Cubase is not letting other media play. (CB 11 Pro, Win 10)

This problem comes and goes. I have months of relief and then misery again. People report it all over the web - Reddit, VI-Control, Stack Exchange, here, etc. I have a zillion media devices including the full Adobe suite, two other DAWs, three browsers and lots of standalone programs like Windows Media player and VLC. When Cubase is running they all freeze, even if Cubase is in the background and not playing music.
My settings:

  • I’ve disabled Exclusive Mode in Windows
  • I’ve tried “Release Driver When Application Is In Background” both checked and un-checked. It does not seem to make a consistent difference. The general consensus on the web is that it should be checked, but our own Louis_R says " uncheck Release Driver when Application is in Background." in
  • I’ve made sure the sample rate of my audio device (Steinberg UR 22 mk2) and Cubase match (48 KHz). Everything goes through the Steinberg - I have no other audio devices. I’m using the Yamaha Steinberg USB ASIO. Cubase is Steinberg, the UR22mkII is Steinberg, so I’m using that driver.

Also: in Windows Settings > System > Sound for output device Line (Steinberg UR22mkII) > Device Properties > Additional Device Properties > Advanced there is a “Test” button. Normally clicking it makes some little ascending and descending bells. But when Cubase is doing this “Test” makes NO SOUND. This seems like proof positive that Cubase is misbehaving. Cubase is supposed to be a professional product but no other product does this. I need a solid reliable solution.

What audio interface are you using ? I ask this because, I am wondering if its ASIO driver is multi-clients or not. In the former case, the Release Driver when Application is in Background setting should be kept unchecked, otherwise it is needed.

Beside this, and that’s what I’m usually using here when I work with Cubase, maybe your driver allows you also to set a kind of loopback routing that could allow you to use the signals coming from other applications back in Cubase, with an audio track set to receive them.

What else do you want to know besides what’s in the OP - Steinberg UR22mkII and the Yamaha Steinberg USB ASIO driver?

NB I do NOT need sound to come from Cubase and other sources at the same time. I only need to switch between them while the Cubase application is running. While composing I might use music from YouTube or Windows Media Player for ideas and inspiration, so I pause my music in Cubase, play a few measures of something on YouTube or Windows Media Player, then tweak a few notes in Cubase - etc, back-and-forth.

Yep, I missed your third paragraph information related to the UR22, sorry…

So, is this driver multi-clients or not ? And does it allow to set a loopback routing ? I guess that these infos are available somewhere…

I thought a multiclient driver is one that allows simultaneous use by several clients. That’s why I added the paragraph saying that I don’t need that; I only need to switch between audio sources.

But FWIW I have no trouble playing a YouTube video from a browser and music from Windows Media Player while simultaneously editing a file in Adobe Audition all at the same time, if I’ve had too much caffeine. That sounds like multiclient to me.

The driver I’m using is the one that was recommended by Steinberg when I bought the UR22mkII. I assume it’s the same one most other people are using and since Steinberg also makes Cubase I assume they should play together.

I found a clue! :smiley:

I noticed that in Device Manager I have two copies of the driver. I have no idea how that came about but it can’t be good. How do I know which one I can delete?

So I deleted one of them (Right-click, “Uninstall device”)…

… and it had no effect. Everything worked like it used to, but when I did anything in Cubase everything froze. But then I thought, “Wait-a-minnit; don’t I need to reboot after a driver change?” So I rebooted. And when I did . . .

“It’s baaack!” There were two copies of the device again!! (and no change in the Cubase problems). So what’s up with this?

PS - I also experimented with stopping and restarting the driver with no effect.

PPS - I also tried doing an Update Driver from Device Manager and it reported that “Windows has determined that the best driver for this device is already installed

So I decided to remove BOTH devices and install the latest one from Yamaha/Steinberg. NB that the latest one is version 2.15 - the same one I already have, but I wanted to do this just incase there had been a problem with the original install.

So I removed them but when I tried to run the installer it said it couldn’t do it because those drivers were already installed . . .

Incase you’re thinking I first have to reboot for the uninstall to take effect, see my post from two hours ago . . . I tried rebooting and SOMETHING mysteriously put them BOTH back!! So how do I get rid of the old drivers completely? Yes I tried Apps&Features (what used to be called add/remove)

The plot thickens. “Steinberg UR22mkII” also appears in Device Manager under “Sound, video and game controllers” Gee, is the UR22mkII an “audio” device or a “sound” device? Which is the “real” one, i.e., the one that if I uninstall it, it stays uninstalled?

Keep in mind that this might be completely irrelevant to fixing the problem of Cubase blocking other audio on my PC. Which it hasn’t done in several hours. Why did it stop after doing it for the last 36 hours? It usually does it during a heavy music editing session, which hasn’t happened much since I’ve been distracted researching this.

Apps and Features, That’s where you have to uninstall the Yamaha Steinberg USB driver for real. I must have overlooked it earlier today. So I did that and successfully installed the latest one on the Steinberg site which happened to be the same (2.15) one that I was already using.

That was 3 hours ago. Cubase has not crashed any other audio devices in about 6 hours so there’s no way to tell whether refreshing the driver is helping.

OK. I see that you have more or less solved, at least, the configuration part of the issue. Beside this, and from your description, it seems that the Steinberg/Yamaha ASIO driver is indeed multi-client.

So, are you now able to use other media application, even when working with Cubase and how have you set the Release driver when Application is in background option ?

At this moment it’s checked and everything is working fine with no interference with other audio devices. But it was also checked when the bug first happened. The problem resolved while I was doing a series of reboots investigating what was putting the drivers back in Device Manager. At the point it resolved I had not yet managed to install a new driver, so I had made no changes. I was testing for the problem after each reboot and it got “fixed” after maybe the third or fourth one.

This is typical of this bug. It will definitely be back - maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe in a month or two. As I said in the OP, Cubase is famous for this bug all over the web and users have a million different “folk medicine” suggestions to fix it. I believe many of them don’t really work but users apply them, reboot their PC; the problem is gone, just like with me, so they think they’ve ‘fixed’ it.

Many Cubase users are hobbyists so it’s no big deal. But I write background music for videos and I always have a backlog of projects and this bug usually costs me a day or two of work every time it happens. This is unacceptable in a product that calls itself “professional”.