Cubase 12 Upgrade ASIO-Guard Issue

As an experiment I tried playing with one of the demo projects that come with C12.
“Cubase 12 - Pop Demo By Austin Hull.cpr_MIXED”.

For me, the result is the same. When selecting one on the instrument tracks, then selecting a folder track, I get a dropout/click when ASIO Guard is set to Low of Normal. I don’t hear the dropouts with AG set to High (maybe it’s still there, but very faint and undetectable).

I would be very interested if some of the other users here could try this same test using the demo project. You can find it in your “Steinberg Download Assistant.” If you select “Cubase Pro 12” it’s at the bottom of the list.

I think having a standardized test subject like the demo project could be a great help for us all to compare our experiences using the same project material. Since the Demo projects where produced and provided by Steinberg, this seems like a good place to start.

Curious to know your thoughts on this …

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Shouldn’t the overload indicator by the audio performance meter come on whenever there is an audio dropout? Did it come on?

No, I get no indications of overloads in the performance meter. Watching the meters as I switch tracks I only see the adjustment from the tracks being armed and unarmed, but no red errors. Only an audible dropout/pop.

Sounds like that could be a bug in itself.

Yes, I agree. If proven true, let’s see what happens next.

I have been reading this thread with interest. I updated to Cubase 12 last Thursday, the whole process went fine, no problems. Thursday and Friday I played through 8 projects (songs) I am working on that were created with Cubase 11, they all played fine and I noticed that the performance meters seemed lower than in 11 and not one of the songs peaked the performance meters.

Saturday I recorded some new vocals for one song, everything went fine no issues. Sunday & Monday I worked on the same project editing the vocals, all good. Last thing Monday I played through the project a few times, all good, not once had the performance meters peaked, no audio drop outs. So the project is saved and the computer switched off.

Tuesday the computer is on all day (as it is most days, switch on in the morning, off last thing at night) early evening I open Cubase for the first time since the previous evening, I load the project I worked on the previous day, I play the project and the ASIO meter peaks and overloads, the audio drops out after about 5 seconds and continues to do it on and off through the track.

The project is exactly as it was the previous evening when it was played through numerous times with no issues. Nothing new has been done to the project. Nothing new has been installed on the system.

I try numerous things, changing the buffer size, ASIO guard but the project continues to peak the performance meter every time. I return the settings to the normal settings I have been working with.

I close the project and Cubase and go off to eat!

I come back about an hour later, I open Cubase I load the project and it plays perfectly no issues! I play it three or four more times and it plays perfectly, no performance meter peaks.

Today it has played perfectly with no issues.

I am at a loss to understand why for about an hour it refused to play without the performance meter peaking, then after closing the project and Cubase, waiting an hour and loading it again it then plays perfectly.

Cubase 12.0.0 macOS 12.2.1 Mac mini i7 3.2 16GB ram.


Hello SRN2016 Thanks for joining the thread! We have all been sharing our experiences with C12, and the random nature of the issue you describe can be the most frustrating and difficult to find the root cause (been there!).

First off, my thoughts for troubleshooting would be to see if any background processes where happening when you had the problem (like software updates, virus protection, etc). Then maybe check the integrity of all your system hardware, maybe something failing? I’m only guessing at this, because this type of random behavior is very difficult to pinpoint.

Also, at this point I would not rule out the possibility that there are issues with the software itself. Many here are reporting usual behavior and performance issues with the new C12. Please report back if you make any new discoveries regarding the problem.

I have the exact same problem over here as well. i9 12900k, 32GB DDR4, RME HDSP, Windows 11.

With Cubase 11 and the ASIO Guard set on “high” I could run really heavy projects at 64 samples latency, regardless of what track I had aktivated.

With Cubase 12 there are CPU-intensive tracks that I can’t activate anymore without spikes all over the place. In my current project the worst is the MIDI drum track that goes to SD3 as a rack instrument. I use all single outputs of SD3 routed on 9 subgroups with parallel processing or UAD plugins (meaning additional buffers and latency for those channels/groups). All in all that is a pretty heavy routing. So everytime I activate the MIDI track it becomes a crackling-fiesta.

