Questions & Answers

Great Performance...except with UAD Plugins

0 votes
asked Nov 29, 2017 in Studio One 3 by tomboughner (650 points)


I am currently evaluating the demo of S1 3.5.3, comparing it to Cubase.  I am a longtime Sonar user - 'nuf said.

The tests I have been running show S1 to have very good audio engine performance, especially with Dropout Protection enabled.  However, there is one scenario where I am finding it to perform quite poorly - when UAD plugins are in the project.  It doesn't crash, it just puts a substantial strain on CPU resources.  

I am using a modified version of the popular DAWBench 2017 test.  Without getting too far into the weeds, this test focuses on 40 tracks, each with a simple sine wave audio file, and 4 instances of a free, relatively high CPU plugin called SGA1566.  The key is to see how many of these instances can be activated before dropouts or glitches occur.  I have added two "UAD 1176 Rev. A" plugins on each of 17 tracks, plus one "UAD Precision Multiband" on one track just to see how S1 deals with the excessive latency of this plugin.  This just about maxes out my UAD resources.  Cubase handles this test far better than S1.  Here is a sample of my results:

UAD Bench
Buffer Size 256
Cubase no ASIO Guard 93
Cubase Normal AG 103
Studio One no Drop.Prot. 63
Studio One DP Lo (256) 63
Studio One DP Med (512) 74

Bottom line - without ASIO Guard or Dropout Protection, Cubase allows for almost 50% more instances of SGA1566 while the UAD plug-ins are inserted.  With ASIO Guard/Dropout Protection the difference is about 40%.  When I run this same test without the UAD plugins, S1 and Cubase are virtually identical, although S1's engine is much smoother when jumping around the timeline or looping.  I really like S1's interface and super-smooth audio engine, but I have a lot invested in UAD, so performance with UAD plugins is critical for me.  I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions or a different experience.  

Incidentally, I also got major crackling when trying to use a buffer size of 128 with UAD plugins enabled.  I have never had this issue in any other DAW software (Cubase, Sonar, Reaper, Vegas).  This is particularly bad as 128 seems to be the sweet spot for my audio interface.

System Specs:

  • I7-6700k
  • Windows 10 Fall Creator
  • 16 Gb RAM
  • Apollo Twin USB
  • UAD-2 Quad
  • UAD-2 Solo

3 Answers

0 votes
answered Nov 29, 2017 by TRevMFB (3,240 points)
Even though I use the Studio192 interface, I have the UAD2 Solo pci-e and FW Satellite Quad. I’ve found similar issues regarding performance and came to find out the issue wasn’t StudioOne or Cubase 9. It was the location of pci slots I originally had my items in. 3 of the slots on my ASUS board shared the same buss causing major performance drag when stacking UAD plugins.
0 votes
answered Nov 29, 2017 by tomboughner (650 points)
Thanks for the quick reply, TRevMFB, but it is not an issue with PCI placement.  If that were the case, the problem would show up in Cubase, as well.
0 votes
answered Nov 30, 2017 by TRevMFB (3,240 points)
Hopefully you figure it out. I had less UAD issues in Cubase as well (already used 7 at the time of getting the UAD2 solo card). Never had an issue in both DAWs when buffersize was 1024 or greater, yet for real time monitoring I had a decent amount of click and poping below 256. Things worked out in my case once I first changed the pci slot order and upgraded my memory from 16gb to 48gb. Unfortunately some problem briefly came back once I installed a touchscreen monitor. USB 3.0 consumption with the monitor on the same buss as the interface slowed transfered speeds. This may be the case if you’re using a usb Satelite (assuming your Quad is Satelite based) on the same buss as your Twin usb. Although this doesn’t offer a solution it might help trouble shoot if S1 requires a seemless ASIO path to your interface.