A warning to any prospective Steinberg user

Well, after twenty years or so, I’ve decided to part ways with Cubase/Steinberg.

I honestly can’t remember the last version of the software that worked as it should - and by that, I’m in no way a picky & needy user- - my knowledge of audio production is hobbyist at most, but for as long as I can recall, I haven’t been able to implement my primary usage of Cubase, which is VST instruments & effects, as Steinberg’s (very own) ASIO driver is no longer up to the task of communicating with modern software instruments and plugins - to call the current driver, even Beta is insulting!

I recently purchased a top of the line AMD work horse, which by all accounts, should be able to play very nicely with anything music production-related, but as you can refer to in this topic:
Drastic VSTi Performance it’s been an extremely non productive and frustrating experience, even attempting to have two instances of Omnisphere/Falcon/Serum - take your pick - Cubase’s latency scripts cannot (to any reasonable function) handle more than a handful of these instruments without flying of the preverbal performance meter - and this is with the ASIO driver set to 2048 - at any setting under 512 on my system, I have zero interaction with Cubase & audio altogether - ZERO SOUND!

This is a good opportunity to state I also run Bitwig on my machine, and that software not only flies with anything I can throw at it, but I can also run projects with buffer settings of 48 - I can get about twenty tracks of intensive VST’s & effects - with typically an additional 10 to 20 tracks with each bump up the Buffer ladder.
I will also use this opportunity to state that I’ve downloaded a trial version of Ableton, and though it may not offer the same performance as Bitwig (with my tracks and settings), it still performs well enough to get the job done, and without me reaching for support topics on places such as here.

Now, here’s my real gripe:
Steinberg, dear Steinberg, I have given you a lot of my hard earned cash over the years, and as I stated at the top of this thread, I cannot recall a recent version of Cubase, where Cubase just done it’s job, BUT, YOU KEEP TAKIONG MY DAMNED MONEY, AND NOT FIXING YOUR PRODUCT!
I know there’s never been a gun to my head from you guys, but there has been so much hope over the past years that you’d honor and stand by your product, and give users like me the belief in you guys to eventually fix your product; but that day never came for me.

Even with the .30 update that you just announced, I reinstalled Cubase last night - hoping one more time, but after one (1) instance of Falcon, and Cubase grinding to a halt, I finally knew you guys are not going to fix any of the issues that have plagued me - anytime soon.
There wasn’t even a mention of ASIO related fixes in this new update - not one damned word, to where you even acknowledged our issues; let alone a possible fix!

You’re playing politics at the moment with your customers hard earned cash, but I’m stopping that from happening again.

We all know Steinberg is more than aware of the current state of play with what they claim is conflicts in everything from NVIDIA cards, to everyone else’s drivers and software, but here’s the thing - EVERY OTHER DAW CAN PLAY BALL WITH ALL THE EXCUSES YOU GUYS COME UP WITH, so let’s just drop the BS, and let’s all admit that there’s something pretty fundamentally wrong with Steinberg’s current audio engine.

I know I haven’t a chance in hell of receiving a refund from you guys, for selling products that just don’t work in environments like mine, but I think you guys should do the right thing, and maybe place a Consumer Warning on your website (that as in my case, with AMD & Nvidia… etc), there is a colossal likelihood that your current iteration of your DAW will, at the very least, give us poor bastards out there hours and hours of headaches, to do even the most simple of tasks with your product.

It’s your silence in refusing to even acknowledge these issues that hurt the most.
It’s the fact that you couldn’t even place a line of text anywhere near your most recent update for Cubase, that you’re working on this issue for us poor bastards who’ve stuck by you for so long - well no more!

Steinberg, we now part ways…
I’m selling my CC121, and hopefully my C13 and all other Steinberg licenses, and I’m moving on to green pastures - I can use Bitwig in it’s current build for absolutely everything Cubase can’t (and refuses) to do.
It’s a very bitter ending to a very long partnership with you guys, but enough is indeed enough.

