Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by IFM » Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:47 pm

That machine should be smoking everything so something is amiss. Could you please describe what a big session consists of? Are you also running the Apollo 8 via Thunderbolt? You should be able to run extremely low latency.

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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by Telogic » Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:58 pm

Hi , Ive been using a 6 core machine since new (3years) now and cubase always overloads the audio core even when my cpu is very low . so there always been an issue between audio core and cpu .
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by J-S-Q » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:56 am

This may or may not be relevant to the problems you are having but I noticed a while ago that the way you have your tracks routed makes a HUGE difference to your ASIO meter and your ability to run high plugin counts. In a nutshell, if you have lots of complex Group channel routing with long plugin chains, your ASIO meter will be higher than if you just have lots of individual channels with the same plugins arranged in short chains.

I did some tests a while ago (this was with Cubase 7.5). I had a session with the exact same plugins (24 x Waves Kramer Master Tape) and the ASIO load ranged from 15% right up to 100% depending on how the tracks were routed.

#1. ASIO meter at 15%, Windows CPU at 15%
24 x stereo tracks, each with 1 instance of KMT, no group tracks.

#2. ASIO meter at 45%, Windows CPU at 11.5%
3 x Stereo tracks, each with 8 KMT instances, no group tracks.

#3. ASIO meter at 100%, Windows CPU at 11%
1 Stereo track, with 8 KMT's, routed to two groups in series, each with 8 KMT's. i.e. a continuous chain of 24 Kramer instances.
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by J-S-Q » Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:37 am

Headlands wrote:
J-S-Q wrote:This may or may not be relevant to the problems you are having but I noticed a while ago that the way you have your tracks routed makes a HUGE difference to your ASIO meter and your ability to run high plugin counts. In a nutshell, if you have lots of complex Group channel routing with long plugin chains, your ASIO meter will be higher than if you just have lots of individual channels with the same plugins arranged in short chains.

I did some tests a while ago (this was with Cubase 7.5). I had a session with the exact same plugins (24 x Waves Kramer Master Tape) and the ASIO load ranged from 15% right up to 100% depending on how the tracks were routed.

#1. ASIO meter at 15%, Windows CPU at 15%
24 x stereo tracks, each with 1 instance of KMT, no group tracks.

#2. ASIO meter at 45%, Windows CPU at 11.5%
3 x Stereo tracks, each with 8 KMT instances, no group tracks.

#3. ASIO meter at 100%, Windows CPU at 11%
1 Stereo track, with 8 KMT's, routed to two groups in series, each with 8 KMT's. i.e. a continuous chain of 24 Kramer instances.

Interesting! Thanks for that.

Unfortunately there are sometimes no way to get around complex group routings, etc., and I feel that Cubase should be able to handle whatever you throw at it, just like PT and Reaper do on the same system here (I'm sure you agree with that, I'm just saying it to say it).
Absolutely I agree with you. I think it's clear that there's room for improvement with multithread handling in Cubase.
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by J-S-Q » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:09 am

Yeah I'd be angry too. I built a new PC a couple of years ago and didn't get as much horsepower increase as I was expecting although I did at least get a reasonable improvement. I gotta say, I've heard several people recommend that you go for clock speed rather than core count when it comes to a CPU for DAW use and this thread supports that statement for sure.

Does the 12 core outperform the 4 core in a straightforward plugin count test. i.e. how many Ozones can it run when you have individual tracks with one instance per track, and no group routing etc? i.e. not a very real world situation but I would have thought the 12 core wins hands down here.

When you're comparing Reaper and Pro Tools plugin counts, is the routing/channel setup the same as what you are doing in Cubase? Just going from memory, on the DAWbench website, Cubase was one of, if not THE best at plugin counts but that's going back a few years.
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by peakae » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:29 am

