Crackles in CuBase 10.5 Pro - not CPU load or buffer size related

I know this is an age-old problem, but one I’ve personally not had before. Creating a simple project with anything that actually causes an audio signal to output, results in crackles. This only happens in CuBase. For example, one VST instrument (irrespective of the instrument) or one audio file etc. No processing, no effects.

All graphics and audio drivers are up to date.

I’m running through a Focusrite 8i16 using their ASIO driver.

I have a Radeon 6700 XT installed (this is a recent addition to help resolve my CPU meter in CuBase maxing out in gliches with the Nvidia card). I suspect this may be the culprit but I don’t know how to prove it.

CPU and audio load are virtually nothing. When the crackles appear there is no overload showing. Nothing untoward in task manager. LatencyMon shows my system is fine (this was not the case with the old Nvidia card).

Crackles will usually appear within a minute or so of playing - sometimes sooner. With no audio output, the crackles do NOT appear, even if CuBase is playing. Once they start, they can occur on every note I play for 10 seconds or so, or disappear quite quickly.

My system has all the usual audio system settings, including disabled Intel Turbo boost, ASIO guard set, buffer size OK (changing it does not affect the crackles).

I’m really stuck now and any help would be appreciated. I can’t really make any progress on projects with this problem occurring.

P.S. Going back to CuBase 10.5 does not fix it, although anecdotally it feels like it happens less often.

What about your OS? Which is it?
Maybe the last update broke your USB drivers… sounds a bit like this… try swapping the sockets where you attach the Focusrite
and try to avoid USB3, just for a test…

Can’t believe I didn’t include OS details. Doh!

Windows 10 with latest updates applied.

I already tried moving the Focusrite USB to another port but didn’t think about USB 3 vs USB 2. I’ll check that.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Moving to a USB port didn’t resolve the problem. :pensive:

Update in case anyone can use this information in future.

I have resolved 95% of the crackles, although there are still one or two every now and then.
What did I do?

  • Removed my old RME Hammerfall card which I never use:
  • Moved the graphics card to the first PCI slot on the motherboard:
  • Re-seated all internal cables and memory modules:
  • Moved my Focusrite Scarlett onto a motherboard USB 2 connection (did this already and it didn’t resolve the problem on its own - but left it there)
  • Reinstalled the graphics drivers from scratch (after DDU) - choosing ‘standard’ install option

Since then I can happily play a VST instrument in CuBase with very few clicks. Not perfect, but I can live with it.
Hope that helps.