What is also interesting that clicking on a empty track (to release the ASIO Guard stress) does have a significant delay with audio muted.

With Cubase 11 none of that happens. Neither a delay when switching away from the “heavy track” nor huge spikes and performance overload when activating that track.

There is certainly something VERY different between C11 and C12 regarding the handling of ASIO Guard and low-latency performance of active tracks with heavy load on the CPU.

Any chance Steinberg looks into this issue for the next update? It’s very annoying to have to up the latency one step for every project I currently work on. C12 is definitely performing worse than C11 and so by a significant margin.


I have had a similar experience. Project with 78 tracks, 24/88, Cubase 12, PC Ryzen 9 5900, 64GB ram…

Yes! that’s when I first noticed the issue. This never happened in C11. Hopefully if we all keep the discussion going, maybe someone at Steinberg (@Matthias_Quellmann) will take notice.

Hello Alexander_Hast Welcome to the discussion! Thanks sharing your experience and leading your voice to the cause.

Well… just playing an external synth with audio going through Cubase causes CPU load peaks… I’m reverting back to C11. What waste of money for this update. Has this not been properly tested? No more updates for me, this was the last one…


I get the exact same thing. Seems when the GUI changes, I’ll get a pop or a click Definitely selecting tracks though for sure.


Is multicore activated in the performance tab in superior drummer 3?
If so try selecting 1 single core and see what happens, in my case it performs much better when 1 core is selected vs 8 (or any other number).
Hope this help!!

Good points, I wondered if I was experiencing a hardware problem but my drives all seem to check out ok (I have external SSDs for samples and project files). I am pretty sure there was nothing unusual like software updates happening.

I did download the Cubase demo track you mentioned and played it back multiple times with no issues, the ASIO meter was peaking about a third, I clicked on various tracks, no issues.

Generally speaking I have noticed the performance meter bump up a bit when enabling monitor on a track, even a midi track but I used to notice this on Cubase 11 as well, most times it settles down.

I will see how I get on over the next few days.

I don’t seem to be having the problems mentioned here, but on an extremely large project I couldn’t get it to play in CBP12 at all. But just hitting the monitor button for 1 vst instrument or audio track allows it to play. I just noticed the same behaviour in 11 as well. In 12 when I do this, the ASIO-Guard meter drops considerably and the Realtime meter jumps up. But I can do this on any unused track and my project becomes playable again.

I should update/clarify. I’ve never had ASIO Guard on High until this issue. I was using it on Normal. What I’m experiencing is the red light and dropouts. I changed it to High and it might have made a miniscule difference but not much. I can only run the project in C12 if I remove the Mix bus plug-ins - this is my last bus before the Master (Stereo Out) bus. One of theses plugins does chew CPU - it’s the CLA Mixdown. The others are UAD and should not matter. Except - they are VST2. I opened the project in C11 and saved as a new version. It runs with the Mix plugs. Unfortunately for me, this means the update I purchased was wasted cash, which is a tad disappointing. I purchased for the multi track audio warping and I see that’s not working completely anyway. 2022! It’s a year to forget so far.

Hi all.

Well, that was short lived. I started a new project in C12. I didn’t get very far before the random spikes started happening again.

There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. I opened up Activity Monitor to try to discern a pattern, but nothing obvious presented itself.

This is one place where I wish Steinberg would take a page out of some other DAWs and present more detail on CPU and Plugin Usage. Studio One and Tracktion Waveform do an excellent job in this area.

This may be purely coincidence, but I note that the project that I ran in a loop all night without spikes (see previous post) used only VST3 plugins. This new project - and all of the others cited in my previous posts - had some VST2 plugins in them.

Another avenue to explore in the morning I suppose.


As I understand it C 12 doesn’t support the Vst2. That is porbably the issue

I had solid Cubase 11 performance (hyperthreading off) but great instability with Cubase 12.
So I trashed preferences and activated Hyperthreading on and now Cubase 12 is working fine.
Windows 11,Intel 11th gen processor.