Can't get started

I can’t record anything, or even see that Cubase LE5 is even getting any audio input. I have been following the manual and instructions to the letter, but things don’t work they way the instructions say they will, and there’s no such thing as a trouble-shooting guide. I am stuck.

My goal is live recordings using 3 microphones (single ST55 in center stage and two ST31 laterally for stereo). I have the mics connected to the back of the Tascom-US800. Phantom power is on. Gain turned up all channels.
ST31 condenser mic @ mic jack 3 (for L stereo channel)
ST31 condenser mic @ mic jack 4 (for R stereo channel)
ST55 condenser mic @ mic jack 5

I have signal lights at mic jacks 3, 4, and 5. When I play I can hear music on my headphones (plugged into the front of the US-800), and on the US-800 control panel on my computer screen I have bars showing audio input at channels 3, 4, 5.

I have speakers connected to the computer.
I have headphones plugged into the front of the US-800.

So far, so good, but nothing else seems to work in Cubase LE5.

Devices > Device Setup > VST Audio System > US-800 ASIO Driver

Input and output show all eight US-800 channels are inactive. So now it’s off to VST connections.

Devices > VST Connections > deleted all input and output busses to start from scratch.

Devices > VST Connections > Input > Add Bus > stereo x 1
Devices > VST Connections > Input > Add Bus > mono x 1
Changed device ports:
Stereo = L: US-800 3/4
Stereo = R: US-800 3/4
Mono In = L: US-800 5/6

Devices > VST Connections >Output > Add Bus > stereo x 1
Default device ports that appear are:
L: US-800 1/2
L: US-800 1/2
I can’t change the device ports to anything except US-800 mic ports because they are the only options. Shouldn’t the output be my speakers? How can I change the output device ports? Should I change the output? Is this the problem?

File > New Project > Empty > OK
Project > Add track > Audio > Stereo x 1

Now at this point I click the monitor button to use the channel fader button to check audio input to prevent clipping.

But there’s no audio coming into Cubase LE5. Nothing showing up on the monitors, the recording is a flat line.


Photos borrowed from another thread…

This is my default VST connection output:

This is similar to what I get after I set my VST connections… except I have channels 3, 4, 5 active on the input side and channels 1 and 2 active on the output side:

BTW, the “troubleshooting” sticky thread above seems to have a dead link, because the “troubleshooting” link doesn’t take you anywhere useful.

If you´re using the US 800 ASIO driover inside Cubase, you need to connect speakers to your US 800 output in order to hear audio on your speakers.

The output ports are no mic ports, they are line ports. And you can´t change to your speakers, because of the reason above you use the same device for monitoring that you use also for recording, unless you use an ASIO driver that can join your US 800´s and computer aoundcard´s ports to one device. (which IMHO You should not do, but can try - search for ASIO4all)

You need to det the correct input bus to the audio track input on the audio track you just added above.

I’ll bet that when you add the stereo track it defaults to inputs 1 and 2 on the Tascam. As suggested, you’ll need to check the input routing to the tracks.

Okay, I already tried ASIO4all and changing the microphone plug connections, but I got the same results - NOTHING!

But here it is again:

I plugged the two stereo ST31 microphone jacks into the US-800 at positions 1 and 2. The ST55 microphone was plugged into the US-800 at position 3. The Tascom US-800 is getting audio input no problem.

Devices > Device Setup > VST Audio Devices > ASIO4all

Devices > VST Connections:
The above inputs are default and I have no other choices available when I click on the device port in the 4th column

I start a new project as per my first post, yet no audio is being seen by Cubase. here is a screen shot showing audio input detected by the US-800 but not by Cubase. The recording is a flat line.

Let me ask a more basic question, do I need more than one connection to my computer? Or is the cable that came with the US-800 all I need?

The manual suggested that I import an audio file to see if I could hear it. But yesterday the AUDIO FILE part of IMPORT > AUDIO FILE was greyed out and I couldn’t select it. Today it is not greyed out (explain that one to me) and I imported an audio file. It plays but I can’t hear anything, and none of the Cubase channel level indicators (green lights) are flashing.

BTW, I updated my Realtek card drivers and I updated the US-800 drivers, too.

