Cubase 12 Upgrade ASIO-Guard Issue

Thanks leonardm for your reply!

Hopefully if everyone continues to share their experiences this issue will get some attention.

Same for me! Record enabling any vst starts white noise and glitching, as does inputting MIDI from any controller. The only way to make it stop is to deselect multi processing/Asio guard in studio set up. Then the meter goes crazy on medium sized projects however. Cubase 11 has never done this.
Windows 10, RME Fireface 802

Same issue here with projects created with Cub11 !
Tested with a project containing audio tracks, fx tracks, and grp tracks only.
I also noticed other issues : disk cache & asio guard is having peaks if i apply some clip gain on clips. This also happens if i simply activate loop play (even if the playback is paused!).

I made these tests with my laptop (Win 10, i7-6700HQ, 8gb RAM), which is not my main workstation, but i’m not having these issues with the same projects on Cub11.
I’ll try it on my main computer, i’ll update my review by then.

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Thank you planetsundaystudios and susielu for sharing your experiences and adding your voices to the discussion.

After a few days of troubleshooting, I am beginning to believe this issue is not caused by user errors. Although many of us have varied experiences, we’re all having the same dropout/glitch/pop/click problem. Must be an issue with CB12 itself. Hopefully if people continue to share their experiences someone at Steinberg will take notice. Fingers crossed!

I am experiencing the same thing. It seems very apparent with Kontact plugins, but even with all of them disabled I am still get CPU overloads, and obvious audio glitches.

Windows 10
|Processor|Intel(R) Core™ i9-9900K CPU @ 3.60GHz 3.60 GHz|
|Installed RAM|64.0 GB (63.9 GB usable)|

Edition Windows 10 Pro
Version 21H1
Installed on ‎2/‎2/‎2021
OS build 19043.1526
Experience Windows Feature Experience Pack 120.2212.4170.0

Similar here. Have a proj with about 30 instruments, kontakt, halion, others. Plays great. Made a template from that proj after emptying the pool and deleting all clips.
Created a new file from the template, dragged only audio files in, asioguard goes crazy, meters are popping but no audio coming out. Try to change asioguard to high, cubase crashes.

Open the old proj, still plays back fine with lots of instruments. Load the new file, same symptoms.

I turned off ASIO Guard then I used safe start mode (ctrl+alt+shift) + delete program preferences.
No more glitches, even with older projects.
I need now to try with ASIO Guard turned on again, I’ll tell you later.

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Did you read this? WinRT MIDI and Windows Bluetooth MIDI support in Cubase 12 – Steinberg Support

If you are on Windows, try disabling the BT connection in the notification window. I have ASIO Guard ‘On’ and 6 Kontakt instances installed and armed for recording. The Audio Performance meter hasn’t changed. Worth a try.

Also, I own 3 Kontakt keyboards, the Alicia Keys, the Scarbee 200 and the Hybrid Keys, and they seem to play well with the ASIO meter. However, the freebee that I downloaded, the ‘Kontakt 25’ does some crazy thing to the ASIO Guard aspect of the meter, it actually tends to blow it up. So much for the free synth, Kontakt.

I’m having very bad performance in C12 compared to C11. Audio errors and dropouts pretty much independent on how large my ASIO buffer size is.

It’s a pretty old (but stabile) Windows 10 based machine, but the problems happens on very small projects with like 4 VST instruments. Going back to C11 on the same project everything runs like it should.

I’ve started investigation doing the usual stuff (nuking the preferences, reinstall and so on.)


I worked a while with C12 yesterday and observed some strange things regarding this:

  • In general it looks to be depended on some VST plugins (e.g. HALion, Groove Agent)
  • It looks to be not an issue with audio tracks

I have a project where I use Electric Bass in HALion. Playback from the MIDI track seems to be fine (roughly load ~33%). As soon I select the corresponding Midi track the peak indicator goes to 100% and the overload red box is highligted…

I have similar issue. I have very heavy projects with tonns of plugins, tracks, busses etc… created in CB 11 Pro and they works fine without issues there but when I open them in CB 12 Pro even with same ASIO Guard High - project start stutter, I have dropouts and just overall CB12 Pro feels struggling and a lot slower in heavy projects. It seems there need to be done some improvements in CB12 engine or improve performance to state like CB 11. Otherwise CB12 is useless for me now - it feels laggy and unresponsive in huge projects for now. Will stay on CB 11 Pro for now until Steinberg fix and improve performance to same level as CB 11 Pro.

Is anyone else experiencing ASIO Guard inconsistencies? When I first ran a project the Realtime, Asio, Peak meters were sitting at about 1/2 - 3/4 running even better than CB11, but today running same project Asio meter is spiking and getting dropouts with Realtime and Peak meters sitting at zero.

