Which hardware defines the Asio usage for live VST uses?

Hello guys,
I’m creating projects in Cubase 6 using a lot of VST plugins over my VST instruments.
For example, I’m putting an Izotop Ozone drums preset over a superior drummer track, and an Izotope Nectar preset over a vocal record track, etcetera etcetera. On the stereo out track I’m putting an Ozone mastering preset. The buffer size i’m using the most is 128 and less so I wouldn’t have any Latency issues while recording live.

As you can understand I’m a heavy consumer of Asio, and after having 10~ channels like those I just described, my system starting to choke and I need to bypass some of the VST plugins or lift the buffer size which is a problem if I’m recording with headphones as a monitor.

My question is, what hardware should I improve in order to be able loading more VST plugins and instruments while using a 128 buffer size without cracklings and stuff?

Here’s my spec:
Intel I7-3930k
Intel DX79si motherboard
Ripjaws-Z 16 Gigs ram
Fireface 400 using the on-board firewire connection
SSD for the OS and an SSD for some of the Plugins.


i would try to see if you are already using up all your cores to their full potential.
If not, you may not need to change any hardware.

If so, there is still room for more resources with the same system since you have a K model processor that can be overclocked.
Centucky fried DAW on this forum can you tell all about that option.

A good longterm solution is vienna ensemble pro.

This for two reasons:

  • it takes away the asio strain from cubase, and actually it outperformes cubase on the multicore front in terms of efficiency even when used on a single system.
  • it opens the ability to have multiple computers in one DAW setup over LAN

This way you are only limited in terms of processing power depending on the budget you have.
If you look around on the forum, you will note that a lot of the guys with larger setups use that program.
This is as such not a reference, but it can count as an indication.

For live usage there is also another benefit using VEP.
Since it is server based and the fact that you can preserve instances, you reduce loading times significantly. Your sounds remain loaded even when changing cubase’s cpr’s.

hope this is somewhat of an answer you were looking for.

kind regards,

I agree with the above recommendations to use Vienna Ensemble Pro (VEP). I’ve never used it myself, but it’s popular and by my researching alone, I think it would be a very good solution to a problem such as yours. You’ve got a powerful DAW, just sounds like you may be throwing too much at it. Still, check your resource usage as recommended above, if you haven’t already.

However great VEP user’s claim it is, it isn’t the only solution…and that’s just for LAN solutions. VEP does have their followers that swear by it. By stating “LIVE”, do you mean for ‘performing for an audience’, or do you mean in ‘real-time in your studio?’ I didn’t know about VEP being more efficient even on the same computer as stated above, but I’m a believer of using a dedicated 2nd computer to off-load & run all VSTi’s from, letting my audio machine to handle it’s functions without VSTi’s bringing it to a halt.

I almost bought VEP myself, after trying a few other solutions, some worked well, some not so much for me. But then I discovered SYNC, with 2 machines together and the transport functions linked, now I don’t need VEP. With sync capability, I realized I can record my midi directly into my dedicated VSTi machine, and didn’t need to send midi between machines at all, as I did with other solutions. The VSTi machine can send back either 8 channels of digital audio via adat, or a stereo sub-mix via s/pdif…I find a stereo sub-mix to be all I need, as I can do whatever is needed locally in that machine before sending it into my audio machine, where I monitor & record the sub-mix.
There are various ways to sync machines as well… MMC, VST System Link, a separate hardware syncing device etc. I’ve read of several others syncing 3 to 5 machines together. What method of sync can depend on what computers you’re using…eg; System Link is proprietary & requires some version of Cubase or Nuendo on each machine, which is fine for a Cubase user with more than one version. Other solutions are more universal for running cross platforms…different OS & DAW softwares.

Whatever solution is chosen, the idea remains the same…to take the load off of your main DAW computer. Different people have had great success with the option of their own choosing. It seems that many choose VEP like they did years ago with the Shure SM-57 mic…as being almost a ‘standard’ & ‘sure thing’ to Get R’ Done. But I know of many who very happily do not use VEP…including myself.

A good post on comparative audio card latency…

The advantage of using VEP on the DAW machine is that it will tend to use cores NOT used by the DAW, therefore less likely to overload a core that the DAW may be favouring. This is because while VST(i)s inserted in the DAW are likely to be ‘in-process’ (that is, sharing the same memory space), any in VEP are definitely not in the DAW’s private memory space.

All the iZotope plugins you are using are at the heavy end of the CPU spectrum, which basically makes it very difficult to get low latency.

For low-latency live work, you may want to consider their Alloy 2 plugin, which is designed more for lower CPU use.