Cubase 5 freezes during sequencing

Ok, I don’t know if there has been a fix for this as of yet, but I’ve searched online about this issue, and I’ve spoken to Steinberg a while back about this issue.

My sequencer started to freeze on me when I started to sequence midi parts for a film trailer I’m scoring to. Now, I am running more midi tracks, and midi channels than I normally would for smaller projects, but I’m running a PC with more than good enough specs for film scoring.

My specs: Cubase 5.5.3-64bit, Win Vista-64bit, 8gig ram, Intel Core Quad 2.83ghz, Tascam 1800 audio i/o, separate 7200rpm 8mb cache hd(s) for audio, samples, and OS.

I use my Korg TR61 synth as my midi control via USB Midi to my PC DAW. It only seemed to freeze on me whenever I would repeat a fast sequence of notes, like an ostinato you would normally hear in hollywood string parts.

Cubase will either: freeze and keep playing the last 2 notes I was playing in a loop, with everything being unresponsive, until I got to Task Manager and “End Process” Cubase; or it will freeze for about 5 seconds playing the last 2 notes and then wake up like nothing happened.

I had a similar issue with this before a while back, but thought this may have been addressed by Steinberg. And the problem is, it’s not something you can just “immediately” replicate as an example on the spot. Who knows when it will happen. Anyone with an answer would be very appreciative.

Did you take note that it might be a certain midi instrument that you are using when this happens? One of your instruments may be incompatible enough to cause this. You may want to copy your song to experiment with and re-introduce all your instruments one by one to find the culprit. I know this might be difficult as this is a random occurance. My other thought would be to freeze the instruments you’re not working on to further avoid any jam possibilities.

@Suprawill1 - Thanks for the suggestion. That’s actually the first thing I had thought as well. I’ve done professional IT work in corporate america for well over a decade, and was a Mac Genius for Apple. I’m pretty used to going through a process of elimination like you’re recommending.

But then, the same thing happened with the other plug-in as well. My film trailer project that I’m working on is comprised of mostly: 50% YT Independence Pro 3.0(aaaaaaaawesome epic drums) & 50% Kontakt 4(running Kirk Hunter Strings).

When the crash first happened it was with Indie Pro3. So I kind of thought lilke you, and said, oh well, guess this plug-in is buggy. Nope, started on another sequenced part/track with Kontakt 4, and same thing, crash. Vista was fine.

I’ve read that people were complaining about the same issue, and it wasn’t anything that really was resolved by SB. I don’t know.

So this happens in the Cubase Score Editor? Interesting. I’ve been having a similar problem. A few things that were recommended to me but never helped were:

  1. Make sure your strongest driver is being used. This actually does fix delays that often cause freezes and crashes.

  2. Trash prefs.

  3. Update Quicktime.

The Score Editor is far weaker than the key editor in the graphics area. My bet that this is Vista’s fault. Can’t wait for the day I can afford Win 7!

I’ve had some glitchy problems using Kore and it may have happened before with Kontact. They would all of the sudden max out the asio or cpu in the performance meter but wouldn’t shut me down. It made a choking sound while it was happening but then would quit. I’ve also been successful with both without a hitch on other days. Kore would do it more times than not.

We have similar systems but I agree that’s not a problem. Don’t know if it may be a Vista thing.

Using Cubase 64, I experienced a big jump in asio readings. The same songs in CB 32 would read only about 1/3 the percentage. For that reason, I reside in CB 32. It sounds like you need more ram so you need to be in 64.
I don’t know if you’re using native 64 plugs but if you are, it has been suggested that the Cubase bit bridge be disabled because that’s been known to cause problems.

Thanks for the replys, but just to clarify some things:

This happens when I’m in the main DAW Project Window of Cubase 5-64bit. As I stated previously, I’m using Windows Vista Business 64bit, so trashing Preferences doesn’t exactly apply like it does with Mac OS X, but I understand what you mean.

