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While we are on the subject of project optimization, new to Cubase is the Instrument Freeze function, which you might have noticed in the VST Instrument panel (F11). If you like trying different things while you are composing, chances are you might also load up your memory with VSTi instances, which play small parts here and there in your project. This is what makes using Cubase such a great experience. What's not so great is when you run out of resources and your computer starts its, "I've had enough" routine, crackling the sound, jerking playback and other related computer behaviors.
The Instrument Freeze will create a temporary audio render of the VSTi for all MIDI events routed through the selected VSTi you chose to freeze. As a result, the MIDI track becomes locked from editing and muted, the VSTi unloads from memory, and Cubase creates a special audio rendering corresponding to the result of the MIDI events going through the VSTi. This offers the advantage of hearing what you heard before: MIDI events playing through a VSTi without the resource real estate required by VSTi. The frozen audio will not appear in the project as a separate audio channel, but will continue to be controlled in the Mixer panel through its VSTi channel. So, any volume, EQ, or routing will continue to have an effect on the sound. If you want to change something in the MIDI track, you can unfreeze the VSTi, change the MIDI, and refreeze again.
This is by no means the most efficient way to work, but it does offer a solution for those of us trying to get the most out of our computers before purchasing a new one with more horsepower. Once a VSTi is unfrozen, the freeze file is removed from its special Freeze folder, which can be found inside the project's main folder. Note that parts that are muted will not be frozen. In other words, the result of a freeze, in terms of what you hear, is identical to the VSTi generating the sounds in real time.
To freeze a VSTi:
Bring up the VSTi panel (F11).
Click on the Freeze button next to the desired VSTi in the list (see Figure 10.21). Cubase will create the audio render. This might take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the complexity of the process and computer resources available.
To unfreeze a VSTi, press on the Freeze button once more.
When a VSTi is frozen, the Freeze button will appear orange, and you won't be able to make any changes to the MIDI tracks being sent to this VSTi.
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