Can Anybody Replicate This Problem?

I updated my studio recently and am in the process of updating a couple hundred Cubase projects. I’m also backing each project up to reorganize things and to purge orphaned audio files dating back to Cubase 8. It’s tedious but long overdue.

Here’s the problem I’m running into: When I load a project, update it, back it up, and then close Cubase, everything works fine. However, when I perform those operations on three or more projects in succession - that is, without closing Cubase in-between - Cubase gets wonky. Symptoms are different each time but all appear to relate to memory failures. Sometimes, a VSTi throws a memory error while loading samples. Sometimes, Cubase displays a memory error or a routine function, like the “Save As…” dialog will stop functioning. If I ignore the symptoms and continue on, Cubase eventually crashes or Windows throws a BSOD with the stop code, “Memory Management.” Sometimes, restarting Cubase is enough to clear minor symptoms up. Other times, a system reboot is required.

I reported this to Steinberg US Support and, to their credit, they were prompt and responsive. But, when they saw my BSOD screen capture, they dismissed it as a Windows or hardware problem, explaining that Cubase couldn’t throw a BSOD like that. I respect their evaluation but find it difficult to accept, given that Cubase is the only program that exhibits these problems and only when used in the specific manner I described. Personally, I suspect a memory leak. But, again, I could be wrong. Fortunately, we can easily verify it.

If anybody has a moment, could you please try this simple test and report your findings:

  1. Launch Cubase 11
  2. Load a project - a small project is probably fine, but for comparison, most of my projects are quick riffs that incorporate just a couple of MIDI and audio tracks, a guitar amp sim, convolution reverb, and a delay. Many incorporate a piano or other sample-heavy VSTi, but not all.
  3. Backup the project
  4. Close the project (but not Cubase)
  5. Repeat Steps 2-4 for 6+ projects

I typically see problems after the third or fourth project (on a very powerful computer). Again, the symptoms are inconsistent, so simply watch for anything screwy. And if it doesn’t stop you, press on - if my assumptions are correct, things will get worse. I can’t seem to get beyond six projects without a crash or a mandatory reboot.

Any assistance is greatly appreciated!

How about a little more info on your system?
Windows version, which instruments are involved, which audio hardware…

I can understand the adoption that the problem is related to hardware since Win10 only produces BSOD if there is any interaction with hardware failing…

I’m not going to be of much help here, but if misery loves company (granted, it’s not THAT miserable), I’ve experienced this issue ever since the SX days on Mac.

I’ve just gotten accustomed to restarting Cubase/Nuendo after each session. I’ve historically had similar issues when opening multiple projects simultaneously, but I THINK that’s gotten better over time. Still, reflex and conditioning have me restarting Cubendo, if only for the sake of habit and reassurance.

Chewy

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Windows 10 Pro v10.0.19043
AES16e (x2)
MOTU MIDI Timepiece AV (x4)

My go-to instruments are electric bass & guitars on audio tracks (with Guitar Rig 5 and, more recently, Mercuriall amp sims), Mixosaurus drums (24/96), Revolution drums (24/96) Production Grand Platinum (Yamaha C7 piano, 24/96 running in Kontakt 5), and various hardware synths (e.g., Moog Voyager, Studio Electronics CODE 8). I always record my synths and mute the corresponding MIDI tracks at the end of a session, so it’s sorta irrelevant - they’re just audio tracks.

All of my projects have Altiverb 7 and SoundToys EchoBoy on 5.1 surround FX channels - they’re in my default template.

Otherwise, there’s little consistency to my projects. Some have pianos only. Or guitars only. Or an experiment with MIDI modulation. The vast majority are just eight or 16 bars of rough jams. If one of my VSTs or VSTi’s was causing the problem, it should’ve become apparent by now. I’ve updated maybe 100 projects by now. Many, many have nothing but a muted MIDI track or two and the corresponding audio tracks.

Thank you for helping me with this.

