What takes the most computer resources? Getting "crackle" sounds on a computer with ok specs

Hello…. I am quite a humble beginner in this field, and have some questions about computer power in my first Cubase project. If somebody would take some time to answer I would be very grateful!! From one minute to the next my computer started to “crackle” on a project in a spesific area. I had only added some vocal on a new track – and the “crackle” is not in that area… I think the crackle is because of lack of computer resources (?) but I thought that my computer should be sufficient. Specs on the computer 16 RAM/ A good i7 processor and a new SSD disk. The computer in itself is some years old…. (I am using Cubase elements 10) At the moment I have 19 VST tracks in the project and some vocal audio tracks…
I wonder if I am working in a wrong way or doing something else wrong here.
So I wonder what exactly is taking most power in a project, is it the total amount of tracks and VST’s or is it just exactly what is played at the moment that is the problem? Hope you can understand that Q… Even if I have several tracks, it only plays around 7 tracks simultaneously in the troubled area…

I have for example several addicted drums tracks. I just now merged some of them, because it was only loops, but still there are several…. I am also having several VST’s from Spectrasonics in this project, (Omnisphere/ Keyscape/ Trilian and Stylus and I have heard that they take quite a lot of power?
Another question and example: I have two different Rhodes tracks from Spectrasonics/ Keyscape (Because of volume differences and slightly different sounds), will that then be 2 times more work for the computer? (Just merged two of them, but the problem continues)
I am also having 3 different vocal tracks because of volum and effects…
So after writing this I was actually able to make the “crackle” go away after I deleted a shaker from stylus in that area, maybe also merging some drum tracks and rhodes tracks helped? But the questions remains :wink:

The problem most likely is that you have your ASIO buffer size set too low. This is actually controlled by your Audio Interface, but you can access it from Cubase

When the ASIO Buffer is set high it improves performance but at a cost in latency. A small buffer will give you low latency but increases the chance of performance problems. And all the settings in-between are tradeoffs between those two. Since latency only matters while recording lots of folks will in general set the buffer high, but when recording change it to be smaller.

How Cubase (or any DAW) manages/uses a computer’s resources is fairly complicated and very dependent on the specifics of any particular project. There are some very detailed discussions on the topic in this forum. But I’d recommend waiting until you no longer feel like a ‘beginner’ before checking those out.

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Thanks a lot! I seem to be having 512 as a default (?) So I can just play with it when I get into problems :wink: If you have the time, on my picture… You can see that there are created some extra tracks below the Input/ output channel folder… They often do not have any event and is just some kind copy of the tracks with an event that I have created…(?) I guess they can just be deleted, maybe they also take up computer resources… (have tested, and they do not seem to have any function)

Those are MIDI Tracks - you can see the icon is different from the Instrument Tracks above.

In general I’d avoid MIDI Tracks unless they solve some specific problem & instead stick to Instrument Tracks. I’m guessing you added some Rack Instruments and at that time were asked if you wanted to create corresponding MIDI Tracks.If you use Instrument Tracks you don’t need to mess with the Instrument Rack at all. Just load the VSTi in the Instrument Track’s Inspector and all the Rack stuff will be taken care of for you.

The bulk of your computer’s resources will be consumed by plug-ins, both Instruments and Effects.

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Thanks again! I will look into it… At the moment your last answer with the midi thing is a bit “over my head” :wink: All my VST’s use midi but this extra copy of tracks happens when I do not make the midi myself, basically with “premade” drum and percussion beats… Ok, thanks again!!!

Ahh, there are 2 different types of Tracks that are for MIDI Data.

MIDI Tracks are the older of the 2. By itself a MIDI Track won’t make sound. To do that you need to create a Rack Instrument which handles all of the audio side & is managed by an Audio Channel in the MixConsole. Then you need to connect the output of the MIDI Track to the Rack Instrument and use it to drive the Instrument. But the MIDI Track and the Instrument’s Audio Channel are entirely independent of each other. You can connect multiple Tracks and Instruments together however you like. While this is super flexible it is more difficult to manage. You gotta keep track of what’s connected to where. Configuring these setups involve a bunch of busy-work and it makes debugging problems harder.

So Cubase introduced a new Track Type for MIDI called Instrument Tracks. Instrument Tracks combine the MIDI and Audio into a single entity. This makes using them a lot easier and more intuitive. You use the Instrument Track’s Inspector to set the VSTi you want to use and that VSTi becomes part of the Track itself (and not a sound module ‘over there somewhere’ like a MIDI Track).

And while MIDI Tracks are very useful in some situations, mostly it is best to Instrument Tracks - especially when starting off.


Yes! Really good to be aware of the difference, and it was “enlightening” when you pointed out the the icons of the two different tracks… Just started a little YouTube tutorial on the subject with Don Sigalas last night, but it got a bit to late… Glad that Cubase came up with the “Midi instrument track” then…
Maybe my Cubase version is a bit “ambivalent” what kind of track to use when I drag and drop drum beats, so they do both :wink: (From Addicted Drums and Stylus) Or maybe a bug… Planning to upgrade to Artist when it comes an offer… All the best!!!