Cubase 11 freezes for 2-3 seconds even if recording or playing

Since a while, guessing since the last update of my Cubase 11, probably earlier, I have the issue that Cubase 11 freezes for a short while at normal work. Besides of that problem it works perfectly. First I assumed the Steinberg UR816 could be the problem, but I removed all devices, and the problem occurs also with a plain Cubase setup with one MIDI track. It seems to freeze also with a completely empty Cubase (appears in not recognizing mouse clicks etc. for that short time).
The problem occurs at normal work periodically, about each 1 minute or so.
Did not find the problem, as no error message is shown, I assume that Cubase does not know what’s going wrong.

I checked several audio driver settings, Even Steinberg Yamaha USB driver, my Soundcraft 22 MTK driver, ASIO2All, all work perfectly but all show that issue, so I assume it has nothing to do with the audio interface (as I said, the problem occurs even if no audio interface is used at all).

I have also the 9.5 version installed and this version does not show this issue.
My Windows 10 PC works pretty fine besides of this. So I guess it’s a Cubase 11 problem.
Latest Update has been installed, same issue.


Could you test your system by using LatencyMon utility, please?

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Yes, I did a check and it was okay. I performed that check with LatencyMon while Cubase 11 was running and I was playing some notes, and many times Cubase was frozen for 2 seconds.

It’s interesting that I never before had latency problems with earlier versions of Cubase, nor I have that frozen effect when I play VST plugins (e.g. Kontakt) standalone without Cubase.

The effect occurs always, if I play notes or not. When Cubase is frozen for that short time, it does not react on any mouse click. When the frozen effect has gone, the mouse clicks are handled. Seems to be no latency effect, as it’s always the same problem, no matter what audio driver I use.


Could you observe Task Manager, if anything unexpected appear in time, when the freezes happens? High Disk Read/Write, CPU usage, network activity…?

yes of course I can do that:
When Cubase is running, a System process with about 12 to 15 % appears while Cubase process time is low (< 1 %). After terminating Cubase, the system process is going down to < 1 %. Seems to be not the problem, as nothing changes when the Cubase freezing occurs.
I also found in other threads similiar problems like “freezes to death” (needs Alt+Ctrl+Del) as well as blue screens. The truth is that very often Cubase crashes when I change things (e.g. Audio driver), and many times since the last update I got that blue screen, but only when Cubase is running. That’s interesting to tell.

Currently all is working fine, I deactivated the HDRI and also the 15-minutes auto-safe, as I read that that could help. But unfortunately not for me, still freezing. Currently (approximately 1 times per minute for about 5 seconds)

What did I else?

  • actualizing all (!) Windows drivers
  • checking the NVIDIA settings, all working fine.
  • Changing HDMI port of my monitor (I have twice, as I have 2 graphic cards), no effect.
  • Running Cubase in safe mode (without 3rd party VST), no effect. Same problem.

What I did next:

  • terminating (nearly) all of these nice Systray programs, e.g. NVIDIA settings, Western Digital control monitors etc. etc. Only these system things like sound, internet connection left. But still same problem.
  • I terminated Cubase with task manager to force that save/default starting modes. For the first time, I tried to load Cubase with default settings (no user settings), resulting in that “please register product” info box you know. Having in mind that with this option, all plugins are still loaded.
    Then I add only one MIDI track, connect it to my plugged Hydrasynth again and played some notes. IT WORKS!
    Having this, I restarted Cubase normal and the problem occurred again. That’s it. Well, what I could do now is to make screenshots of the program settings of that default mode and compare this later to the problematic setting, hopefully to catch that problem/bug. I will report my results here.

Having all that in mind, I noticed that Cubase checks that USB dongle (elicenser key). Could this be the problem? But I would expect that even being in that default loading mode, Cubase nonetheless checks that dongle. In what time interval is this checking performed?


Do I understand you right, when you loaded Cubase with the factory settings, you didn’t see the problem?

The license check is not based on time, as far as I know.

yes, indeed. Conclusing this, I can exclude the following things to be reason for the periodic freezing of Cubase GUI (as well as recording MIDI and audio, as well as playing VST, MIDI instrument etc.):

  • 3rd party VST plugins
  • graphics drivers
  • non up-to-date Windows drivers
  • USB standby time
  • overclocking PC CPU speed
  • systray icons (background apps)
  • driver problems, especially audio drivers
  • Audio interface hardware (e.g. Steinberg UR816C, Soundcraft Signature 22 MTK), as anything has been tested without this hardware
  • auto save on Cubase
  • HDI enabled
  • external MIDI interface (iConnectivity MIO XL), as anything has been tested without this hardware
  • buffer settings of the audio driver (checked several values)
  • other (secondary) HDMI display port

I’m now documenting the default settings that Cubase initially uses in a WORD file, and later compare each (!) setting of the program settings to figure out the problematic thing. I really hope I find a difference, as I think I did not adjust these settings if I did not need other values, but let’s see.

Hello to all. I checked the difference in all program settings of the stable (default) settings in comparison to the non working settings and here it is: Thanks God I already used the standard settings entirely, except of this option “Use Direct Music device”.

Obviously, this was the problem. I’m sure I never activated this, so I assume it has been activated automatically after an update. Now the problem seems to be solved. I all other cases, I will reply here. If anyone has the same problem as me, please check this setting as well!

Thanks for listening and commenting.

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What is “DirectMusic” and what does it and why does it force Cubase to freeze every minute?
For me that is a real issue that has to be fixed, and explained by the developer


Direct Music is one kind of Windows MIDI Driver.

To me or looks like one of your MIDI devices doesn’t work with the Direct Music Driver correctly.

Yeah, that’s really true. Fully agreed. I checked the whole Windows Control Panel for that Direct Music driver but do not see it.