I don’t think those “RealTech HD audio” inputs and outputs are the TASCAM. Those are most likely the onboard sound card in the computer. When I am away from home, I use the onboard sound card and my computer uses that same device (the RealTech). When I plug in my USB audio interface, it says something like “M-Audio Input 1”. You should be seeing something with “TASCAM” in it. I have been away from home for a while and haven’t used my audio interface for almost a year now so I can’t remember exactly how I told Cubase to use the M-Audio instead of the onboard card but I think you need to just select the TASCAM ASIO driver, then create a new VST Connection with the Inputs/outputs that say “TASCAM” something or other in the name.

Yes, Realtek HD is the onboard sound-card, not the Tascam and read again I suggested to not use ASIO4all, but the “native” Tascam ASIO driver. Why buy a halfway decent soundcard, to listen through the onboard crap…connect your speakers to the Tascam (my 2 cents, but in the end, it´s up to you.)

The recording is a flat line, because your mics are plugged into the Tascam, and the device chosen via the driver menu in Cubase is your onboard soundcard.

I don´t know which cable came with your Tascam, but if it´s a USB cable that´s enough to get audio from your Tascam into the computer, and from the computer into the Tascam. Obviuously you need cables to get sound into and out of your Tascam for “outside devices”, (Microphones, speakers…) but you know that already.

Well, you probably hadn´t created a project, a little hard to tell, without knowing what you´ve actually done. But belive it or not, most of the time such things are simple user error, even though most people here don´t want to believe it…

That is, because you have the input monitors activated (little orange speaker symbol knobs). As the name implies, they monitor the input which is useful if you want to hear the input, for example as you record something, but not useful if you want to monitor what is recorded already - switch them off. More info about monitoring in the manual.

Thanks for all of the time in input.

I tried the Tascam ASIO driver (see my first post) but that didn’t work either.

I will get some speakers to plug into the Tascam…

But even when I used the Tascam ASIO driver and selected the Tascam prots, but that didn’t work either.

Yeah, it’s a USB. I even tried other USB ports on my computer with similar results - nothing.

I’m sure that I’m not doing something properly, I just can’t figure out what. I have been following the Cubase and Tascam instructions to the letter. Sometimes things don’t work the way the manual states they should work.

For instance, the manual suggested a test by importing an audio file by FILE > IMPORT > AUDIO FILE but this option was greyed out and not available to select. The Cubase manual doesn’t say what to do if that option is greyed out and not available. Today, I tried it again and - voila - FILE > IMPORT > AUDIO FILE was now available. Explain that one to me.

My entire evening yesterday was spent trying to follow the Cubase “Getting Started” documentation, but links and options as described in the manual either were greyed out and not available, or they produced results different from what the manual described.

I don’t get it.

This afternoon I worked on it some more, starting from the beginning, and it was yet different again.

Please read all of my answers and read them completely…

This has nothing to do with the VST connections, but is done in the inspector, and it has to be done for every newly created track, after you assigned the device ports in VST connections.
You´re not mentioning that you did that, so my guess is, that´s at least a part of your problem.
And as far as listening is concerned. You will never ever hear anything with the Tascam driver selected, and speakers connected to the computer soundcard.

Like I also wrote already: If the option is greyed out, you almost certainly hadn´t created a project before. Links and options will be greyed out under certain circumstances if you don´t meet certain conditions that´s normal with almost any program.

Thanks again for all of your time and input.

I think I was using the inspector properly. I am not sure what is meant by, “set the correct input bus to the audio track input on the audio track you just added above.” Using the inspector to do this? Exactly what is the procedure for doing this? I never ready anythng about this in the manual. I was using the inspector to monitor input levels.

Well, I just heard back form the Steinberg tech support, they said that they aren’t goint to help me and I should contact the retailer who bundled this software (Cubase LE5) with the hardware (Tascam US-800).

So… adios, amigos! Thank you for your time and patience.

For your information:

  1. Most (but not all) of my problems turned out to be a problem with the Tascam US-800 mixer and not Cubase.

  2. My problems with Cubase were user errors that were corrected by some of the suggestions above (thank you) and by reading some books on Cubase.

  3. There are some good books available on how to use Cubase. I suggest that Steinberg take a look at some of these books to learn how to improve your Cubase user’s manual. I think most of my user errors were the result of the extremely poor Cubase user’s manual.

There are good ways to explain how to use Cubase (like some of these books) and extremely poor ways to explain how to use Cubase (like Steinberg’s user’s manual that comes with Cubase).

If you want specific suggestions for improving the Cubase user’s manual, please send me an e-mail or PM.