quick tests so far, I can certainly see that Logic is more efficient when software monitoring at low buffers and high sample rate. Your explanation makes a lot of sense, because Logic is doing some magic here. And I guess, since it is not cross platform, it has some core advantages.

I left Logic for Cubase around 5 years ago, due to stalled developments on the software. But since then things have geared up and now we have Logic X.
I would ideally like to use Cubase for everything, but I find myself using different DAWs for different tasks.
Given the results of these testings I might start using Logic again for recording/live monitoring and Cubase for the mix process.

First step is just record arming and monitoring 1 vocal track with Slate VMR or other (zero latency) vocal chain plugins (gate, compressor, eq, de-esser).
I am trying to find the sweet spot on buffers and sample rate. I would ideally like to be on 24 bit, 32 or 64 samples buffer and sample rate 96 kHz.
Since I have thunderbolt audio interfaces, I want to go as low as possible on round trip latency (< 5 ms) without artifacts.
Both the Clarett and the VRS8 should be capable of 1 ms RTL, but of course it depends on the Mac.

I am not syncing the 2 audio interfaces yet, to avoid bringing any sync issues into the equation.

I also own 3 Steinberg UR824s with DSP monitoring, but they are USB2.0 and being replaced by the thunderbolt interfaces.
The goal is to move away from DSP and only use native monitoring.
Also, higher sample rates will of course limit ADAT track count, so daisy chaining thunderbolt devices is the way to go in this regard.

Of course I will record and monitor more than 1 track. But I have to start there.
I will typically record and live monitor a metal band on around 24 tracks with a full mix running in the DAW.
The mix will then live stream to the web from another Mac.

I have considered going the UAD-route, but have (for now) landed on going native and rather spend the money on a more powerful Mac and native processing power when needed.

When tracks are not record armed or monitor armed, my understanding is that it will use the playback buffer.
As you say, when arming the monitoring on a track, the CPU increases on 1 core in logic.
In Cubase I cannot see it per core, but the realtime CPU meter is higher.

The funny thing is that I’ve been considering Studio One over the last few days and even downloaded the demo, because of the “native low latency” settings. But I might reconsider going down that road :wink:

What are your audio settings at in Logic and Cubase?

I disable Plugin Delay Compensation and/or use only zero latency plugins in these tests.

Speak later!

I only use zero latency plugins for monitoring but I don’t disable PDC for any testing, there is no need to whatsoever.
In cubase if you are recording into a project with latent plugins in the signal path, just press “constrain delay compensation” and it will disable only plugins with latency to allow you to record without there being an issue. Logic has a similar mode called low latency mode but it goes one better by allowing you to set a threshold… for example, you can set it to one millisecond, so plugins that only add a tiny bit of delay, like 4 samples in the case of softube, won’t be disabled.
I firmly am a non believer in the “computer does all” scenario which is obviously what you are working towards. We couldn’t see things more differently. DSP will always play a role for me. I would have happily gone with steinberg interfaces (note, I mentioned their thunderbolt DSP interface, not the old USB ones you are talking about), had they offered a powerful enough DSP on board to put effects on every channel including adat channels, but alas they don’t.
My ultimate plan is to go avid HDX (3 cards) so I can monitor 128 input streams at under 2ms latency with 0 load on the computer, and save all that cpu for other stuff.
I just don’t find computers reliable enough for large input low latency monitoring, but you are talking about one vocal, and cubase should not have ANY issues doing a 96/32 monitoring of an incoming vocal. What is your cpu spec again?
I mean I can do that on a single track with my 2014 era macbook, so surely any recent mac can do it.
Are you using 10.5?

This S1 topic might provide some interest for you, regarding it’s poor performance on mac:

You should be able to replicate this yourself quite easily with some standardised testing (i.e all the same plugins and track types used) and you will notice S1 will suffer from consistent glitches far before other DAWs but using less plugins on top of it.

S1 latest build is getting around 1/4 of the VI polyphony here (counted over maximum instances and how many voices per instance) that Cubase 10.5 does here, before pops and clicks. That’s a MASSIVE difference.


Managed to do some simple tests again tonight and the pattern repeated itself…

Exactly, this is my issue. I have the ultra low latency thunderbolt interfaces. So, now the thing to discover is, what kind of Mac do I need, to run this simple test of recording 1 vocal track with some basic FX at 24/96 and 32 buffer?

It turns out it might not be only a question about which Mac, but also which DAW… as you know all about already.

I started the test in Cubase Pro 10.5.10 on

Opened an empty project and set the project sample rate to 96k and the buffer size to 32.
Added 1 mono audio track. No FX.
Record-armed the track and enabled monitoring.
Resulting in pops and clicks in the audio.

Increased the buffer to 64 and tried again, this time with no clicks and pops.
So, added some FX to the inserts. Slate VMR with preset Pop Vocal and added the Classic tubes VMS.
Back to clicks and pops, so, had to increase the buffer to 128.

I can conclude that I cannot run Cubase with 32 samples buffer at 96k, and I will need a faster Mac to get the lowest latency that my interface can deliver…

Next step was to try the same thing in Logic Pro X 10.4.8
Set up the project to 96k and configured the audio buffer size to 32.
Added 1 mono audio track. No FX.
Record-armed the track and enabled input monitoring.
NO pops or clicks!

Added the same FX.
NO pops or clicks!
Round trip latency of 1.2 ms!

So, I added 80 audio tracks.
Still rock solid.

Added Superior Drummer 3 with a programmed track.
No problem at all.

I know this is not the most scientific test, but it is the same task in both DAWs and Logic has no problem handling it.
It put the smile back on my face. For sure.

Maybe I don’t need a more powerful Mac to do what I want to do, at least not yet.
It certainly is interesting to look at the difference in CPU meters when just opening the two DAWs and completing this “simple” task.

I know I want the same thing as many others.

Who knows, maybe I will be running UAD LUNA or Pro Tools in a couple of years…
But right now, it looks like I will have to revisit Logic Pro X for recording and live monitoring.


Until later,