Kontakt and Cubase: Track Enable/Disable, Loading Times, and Optimization
I’m trying to troubleshoot issues I have had for years with Cubase and Kontakt. I may end up using VEP if I’ve exhausted all of my options for optimizing Cubase, but I really want that to be a last resort. Thank you for taking the time to read through this!
My current template (what I’ve used and tweaked for years) is a classic track enable/disable template. All libraries that I use are set up and ready to go with instrument and midi tracks, but all instrument and midi tracks are disabled. Audio routing, bussing, groups, and everything along those lines is already set up in the template. The template is 1380 tracks with everything disabled. This grows as Kontakt instances are enabled, as I use Kontakt multi-timbral 90% of the time. Articulation maps are loaded on every MIDI channel that I have articulation maps for. There are no inserts or any plugins enabled or disabled in the template either.
Intel i9-10940x (14 core, 28 with hyperthreading – which is on currently)
Entirely SSD and M.2 based system. Virtual instrument libraries are on separate drives from project files.
Focusrite 18i20 (2nd gen)
Cubase 10.5 (Just bought Cubase 12 to see if there are any performance upgrades for the issues I’m having, but unfortunately that didn’t help)
Important (or maybe not) Settings:
Cubase: ASIO Guard is ON. Have it set to “Normal.”
Cubase: Multithreading - ON.
Kontakt: Multicore - 13 cores. Have also experimented with multicore turned OFF.
Drivers: Checked to make sure everything is updated.
Win Defender: Turned off when I am working. Additionally, virtual instrument library folders are excluded, and so is the Cubase process and folders.
BIOS: Hyperthreading - ON.
Kontakt: All libraries batch resaved.
Project File Size: 700MB for every project file. My template has no virtual instruments loaded. Everything is disabled, but can be enabled and loaded in when I need it. I have attempted to use Track Presets to bring this down, however, the loading time is simply unacceptable. I’ve tried techniques from A different take on Cubase templates | VI-CONTROL and https://vi-control.net/community/th…-times-of-big-disabled-track-templates.62366/
For the second technique linked above, when I click on the refresh button to load Kontakt back in as the VST it takes a solid 1-2 minutes for most multi-timbral instances to load. Cubase becomes locked up and unresponsive during this time. Additionally, whenever I even select a saved track preset from the browser, Cubase will become locked up for sometimes several minutes as it loads whatever information it needs for that track preset.
Save (and auto-save) Time: Usually 15 seconds to 3 minutes to save, depending on how many tracks are enabled.
Load Time: Loading times for the template is usually quick, around 30 seconds. However, after enabling tracks and saving my session, loading times can be upwards of 10-20 minutes. To close a session usually takes the same amount of time, and I end up simply ending the process instead of waiting for Cubase to close.
When loading a project with many instrument tracks enabled, Cubase will get hung up and become unresponsive on tracks that are not resource intensive at all. It may take several minutes before the loading bar stops freezing on some instrument tracks, some of which are not resource intensive. It does not get hung up on the same instrument tracks every time.
Mediabay and Soundbrowser: Cubase has extremely strange behavior with the mediabay and sound browser. Searching takes absolutely forever, and selecting a user track preset can freeze Cubase for 1-3 minutes. This usually happens with track presets with Kontakt. Selecting the preset doesn’t even load it into the session, which is why I’m confused why selecting a preset can make Cubase freeze for that long. Right now, the mediabay and sound browser is unuseable due to how it responds.
Any direction and advice is very appreciated, thank you.
Even if a plugin is disabled, it still stores its data to the project file (so called plugin data chunk). For Kontakt, each instrument you load in every Kontakt instance gets embedded into the project file (rather than referenced from the hard drive - this would mean if you update the NKI on your hard drive, and if the changes are severe enough, all your projects using that NKI would sound potentially completely different!).
If you're using a lot of Orchestral Tools libraries, they tend to end up being pretty big when they're embedded into the project file, which is a consequence of how those instruments are internally set up. Not much you can do here, other than not depend on OT libraries, which is not nice.
Alternative is to use VE Pro to host your Kontakt instances, which decouples all this NKI data from your project file cleanly.1
Thank you for the response! I'm going to test out VEP, but I was really wanting to use this as a last resort. Kontakt multis of even just a bunch of pianos seems to freeze up Cubase for an extended period of time when enabled/disabled, or the track preset is selected in the media bay. OT libraries definitely cause massive issues, but it isn't just limited to that unfortunately.0
There have also been some issues between more recent versions of Kontakt and ASIO Guard, so try disabling ASIO Guard and see what happens.0
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