Crackling on recordings in Cubase Artist

I recently installed Cubase Artist 8.5 on a DELL Inspiron 7537, running Windows 8.1 Pro with 8GB of RAM, with a dual core processor of 1.80GHz. I can hear very audible crackles on my recordings. I am using the Generic Low Latency ASIO Driver which has latency of 20.272ms.

I have looked through the forums and have made some changes to my system based on other people’s experiences. I have done the following:

• I disabled the Intel graphics driver
• I disabled the NVIDIA graphics driver
• I disabled Windows Defender (while not connected to the internet)
• I disabled Windows Firewall (while not connected to the internet)
• I updated the Intel graphics driver
• I didn’t update the NVIDIA graphics driver because it says that the 2013 driver is up to date.

None of it has made any difference. I also tried using the ASIO DirectX Full Duplex Driver, which came with the laptop. The input latency is 82.270ms and the output latency is 21.769ms. Recording quality is better, with only the very occasional crackle. However, the increased latency renders it unusable. I’ve also tried changing the latency on the Generic Low Latency ASIO Driver, but changing the milliseconds in the selected buffer size has no impact on the latency, I don’t know why.

I’ve gone to Windows Update and installed all essential & important updates. I haven’t installed the 32 Optional Updates. I suppose I could install these, but it seems like a hit-and-miss approach.

I had Cubase 5 installed on an older laptop some years ago, and did not have this issue, which leads me to believe that I’m missing something simple.

Can anyone help?



You’re missing a decent audio interface my friend… onboard audio isn’t really a good idea with a Win laptop.

Hi Mat,

Can you explain a bit more? I’m afraid I’m not familiar with those terms - I’m very new to this.



Ok, onboard soundcards are great for gaming, multi-media and general useage but you need something a little more capable of handling the demands of audio production if you want to run more than a few soft synths and a little audio… it will give you much more system power to work with and most likely much better sound quality over your current device too.
If you’re using a lap top then you’ll need to look at either usb or firewire… possibly t-bolt if you’re on a mac…
Interfaces run from a few tens of pounds in price to many thousands right at the top end… what you use obviously depends on things like your budget and what you intend to do with it.

A proper audio soundcard would also mean that as well as cleaning up the audio you would get the latency down to manageable playing levels.

You might need to get a usb midi keyboard.

I hope that helps?

Thanks all, I appreciate the suggestions. I think there’s something I’m missing though. My last laptop was an off-the-shelf DELL XPS. I don’t have the spec to hand, although I can get it if necessary. I was able to run Cubase Studio 5 successfully on this, with no hissing or crackling, and with latency of approx 20ms using the Generic Low Latency Driver. That was in 2009. Has Cubase moved on by that much in 7 years, that it’s outpaced the available hardware? I don’t mind spending a few more quid on an audio sound card, as you guys say. But I’d like to keep it simple, and fix it in Cubase if I can.

Also, why would I need a USB Midi keyboard?



You’ve pretty much answered your first question yourself… i should also add that if you intend to record external audio such as guitar and vocals or hardware synths that the audio input on onboard sound cards really isn’t up to the job.

A usb keyboard is handy if your interface doesn’t have a midi port built in and you wish to play midi information into cubase yourself… there are of course other types of midi controller available such as drum kits or electronic wind instruments if they’re your thang.

I suppose this all depends upon how you intend to use Cubase.

Cubase is a hugely complex piece of software that is very demanding of the computers it runs on. Yes, you can run very simple projects that will not tax the abilities of an on-board soundcard. However, why purchase Cubase Artist when you could use LE if that were the case.

An audio sound card is necessary if you wish to record a voice, trumpet or a guitar. If you want to sync the paying to a previously recorded part and monitor the recording with efx you would not want the huge latency of an on-board soundcard.

A midi keyboard or a midi controller would be necessary if you wanted to play a soft synth or trigger samples. You might find playing in time very difficult with the on-board soundcard’s latency.

OK, I’ve just ordered the Focusrite Scarlett Audio USB Interface. I’ll let you know how I get on. Thanks for all your help!


I hope you enjoy the extra facility the Scarlett will give you. Good lick.

A great audio interface is defiantly what you needed! I hope buying the Focusrite has rectified the problem.

This is a nice list of affordable audio interfaces.

I’ve had the ESI Gigaport HD+ for about 3 months now! and sorry for my profanity but for a little box it’s f***ing amazing! better and more reliable than most Focusrite interfaces in my opinion.