Cubase 11 Pro - stuttering/glitching audio

I’m trying to hunt down the cause of this problem - any constructive suggestions gratefully received.

I’m using Cubase Pro 11.0.40. I’ve been experiencing stuttering audio in some fairly limited circumstances.

My PC setup is Dell Vostro desktop [Intel core i7-9700 @ 3.00GHz; 64-bit; 16GB RAM] using two Dell monitors (extended; one from the HDMI out, the other from a Dell USB to HDMI adapter) and Windows 10. My keyboard and mouse are hardwired.

I’ve had the stuttering problem twice now, at the end of a project with roughly 60 tracks (audio and midi, various external plugins) - first when using Waves Vocal Rider on a vocal bus (albeit happily used on individual vocal tracks in same project otherwise) and second when using Voxengo Span on the stereo out. Using these plugins causes audio to stutter/glitch. Without those plugins the project plays and exports seamlessly.

I have played around with the various Cubase settings in Studio Setup, including: increasing buffer size to 1024; deactivate/reactivate ASIO guard; changing the priority of ASIO guard; activate/deactivate Steinberg Power scheme; increase disk preload to 6s. None of them seem to make any difference to the stuttering problem with those two plugins.

LatencyMon suggests my system is capable of handling real-time audio and other tasks without dropouts.

Use of the two plugins in question is not essential, but I would like to chase the issue down to find out if it’s correctable.

Any ideas, folks?

Which generation?

That could mean that the use of these plugins could stress your system to much
but this could be the case with different plug-ins as well…

Thanks for your reply - I’ve updated the CPU info above (i7 9th gen).

Yes, understood about system stress, but I’ve used both those plugins before on multi-track projects and the overall spec of the PC is quite high. So I think there’ll be something fairly specific going on here. I’ve tried managing the power to the network drivers which apparently can cause latency problems but still no joy.

It’s one of those things which will eventually have a very niche solution!

I have the same problem in certain projects each time I turn on AUTO FADES in audio tracks.
It’s unbearable, the playback stutters and stops.
When I turn off AUTO FADES, it plays back normally.
I have an iMac 2019 (3,6 GHz 8-core i9, 64 GB RAM, RADEON PRO VEGA 48 8 GB Grafikkarte), running Big Sur 11.5.2.

Maybe look at the Waves update to the OP. There is talk here (on this forum) that the new V13 Scheps Omni Channel plugin solves problems that pop up in Cubase caused by the V10 and V11 versions. it was $13 to upgrade so I did this even though I wasn’t using this plugin too much lately. But I did run into a problem with the Waves Clavinet standalone version and I upgraded this on the cheap by combining it to the Piano & Keys suite for $20 (that included the A200 piano I didn’t have). Here I can tell you that the V13 version works as it should, and in fact it has an improved GUI and Preference window that plainly shows my Motu ASIO device.

Anyway, where I’m going here is that it’s possible that Waves has sorted some issues with the Vocal Rider that previously weren’t affecting you. Maybe you could download the trial V13 version and see if this is the case? Yeah, I hate to think that there are built in fails with the older versions but, well, check it out… And if you do download the trial, make sure that it is the V13 version that you open in your Project. Maybe duplicate your saved Project and try there, leave the original intact.

Thanks mr.roos - it’s a good point - I’ve been thinking about Waves v13 (although that wouldn’t explain the issue with voxengo span).

What Sound Card and Graphics Card are you using? Is it possible that this is a graphics card related issue? I had a similar issue until I updated the Graphics Card drivers. Are the GUI’s visible when the issue occurs?

Thanks, silhouette.
Using focusrite 2pre usb audio driver for all sound in and out. The Intel UHD 630 graphics card is up to date - I wondered about that and just checked using the Intel Driver Support Assistant. The fader levels in the mix console glitch in time with the audio, but I’m not sure that tells us anything.
I’ve disabled the bluetooth and wifi drivers to reduce any networking issue. All drivers appear up to date.

Side bar: The Scheps Omni Channel that I updated is actually a way better plugin, graphics and CPU usage. I suspect Mr. Scheps had some words with Waves but I’ll never know. I’ll start using this more, it’s better than it was, and probably more like what Mr. Scheps had in mind.

I do like that plugin I must say!

just to check how much Vocal Rider might be contributing: Have you tried freezing the track it’s on to compare? Then if the issue still happens, try bypassing Span. Hence a process of elimination.
If you’re not recording you could also try increasing the audio interface buffer size to see if the problem goes away.
I no longer have vocal rider, but i remember I used to write it’s automation so it wouldn’t be processing constantly.
I did once have an issue with YouLean causing audio stutter when recording…

1 Like

I have now identified that when the audio glitches there is a simultaneous disk cache spike. I’ve only just enabled audio performance monitoring in the bottom bar of Cubase hence only noticing it just now.

I can consistently produce disk cache spiking and associated audio glitching for example by opening various windows within Cubase [main project on monitor 1; mix console on monitor 2; audio performance in separate window] and then hovering my mouse over those icons on the Windows taskbar at the bottom. In fact hovering my mouse over any open icon on the taskbar will cause an immediate disk cache spike and audio glitch.

This suggests to me that (i) the audio glitching is being caused by disk cache spikes (easy part) and (ii) there is a connection between disk cache spikes and graphics in some way (hard part). I don’t think it’s actually anything to do with plugins as such.

Any ideas how to go about solving this? I’ve already updated all windows drivers…

I expect you have tried turning off “suspect” plugins etc. etc. It might be useful to try again, but this time when you click on the power top left on the plugin GUI hold down “alt” at the same time, this will completely turn it off and it will not use delay compensation etc. Useful if you are using vst 2.4 plugins.

Did you try to roll back the driver?

The latest is not always the greatest.

I’ve got down to acceptable audio processing levels (average and maximum) - and in consequence no audio dropouts - by a combination of (i) freezing the plugin-heavy audio tracks (ii) rendering MIDI tracks (and disabling the muted versions of each) and (iii) setting maximum buffer size.
That’s fine at the mixing stage.
Now I’ll just have to remember to do that as I go along in future…!

(I tried that but got into a world of Windows-based pain! But thanks for the suggestion.)