Cubase 4 VST System Link Self Test

I am not getting any audio in midi or playing an audio file. The meters move, there is just no sound.
In the “Device Setup” window, “VST System Link” I am running the “Self Test”
“Transmission” number is the same as the “Error” number. “Receive” remains at 0.
What do I need to fix this?

Researching for years, I’ve found that the information & instruction on doing this is horrible! It would be nice if Steinberg had some better instruction, video’s etc… None the less, if you reread the VST System Link portion of your Cubase PDF manual, you may see what you’re doing wrong.

If I were you, I’d concentrate on ONE step at a time…say, just audio. You have to have audio cards installed in each computer that are ASIO 2 compatible, and with some kind of digital audio connections to start with…cards with ASIO 2 have been out for years, so that’s probably not a problem. I don’t know what kind of digital audio connection you’re attempting System Link with, s/pdif, adat etc? Many problems are from improperly connecting & routing for it to work right.

The BEST test is to follow EXACTLY what the PDF’s say’s … not just the ‘self test’ but YOUR test…that is, after being sure your Master DAW’s (whatever Cubase version with VSL) sound card has a digital audio cable from it’s OUTPUT, then into the Slave computers (whatever version or app that has VSL) sound cards INPUT…then from the slaves sound cards OUTPUT, back into the Masters sound cards INPUT - a digital audio in a loop, which Steinberg refers to it as a ‘ring’ in the manual.

THEN, after that, create an audio track on the Master DAW (with whatever) PLAY that audio track, and listen to the signal to be sure it’s going into the Slave. If you don’t hear it, you’re not routing correctly…keep at it until you route it correctly. To do this, open your sound cards control panel in EACH computer, and be sure your digital I/O’s are routed as needed. When you hear the audio from your Master, from within your Slave (while testing, listen FROM your slaves sound card headphones etc) then you’re good to go. NOW, do the SAME on your Slave…put an audio file on the slave, play that, and again listen at the Master DAW’s sound card…when you get to when you’re hearing this, do that ‘self test’ thing again. But again, until you can hear the audio in each machine as in the examples above, you won’t get it working! That is really the 1st step to overcome…the proper physical cable routing & the internal routing. Of course you need to be sure your digital cables are good etc.

I’ve read for years that VST System Link is so hard, people give up, saying that the technology is a failure etc, when all along it’s their OWN failure to get it going. Once you know how, it’s not hard at all, but very easy. You’ll want to write down exactly what you’ve done to make it work.

System Link works in different way’s, or should I say, you can work with it in ways that maybe you had not imagined before. 1st off one such way, you don’t really HAVE to send midi between machines at all (if you don’t want), you can use the Slave as a dedicated VSTi machine, and record ALL your midi directly there, and treat your VSTi’s with FX, locally in that machine, then send over a sub-mix to your audio machine.
Another thing is your don’t have to continually keep BOTH machines powered on at all times. If you like to start your projects with VSTi’s & midi, you can work with ONE machine at 1st, then System Link sync them for transfer a sub-mix to your audio machine, then work on ONE machine again for all your audio tracks. But if you overcome or don’t mind the noise, you can have both on full-time of course.
There are many other ways VSL can be used, sharing either/both audio & midi as well as VSTi’s among machines however you like to work…using machines as an FX’s processor etc. I favor the 1st idea/method myself.

FYI… and as I understand, VSL was introduced with Cubase VST 5 (or 5/32?) with the last update, but will only work as a ‘Slave’…continued versions have VSL that work both ways, as Master OR Slave…FREE versions have VSL.

Are you actually running a VST System link setup at all…? Or simply going through all the Cubase menus without really knowing, what you´re doing…?