To me it looks like Cubase is only using 1 thread to process each track. One track or channel with a lot of plugins could max out the computer. If possible it could worth a try, distributing the plugins over more tracks.
For example routing all tracks to one or more group tracks and distributing the plugins you normally would use on the master between them. I'm going to try it when I got some time on my hands again.
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by J-S-Q » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:44 pm

peakae wrote:To me it looks like Cubase is only using 1 thread to process each track. One track or channel with a lot of plugins could max out the computer. If possible it could worth a try, distributing the plugins over more tracks.
For example routing all tracks to one or more group tracks and distributing the plugins you normally would use on the master between them. I'm going to try it when I got some time on my hands again.
Well yes, I think that's what is shown by the testing that I posted above. It seems that whatever is the complete path of a signal has to be processed by a one core. i.e. if you have a channel with some plugins and you route it to a group that also has plugins, that complete chain of plugins has to be assigned to a single core. This means that if you have a long plugin chain through various groups, you can max out the ASIO of a 12 core CPU even if 11 of the cores are completely idle.
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by peakae » Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:07 pm

Actually I suspect any group channel gets assigned an own thread, thereby distributing the CPU load more evenly. But I'm only guessing here, have to actually test it on some projects that are running near max ASIO load. I have been playing around with Halion Sonic, trying the different number of cores that it is allowed to use, that can make a huge difference depending on the number of instances. A better thread distribution inside Cubase would be appreciated and the only real solution, when comes to workflow and ease of use. I just don't see it coming anytime soon. :-/
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by Steve Helstrip » Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:54 pm

I find that if I offload large parts of my projects to Vienna Ensemble running on the same machine I can get much more from the CPU. I'm guessing Ensemble distributes the processing more evenly across the cores. However, if you go down that route you will need to disable ASIO Guard for Ensemble as they do not play nicely.
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by J-S-Q » Wed Jan 06, 2016 6:12 pm

peakae wrote:Actually I suspect any group channel gets assigned an own thread, thereby distributing the CPU load more evenly.
Just from my brief tests, I'm don't believe that's right. As per the tests I posted above, you can see a clear difference in ASIO load when you have the exact same plugins in a group routing situation versus having them just on individual tracks. If I remember rightly, when you make a long chain of plugins running via a group or two with nothing else in the session, you can see a single core being heavily loaded whilst the others are virtually idle.

The same seems to apply for FX tracks as well. i.e. take a track full of plugins send it to an FX channel and the whole lot gets loaded up onto one core.
peakae wrote:I just don't see it coming anytime soon. :-/
Agree with you there. I'd hazard a guess that it would be a big job to improve this situation.
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by J-S-Q » Wed Jan 06, 2016 6:58 pm

Just did another quick test....

Empty project, with one audio track and one FX track, both of which have 8 x Kramer Master Tape. See the attached CPU monitor picture. Whilst the session is playing, CPU 0 is loaded at about 55%. As soon as I enable the Aux send (so the signal passes through all 16 plugins), the load goes up to 100% yet all the other cores remain very lightly loaded. I switch the aux send off and the load drops again as you can see in the picture.

This is just one example, I can't say that this happens ALL THE TIME but speaking as someone who knows very little about computer coding, it doesn't look like the most efficient way of doing things.
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by profdraper » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:36 pm

Intersting (I made that other post to the Nuendo forum). The detail and comments here about groups & routing etc.

Shall check that. It would be fair to say that most of my material is indeed sub-grouped & also making for bounce /export stems ease etc etc.

BTW, also agree about the earlier comment about 'CPU speed vs. core count'. In my experience that has been true & in an earlier MP 5,1 I used a 3.33GHz 6 core for exactly that reason. On my 'new' MP however ( a custom refurb) I took this into account and it is a 3.33 GHz 12 core (i.e., identical CPU horsepower); I also went with 6 x Ram slots (48GB) which is recommended as having performance improvements for this machine (6 ram slots vs. say 8). Anyways, the point is that the CPU speeds are identical, the cores doubled, but with apparently no significant performance improvement on Cubase or Nuendo.
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by peakae » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:28 pm

I did a quick test that has me a bit confused.
I ran 20 tracks filled with plug-ins and everything in the strip, 2 groups and 5 fx tracks a total of 225 plugins the 23 of them Ozone 7 on IRC4. The ASIO meter around 85% and the CPU around 75% NO DROPOUTS
That is leaves me with one conclusion the ASIO meter is pretty logarithmic , as the same project with a modest 37 plugins shows ASIO around 50% CPU is around 27%.
I have to investigate some more, but at least I now know that I can use a lot more plugins than i thought.
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by peakae » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:43 am

