I feel your pain. Sounds like there might be some sort of hardware or driver conflict on your system. If I knew more about Mac I’d help, but alas I’m a “Windows guy.”
Regarding your opinion of the new mixer, I’ve been a loyal Cubase user since version 1.5 and I could not agree with you more, friend. Simply put: the new mixer sucks. With all due respect, whoever "designed " it (and I use that term only for conversation), chose the wrong profession, as did the person who hired them.
Clearly Steinberg/Yamaha is weak when it comes to design patterns and workflow. From a usability perspective (something I know a little about being a software architect for a living) the new mixer is a jumbled mess, not even close to intuitive and easy to work with as its predecessor.
Sadly, it’s not just Steinberg who makes such horrible design decisions that negatively impact workflow efficiency of its customers in the name of “product evolution.” Many companies take wildly popular designs and chuck them into the trash can in favor of something inferior, ugly, and in some cases, unbearable to work with. Why? So they can say they have something “new” to impress the columnists and perhaps gain another “editor’s choice” award. Seems those are the only awards they are interested in… those that sell more product.
Course, as with any product, there are always those giddy customers who pat the company on the back no matter how ghastly the product. This is a well known phenomena in UI design circles, by the way. Remember that hellish thing known as MySpace? There were people who thought that was the greatest thing ever invented. Shame.
Then again, as a UI architect I’m in the business of making utilitarian-grade, world class quality software interfaces that flex to meet the requirements of all target users. So, unlike Steinberg–who only seems to take stock in the voices of those giddy fanboys that sing its praises and dismiss (and even attack) its detractors–the voice of the harsh critic is the one I am most interested in hearing. Hence, I don’t have a lot in common with Steinberg’s sheltered, groupthink-bitten, isolated approach to UI design, so I don’t purport to understand them.
But who cares, right? I’m a nobody to Steinberg, even though I’ve used their product since the early 90’s. Though they have my name on file, they don’t know me from a dude who just picked up a copy of Cubase Artist yesterday. If they did, they would have contacted me a long time ago and said “Hey Mark, you’ve been an amazing customer of ours, and its people like you who we owe a great debt of gratitude to for our success. We just wanted to say thank you, offer you a few free products, and ask you some questions about our software. Why? Because we value you as a customer. We’re grateful for you. You’ve helped made us what we are, and we appreciate it.”
But no. Steinberg doesn’t know me, and isn’t interested in my input or appreciative of my loyalty to them. I’m a nobody to Steinberg, and so are you, and that’s not going to change because they know the competition sucks even worse than them, and many of us are too invested to jump ship now. C’est la vie fellow suckers.
But heck, I can’t lie, I’ve made a lot of music with Cubase. Sold a lot of music. I’m grateful for the software overall. I’d even be more grateful if they brought back the old mixer, or at least gave us a “CLASSIC MIXER” view option… and stopped taking things away without consulting us.