Best of luck with you on your journey, and I sincerely mean that. Bitwig is indeed a great app, and I use it and also love it.

However, I’m somewhat perplexed by your other thread and your message here… given that you say you have 20 years of experience, I’m surprised by certain conclusions you have arrived at, and steps you took in your setup and troubleshooting process.

After 20 years of you doing this, I’m surprised you were even trying to get low latency with a Yamaha MG12XU and ASIO4All, that’s an instant no-go, and an instantly obvious red flag of what you were doing. Respectfully, this implies a serious lack of DAW setup skills. Now I’m not saying that to offend you, and I understand the frustration you have been facing. But if that was the thinking process that you used to start out, then I suspect the machine is poorly configured, from the BIOS to OS installation and up. It’s probably a mess to start out with.

I’d frankly start completely over from scratch, starting with the BIOS and getting that properly set up to the most conservative settings, and also test your hardware thoroughly. Test that motherboard, CPU and RAM with the standard tools and torture tests to confirm it’s truly solid.

You’ll want to disable all non-essential features on the motherboard. And for heaven’s sake, get rid of that absurdly overpowered graphics card. That is totally not an appropriate graphics card for a DAW, it is orders of magnitude overkill and it’s only practical for gaming and video rendering. (You can send it to me, and I’ll put it to proper use. :wink: j/k)

Once the hardware is confirmed 100% solid and pruned down to the bare minimum, with a sane graphics card that is known to work with Cubase and your plugins, then you need to do a clean install of the OS, with the appropriate settings for a DAW. There are plenty of guides out there for that step. Your machine needs to be set up as a DAW, not a gaming machine or a video editing machine.

Then, install a really decent audio driver (such as your RME device. RME makes great drivers!) and then you can begin installing Cubase 13 from scratch, and testing it out carefully. Then, one-by-one, install your plugins and test them thoroughly before moving on to the next installation. You may have some other types of conflicts going on that may need diagnosing.

Cubase 13 is not perfect, but I also run Omnisphere, Falcon, Serum, etc., on both Win and MacOS machines, I have a bunch of DAWs in the studio, even Linux DAWs, and there are no issues even remotely similar to what you are experiencing, unless I’ve really screwed up with the hardware or OS installation. Your situation has all the earmarks of a bad setup and bad installation process, from the hardware and up. Now I do understand your frustration, I’m not trying to give you a hard time (I wouldn’t waste my time) and I’ve been there many times in my decades of DAW use. However, as I’ve mentioned, it’s likely you have a hardware and/or driver and/or serious config issue, and you need to start over. Maybe even hire a DAW building expert to step you through all the steps or do it for you. Even your motherboard, the NZXT N7 B650E, is really not the best motherboard for a great DAW build, it’s a gaming motherboard for heaven’s sake, with all sorts of useless features that could easily cause issues… I would even suggest getting a different motherboard to be honest. At a bare minimum, the wireless and bluetooth need to be disabled, and all the high-performance and/or overclocking features and gaming crap need to be disabled. I personally avoid Realtek LAN chips too btw – they have given me many headaches in the past. Heck, I would personally scrap this motherboard asap and search for something else at least with an Intel LAN chip… something designed for content creators, enterprises, businesses, NOT gaming! I would start looking at something like the GIGABYTE B650 AERO G, but I haven’t done research on that range of motherboards yet, but it took me 2 minutes to find it, and I’d take a gamble with that over your gaming motherboard any day. You don’t need anything more than the B650 TBH, and that Gigabyte model has an Intel LAN chipset, which is a good sign in my book. Again, I haven’t researched them, but I’d start my research far away from gaming motherboards.

In any case, it seems like you’ve just started off with some incomplete thinking in deciding on the parts for your DAW. Your CPU (AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D) is great, but it’s also way overkill… are you really going to use 32 threads? Personally, I’d rather go with the higher base clock rate of the Ryzen 9 7900X, and even then, I wouldn’t expect many apps to properly utilize 24 threads. But for DAW work, I’d bet the 7900X will do just as well or maybe even slightly better depending on the thread distribution of the apps/plugins. But if you wanted to keep the 7950X3D, great, it should be fine for Cubase on a properly configured motherboard with a properly configured OS with a properly configured Cubase with a proper high performance ASIO driver.