As far as memory is concerned, there is absolutely no way that 8gigs of ram is not enough to run what I’m running with a 64bit OS, and 64bit DAW application, and all 64bit plug-ins. I know people that have put together projects in 32bit DAWs with 4gigs of ram that don’t have this happen. In fact, with a regular 32bit DAW, you can’t use the 4gigs of ram, you’re only able to use about 3.5gigs. Also, although I am loading many libraries at 1 time, I am using disk streaming for all of the vst channels, so only a portion of the samples are taking up my 8 gigs of memory.

As well, I tweaked the Windows registry to be optimized for digital audio recording, and there is no internet connection at all. Vista does not give me a problem at all. None of the plug-ins lock up Vista when I open them as stand alone apps. And being that Vista is still running fine when I “End Task” Cubase, then the conflict is pointing more to Cubase rather than the VST’s I’m using or VISTA.

I’m only asking this question because after doing a little research online, it seems like there really hasn’t been a definite resolution to this problem, unless I missed something. And if I have, please bring me up to speed so I can prevent this from happening again.

:slight_smile: What I meant by you needing more ram is the more ram that the CB64 provides/accesses in opposed to CB32s 3.5.
I was simply stating the reason you wouldn’t go to 32 as quickly as I would.
Also, just so you know, you can access all your ram from CB32 if you apply Jbridge. It will allow you to allot 2G to every plug/instrument as well as convert compatibility between the 2 bit rates. You can then run 32 bit processes in 64 and vice versa. I have Jbridge but I’ve only used it in CB64 for my 32 plugs. I find I’m much smoother in CB32 and have yet to run into ram problems.

Trashing the prefs on pc may be a different process but it has been proven in some cases that it could be a culprit.

I understand that Vista is not affected in your case as it isn’t in mine but there’s been accounts where Cubase is a little more figety in Vista than in XP or 7. It isn’t the OS that’s affected but sometimes Cubase isn’t as smooth, depending where it’s hosted. As you would know, there are so many other variables involved. It sometimes comes down to parts compatibility in a computer as to how some softwares act. I’ve seen 2 'puters with identical power and OSs act differently with the same CB version and songs.
Anyway, just food for thought.

@Suprawill1 - Yeah I hear what you’re saying now clearer. I have contemplated upgrading to Win7. And to be honest, I really am more interested in Win8 when it’s released later this year 2012. And really, this Cubase 5 issue is really starting to annoy me. Because it isn’t something I can predict, and isn’t something I should have to live with.

And since I just found out that MOTU Digital Performer 8 is Windows7 compatible, I am REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wrecking my brain to see if I want to go back to the first major DAW I used extensively years ago! I’ve really grown to like Cubase a lot recently. But I guess I’m just one of those people that have always had a special place in my heart for MOTU DP, no matter what I’ve been using lately. After previously working for Apple as a Mac Genius, I pretty much made up my mind that I personally didn’t want to invest in a Mac computer for my music, or anything again.

Either way, I would just like to try and find a legitimate answer with Cubase 5 that I can’t figure out.

As in any software, it is “always” in development mode. You may find that you run a lot smoother with CB6 being that they’ve ironed out a lot of issues that couldn’t be cured across the board. We can only make educated guesses as to what combo would work best. CB5/W8, CB6/W7 or 8 etc.

My co-worker used to use DP on PC and now is a Mac/PT user and swears by it, as I thought “all” Mac users do. So this makes me extremely curious why you prefer PC for music? I’ve always had success with CB on PC and never looked back. Probably because everything works fine for me and the price differential is almost astronomical. I just couldn’t justify the higher markup for Mac/PT especially when it seemed CB has more to offer in my opinion.

@Suprawill1 - From what I’ve been reading so far online, CB6 is buggier than CB5 right now. I’m sure that the coming updates will address some concerns. But you would think that some of the “previous” reported bugs from CB5 would’ve been addressed in it’s later updates. And in a way, I kinda feel it’s wrong that a person has to pay for an update just to get an application to perform without problems as it should from the gate once it leaves the factory …

As far as Digital Performer, Digital Performer has always been a Mac only DAW application. But a few years back when I wanted to really focus going into film scoring, rather than music production, I came to the conclusion that I was going to need a more powerful computer to handle the sample libraries I would invest into. At that particular time, I was still running an old eMac G4 1.25ghz, which was fine for most music production, but not for hw expansion.

