CuBase LE4 w/ Presonus Crashing/Stopping During Recording

Hello all, and thank you in advance for your help!

Not sure if my issue is hardware or software related. I have the Presonus Firestudio Project which came with CuBase LE4 software, I’m running it on a PC laptop with Windows 7 (Home Premium, 32bit I believe), I have 3GB of RAM and a 2.3GHZ processor, both higher than CuBase requires. Running the FireWire connection through the Express Card slot. I have optimized the laptop for recording, I have defragged the hard drive, “tuned up” the registry, downloaded the latest drivers available, set the disk preload to 6 seconds (maximum) and set audio priority to “Very High” (maximum), and still whenever trying to record from the Firestudio, CuBase arbitrarily freezes during recording, in a different spot every time (sometimes after a few seconds, sometimes several minutes). If I change my device settings to record through the built-in mic jack on the laptop I have no issues whatsoever (records for 35 minutes straight without issue), but when I switch back to the Firestudio all goes to pot. It will be recording then suddenly hang up for a second or two, then when it starts up again it is in playback mode. I cannot record directly through the mic jack because, among other reasons, I will lose my track seperation.

I should also mention that I am trying to record drum tracks, I have 6 line-level signals (from a larger mixer) going into the Firestudio, none are clipping or even close to it. I also have the laptop & Firestudio in close proximity to the drum kit (pretty much next to the floor tom) so I can control it while recording my tracks. I have no idea if any of this even matters, but wanted to throw it out there anyway.

Anyone have any advice?

Hi Tom- I have a couple of suggestions- it seems that Cubase is working fine but the issues are with the firestudio.

Firstly, have you tried a re-installation of the drivers for the firestudio?

Secondly- in the old forum there was much discussion about firewire chipset compatibility, IIRC the recommendation was to use Texas Instruments firewire chipsets- you may want to check which chipset is in your express card.

Thanks for the reply Celt! I figured out what the issue was, it appears to have been a loose-fitting Firewire connection, vibrating just enough to cause an intermittent signal. I was able to predictably reproduce the problem by shaking/pounding on the table, and by slightly wiggling the cable while recording. A little splicing tape took care of it!

But now I’m having issues with signal degredation! The signal starts out clean and strong but by 20 or 30 seconds into a session it gets pregressively more and more distorted until you can’t even make out what was recorded, and it has actually seemed to knock CuBase right out of record mode twice. I’m not monitoring during the takes so I don’t realize the problem until playback, but it’s definitely on the input side of things, as it will start at a different point each time I record a take but it doesn’t vary at all on playback- you can play back the same track a dozen times and it’s in the same spot every time, and I’ve listed back through 2 different sets of monitors and 3 different pairs of headphones.

I haven’t been using the setup long and I wasn’t having this issue a couple of months ago when I first started playing with it. Any thoughts?