Anyway, good luck with it. Again, I mean that sincerely. But I think you really overshot the build on this DAW and you built an insanely unbalanced gaming machine (way too many threads!), or better yet a nice video editing machine for Adobe Premiere, After Effects, or DaVinci. It’s not an optimally configured DAW.

Respect and best wishes.

3 Likes

Although I’ve read and agree with what you are saying, one has to wonder why Cubendo seem to be so picky about hardware components and OS/BIOS settings when other DAWs appear not to be. A question that will never be answered I presume, but intriguing none the less.

I don’t find Cubendo to be any more picky than other DAWs, over time, on average, just depends on the year, underlying framework changes, the roll of the dice and a bit of luck either way in some cases. I use many DAW apps on three platforms, and at some point every DAW has issues with some platform, OS variant, hardware, driver, plugin, update, you name it.*

We all know Cubase 13 has undergone some underlying changes to the graphics engine, which implies some framework changes too. That COULD be a factor here. And it would explain the graphical glitches in the initial release. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is in parallel with long-running framework and legacy code issues that Cubase is dealing with as it has to tackle the 800-lb gorilla in the room, which is the score editor changes that will no doubt be coming in the next several years as they work with the Dorico team.

But as for its sensitivity to hardware and OS issues, it’s well within the margins of issues that I’ve seen with other DAWs in the past decade. Statistically, I think it’s within norms, and TBH, Cubase 13 runs great on a couple different machines here in my studio. I think most people’s struggles are innocent user error, bad set up and/or a little bit of bad luck. YMMV

BTW, the first rule of DAW stability is to build a DAW that is exclusively a DAW, designed and fine-tuned to be a DAW, and used only as a DAW. The second rule of DAW stability is DON’T chase the latest version of everything and DON’T chase the latest hardware.

Where people go off the DAW island and they violate those two rules, is when they invite potential headaches. For some people, migraine headaches. They dabble in the latest CPUs, graphics cards, motherboards, etc., etc., etc., and they want to run the latest versions of everything, and they expect not to be a beta tester.

*As for the OP, Bitwig is an outlier for stability. It’s UNUSUALLY stable, and can tolerate crappy computer configurations better than most DAWs. Also, I’ll add that Reaper is pretty stable too.

Hi, Uarte, and thank you for your reply. - here’s my own reply to yours:

After 20 years of you doing this, I’m surprised you were even trying to get low latency with a Yamaha MG12XU and ASIO4All
…well, allow me to first off reiterate that I’m a hobbyist, with little to moderate brains in setting up DAWs with PC’s.
In my other thread, I also state that after trying to run things with the MG (which is owned by Steinberg’s latest parent company for God’s sake) and ASIO4ALL; even with those two elements, I couldn’t get Cubase off the ground to anywhere near a satisfactory resolve.
…to add, I also implemented ASIO4ALL as a necessity, as I have various Elektron boxes that would love to play with a decent DAW via Overbridge.
And, please explain to me why I should have to even consider spending hours of time attempting to go through BIOS settings, extensive video card setup, and the myriad of other ‘suggestions’ - essentially required, to get a product running in it’s most basic manner - especially, when other DAW’s require absolutely ZERO setup and observation - please explain this to me…

And for heaven’s sake, get rid of that absurdly overpowered graphics card
Again, here we go - every other DAW I’ve tested has ZERO issues with my absurdly overpowered graphics card.
(…and quite frankly, you’re displaying a little piece of your ignorance with this comment)

Once the hardware is confirmed 100% solid and pruned down to the bare minimum - so you’re implying Cubase cannot communicate properly with modern hardware, and therefor it’s obviously ‘said’ hardware’s fault, and as such, it is the sole culprit, and should be dealt with accordingly. - did you read your comments you’re writing here before postin these thoughts of yours?

