Crackling on playback - but at 1024 buffer


I’m experiencing some strangeness with the latest version of Cubase Pro 8.0.1. I’m getting random clicks and pops on playback. At first I thought it was recorded in the audio, but it is occurring at different points. I am only using ~30% of the CPU with no peaking and I even tried upping my buffer to 1024. I still get the random clicks / pops.

Any suggestions? Cubase 8 made me a believer, but I can’t use it if I cannot trust the sound engine. Seems to resolve itself on restart of Cubase, but then it appears again.


Usual stuff first - give us all your specs, try disabling certain plugins etc. (incidentally, I presume you mean 8.0.10

OS X 10.10.2, 2014 Macbook Pro 2.8Ghz i7, 16GB RAM

I’m also getting a couple of pops / clicks when playing the bounced stems in Pro Tools 11 (less so than in Cubase at least) - no plugins loaded and all audio in RAM (I have PT HD). What’s wrong with my computer? :frowning:

Could it be my audio interface? I have the Apollo Twin Duo.

I only know PCs - any Mac users have any tips?

I’ve found that between about 30% to 60% CPU utilization is all to expect from Cubase even at a 2048 buffer size. This observation spans PC and Mac of various builds over the past few years.

Right now, with ASIO Guard 2 on my latest PC (i7 4790K @ 4.6Ghz), I’m getting ASIO performance maxed at about 50% CPU utilization with 2048, so if you’re getting around 30% at 1024, that seems about right.

You can improve the situation by getting an audio interface with drivers that go to a 2048 buffer size (if yours doesn’t already).

The two brands I know for sure go all the way up to “2048” are Focusrite and RME. You can usually find out by studying the manual of the audio interface you’re interested in.

Also, make sure ASIO Guard 2 is engaged and “monitor / record monitor” is off on all channels.

That’d be very unfortunate if that was the case! I would not consider this a “heavy” session in terms of plugins or VIs at all. Why would the Cubase CPU meter be underestimating usage by so much?

If you’re getting it on bounced stems in PT, something else is up with your system somewhere.

I know some PC diagnostic tools, but sadly don’t know any Mac ones, hoping someone else does for you.

Is there any digital signal routed to cubase in the setup ?
Probably a sync issue then.
This happens f.e. when you use SPDIF and do not sync the entire system to the master, that f.e. would be the SPDIF in this case.

the difference between little clicks and nasty dropouts due to overload is huge. In the description this is not made clear, but if you say your resources are on 30%, this is most likely not a dropout. Little glitches and cracks are most of the time a digital signal that is not controlled by the correct master. You should hear them frequently in the audio signal, and the solution should be correct syncing. If you use any digital signal, do the syncing with that source. A source is a kind of digital connection between point A and point B.

kind regards,

So here’s some interesting info - I didn’t experience this in Logic 10.1. Then roel, I saw your post around the sync issue and checked something. In Cubase and PT, I’m using an Aggregate device for my interface while in Logic, I’m choosing the Apollo Twin directly. The Aggregate device is the Apollo plus an Apogee Mic.

Seems like the Aggregate device is causing a sync issue. I’m not exactly sure how to fix that though?

Will try setting the interface back to Apollo in Cubase and PT - hopefully that’ll fix it.

Big thanks all!!