ASIO Spikes


I recently updated to Cubase 8 Pro from Cubase 5.5.3.

I am on a mid 2011 iMac i7 2.8ghz, 16GB 1067 MHz DDR3, AMD Radeon 6770HD 512, running Mountain Lion 10.8.5.

When I add even one VST Instrument or plugin, I get an unusually high reading on the average load and real time peak meters. On the same machine with cubase 5, I could easily handle 50 or 60 tracks or VST Instruments and plugins with extensive automation and effects use. When I open these old projects in Cubase 8, they perform well.

So, it seems that it’s only when I’m starting a fresh project in Cbuase 8 that the problem arises. I can get to about 10 tracks when the ASIO starts clicking and stuttering. I have tried turning ASIO Guard off, and tried it on all settings. I have tried raising buffer on ASIO device and all this in different combinations but still no joy.

I wonder if it might have something to do with my ASIO Driver (Focusrite Scarlett 2i4)? I have had some problems with this in skype or facetime - the video crashes if I try to use the scarlett 2i4 as my input/output. It seems to me like it might be a simple issue of something conflicting. The graphics card and the audio interface? But, to be honest, I have no clue.

I have been troubleshooting and googling for ages but can’t find a solution. I also sent a support ticket to steinberg a few days ago but have heard nothing. Has anyone here experienced a similar problem?

Cheers for any help/advice,


sounds similar to my problemd, check my post on VST performance maxing out.

Cheers Maas, I’ll take a look.

Any news on this as I had no luck and have also logged as an issue.

I haven’t found a solution yet. I also logged a support call, over a week ago, and still I haven’t had a response. I am tempted to request a refund and switch over to another DAW. Which is a pity because I have been using Cubase for a long time and know it well.

I have now run MS process explorer expecting to see some peaks in line with the VST peaks. Nothing at all, only real peaks in the process explorer are when i load a new VST which I guess is to be expected.
I also went through all the processes running and closed down everyone i could one by one and this made no difference.
With no tracks loaded (only one for the current VST) the real time meter is shooting up beyond 50% when i hit 3 keys or more, even 1 key has the meter rising. This is with no data in the track and not even playing.
If I rest my arm on the midi keys to play 24 notes the meter is up to about 90%.
If I change patches on a non steinberg VST from the midi keyboard the meter hits maximum at every press.
If i change the patch from within cubase I still get spike but only up to around 75%.
I now discovered that the rotary controller under my patch change buttons is assigned to FFWD or Scrub. When i turn this the purple hard disc meter shoots up to max.
Non of this happened until C8.
I will request a refund for the ugrade and go back to 7.5 if this is not resolved soon. I will never upgrade again without check for issues first. However i know that some people are getting issues and some are not.
I still have not had a chance to remove audio and midi drivers and replace with older versions or asio4all. I will try to get this done tonight.
I know these forum are for users and they are the first place to go with issues so other users can help, but really surprised that none of the Steinberg guys have jumped in to help out. I know these guys do get involved in forum issues but this is a pretty big issue as its rendering a lot of systems unusable.

tried asio4all and to my surprise i could not get it working at anything less 512 samples and even then no improvement. For now the best i can achieve short term without investigating further (which i will do in the coming weeks) is use the yamaha driver that came with ur44 and adjust sample rate from my normal 128 to 512. this is still usable as far as latency goes, well it is when the project is empty, may have record and freeze as i go.
It brings down the constant spiking from 75% to around 40% (this is with an empty project) but still getting the massive spikes when changing patches in a third party vst. It seems to be worst in Omnisphere.
Can anyone tell me what the easiest way is to install C 7.5? I have C7 discs, should i install this and then upgrade if available to 7.5? I still have a feeling this will now make no difference but will try out of desperation.

Hi Mass,

i also an still having problems. Not so bad as yours - but after using about 8 or 10 vst instruments with minimal effects - it is maxing out. I had an email reply from steinberg support telling me to turn ASIO Guard on - which I have done and tried every option. So, not very useful.

I have Cubase 5 and 8 installed on my computer. You should be able to run 7 by installing from disc if you have it. It will run seperately.


Hi. Thanks. I do have the discs so will try over the weekend. I have to that sounds like a very poor reply from Steinberg, a bit like an I.T. Guy telling you to turn it off and on again. It’s fairly obvious that most Cubase users are techy type of people so we would have thought to try all the obvious options amongst others.

I’m having serious problems with ASIO spiking too. In fact even with just a few plugins running I am getting peak loads even as a baseline. I also use Reaper with the same interfaces and buffer sizes and it has never peaked out on me. It’s got so debilitating that Cubase is almost unusable. which is shame, because I really like it - when it works.

Forgot to mention, I have tried with ASIO guard on/off and each of the three level settings. I have also tried running a number of plugins through jBridger (which takes some of the processing out of Cubase). All to no avail.

Attached is a screenshot with just two tracks and two plugins on one track
Cubase ASIO baseload.PNG