**Then, install a really decent audio driver (such as your RME device. RME makes great drivers!) and then you can begin installing Cubase 13 from scratch, and testing it out carefully. **
…and here we go again! The RME driver grinds to a complete halt, if any buffer setting under 512 is implemented within Cubase. …and once again… every other DAW I’ve tested has ZERO ISSUES with any of the above; especially with these buffer settings.
Yup, RME make superb drivers, but Steinberg DOES NOT make superb software to run these drivers on - is this getting through to you guys?

How can you possibly defend a product, who’s entire competition has absolutely no comparable issues with - this one fact, is solely at the heart of why I’m moving on.

…as for the NZXT, disabling Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, reductions in CPU & complete optimization of Windows etc; let alone, spending hours in settings and BIOS, and on pages like these, listening to people like your good self, claim any responsibility (or lack of, for that matter), as to why Cubase is essentially a current piece of crap for us poor buggers who use our overpowered & unnecessary machines.

…and one last note, Cubase is also having major issues on OSX, so please be a little more sympathetic for those of us who dare to also enjoy gaming etc. on our completely overpowered machines.

You shouldn’t. If Cubase gives you a headache and Bitwig runs just fine on your machine and has the features that you require then by all means you should use Bitwig. I hope you get some good price for your Steinberg licenses.
All the best.

1 Like

Thanks Johnny - to the point, and very gracious.

Thank you.

I am sympathetic to your situation, and I will guarantee your machine will play Cyberpunk 2077 like a dream.

Look, I read your posts (which are as equally verbose as my own, so give me some credit) but I’m not defending or blaming any developer here. And I’m not trying to attack you in any way. I’m simply stating the results of what I have gone through myself many times over the years, about getting to the bottom of issues and getting a working system. That’s what we all want, right? I’ve built countless DAWs, run every DAW app, beta tested for many of the big DAW and plugin developers, pulled my hair out a hundred times over decades, installed DAW software countless times, and I’ve got a studio with many machines running right now, very stably, Win, Mac, and Linux DAWs, all working after years of learning from my own pain and misery and poor choices.

And yes, maybe it’s rather sad that some of us go through this. Some people are more lucky or unlucky than others. But Cubase is NOT the only DAW that has issues on different machines. They pretty much all have issues at some point. You are being hit with a few factors IMO, starting with most likely a poor setup. Bitwig is an outlier, and maybe Reaper to some degree too, so they’ll tolerate more crap than other DAWs. (But I’ve even had to go back and forth with Justin on some issues with Reaper too that were quite difficult to solve and required patches from him.)

My comment above about the rules of DAW stability are why I have so few issues today:

I’m not defending Steinberg or Avid or NI or Ableton or Presonus or MOTU or fill-in-the-blank, but that’s just a fact that I’ve learned in my business. Keep the DAW a DAW, and stay conservative with hardware and software updates. Anything more invites problems. It’s not a criticism of you, and maybe all DAWs SHOULD run perfectly on imperfectly-configured hardware. That would be wonderful. It’s just not the case as much as we all would like.

Consider for a moment the complexity of a real-time audio engine, and the requirements to operate at a very close level with the hardware to achieve low latency, processing so many streams of data, and consider the total mess that an OS can be. They are NOT designed for real-time low-latency processes… they have thread schedulers and drivers and hardware interrupts and plenty of crap going on that is constantly demanding resources… if just ONE of those processes or drivers or threads causes an interruption or delay of just a handful of milliseconds or is misbehaving or causing state switching or power profile changes or device timeouts, etc., to your DAW’s processing, then you will get an audio dropout.

