Well, it’s been possible to paint, draw lines, scale, “warp” etc for a long time, but it was all discrete points until now - no structured curves with control points or anything. Looooong overdue, IMHO, but at least, it’s been available for automation data since a few versions back.
As for deactivated tracks, a host can’t just stop running plugin callbacks whenever it feels like it, so a “deactivate” feature isn’t as trivial as it may seem. The plugins need to be properly stopped and unloaded, as if the tracks had been deleted from the project, and everything needs to be restored from the project file when enabling these tracks. That, incidentally, is how the Cubase “Disable Track” feature works, at least since a few major releases back. (Haven’t used pre 7, except way back in the 90’s.)
If that’s not what other DAWs do, I can see why there could be issues - and I’d be wondering what the purpose of the feature is in that case. An extra cumbersome mute button…?
Anyway, quick experiment with Cubase Pro 10.5 on i9 (14 core, all cores locked at 4 GHz), and 128 Kontakt 6 instances, each with Finckenstein Strings (High) Multi from Ark 1, suggests that it’s still working as I expect it to.
- CPU load with all instances taking live MIDI input (that is, all running in the lowlatency context, 5.7 ms latency), they consume about 20% / 14% CPU (according to Cubase / for the whole process according to Task Manager) when idling.
- “Background” idling (sequenced input only, ASIO-Guard, 21.3 ms) takes idle down to about 11% in Cubase, but system process load is about the same.
- Triggering a note on all instances simultaneously will cause a scripting spike to 70-90% CPU load, but it gets away with it without glitches, as long as there aren’t too many playing voices already.
- Sustained live MIDI note on all instances: 27% / 18%.
- Sustained sequenced MIDI note on all instances: 20% / 20%.
- Now for the interesting bit, background (21.3 ms) idle loads:
- All tracks enabled (see above): 11% / 14%
- All tracks muted: 11% / 14%
All tracks disabled: 5% / 5.5%
Empty project: 5% / 5.5%
If this is not how it turns out in other DAWs, I’d say they have some bug fixing to do.