I agree.
I wonder if it would be possible to run Reaper alongside Cubase, just as a instrument host. On Mac it should be possible to do with the onboard software. VSL is a little pricey but probably worth the cost.
If there was a roadmap from Steinberg regarding future development there would be a lot less guessing.
But I feel your pain, I hate spending money on something that in theory should be a massive improvement, and then realizing it's not.
Best of luck finding a workable solution.
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by profdraper » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:14 pm

peakae wrote:I agree.
I wonder if it would be possible to run Reaper alongside Cubase, just as a instrument host. On Mac it should be possible to do with the onboard software. VSL is a little pricey but probably worth the cost.
Unlike most DAWs, Reaper can run in Rewire slave mode (also Live & Reason). Many used Reaper for exactly this purpose of hosting incompatible VIs and plugs when Pro Tools 10 /64 bit /AAX was first launched.
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by profdraper » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:29 pm

Copied across from the Nuendo Forum:
FWW, did some tests with a VI-only project: with and without auxs and groups. Can't say I found any appreciable performance differences (at least, as identified by the Steinberg performance meters or the Apple Activity Monitor). Cubase forum seems to indicate otherwise, but has't been my experience. I did notice however that Cubase 8.5 seems to do a little better with overall CPU load than Neundo 7 for the same project. Possibly newer code.

Otherwise, the 'threading metering' is a little odd: all 12 cores seem equally engaged (vs, different cores showing different loads, some with none etc say like Pro Tools), and, when viewing the 24 'threads' the second thread of each CPU shows as doing bugger-all. Re. the CPU readout on Apple activity monitor, this would seem to show that there's till a lot of Ram and CPU left idle in the background. One solution that works fine is to rewire slave another DAW as host for VIs etc: Ableton Live or Reaper for example. That certainly puts some serious VI grunt into the system.

Anyways, overall I see as just an interesting sideline really. Nuendo in general is very pleasing to work with overall in my experience. BTW, the Rewire implementation is the best I've used.
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by BasariStudios » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:48 pm

Hahahaha...welcome to LaLaLand Brother!
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by IFM » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:22 am

Man I wish I could be there to look at your sessions. I also have a hunch about the Apollo but would need to try my own test. I've always found Steinberg's ASIO meter to really hit everything including drive I/o and audio interface activity. I really thing the issue lies elsewhere.
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by BasariStudios » Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:40 am

Has anyone noticed that Stiny does not show up here, or on my Thread or on GS or any Topic
or Forum that has to do with this particular issue. Imagine how many technical questions
people here asked and yet no word nothing, not even a HI nor SCREW YOU GUYS WHO CARES.
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by J-S-Q » Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:54 am

Just to give some more perspective….

As an example of a real world situation, I’ve attached a picture of core loading on the session I’m working on right now. The 12 cores are fairly evenly loaded in this example -all at about 35-65%, with the ASIO meter at about 75%. (This is a session with 160 tracks including 16 Groups and 12 FX Tracks).

Going back a few years, there are lots of tests on DAWBench.com showing Cubase to be competitive with other DAWs on CPU efficiency and often coming out the winner. Maybe just in the last few years, other DAWs have advanced in this department and we now have to wait for Cubase to make an advance and be back on top! I guess it’s a constant arms race and don’t forget, Pro Tools had a revised audio engine quite recently so one might expect it to be ahead in the game right now.

I know this is bad timing as you have just bought a new Mac but if you ONLY want to be concerned with plugin counts, DAWBench tests consistently suggested Cubase can run a lot more plugins on Windows. Again, that is going back a few years and obviously there are many other reasons why one might prefer Mac (and I do think it’s a nicer OS myself which is why I’m typing this on a MacBook!).
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by J-S-Q » Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:56 am

BasariStudios wrote:Has anyone noticed that Stiny does not show up here, or on my Thread or on GS or any Topic
or Forum that has to do with this particular issue. Imagine how many technical questions
people here asked and yet no word nothing, not even a HI nor SCREW YOU GUYS WHO CARES.
I don't think it's realistic to expect them to come on this thread and officially say "Yes, our engine is not as good as our rivals, we're working on that."
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by BasariStudios » Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:53 pm