It sucks. It really does. If you want to get forensic about it, take a good look at the crap that is installed when you install the latest GOG or STEAM or whatever service you’re playing your games with… and just take a look at how poorly written device drivers like your wireless adapter is. Every one of those things could disrupt your DAW even though you think they are totally unrelated. I’ve spent countless hours in the past hunting down things like that only to find it was a misbehaving wireless adapter and I had to disable it completely in the BIOS and wham, my DAW software started working better. And some DAWs are more sensitive to SOME things than other things. It’s hit and miss, you might be lucky, you might not.

Anyway, bottom line is that the real problem is actually Microsoft and Apple. They are not designing a DAW-friendly environment for you. And many users just think they can keep on installing crap on their machines and expect them to work perfectly, even though if they opened up their task manager or understood that the drivers for their gaming-friendly motherboard are filled with garbage that can impact their DAW’s low-latency performance.

But you rightly ask how do some DAWs seem to tolerate all that crap better than other DAWs? Yes, a few do… and that is a testament to the programming approaches and sometimes application frameworks they are using. Some DAWs are very lightweight and extremely well written to perform with minimal resources, such as Reaper, that can even run on a Raspberry Pi running Linux. But you’d be having equal problems with some other large DAWs on your same machine due to some obscure framework issue that is not compatible with the latest nVidia update, for example. It happens. In your case, I expect you had some bad luck on top of things like that too.

Like I mentioned, I wish you well on your journey. I won’t spend the time to answer every comment you made (this is quite a long novel we’re writing already) but the primary issue I think you’re dealing with is a simple violation of the two rules of DAW stability I mentioned above. This is not a criticism. On the contrary, I’d like to live in a world that fits your concept of how your computer SHOULD be able to do all these things. But it doesn’t. And that’s the unfortunate reality. I’m not here to give you a hard time, just convey some things and a perspective that might help your situation. If you insist on not following the rules of DAW stability, as is your right to do so, then as someone who has fought against those very rules my whole adult life, I can tell you, that your chances of running all your DAWs and all your plugins in a beautifully stable way diminishes greatly the more you deviate from the rules of DAW stability. It’s not a binary state BTW, it is a gradient. At some point, after some STEAM update, or some nVidia update to make sure you get the best framerate for Cyberpunk 2077, Bitwig will break too.

Again, wish you the best. And again, I am sympathetic to your situation.

But if you want a great DAW for Cubase or Bitwig AND you want to play Cyberpunk 2077, then you really need TWO computers. One that is exclusively 100% a DAW, and the other computer for playing games with that great RTX4090, so have at it with the great games out there. (Or learn how to properly set up an isolated dual-boot system which has become more tricky in recent years due to how Microsoft handles things now, so I personally would not recommend that path for simplicity sake).

…but you absolutely do not need two computers to do everything properly on - only if you implement Cubase into that equation - then, it’s a bit of a crap shoot that it’ll work properly straight out the box - Bitwig most definitely does - install it, then run it - it’s that easy!

I have issue with Steinberg, as they’re most definitely aware of this huge crap shoot right now with their software, but yet they are completely silent, and that silence is deafening, and it’s very unfair to their customers - the droves of their customers - right here on their very own forum, who just like me, are playing Russian Roulette each time we choose to initially give Cubase a go, or each year when we faithfully hand over our $100 to them for the bevy of new features and improvements - they need to seriously think about refunding ‘said’ loyal supporters, or place a very concise notice wherever their product is being sold, that there’s a good chance you’re going to have substantial issues using their software, if you haven’t got a computer that is configured properly to use it - even, and in my case, with 1 instance of a modern VST - this is a serious phucking problem, that so far, they’re point blank refusing to even acknowledge.

This company is moving closer and closer to being sued by a loyal fanbase who are getting the raw end of a pretty expensive stick.

As I said, Bitwig is an outlier. And I love it too BTW. However, I can share many stories from my own studio about just about every other DAW having issues at some point. And the frequency of problems goes up as I have risked deviating from the rules of DAW stability. YMMV. And I wish you the best in your approach. And I hope Bitwig continues working perfectly for you. But your overall statement is not an accurate, realistic portrayal of the DAW world at large, based on my own experience alone of many, many machines on three platforms and pretty much every DAW app made over decades of use. Again, YMMV. I wish you the best on that, sincerely!

