Cubase 8/8.5/9/9.5 issue for Mac and Windows: Can't load up very large sessions back-to-back without crashing.

From what I’ve read here this has definitely been happening for years for many others. When you load up very large sessions back-to-back (which I need to do for my score work – different scenes, etc.), Cubase will usually crash. By way of comparison this has never happened on any other DAW I’ve used on the same computer, sometimes with the same VST plugins.


  1. Open up a very large session. I don’t have an exact number, but an example of a session that makes this issue happen is one with 11 channels of audio, 8 groups, 8 Auxes, 205 plugins of various kinds spread over the channels and groups and auxes and the master fader, 1 instance of PLAY fully loaded, 2 instances of Kontakt with multiple various programs loaded up in each, 2 Omnisphere with multiple programs, 3 Retrologue, 2 Icarus, 4 Padshop, with lots of MIDI data and audio throughout the entire project. Plenty of RAM is still available and CPU is at about 65% in this particular case.
  2. Close session and open up a different large session, or open a different large session without closing the previous.
  3. Cubase will very often crash.

This usually doesn’t happen on small sessions, even those that use the same plugins and VSTi’s as the bigger sessions. It’s truly a very significant workflow destroyer.

EDIT: As stated below, I know that this happens to others on both Windows and Mac, and that it’s been happening for many versions of Cubase.

Let’s get some support on this one, guys. It’s been a user-reported issue on this forum (and Nuendo) for previous versions, from what I’ve seen. It needs to be completely fixed.

Come on friends…this is a major problem that I’ve never encountered in any other DAW I’ve ever used. Everyone I personally know who uses Cubase or Nuendo moans about it because it is deservedly moan worthy.

Same issue here, Cubase 9.0.20 will just just crash.
I un-installed and went back to 9.0.10 and tried the same project on Cubase 8 with no problems at all and way more stability.
No doubt that there’s a problem with Cubase 9.0.20 stability now :\

I need to re-open this because it’s still an issue on C9.5. It happens both on my Mac Pro and my MacBook Pro. Multiple composers that I personally know, on both Mac and Windows systems, experience the exact same issue.

This kills workflow in a very major way: I go back-and-forth between large projects many times all day. It’s not just a C9 or C9.5 issue - it’s been an issue for many versions. It happened to my studio mate all the way back on Cubase 7, on his Windows machine (and it still does for him with C9.5 on a brand new custom music Windows machine). Something isn’t getting dumped between sessions loading up, is my guess. When you close Cubase then re-open it everything is fine, but to have to do that multiple times throughout the entire day in order to load up various very large back-to-back sessions simply should not happen, and is not an acceptable workaround for someone who works with tight deadlines and sometimes has clients in the room (yes, comments have been made to me about it a couple of times by clients).

Please my friends, let’s get Steinberg’s attention on this. Every single composer I know who uses Cubase or Nuendo (both Mac and Windows) has this issue and I’ve also have seen posts about it here and the Nuendo fo, as I said. I might be annoying, but the squeaky wheel and all.

Cubase is and has been super stable for me since I started on C8, other than this issue, FYI.

Annoying bump #3. :laughing:

I have the same issue in 9 and 9.5.

This is effecting me big time. I’m running Cubase 9.5 on a MacBook Pro with 16gigs of RAM… I’m thinking that RAM might be the issue (besides the way Cubase manages memory I mean). I’ve watched the Activity Monitor and it seems like Cubase doesn’t release old RAM before beginning to load the new session, causing some sort of overflow I’m guessing… Does anything think more RAM might help? I can’t load any more into my laptop and would need a new computer. My friend has a Mac Pro trashcan with 32 gigs of RAM and doesn’t have this issue. Do any of you have this with 32 or 64 gigs of RAM?


Huh. Interesting that your friend doesn’t have this issue. Are his sessions large? I’m running 32 gigs of RAM on my Mac Pro trashcan, too.

I just checked the Activity Monitor and you’re correct: Cubase doesn’t dump all of the RAM…just a small portion of it, at least from the first project that you close. The weird thing is that the overall RAM usage doesn’t get even close to 32 gigs and it then it usually crashes when loading up another large project.

Oh really?! Damn, I was hoping you didn’t have 32 gigs in your machine…
I’ll ask my friend how large his sessions are, but he’s scoring so I imagine they’re as large as mine.

Regarding the issue though, it does seem like Cubase isn’t dumping the memory in a safe way. I really hope for a fix on this.

Something is going awry, for sure…memory somehow isn’t getting dumped somewhere or a process isn’t getting finished in between sessions which causes a crash for large ones going back-to-back. It could be a plugin, but this has been happening for a while through C8 through C9.5, with all the plugins I have being updated more than a few times during that period.

I’ll be interested to hear what your composer friend says about session sizes, because all the composer friends of mine on cubase have the same problem! Maybe we can figure out what the differences are and whittle it down.

There’s a known issue on Windows with that maximum dll within an app limitation.
It’s not just the limitation itself that may cause vsts not loading / disappearing etc but more importantly some vsts take those available slots until you completely quit Cubase. Due to that, loading back to back large projects before quitting Cubase is risky. Maybe this causes those crashes on Windows?

But what about Mac?

It’s kinda funny…after all is said and done with Cubendo, this might be the thing that forces me to move back to PT or another DAW. My entire day is spent going back-and-forth with tons of cues and projects, and I have to restart the program over and over again in order to avoid this. Today a client asked me again, who was in here to review some music: “Why do you have to close and re-open so much?”.

I don’t know what the answer is, I really don’t. For me it happens on two different computers, and it’s clearly on both Mac and Windows. My RAM looks normal and I have lots available in most cases. This needs to be looked into.

Hey umfufu, were you able to get any clarity on this from your composer friend? This issue happens to all of my composer friends who use Cubase, both on Windows and Mac, so it would be great to try to find out why your friend’s doesn’t do it. It’s clearly not a platform-specific issue.

I would assume your friend uses Kontakt? It may be the cause here because it often seems to cause issues in Cubase (and other DAWs), but I don’t know.

I’m about to switch back to Pro Tools or find another DAW because this is significantly killing my workflow in a very major way and affecting my paying work because of it. With tons of large sessions being opened and closed back-to-back all day, it’s truly a bad situation to have to shut down and re-open Cubase most times.

I have this too. Luckily, it’s not a showstopper for me, but it’s still annoying.
I use Kontakt a lot, btw.

I wonder if Kontakt is the issue? It’s very possible that it is not so I’m not going to assume anything, but it can be a buggy plugin with Cubase.

This issue has to be happening to other people, so please speak up if you’re one of them. These needs attention and has been happening for years, based on the research I’ve done on the forums hear over the past two since I’ve been on Cubase.

And thanks for keeping this on track everyone.

We could test this by building a couple of big projects without Kontakt. Unfortunately, for me, a big session = lots of Kontakt…
So this would mean building 2 projects just for this.

Anyone else seeing this problem and not using Kontakt?

I can’t imagine a composer not using Kontakt (unfortunately it’s become the standard for so many sample companies), but if umfufu’s friend somehow doesn’t use it then that would be very useful to know. I’m hoping he will respond here!

Since my last response I’ve changed systems. I’ve gone from a 2015 MacBook Pro with 16 gigs of ram to an iMac Pro with 10 cores and 64 gigs of ram. It’s only my 3rd day with the new system but so far it seems to have made a big difference. I still get occasional crashes (most have been unrelated Cubase issues), but today I loaded around 8 large sessions in a row without crashing. Previously I couldn’t go 1. I hate to jinx myself by writing that, but so far more ram does seem to help! Fingers crossed though for sure.