So my thoughts were: 1. Save up $2200+ for a Mac Pro with the needed options later, or 2. Use my professional IT knowledge and build my own Windows DAW, piece by piece to the same specs as a Mac Pro for music. I certainly liked using OS X, but I liked saving my money more.

With some reluctance I went to the Windows route, and actually liked it, because I was able to get all of the music done that I needed, only costing me about $700+ investment at the time.

Also, the fact that I used to work for Apple as a Mac Genius and actually took apart and fixed their laptops and desktops, it convinced me even more not to really bother going back to the Mac h/w platform. Because the only difference between a Mac & a PC now, is the operating system. They all run the same Intel processors, which is why a Mac can run Windows through Boot Camp, flawlessly! So why should I pay more of my money just to say I have a Mac, when it can’t produce music any better than a Windows DAW. It’s really just your preference, and I prefer more of my money.

Out of all of the DAWs I’ve used, Logic, PT, DP, Nuendo, Cubase, Reason, Live: I still had the best experience for my workflow with Digital Performer. But I never intended on investing back into the Mac platform, so presently I’ve settled for Cubase on the PC.

Hadn’t scrolled the C6 forum in a while but that surprises me that there are all those snags in the system. SB doesn’t even consider anything being a bug unless they can recreate the problem, which I understand but I agree that a product should be golden out of the box. I guess these DAWs are so complex that it’s hard to be flawless on just “anybody’s” rig. I was surprised to hear some of the problems some users were having with bigger systems than mine and I was like, you’re kidding, mine does that flawlessly! Of course, there’s always the user setup factor too.
Some combinations just snag more than others and it can be as simple as the type ram being used, just to name an instance.

You’ve definitely confirmed my theories on the Mac vs PC wars. Now I can back up my arguments with a Mac Genius seal of approval. lol My co-worker and I always have a friendly sparring about the issue, but in my observation, he has reboot issues more often than I’d like to see them wherein I go forever without. I enjoy building my own PCs also. Nothing like a custom application to fit your specific needs not to mention being much cheaper than what you get off the shelf, let alone going Mac.

“Now I can back up my arguments with a Mac Genius seal of approval.” - LOL! Yeah, well really, people just need to stop being self biased, and look at the hard facts as is. There most certainly was a major difference between Macs and PCs at one time when Apple was using the Motorola Processors. But when Apple decided to go the Intel route for it’s computers, there really was nothing left original except their Apple operating system, and their type of Apple CPU case.

Now, I still tell people to this day, that if you really like the Mac experience, then purchase one. I still like Macs. I have nothing against them personally. I just know that I don’t really see myself buying one again, considering the facts at hand. But if you’re more comfortable with getting music done in OS X, verses Windows 7, do what works for you.

I just know for me, that I would rather spend less money on something that will still give me the exact same performance. Which is why I’ve gone the Windows route.

As far as Cubase, I don’t know. I’m also maybe thinking that I might be experiencing some sort of buffer problem with my USB audio interface once I get up to a large plug-in & track count. And that maybe if I increase the buffer size with my audio i/o that it might help. I don’t know. CB6 might have addressed this problem so far, but if I have to spend money on another DAW ot fix my issue, then it’s REALLY going to be another DAW… Then again, maybe just upgrading to Win 7 may do the track as well.

That’s one advantage you have with Cubase. You get to try out C6 for free. The trial period is a full month which is more than enough time to make a practical decision. I just finished the trial myself and there are some things that have improved, not to mention the extended features and extra synths. It definitely addressed the problem I was having with Cubase Studio 5 64 bit in that the asio percentage was down to what CB 32 was showing. There were a few other things I liked feature wise but there was also a glitch I was getting upon shutdown. Some of the time it would blue screen Vista. I would probably attest that to one of the synths rather than Cubase itself. CS5 still does all I wish it to and I couldn’t justify the purchase considering the synths I could get for the same price that would benefit me more.
Halion 4 is one of them.

