Working at 96kHz

Today, I created a project in Sonar X3 at 96kHz with multiple VSTs and multiple instances of Kontakt 5 with multiple instruments within each K5.

I also had a number of audio tracks, lots of VST plugin effects, fx tracks, groups, sends etc

In total, I have 194 tracks, and X3’s performance meter was around 50-55% - no dropouts, no crackles, nothing.

I then tried to replicate the same in Cubase 7.5.40 and came totally stuck after track 59.

By track 32 , the Cubase performance meter was alread at around 80%, with crackles, pops and dropouts.

It’s even worse in 8 Pro.

What is causing this? Is it Cubase?

When the SONAR performance meter shows about 55%, the Windows resource meter shows CPU usage of around 34% at it’s highest. Yet there are no audio dropouts, crackles, pops etc

Yet, when Cubase performance meter is showing around 90%, the Windows resource meter shows CPU usage of around 23%, and the audio is full of crackles and pops and dropout. That’s a huge difference.

There seems to be a lot of under-utilized processing power in Cubase. What on Earth is going on?

I am still waiting for replies from Steinberg. I have been waiting since January. I sent other support requests in Feb and this month. Nothing.

What do I do?

Do I try another audio interface to see if that’s somehow problematic or a bottleneck with Cubase?

Or a better graphics card? (I really don’t like the fact that Cubase 8 requires Windows Aero.)

Or, after all this time and money, do I have to move to Sonar or another DAW?

I today created the same project with Presonus Studio One. This daw is actually very nice to work with.

But more importantly, I could work at 24/96 with no issues. The most I got from the Studio One performance meter was about 45/50%, and the CPU in the windows resource monitor was showing about 19% usage.

I got all the tracks in too… so if I can do this with Studio One and Sonar X3, what’s going on in Cubase 7.5 / 8 ?

What’s notable in Cubase is just how few tracks it takes for the performance meter to get about 50%. Yet the CPU is not actually being taxed much at all.

I spent time doing this today because I wanted to be sure it was only happening in Cubase. Sadly it seems it is.

If that’s not depressing enough, all you have to do is browse through the C8 section to see what awaits the unwary Cubase user who decides to spend even MORE money on Steinberg products.

I’d be interested to see how Cubase and Sonar compare with a project with only audio tracks and no VSTi’s. Perhaps you’d be willing to do a test with your current project and remove the VSTi’s and see what happens? Or maybe Cubase doesn’t play nice with one of your plugins. To figure out the problem, we have to isolate individual elements. What does the project look like with just a bunch of audio tracks and no effects? And then with a few instances of the same effect? Etc…

I’d love to know the answer to this problem as well

I can throw loads of audio tracks and VSTi’s at Sonar and it just doesn’t seem to care, even at 64/96. I’m thinking about moving to Sonar our Studio One, as they can both handle a lot more load, at least on my gear anyway.