Cubase 9 AND 8.5 crashing like crazy on new iMac


I just bought a brand new iMac as the main computer for my studio and now experiencing similiar but slightly different crashes, often in the middle of recording (both VSTi and audio)! Sometimes Cubase just shuts down in the middle of recording. Sometimes the whole computer shuts down and restarts, no warning, no explanation, during recording. I have both Cubase Pro 9.0.1 and 8.5.20 installed. The same stuff happens in both versions.

I googled a bit around and opened the Console app to look for some answers. I saved some of the crash logs. Some of them are described as “kernel panic”. The reason for kernel trap is always described as “type 14=page fault”. I have read somewhere that this is memory related. I should add that I have installed OWC 32 GB memory kit instead of Apple’s own RAM.

When I get a Cubase crash, with Cubase and not the computer shutting down, the crash logs in Console say this:

Exception Codes: KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS at 0x00000000000016a0

Termination Signal: Segmentation fault: 11
Termination Reason: Namespace SIGNAL, Code 0xb
Terminating Process: exc handler [0]

I am on Mac OS Sierra 10.12.1, and Apollo Twin Duo Thunderbolt interface. I also have a OWC Thunderbay MINI running two regular hard disks and a Samsung EVO SSD for sample libraries… Could this disk be the problem? I have read that it is not 100% Mac OS optimized since it does not feature “trimming” like Apple’s own SSDs do, but it has worked well for me on earlier Macs and earlier versions of Mac OS X.

Because of the kernel panics this may turn out to be Mac OS related rather than strictly Cubase related - but the crashes have so far only happened when Cubase is running, and mostly when recording. I am completely in the dark here, so I figured I’d start out here.

I should add something else that could be important, and that is the way I set up my system. Because of deadlines and lack of time, I took a kind of “shortcut” and used Apple’s own “transfer tool” from one mac to another, when I first installed stuff on the machine. I transferred the Applications folder and the user w/ library folder. Just the thought of losing all my own settings in Cubase, or all the references to sample libraries in Kontakt (since I am already using the same sample library hard disk as on the previous machine), the thought of spending a week and setting all that up again… I just couldn’t stand it :laughing: It’s possible that the only way out is to completely erase the system drive, and start completely from scratch anyway, creating a completely new user and not transfer any of the stuff from my old machine, but manually installing every plugin and sample library all over again… I just REALLY want to avoid it if I can, because I frankly don’t have the time! :astonished:

Any help any of you could offer would be greatly appreciated… Maybe this is something for Apple Support also…

I am experiencing a very rough and unstable experience with OSX Sierra and Cubase as well.

I’ve decided to take the bold step after all, make a complete clone backup of the startup drive, format it and reinstall everything from scratch. Once I’ve get used to the idea of spending a couple of days on this, a fresh start actually is more and more appealing… I figured this will take less time than actually trying to find the source of the problem anyway. And I’ll get a clean machine. If this does not help at all however, I’ll go for a loooong walk… :laughing:

I did the exact same thing my man, loved the idea of a clean machine. I hate to break the news to you though, it did nothing, cubase is still very unstable. Question, is the length quantize function working for you properly with regard to MIDI notes? Every time i try to change the length of a midi note it snaps to a quarter note. No matter what snap quantize is set to. Unless snap is off, I cannot snap to anything smaller then a quarter note.

Hello Steven! I haven’t gotten around to really testing Cubase yet after formatting my Mac yesterday, but the sudden system restart (kernel panic) crash happened anyway, so at least that’s not Cubase related.

I haven’t experienced that issue with length quantize, but then again I hardly ever use length quantize…! Sorry…

Update: The problem was actually my third party 32 GB RAM kit from OWC. After I tried switching this with Apple’s original 8 GB RAM that came with the iMac - no problems at all (except for the speed, due to 8 GB instead of 32…). Ah well, guess I have to return the OWC RAM and fork out the extra cash to buy a 32 GB RAM kit from Apple then. As long as it works I’m happy :slight_smile: Cubase Pro 9 has been 100% stable for me after I switched the RAM, two days and counting… So if you’ve got any third party RAM Steven, I suggest trying to switch it back to Apple RAM :slight_smile:


I did run a memory test on the OWC RAM (MemTest86 I believe it was called), and indeed it reported the RAM as faulty. But judging by the sheer amount of problems the OWC RAM caused to happen, it would not surprise me TOO much if this could happen even though it generally passes tests. I googled this around a lot before making the decision to return the OWC RAM and not give them another chance. I found several threads on professional video forums with people who had similar problems, some of which stated that the newest iMacs are especially “picky” when it comes to RAM. Therefore, I would not recommend anything other than Apple’s own RAM on these machines.

Having said that, I have had great success with OWC’s RAM on older Mac Pro machines. And am also using another OWC product, the ThunderBay Mini 4, with the new iMac, with great success. So I find OWC in general to be a quality brand which makes lots of great stuff for Macs. I just didn’t dare to take a second chance with third party RAM on the new iMac, after reading a lot of online advice against this.

Best regards,

Edit: I should also add that after installing the Apple RAM (several months ago) I have not had a single kernel panic or a single system crash. Cubase itself may shut down occasionally (maybe once a week at most), but all in all it appears quite stable now.