Cubase 13: random CPU spikes still here, is maddening

Steinberg. Fix this.


Have you run Latencymon to check on your DPC latency?


Could you be more specific? Some measures? Did you find any inputs (it happens only if…)?

Are you on Windows or Mac? Which version? Could you provide the system spec file?

If you are on Windows, have you tried LatencyMon?

What Audio Device do you use? Have you tried different Audio Device Buffer Size settings, different driver version? Have you tried different Cubase Settings (ASIO Guard; Power Scheme)?

Have you observed the system? Is there any process which comes in, when the CPU spike appears?


LatencyMon is perfect, crazy low, in fact. I’m running Win10 latest, RME Fireface UFX, latest drivers, RTX 4090, latest, NVMe M.2 system drive, fast.

It happens randomly every few minutes. It appears to be the same thing that started happening with Cubase 12 that has threads with hundreds of replies that the mods keep locking.

ASIO Guard is low, doesn’t matter, normal and high and off are all the same. Buffer settings don’t matter.

I’ll be coasting along enjoying myself and three minutes or so later, POP! VST meter maxed out, reverb tail destroyed along with the illusion of being in a space. I hate it.

I’ve been looking all over the system and I’m not seeing anything of note. This only seems to happen with Cubase.

Again, the audio engine needs an overhaul: Ableton does not seem to have a problem with ensuring that it has the resources it needs guaranteed so you can, uh, play it LIVE with confidence.

Steinberg is just dropping the ball here and they really need to refocus on the basics. They need to swarm this problem till they fix it, IMHO. We are not being paid to test this software for them and we’re not paying their mods to lock our threads.


Try to do some exclusion with your Windows “Real Time Protection”
I did few folders exclusion of all my samples and instruments directory and also my Steinberg folders.


Good tip but a better one is rename the old shite C12 preferences and let Cubase build from new . I don’t know why Steinberg are now forcing us to install with the old Naffed up C12 preferences .
I had issues with spikes , couldn’t even use Acustica plugins but i think some of it was the preferences , the Asio is NOT stable but it’s better than it was , this basically C12 all over , a complete setup headache because of loading old preferences .
Im with you , this performance needs stabilizing , it was fine by the end of 12 , if we have to wait till the end of 13 , im done


Hi @DrWashington , I’m sorry for the trouble you experience with Cubase’s Audio-Performance. Just to make sure, that it’s not caused by the Windows MMCSS-Thread-Count-Limitation, you may do the following:

  1. Download “Process Explorer”: Prozess-Explorer - Sysinternals | Microsoft Learn
  2. Start it
  3. Set it up as in the screenshot below:
    3.a. Show the lower Pane
    3.b. Filter for a process called “Cubase”
    3.c. In lower Pane, sort by “Base Prio” by clicking on the column header
  4. Count the number of threads with a Base Priority higher or equal than 20

If you have 32 of such high-priority threads, then you’ve hit the process limit of Windows. If that is the case, please get back to me, we may have a workaround.


Hi JRoeper, thanks for the tip. I see 24 such processes, so I don’t think that’s the issue.

But, I just created a whole bunch of exclusions for Windows Defender, and so far I’m seeing a significant improvement. I’ll keep this thread posted, but, and I really can’t emphasize this enough, these are the kinds of issues that product testing should uncover, and you should have channels at Microsoft to whom you can go, “WTF, Microsoft?”

If their software is interfering with real time audio, invoke the Power of Yamaha and put pressure on them to fix it.

Every moment I’m spending becoming a more competent sysadmin is one I’m not spending on becoming a more competent musician, and the balance needs to shift. My goal here is to sell records, not get hired by Google.

Thank you.


Thanks very much for this tip, tepa. Marked improvement. Not yet perfect, this seems to have made a very significant dent already. I’m going to keep trying things for the next few days. Would love to avoid trashing my prefs and starting over; hopefully it won’t come to that. For now, CPU spikes are still happening, but they take much, much longer to occur. Some relief!

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Great it helps a little :wink:

Maybe it can be an other thing to check.
When you have a important session try to stop all Windows update for that moment cause it often happen that Windows is searching and downloading for update in background.
You don’t notice them but your CPU is going to be a contributor and will spike to it.

How do i install c13 without C12 preferences? The only preferences i want to keep are the samples that i’ve rated and favourited in the media bay

HI! Would you be so kind as to tell me how to do it?

referring to this

Yes you can do it like that :
Go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection. Under Virus & threat protection settings, select Manage settings, and then under Exclusions, select Add or remove exclusions. Select Add an exclusion, and then select from files, folders

For Windows 10 :

Or Win 11 :


Thank you very much!!!

And yeah, again, at the end of the day this is Steinberg’s problem, no one else’s: it is up to the company selling the very expensive DAW product to TEST THEIR CODE ROBUSTLY, period. They are clearly not doing that. They should be hitting their product from every angle on typical (like mine) and atypical systems absolutely as much as possible. All of this can be done with large batteries of virtual machines running different synthetic test suites designed to stress out the audio subsystem and see where its weaknesses lie and address them.

Steinberg is and has been dropping the ball for quite some time when it comes to selling a stable, robust product. Steinberg and NI are two of the biggest offenders in the audio market currently (I’m thinking of the disastrous Kontakt 7.6.1 release with the latter right now).

This whole market needs to change: they are focusing on the wrong things and it is driving many musicians crazy. I honestly don’t care nearly as much about new features if daily use of the product is such a drag, if I feel like I’m constantly poking around in my system to address some newly surfaced bug that wasn’t properly tested for.

And again, Steinberg, if a given problem turns out to be Microsoft’s, you should have all the resources at your disposal you need to make it their problem and not let up till they address it in-house. You have plenty at your disposal to open the necessary back channels with Microsoft’s technical staff.

I mean, really, how hard is it to figure out that typical Windows Defender settings interfere with normal Cubase operation when testing the product as one of the leading audio software companies worldwide, owned by an even bigger Japanese audio titan? How hard is this? I swear, it’s like this product is barely being tested under real-world circumstances at all, and it’s really inexcusable to be using your customer base as guinea pigs, Steinberg. Shape up.


You are a genius , this has helped considerably . I’m still testing but , with your idea and adding all audio related folders to the exclusions there has been a remarkable difference .
This is a C12 project with all the tracks imported to a new C13 . before your idea the peak would go to 100 % Now and lowering the over sampling in one plugin the difference speaks for it’s self .
Steinberg do recommend to off antivirus so it’s not all their fault but they could remind us once in a while >
Thank you , your a star

Great it help you too !!! :wink:

Unfortunately C13 also maxes out on projects which ran fine on C12. Introducing audio drop outs, spikes and so on.
@JRoeper The number of threads with a base prio >=20 are less than 32 as well.

Screenshot 2023-11-05 121438


Same project, same settings. CPU and RAM use are identical, but still C13 doesn’t manage to play the project.
Trashed the prefs, on Windows Defender everything is whitelisted.

i7 8700K 32GB RAM

EDIT: a more detailed view to the adioperformance in C12:

and C13:

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