Maybe Windows will offer a beta version of 8 that you can make your comparisons with. I know they did for 7 when it was getting ready for release and users were able to try it for free. I guess that the advantage there, will be that 7 will probably come down in price. I’ve seen the OEM version down to a modest 139 for the professional 64 bit version.
Right now NE is offering a free 16G USB incentive! :slight_smile:

Well, after thinking and doing a little more reading from additional online resources. I think I will take the plunge and upgrade to Windows 7x64bit for my DAW. I don’t know if that will eliminate the problem I’m having, but it will at least prepare me for any other s/w I may decide to use or migrate to in the near future if necessary.

I don’t really want to mess with CB6, only because it has features in it that I don’t really care about, that CB5 already does for me, very well. I would be paying for an upgrade to something that only gives me a 5% - 10% difference in functionality for what I already have and can do.

It’s just this midi freezing glitch I’m running into. And I don’t know, hopefully running Win7 will help solve this for me. Short of a solid solution that I don’t know about…

Aaaaargh! It just happened while I progressed through more of the arrangement I was working on. This time it happened just playing back, not during sequencing more midi parts. This time, I just turned off my Tascam US1800, and then Forced quit CB5 from Task Mgr. And then restarted CB5, the audio i/o, and the project I was working on. Everything starts back playing without a problem.

Hmmmm, one thing I did notice this time, is the OS automatically calculated what amount of input latency to set for my audio i/o, accordingly to the speed of my cpu. and it was set to a little over 5ms. That was at the default “normal latency” setting. So I set it to high latency, and it increased it by about 3 seconds.

Well, I wonder if my issue is directly dealing with the USB bandwidth, in accordance with the amount of tracks, etc that I’m playing and recording simultaneously? If that’s the case, then maybe me investing in a PCI or PCIe interface will solve that problem. I had been thinking about eventually upgrading to the Echo Audio Layal 3G. Maybe it’s my audio interface and not Cubase after all.

Well, maybe I’ll just make plans to sell my US1800 on eBay, and use that money towards a PCIe interface.

PCIe is definitely the best choice. I’ve been running fw with the Tascam FW-1082. You’ll have to let me know if a PCIe setup does that much better for you.

Hmmm, I think when I set my Tascam 1800 usb i/o to the highest latency setting (which was still only about 13+ms), I didn’t get any Cubase freezing that I can think of. But, what I did notice that this is “only” occurring when it comes to me sequencing the several channels of plug-ins. When I finally bounced all of the sequenced trcks down to audio tracks, all of the audio tracks played back without “any” problems.

Which kind of makes sense, because audio tracks are just playback from the hard drive. Where as the samples, are streamed from the hd to a degree, but most of it is based upon the processor power, and available system ram. I’m really hoping that maybe me keeping everything at the highest latency setting while sequencing parts will solve this problem.

I wasn’t really ready for upgrading to a PCI/PCIe interface yet.

Have you tried freezing the midi tracks that you aren’t sequencing? Are you actually sequencing several tracks simultaneously?

Hmmmm, that’s a good idea. Freezing the tracks. To be honest with you, I’ve NEVER bothered to use the freeze function. The thought just never came to my mind until you mentioned it. I mean, considering the specs of my system, I just never considered it.

But I guess that’s because when I was using a less powerful DAW than what I’m using now, a Pentium D 2.8ghz, I was still running about as many sequenced tracks, with an older version of Cubase, without the freezing issues. And then I was using a regular Tascam US144 usb audio i/o!

I’m still on the fence with this. I have 1 more project coming up that I’ll be doing an orchestral mock-up for, and I’m going to see what happens then. Hopefully better results with a really high latency.

Good luck with that. Maybe you should try a different interface just to rule out a problem there. It just doesn’t make sense that a more powerful computer would choke on the same project size.