The Asio meter is going up and down as well.

Very strange behaviour.


So this is interesting. In my template there are tracks that are routed out from the different Mics. If you are selecting those tracks and play back audio the I getting dropouts, but if I am selecting Instrument tracks then playback is normal. Not sure why this happens.

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Yes! There seems to be some issues with ASIO-Guard in CB12 (at least in my experience). As a simple test, I created a new empty project, no routing, no additional processing. Then added 3 Kontakt instruments. With AG set to Low or Normal, I get dropouts/clicks when switching between the tracks. With AG set to High, I don’t get the dropouts. This never happened in CB11.

From everyone shared experience here, seems we are all having similar issues with CB12. I have tried my best to troubleshoot, thanks mr.roos for suggesting to look into WinRT MIDI. This is new and I can confirm this has been disabled, and still I have the same problems. Not sure what to do next, other than keep talking about it until this issue gets some attention. Hopefully this will be addressed in a future update.

Hi again.

I just wanted to say that this thread is extremely helpful. Also, I’m happy to report that I got my copy of Cubase Pro 11 working again! I also ran a test with Nuendo 11.

The CPU spikes definitely appear to be a C12 issue.

C12: I opened an empty project in C12. Added one track with Padshop 2 + a ModMachine plugin. Crazy, random CPU spikes all over the place.

Did the same thing in C11. No problems whatsoever.

All settings (ASIO Guard, boost, buffer, audio interface, etc.) are the same between the two.

Nuendo: I created another very simple 1 track project in C12.

  • Added a VST instrument.
  • Added an effect.
  • CPU spikes all over the place.
  • Saved the project.
  • Opened the exact same file in Nuendo 11.0.41
  • File played with NO hiccups, spikes, etc.

In Nuendo: ASIO Guard is normal, audio priority is normal, disk preload is 2 secs, 32 bit float processing, 512 buffer.

I’m on an iMacPro 10 core, 64gb ram, latest BigSur.

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Thanks so much gesslr for the update and confirmation regarding the CPU spikes in C12.

Yes, I agree this thread is a useful resource for others experiencing the same problems. At the very least we know that we are not alone, and the source of the problems may be the software itself and not user errors. I hope others will continue to contribute with their experiences as we begin troubleshooting in hopes of pinpointing the source of the problem (whether it be software or user related). This may prove beneficial if someone at Steinberg takes notice - fingers crossed!!

I havent had much time to test 12 but I remember running into this issue when I installed 11

My issue was that I didnt have “Activate Steinberg Audio Power Scheme” checked in the Audio System settings. Just mentioning it here in case this fixes that issue for anyone. In 10 I had it checked, no ASIO issues, upgraded to 11 where the default was off, tons of ASIO issues, checked this pref and it fixed them all. So worth a shot if its not set the same as 11 was.

Hmm thanks the info i have to check C11 to see if i have it checked or not… i have been seeing spikes since C12 install i will check it again thank you…

Thank you peAk for the great suggestion! Definitely worth a try, maybe this will help some of us having problems.

Unfortunately, this did not resolve the problems for me. I tried with the Power Scheme on and off, made no difference on my system, the current issue of dropouts remains. I have also tried to adjust some of the other setting as well (Activate Multi Processing, Audio Priority, Disk Preload, Adjust For Record Latency). Still no luck. At the moment the only solution I’ve found (on my system) is to set the AG on High. C12 is only days old, I’ll keep digging!

Here a short video demonstration of my issue (Bass is from Electrical Bass in HALion 6): iCloud

In some projects the issue is gone when I select another track. In new project I can’t reproduce this effect. Here the issue is present all the time.

It’s strange: it looks like HALion (all versions) and Groove Agent are having the issue. Other 3rd party libraries not (MusicLabs RealGuitars, Arturia AnalogLab, Synthogy Ivory, …).

I’m having very bad performance in C12 compared to C11. Audio errors and dropouts pretty much independent on how large my ASIO buffer size is.

It’s a pretty old (but stabile) Windows 10 based machine, but the problems happens on very small projects with like 4 VST instruments. Going back to C11 on the same project everything runs like it should.


Starting as clean as I possible can I removed Cubase 11 and cleared out all files and folders belonging to Cubase before doing a new install of Cubase 12.

I usually manage just fine with 128 buffer size with my UCX2 but with Cubase12 and 2048 sample buffer size the errors just keeps counting up with just a single VST instrument in the project.


And at the same time the performance meter in Cubase 12 looks like this:


So I’m currently out of ideas.Especially since Cubase 11 runs just fine on this machine.