Well, that’s not encouraging, but very helpful! Thank you for sharing.

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For what it’s worth, and I have little faith that this impacts your (our) issue, I’ve had trouble with Guitar Rig 5 messing session settings up on a project routing basis, to the point where I’ve entirely stopped using it, and have been relying either on mic’ed guitar sounds or UAD (and more and more, Nuendo’s built-in) amp simulations. Haven’t used Guitar Rig 5 for several years, but remember that instantiating it caused problems that even removing it from the session did not resolve. I wish I could give you more info, and don’t know to what level user error factors into this, but but I offer my experience in hopes that it may provide clues that might lead to resolution.

Chewy

I believe I have experienced this but not quite in the exact way. I noticed there is an issue with ‘backup project’, and that in order to avoid any issues you need to fully shutdown Cubase immediately after doing a backup project, particularly when the files will get moved to a new folder.
I’m not sure if you are closing Cubase or not after backup.
The issue I think is that when you backup a project the audio files will be copied to the new folder, but the ones in memory won’t be.
Maybe try that and see if it helps. I made a thread about it somewhere here…

Here it is Backup Project keeps old Project Folder location

So maybe this is related maybe it isn’t, just a shot in the dark I guess. It could potentially cause a BSOD due to cause the Windows OS to try to write over files in memory… Not 100% sure

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@david_d
Good day David,

Hopefully this reply finds your problems behind you! If not, here is a list of items to look at (I’ve been at this for over 20yrs, built/bought/sold plenty of IT companies/studios).
1 - What was the exact error(s) thrown in the BSOD?
2 - Cubase/Nuendo BSOD 99% of the time is caused by the things you have already been informed by Steinberg Support (drivers, hardware, virus, performance, etc).
3- Head over to the following help center link and verify your system is properly updated with OEM drivers and you have performed all the recommended tweaks. I personally regard the tweaks as principle items that should never be overlooked. Every system we build has every tweak in it. And every system we build rarely (if ever) has an issue like yours. https://helpcenter.steinberg.de/hc/en-us/articles/360008589880
5 - Make sure your Windows 10 system default audio playback device is not the same ASIO/Audio interface you are using in Cubase.
6 - Make sure you are on the latest OEM ASIO drivers for the audio interface, and ASIO4All is not installed. It can be very problematic having this running a professional audio interface card, or installed along side an OEM ASIO driver.
7 - If you are running an nvidia GPU, make sure the Studio version of the driver is installed and not the gaming/performance NVidia GPU drivers (this is crucial). And just as crucial, also mentioned in the help center article, uninstall/shut down any NVidia software that is not a driver (Broadcast, Experience Center, etc)
8 - Treat this as a standalone audio workstation, if you are not already doing so, and back-out any performance and overclocking tweaks (typical to gamers).
9 - Download Autoruns from Microsoft, it will give you a complete view of everything that is installed/running at startup/running as a service/installed drivers/on and on. Caution, if you have never used this tool, do not run it in administrator mode (that’s an option in the menu when you launch it), only use to it look around, not manage your machine. Autoruns for Windows - Windows Sysinternals | Microsoft Docs
10 - Perform a memory test on your system using Toms Hardware Guide: How to Test RAM: Making Sure Bad Memory Isn't Crashing Your PC | Tom's Hardware
11 - Its possible you have some corruption at the HD level with something that is critical to Cubase (i.e. dll, exe, partition information). Work this problem from the bottom up. First check the hard drive for issue by running CHKDSK, see: How to Scan & Fix Hard Drives with CHKDSK in Windows 10 - Second, reinstall Cubase 11 on a different drive, preferably an eNVM drive, or minimally SSD.
12 - In the meantime while you figure this out: Disable all tracks before closing the Cubase project. Stating the obvious: Its best practice to do this for any project you are not actively working on.

Best of luck!!
For future generations, please let us know how you solve the problem.
-michael clendening

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That’s interesting and may indeed relate to my experience.

