Vst count limit - Steinberg please do something!

I contacted Universal Audio about this last year after a Steinberg employee told me plugin manufacturers need to get onboard. I can copy the reply here if I can find it but in a nutshell they told me that only 1 or 2 had reported the problem and with the amount of programming effort involved plus the fact that they value OSX customers first that it’s unlikely to be ever looked at from their end. Universal audio plugins apparently exhacerbate the problem.

If you say the host software has no responsibility then does this mean this is not a steinberg issue at all?

When you say developers provided an update fixing this. When did that happen and what developers?

Did you read my description of my experience this year with the limit seemingly going away on my system but when I upgrade to 9.0.3 it immediately comes back? Any speculation as to what’s going on?

It didn’t look like an official employee poster at first glance. There needs to be MUCH more said about this problem and awareness. It’s buried and most of the plugin developers are shrugging responsibility. Makes it impossible to mix in the box don’t you agree?

I’m fortunate in that I haven’t experienced this issue at all. I use quite a lot of plugs but presumably not enough unique instances…and no UAD which as you say, seem to be the worse culprits.
I’m mostly mixing in Reaper now as well…Oddly, I can’t find any mention on Reaper forums of this problem.

Mostly mixing on Reaper?! :slight_smile: What do you use cubase for in this case? Also, same point to Last comment by steinberg employee that it’s not the host’s fault. It’d be useful to know if Reaper indeed is or isn’t affected.

Quick test Cubase vs Reaper. Loading 6 plugs per channel - Plugs selected in manufacturer order from my collection so all the same plugs loaded at first.

Cubase failed to load the 53rd unique plugin. Tried a few other plugs and managed to load another 2 but that was it.
Reaper loaded 104 unique plugs and then gave an error that plugin cannot be loaded…tried a few more but all gave the same error until trying to load a waves plug crashed it completely.

So seems the limit is there but is way higher than in Cubase.

Thanks YVan from Steinberg for the valuable info.

Also thank you Grim for the tests, interesting findings. Adding to that, according to Cakewalk, Sonar can handle at least 64 unique plugins. Fabio mentioned before that Cubase can handle a similar amount, so Grim’s number (53-55) makes sense. I suppose the number may vary depending on the actual plugins you use. But Grim’s method is very good, for comparing

Reaper seems to be doing well on this issue. Based on this workaround to increase (a bit) the amount of loadable unique plugins in Cubase:

Those extra features in Cubase are obviously reducing the number. And Reaper surely handles the issue much better, twice the number of plugins!?
Let’s hope Steinberg developers can increase the number of unique loadable plugins within Cubase…

Does Reaper really support more of the same 64-bit plugins compared to Cubase? A certain test I did shows that it’s not better off than Cubase, but it might be wrong.

The next cubase release is likely around the corner. Will we see this addressed?

Ofcourse not, as explained many times, it’s not the daw, but the type of plugin and in what combination used.

Anyone able to comment on how 9.5 performs with the limit?

Did some tests yesterday comparing to C9.

Loaded one by one just using the next in the list, the limit was at 104 indivudual plugins. Then I tested my all time favourite UAD plugins exclusively, here the limit is reached with just 31 different plugins (C9 gave me 42). Probably I could get some more by disabling hub, video etc., seems there are some more components in 9.5 that are pre-filling those ‘slots’.

So still it seems to depend on how plugins are communicating with the rest of the system (sorry, I’m not an IT guy and have never really understood what exactly is going on, so forgive my ignorance and lack of correct technical terms here). In a usual session with mixed native & dsp plugins I guess I’d come up to 60/70 indivudal plugins. Hmmmmm.

Seems most people encountering this issue UAD is in play. You guys should go to the UAD forums and ask there for a fix?
The issue has been discussed MANY times, not much Steinberg can do in this case.

Well maybe its not Steinberg’s fault, but they COULD do something against it.
You ask how? Give the users an option to bridge plugins (run them in an external process!)

With that solution, you could load plugins until you run into cpu problems.

Workaround at the moment: using JBridge and bridging 64 bit plugins into 64 bit… which runs them in a new process and it works. But of course you have some overhead due to the bridging.

Yes, Steinberg is not to blame but maybe could find a solution too. Anyway, I’ll open a support ticket with UA.

I wouldn’t use the wording “blame” full stop. The restriction is a mixture between OS limitations and how plugins claim processes/threads.
when multiple instances can share the same process you can use more and otherwise you will run out soon.
It’s really up to plugin providers to code smarter. This doesn’t solve the OS limitations, but will bring a lot more headroom for now.
Only look at the fact of how many developers install their own VC++ runtime library with their plugins. in a dense DAW you will have like 2009/2010/2011/2012 etc. in both 64x and x86 versions. That alone is already a mess. Only because they can’t be asked to update their libraries after release.

Yes, sounds like a mess :wink:

Whatever, I don’t really understand the technical aspects deeply, I just see where the limits are and want anyone involved in the complex interactions of OS, hosts and third party addons to break the limits. Pleeeeeaaaase :laughing:

For the moment I can workaround it. That’s why I do my testing in the first place - a project that works with Cubase 9 has two missing plugins in 9.5 - ok, I’ll finish it in 9 and won’t complain. Anyway it’s 2017, we have pretty powerful hard- and software that does pretty magic things. We shouldn’t have to think about limits that don’t knock off cpu.

We all need to complain to plugin manufacturers. I did so to UaD this year and hit hard. The short of the answer was that only about 2 users had reported such things to them and since the coding effort to improve things/fix things is not trivial it wouldn’t be something fixed soon. And particularly because I’d say a lot of ye UaD customers are Mac based it’s even worse. Folks go over to UAD now and lodge a complaint in order to put pressure on. The more pressure the higher up the list.

Over the year I’ve made myself actually pull away from UaD. I’ve not bought one of their plugins for 18 months. I’m finding equivalents or ways to get he job done without them. I hope they notice that I had spent a lot with UAD but not these days

Opened a support ticket over at UA!

Here’s a short video on it:

Things may differ on differnt OS (here still Windows 7).

Thanks for reporting back marQs.
Same exact number (104) was previously reported by another user but for Reaper. Cubase was hitting the limit at around half (54) unique plugins

So this is the first time that anyone reports loading such a high number. I understand there is a problem with UAD plugins, but maybe from Steinberg’s point there has been an improvement