VERY High CPU usage when loading empty project

Hello, I’m Shane Mundy. Music producer and mixing engineer. Today for the first time I logged in to work on a new song. Only had one instrument track [ Superior Drum 3 ] and the meter of Cubase was was reading at 90%. Which blew me away. I closed that new project and opened my old song up. Boom, CPU reading 90% again, and when I hit play the audio was all choppy. [ Been doing this for over 31 years: very experienced with recording in a box and in a studio. I love Cubase, I will not ever look into another DAW. I’m 100% certain that this is a bug, I’m not sure if it was the latest patch. But, I had no problems after that patch, which is odd [IF] it was the patch. My PC is complete Over kill. Specs Ryzen 5950X, 128gb of Ram, 3 SSD six TB in the case, 14tb External HD. Motherboard: Dark Hero VIII, GPU: Rtx 3080. My pc can handle anything I throw at it, like running a block size of 2048 [ which is where it has always been. ] Now I have to drop it to 512 buffersize to play. Did I do anything different over last 2 days when this started? Yes, just one. Bought the SDX expansion Area 33 for Superior Drummer. Any feedback I would love. Please if I left any crucial information out please let me know. Iv ran sessions with 90 tracks with plugins and never had the meter rise above 10%. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I will wait anxiously for a response so I can resume my work [ Job ]. Your the best keep up the good work Steinberg

Hi Shane.

You do realise that a buffer size of 2048, is far too large to be able to play any VSTi in real time. That kind of buffer size is normally reserved for heavy projects, mixing down with plenty of VSTs’ etc, not for playing a VSTi’.

I also own SD3 and it works perfectly fine in CB9,10,11,12 and even earlier versions like SX3.

Not too sure how you have (up till now) managed to play any VSTi without delay in sound while playing live, with such a large buffer size. The smaller the buffer size, the tighter the latency.

I generally start my projects with 64/128 samples and increase buffer size as the project becomes more demanding. When the buffer is increased pass the 512 mark, it generally will introduce too much delay from striking the keys’, to hearing the sound, when trying to play a VSTi, at that point, I start Freezing tracks.

With the power of your PC, and depending on your audio driver, I see no reason why you can not play SD at the minimum buffer size. As a general rule, the smaller, the better from a VSTi standpoint.

Hope this helps.

Try running Latencymon, to see if it gives any clues.

Sorry, I missed this part. Guess my waffle goes out the window, lol. But still, do run Latencymon to see if it gives any clues.

Have you tried a different VSTi to see if it inherits the same results?
After changing your buffer size to 512, did you increase it back to 2048 before loading that heavy project?

Let us know what CB version and Audio Interface you use. It may help others to inject some useful advice.

So this does only happen with SD3 and that new library you bought? Or with SD3 regardless of the library?
Ist the 90% (realtime I guess) with record enabled or without?
Do you have the Steinberg Power Plan enabled or another Windows High performance power plan?

Can you post an image of the performance meter when this happens ?

Hi Shane. I have exactly the same problem as you. I’ve been using Cubase/Nuendo since 1990s - doing it professionally all my life. I have almost same setup as yours. 3XS Scan Audio pro built 5950x AMD + RME RayDAT/Antelope Orion SC…

I started a new session and loaded up 20-30x Groove Agent 5 SE = Asio meter jumping AND my CPU frequency throttles down 1,5 GHz !!! It Never-EVER goes that low… It just doesn’t. But even odder is I can load my old sessions, big sessions and they play fine - IF - there is not 20+ VSTi of the same kind.

And… my cpu is not Hot. And I have zero dpc issues. This daw runs +100 Groove Agents 64 sample and asio/cpu-tm is around 10% and cpu temp is 40-42% at that point.

I don’t know what the hell is going on… and ofcourse this does not happen with Cubase 8.5 or Reaper6.xx. And it does NOT happen if I load the Grooove Agents into Vienna Ensemble Pro 7.

I’ve tried everything really… I could start installing Windows agian from scratch - BUT Cubase 8.5 and Reaper works… So… wtf…

Regards… Andy

I’ve had a similar issue to this before, I found it was a mismatch of my windows/audio device driver software’s set sample rate or bitdepth and what I had set in cubase causing the really choppy audio. The setting “Release audio driver when application is in the background” option can also effect this if say you have Cubase set to release the drivers, and have another program open that uses your audio like a web browser or a multimedia player open that doesn’t release the audio drivers once tapped in to them and this is forcing the wrong sample rate and bit depth on the drivers compared to your Cubase project. I hope this helps, it’s something definitely worth ruling out imo.

Also if you’re using an old enough version of Cubase with a newer version of windows (I know it’s like this for Cubase 6.5 and windows 10+), this can cause the Cubase power scheme being turned on to peg the CPU usage at 100% constantly, but that doesn’t sound like your issue, worth double checking though if all else fails as could also be an issue with new Cubase old windows, I don’t know for sure (fix is to turn off the power scheme inside Cubase).

Are you experiencing the “default output bug” by any chance?
Check out this link (click on it to reveal the fix by Chriss).

Also there is a huge glitch with Multi-Processing which can exhibit similar symptoms :