It begs the question, would my symptoms continue if, rather than backing up, I were to Save As… Of course, I’ve used Save As… in the past, but generally avoid it now, because it creates issues when multiple projects share the same Audio subfolder. In fact, that’s largely why I’m backing up all my old projects - to undo the very mess created by Save As…

Yes, I’ve been shutting down Cubase between backup operations for the last 24 hours and, so far, I haven’t seen any serious issues. I did experience a couple of Cubase crashes while loading projects. In each instance, Cubase relaunched successfully and loaded the projects without further trouble. On the other hand, one project loaded fine but wouldn’t backup up - I forget the exact symptoms - until I rebooted my system. Then, everything was fine again. So, there’s still something going on under the lid, but it’s so sporadic, it could be attributed to almost anything.

Thank you for sharing!

Thank you! Great info.

I’ve checked all the boxes except these:

My system employs an NVidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti. To my memory, all of the drivers I’ve ever downloaded and installed are labeled “GEFORCE GAME READY DRIVER.” I’m not aware of any “Studio” drivers or options. On installation, I always select the graphics driver and nothing else - no HD Audio driver, GeForce Experience, PhysX, etc. As a rule, I keep things clean.

Admittedly, I’ve got a wee bit of overclocking going on, but it’s minimal - temps are all in the green zone, even with large surround projects at 24/96. I could almost live without it, but for some large projects, it’s just enough of a performance boost to get me over the finish line - and that’s with every freezable track frozen, so it’s saying something. I can back it out, just to test, but I’m certain it won’t make a difference.

Not sure I understand the advice: “disable all tracks before closing the Cubase project.” If you mean to say, render all VSTi’s and record all MIDI instruments to audio tracks, then yeah, I get it.

I run a lot of vintage analog synths, and yes, they can sound different in timbre and tuning from one day to the next. As a rule, I always record synths and, critically, record a MIDI Sys Ex patch dump to the corresponding MIDI track before closing a project.

The BSOD was vague. The only detail given was the Stop Code, “MEMORY MANAGEMENT.” I have a screen cap if anyone’s interested.

All the rest looks good. I hope, anyways - I ran an Internet hosting company for two decades and built & managed more Windows servers than I care to remember. OMG, the daily security alerts & patches. The network compliance audits. I still wake up at night, screaming. :laughing:

Thanks gain. Very helpful.

From my experience BSODs usually occur because of ram or video card failures

Thank you, Noel.

At this point, I wish it were true, so I could fix it and move on. But, so far, RAM passes every test and the video card drivers are updated and solid. I drive three ultra widescreen monitors without a hiccup, and in some memory-intensive applications, like DaVinci Resolve, Photoshop, etc. Those apps have been 100% reliable since I built the machine three years ago.

Thanks again, and welcome to the community! :smiley:

Correct. There are no Studio drivers for the GTX 700 series.

nVidia Studio Driver FAQ:
Which GPUs are supported by Studio Drivers? NVIDIA Studio Drivers are compatible with GeForce GTX 10-series, GeForce RTX 20-series, GeForce GTX 16-series, GeForce RTX 30-series, TITAN V, TITAN RTX, and all Quadro products released since 2012.

A quiet day today so we decided to run your test.
The machine we used runs Cubase 11 and Windows 10, both updated to current. We have some demo projects that are of similar size and scope to yours.

We ran the cycle ten times - project open, backup, close, and Cubase remained open throughout.
Everything went as it should. There were no errors or anomalous behaviour. Cubase was as stable at the end of the ten cycles as it was when we started.
Just to check, at the end we ran several passes of a couple of current (heavy) projects just to see if Cubase handled them OK, and it did so flawlessly.

Dave

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Thank you, Dave! That is extremely helpful and very kind of you to do. I owe you a pizza.

It’s not what I expected to hear but gives me the incentive to keep digging. When I figure things out, I’ll be sure to post my findings here.

Yikes! Not the best time to shop video cards. :frowning: