Hi, I recently completed a DAW migration from Cubase 11 on Windows 10 to Cubase 12 on Windows 11 (also moving from an 8th generation Intel CPU to the 12th generation CPU), and I wanted to share my experience and a few tips:
There have been many posts on this forum about Cubase 12 instability, so I was quite wary of running into issues, esp. since Cubase is in daily production use in my studio and I did not want any downtime. So I decided to build a new PC from scratch - that way I wouldn’t run into issues due to leftover settings and other weirdness by upgrading an existing installation. That also meant that I could leave the existing Cubase 11 PC in production use while I get the new Cubase 12 PC installed and fully debugged, and then just swap out PCs. I highly recommend this strategy if you can’t afford studio downtime!
It took me a couple of weeks to get the new Cubase 12 PC fully up and running - I ran into some issues that necessitated things like various reinstalls, and messing around with the preferences directory, and to make sure all my plugins, settings, key commands, preferences etc. were properly migrated. So, budget plenty of time to get this stuff sorted out first!
The good news is that by now, the Cubase 12 PC is fully up and running, and swapped into my studio as the production PC. It is not only running flawlessly, I am impressed by its efficiency/power - latency is down to 10 msec (down from 20 msec - same audio interface), and even the most complex projects that would stress out my previous PC are now running perfectly smoothly, with the new 12th gen CPU barely breaking a sweat. So, luckily, I did not run into any of the Cubase 12 performance/stability issues that have been reported. The following things might have helped:
(1) Before installing Cubase 12, make sure you have a really clean and stable Windows 11 install on a PC that’s been well-burned in so that you don’t assign blame for Cubase crashes on things like buggy/old drivers, system-level incompatibilities, or similar things. Get a brand new PC, do a clean Windows install on it (and nothing else), and spend the time to get the latest drivers and Windows updates installed.
(2) Do a clean Cubase 12 install so that you don’t run into things like corrupted settings, or Cubase somehow pulling in older versions of preferences/binaries from a previous Cubase install on that same machine.
(3) Only install plugins/VSTs where the manufacturer has tested and guaranteed compatibility with Windows 11 and Cubase 12. This meant digging into their support web page, and/or reaching out to them to get that info. It’s tedious, but it saves you from running software that hadn’t been tested and certified to run on this configuration, and might cause all sorts of incompatibility-driven issues.
(4) I’m paranoid enough of settings/preferences migration going wrong (having worked in tech for a long time, I know this is a boring part of the code base that’s often not tested well or at all) that I chose to configure Cubase 12 from scratch. This meant screenshotting various settings screens in my Cubase 11 installation, and then manually recreating those settings in Cubase 12, incl. assignments of key commands etc. I know this sounds (and is!) tedious, but I viewed it as an insurance payment against “polluting” my pristine Cubase 12 install with corrupted settings from previous installs.
I realize that this is a more costly proposition (buying a new PC and all), but if you rely on Cubase daily, it’s worth the expense, and if you time it well, you can do things like hardware upgrades in conjuction with major OS upgrades and major DAW version upgrades all in one fell swoop.
Lastly, I’m impressed with the parallelism that Cubase 12 shows when running an audio export - it loads up all of my CPU cores, so it’s really taking advantage of all that CPU horsepower - well done Steinberg!
If you’re curious, this is the 12th gen Intel system I am running Cubase 12 on. It’s a fanless system, meaning it is completely quiet, which is necessary since the PC runs in the mixing room and I can’t have any PC fan noise in there. I can highly recommend the fanless systems from this vendor - rock solid stability, and zero noise, which is so critical for a studio PC in a critical listening environment like an acoustically treated mixing or mastering room!