Broken project (CPU spiking, slowing down and..)

Hello Cubase comunity.

Computer: Frost Blushbox (Intel Core i5 2300 Quadcore)
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Soundcard: M-AUDIO Fast Track Ultra 8R
D.A.W: Cubase 6 (ver 6.0.2) I am currently running in 32-bit mode

I got a broken project on my hands. Everytime playback passes between bar 113 and 114 the CPU meter spikes, audio drops out and playback slows down. I have tried removing all plugins, reseting all automation lanes, deleting audio and every track within my project and eventhough I end up with an empty project I still get the same problem during playback. After bar 114 playback resumes as normal and everything seems fine again. I have even tried updating Cubase from 6.0.0 to 6.0.2 but this didn’t help at all. This bug/issue stays when saving the project.

In this project I am using Steinberg FX plugins and one third party pluging called “Glitch”. I have no clue of what could have gone wrong here. I was just listening to the track trying to find some inspiration when this problem occured. Anyone else had this problem?

Thank you for your time.


Export audio/midi and start a new project in C6 and ensure to saved all presets related to the project in mediabay.

Hi there,

this and other issues are becoming common and extremely popular…

See the followings:

Waiting for an update, I’m going back to Cubase

Is tempo map enabled in your project?


Thanks for the tips.

Just to clarify something, my problem started even before upgrading to 6.0.2 I upgraded just to see if that might fix
it. I have tried reproducing this issue but so far I have been unable to do so.

Tempo track not enabled, trust me it was the absolut first thing that I checked. I wish it would have been that, no my project really is broken.

Seriously, this is intollerable, unexeptable and costs time and money. I sincerely hope Steinberg “debuggers” are swarming the forum.

I know my question seemed simple, but it wasn’t the obvious that I was looking for… I sometimes suffer stutters in audio during gradual tempo change, which I work around by changing tempo per quaver beat rather than in a straight line rall. If tempo control is off then this possibility is negated.

Another simplistic question, do you have any audio files muted, but not disabled?



I do not have any audio files muted at all, I always delete the parts I do not use. I like having a tidy workspace, I am a bit “anal” with these things. :slight_smile: I tried making some gradual tempo changes but I get no stutter here…yet anyway.

Btw, I am sorry if I came of a bit dry, I’ve had a really lousy day and this issue isn’t helping. I am very greatfull for all pointers and tips.

Try doing a Backup Project, I find this sometimes cures instabilities in corrupt projects.

I agree with Split, try a backup - it puts a new versions of audio files into a different location on your drive.

Check also that audio and library drives are in good condition, not close to full, not fragmented, or showing signs of imminent failure. I have had projects stutter as Cubase tries to read audio under these circumstances. Nb. midi and vstis that aren’t sample players will tend not to be affected in this scenario. You say CPU spikes, does disk meter spike too?

Make a back up elsewhere of all critical files anyway, just in case this fault is an early warning of a drive problem

By the way, no offence taken, we all have crap days sometimes. I did realise that what I was asking sounded idiotically obvious!


Try a backup or Select all and copy to a new project.

I do not know if this is related or not but I’ve had dropouts and crackles from CPU spikes (not slowing down though) that would occur in a particular song (though not always in the same place in the song) on a 7 hour project file containing about 40 songs (live recording). This was on a project with low track count and plug in use that should have played back fine.

I did a backup of the song by itself, editing out audio files for other songs and then using “minimize audio files” and “remove unused files” in the backup project options dialog box.

After this procedure the problem still existed (very frustrating). I then updated cubase to 6.0.2 from 6.0.0 and at the same time updated my UAD -1 software and the problem went away, at least so far. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

As I said I don’t know if this is related to the original posters problem (especially since I’m on Mac) but I thought I’d add my experience as it may help as another piece of the puzzle.


…quality check…
Audio and library drives are in perfect condition or at least should be since this computer is only four weeks old, so there is hardly any considerable amount of data on the drives yet. I have only been using this system for about a week so far. The previous users where the lab crew at Frost headquarters, so I certainly hope this is not a bad drive issue.

The disk meter alternates between 0-1% at all times, even when the bug hits.

…fingers crossed…
I tried backing up the project using different drives (int/ext) and filenames, though I still get the same problem.

I also tried highlighting everything within the project and then moving all parts beyond bar 115 just to be certain. When doing this, playback acts like normal but when trying to play from bar 113, again all hell brakes loose.

…and then…
I tried doing a copy/paste into a new project but the problem stays. However, this phenomenon got me thinking. Right now it seems like this apparently invisible problem can be copied and pasted into a new unbroken untouched project. I’ll search some more and let ya’ll know what I find.

As of now I have placed a few gremlin traps around my computer, just in case.