I think that’s an exaggeration to put it lightly, they would be bankrupt if you were correct, and this forum is a microcosm of users that don’t represent the overall customer base, but I respect that you are upset about your situation and I definitely understand being frustrated. Also, I’ve seen Steinberg managers or developers participating regularly in this forum… including responding to your own posts, maybe not as much as we would want, but in some subforums they’re very active, like in the WaveLab forum, and there’s more meaningful dev participation here than there is in Avid or Presonus or NI forums IMO. But again, I understand your frustration. And like I said, I love Bitwig myself, and it’s a great DAW too.

I do think you deserve a refund. C13 is still new enough, and since you have had so many issues, I hope they give it to you.

Personally, I think they should have a giant post on their site with my two rules of DAW stability and it would solve 80% of the problems. But alas, that won’t happen.

This is hyperbole again, but I get it that you are frustrated. For every disgruntled user, you’ll find ten or more users that don’t bother coming to this forum that are busy using the software just fine. That’s the case with most forums for DAWs like this, as you know. Again, I’m not saying Cubase 13 is perfect, but it’s working quite well in my studio right now, the 13.0.30 update was a good one for me, and besides some feature requests that I’ve been asking for, it does a great job, I make money with it, it’s one of the best DAWs I use, among many others. I know that doesn’t help you, but I say that to your point that the user base is close to a lawsuit, which is not happening. But again, I get it, you are very unhappy with it, and as you have a right to do, you can share your frustration and hopefully someone will come along and interact with you, to try to help you, maybe share their point of view with you to help resolve your frustrations, and maybe you’ll take something positive from that… or if not, you have the right to sell your licenses and get a good value for them.

…you and I just don’t agree - let’s leave things right there!!

Fair enough! Again, wish you the best!

Thank you.

Take care!!

1 Like

Likewise!

Sorry to hear your story, Schnooker. I understand your frustration and I too would be tempted to do exactly what you’re doing.

Sorry to hear schooker

I have been using since 89 on semi pro basis…it has been getting worse as time goes along…you will see I have had my share of issues…but I just dont upgrade until all the stuff is done and there is nothing in 13 for me. I generally upgrade about every 5 years as I just need to work and if you lock the hardware box and just get on with it…it seems to work out…desperately miss Wizooverb and SX multiband compressor though

I am a competent Live user and program control surfaces for manufacturers… as well but for pro mixing…Live doesnt even come close

I wish you all the best with it
“The BEST daw is the daw you know best”
Dan Worrall

Export projects you need to stems in case you do sell that license. It’s frustrating having work locked in a format that you can’t get to.

Thanks to everyone for the kind words, and a good old heated debate as well…
Yeah, it’s a sad time for me, as I never thought I’d be parting ways with something that’s become a huge part of my life, even through recent tough times.
I just feel, as a Cubase user, I’m getting shafted here, and by a company who apparently couldn’t care less - certainly enough to even broach the topic - and defend as you need to, but their silence on this issue is just too deafening for me to accept.
I have absolutely no idea on how to proceed with giving up licenses, but I’ll figure it all out - who knows, there might even be a topic or two on this very subject here in the forum!!

I reckon I’ve said all that’s to be said, so I’ll be bowing out after this reply.
I wish everyone the very best of successes in your respective futures, and hope you all keep making great music.

Kindest regards.
Stephen

Thank you for taking a stand. It’s not easy to transition. But hopefully enough people follow you and finally let Steinberg realise that if they don’t adapt they will be left in the dust.
Bitwig is Awesome.
I hope they fix this but with S1 cleaning up it remains to be seen.

I wonder if one of the reasons that Bitwig is so stable is that it’s built all on brand new code?

Cubase, I’m sure, still has old approaches, old code, and more than a few band-aids to get it all going.

It’s a huge program with so many features and capabilities that updating it all to modern code would be challenging.