J-S-Q wrote:
BasariStudios wrote:Has anyone noticed that Stiny does not show up here, or on my Thread or on GS or any Topic
or Forum that has to do with this particular issue. Imagine how many technical questions
people here asked and yet no word nothing, not even a HI nor SCREW YOU GUYS WHO CARES.
I don't think it's realistic to expect them to come on this thread and officially say "Yes, our engine is not as good as our rivals, we're working on that."
No i did not mean that...i meant something normal as any developer, to ask question,
to point out things, to do some tests, to send some projects out and stuff...
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by BasariStudios » Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:25 am

I posted 3 images below from what i did with Latency Monitor test...this stupid dxkrnl.sys thing and one more next to it always shows up on the test. So you know, my Intel Speed Step is disabled, i don't know why LM mentions it. Now, The
whole time my computer is able to perform, that is what LM tells me, the pops happen only when i stop playback or start touching things on the computer...someone who knows computers better please take a look at the images.

Thanks
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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by vinark » Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:30 pm

Their is a Jbridge version for mac (also a demo) which runs the plugins outside of cubase. I use it on windows for running a few leftover 32bit plugins in CB64. Every plugin has it's own thread and it spreads the load perfectly on windows. It would be easy to do a grouping vs non grouping test using one heavy jbridged plugin and see if it helps. On windows it does

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Re: Upgraded to Mac 12-core, have same ASIO/CPU in Cubase

Post by profdraper » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:35 pm

Interesting, related 'interview' on the Sternberg site, 'Let's Talk about Cubase' at http://www.steinberg.net/en/artists/sto ... story.html "Georg Conrads, Technical Lead Audio Engine, Christian Dettner, Product Planning Manager, and Clyde Sendke, Director for Product Planning, to talk about its creative tools, the much lauded audio engine and more".
1) 'Georg: At the moment, Cubase and Nuendo share their source code for the most part'.

2) There are many reasons why Pro Tools has become the industry standard, but two of the main reasons seemed to be the "guaranteed processing capacity" and "I/O latency for professional use" that came with the use of the dedicated DSP card.

3) My main point is that I always find it strange that manufacturers of native processing DAW software do not seem to be making any serious efforts to resolve issues related to latency. In that regard, they still rely on direct monitoring of the audio interface. In terms of processing power, computers have become more than fast enough, and there is always the option of selecting Universal Audio's UAD if processing power is still insufficient. If only issues related to latency can be overcome, native processing DAW could become a system that could take on Pro Tools|HDX...

4) Clyde: This is a very interesting question indeed. The first point I would like to highlight is that as of Cubase Pro 8, we have introduced ASIO-Guard 2 that minimizes input and output latency to a minimum 32 samples. Minimizing latency down to this level was simply not possible with previous versions.I do need to clarify one point here, and that is about not taking issues related to latency seriously. Overcoming this problem is one of the topics that we have focused on the most over the past few years. Unfortunately I am unable to provide any more details today. Please wait to see what the future has in store for Cubase and Nuendo.
FWIW, I find this somewhat misdirected: ASIO guard is about input latency and as they indicate, most now use inout monitoring and an audio interfaces that increasingly allow much control of that process, e.g.: RME, UAD etc with 'print to tape FX if required etc etc. Chasing the necessity to lower input monitoring latency through the DAW would seem well off topic these days & monitoring off-source is old school (to vs from tape), worked well then, works well now. I'd get over that one and concentrate on the mix, routing, output and CPU overheads associated with pretending that a DAW is a studio.

Back to the point of this thread: less about ASIO & input buffer then; more focus on multithreading and mix down power and clearly this is where Cubase /Neuendo lag against ProTools, Logic, Reaper and the rest.
PC: Dell T7910 dual Xeon, Win10Pro 1903, 64GB, Samsung SSDs & RAID. Displays: Dell U3419W & BenQ SW2700PT, RTX 2080Ti, Decklink MiniMon 4k. Audio: Thunderbolt 2, RME UFX+ & ADI-8, UAD-2 quad PCIe. MIDI: Presonus FaderPort 16, NI Komplete Kontrol S61, Ableton Push. Apps: Nuendo 10.2, Wavelab Pro 9.5, Pro Tools Ultimate 2019.6, Ableton Live Suite 10.1, DaVinci Resolve Studio 16.

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