Hi everybody,

I have a simple question turning round and round in my mind:

"Is it possible that, in order to have a software in good working order, we are forced into tweaking, twisting and wringing, stirring and battering knobs and buttons, settings and folders, instruments and compressors, VSTs and motherboards, and so on and on and on…?

I thought it was supposed to be a different story. You buy a software and it must work after adjusting a few little things and controls…
No updates or upgrades needed unless something absolutely revolutionary is meant to be added to the software.

The rest is current gossip (chronicle) in this forum.

If your project behaves perfectly when all placed beyond bar 115, then that’s a great step forward, out of the mucky stuff. You could finish it from there I guess?

It will be interesting to know what the underlying problem turns out to be though, something has to be causing that sudden cpu spike. Some weird demand in graphics, micro sliced audio, MIDI even?

Another idea: In Device setup is multiprocessing ticked? If so untick and test (or vice versa). Does this change anything?


ps. I hope those gremlin traps are humane?

MikiMart: Well no…I am sorry I am just being honest here. I have been working with music and computers since 20 years back. During that time I have built quite a bunch of studio computer systems for professionall and novice use etc. In all that time one thing has been constant (working with PC’s btw). Computers and software never ever work or perform as they where “meant” to.

I recently decided to get rid of my old thorn in the eye, a ten year old computer that has been the heart of my studio. That system worked perfectly for about 6 months when it was new (after hammering out all the regular technical crap). Thinking back, I spent almost 30-40 percent of the time just debugging my system in the studio…hmm.
So one month back I ordered a completely new flashy, blingy computer, a copy of the most recent Cubase DAW and a sound card. Man was I high on good feelings. And then…

So far I have had this system up and running for one week, one week!!! And I have had three bluescreens for no apparent reason and this crap with Cubase. I have used Cubase since it could only handle MIDI using an ATARI STE. I sincerely believed that baby problems like theese would be long gone. But I was sadly mistaken. So once again I spend hours in front of my screen, not working with music, no, instead I am forced to sit here at the forum looking for answers to solve a problem with my newly purchased most favored DAW. Thanks Steinberg, you are a true friend…

Parrotspain: This may seem like progress but I still have a bad feeling about this project. Im affraid the whole thing will go up in flames at any second. I’ll try to finish the track and see what happens either way.

I’ll try deactivating the “multiprocessing” option and I’ll get back at you.

The gremlin traps are actually match boxes filled with liquorice extract. Gremlins seem to get high consuming liquorice, weird I know. I grab them while their mesmerized by the blue LED infront of my computer. So yeah, I would consider that being humane.

MikiMart - When I started up, I was surprised how far from that the reality is. I’m no longer surprised, just dismayed and saddened. The simpler, and (from what I hear) “hardly ever crash”, programs like GarageBand or Reaper sound so appealing at those times I find myself doing like you say you are doing lately - spending hours running back and forth between the manual, the forum, and the program, sometimes getting the problem solved, sometimes not. The reason I don’t go change over to those other programs is that the functions that I use a lot, like tempo and time manipulation, are not as advanced in them. If they were, I’d probably look very closely at dropping Cubase if they were otherwise reasonably comparable in other terms.

Hang in there, I can tell you if someone as computer illiterate as I was to start, and to a large extent still am, can make CDs of my music good enough for friends and family*, then anyone can! I recommend you continue to post specific questions to the forum - there is a core of very wise and helpful people here that selflessly and graciously offer their assistance to those who who ask - they’ve helped me out a lot, and I’m sure they will help you too!

Happy Tunes!

  • …running Cubase 6.0 on an old XP computer, as you can see from my specs …


Most of what Steinberg do is in the area of OS compatibility, so if your DAW is on the net you will be using the latest updates and service packs, plus you might even have a firewall and anti-virus.

Updates aren’t only for new features in other words.

Hi everybody,

thanks for your answers.

Well, I must say I too started many years ago, with my Atari Mega 1 and Steinberg Pro 24. Does anyone remember it?

In those days we didn’t have to update the software. Obviously, nowadays virtual instruments make (sometimes) a difference. Nevertheless, I used and still use to write down music and then record it. Now, I spend more time trying to fix little and big malfunctions or updating the tons of libraries and software we all use rather than trying to obtain a violoncello articulation closer to reality…
I’m just a bit saddened, notwithstanding the fact I’m not “suffering” a great deal of issues.
From now on, anyway, I’ll try to avoid digressions! Sorry about that.

Thanks again, guys. Our community is a good one!

Not sure if this was already mentioned. I didn’t read all the off topic posts and may have missed it.
I am curious what happens if you use the range tool, select everything for a couple of bars around the problem area and use Cut Time.