Resources taken by disabled plugins or tracks

If I disable a plugin or track, can I assume it takes no (or very little) extra CPU or memory?

My plan is to set a template with the plugins I use the most and leave them disabled until I actually need them. My problem is that if I have too many plugins running, I get a lot of xruns. So, I don’t know if I should bother with the template or not.

I could test it, of course, but I thought maybe someone could save me some time.

Ardour always runs plugins, bypassed or not. You can un-bypass it at any time in realtime, some plugins also provide for click-free un/bypass. The main benefit is that CPU load is constant and activating a previously bypassed plugin cannot push the DSP load over the limit.

The only way to lower DSP load is to de-activate a track or bus completely (track-header context menu).

Memory usage is not affected either. Once a plugin is loaded it’s locked into RAM. Un/Bypassing plugins must not perform memory allocation because doing so is not realtime-safe. The only way to save memory is to not load a plugin.

I suspected that from experience, but thanks for confirming it! I really appreciate it.