Cubase, PLAY, RME HDSPe Aio

Hi, gang.

Not sure which one of the products messes things up. I’m a new Cubase user (Cubase 6.5 currently) and to be honest, I haven’t seen anything better than Cubase for now. (except for the realtime bounce - I suppose the algorhythm in Samplitude is better). Anyway, very happy to work with Steinberg products, they are really intuitive to work with.

Now, to the point:
Today I’ve bought my first RME product (yey, finally!!!) and I’d say that I was smashed by the detail of the sound card - I’ve used M-Audio Audiophile 2496 and Mbox 2 till now, but I guess it was about time to get things started.

I’m not very familiar with all those ADAT / AES functions - I’ve read everything about them, but still it’s kinda blurry. I just want to compose without problems on my computer. So, the problem is that my current orchestral template with East West PLAY is annoying me with clicks and pops during large musical climaxes.
Don’t get me wrong - I’ve tried everything (not that much of a noob) - I’ve played my largest audio projects (pop-rock mixes and orchestral recordings) without a single issue (so far). The buffer settings were to 512 - something pretty normal.

Now, things with MIDI were not that good, sadly. I had to turn my buffer settings to 2048 (!!!) just to play through till the middle of the track. Yesterday, I was working on that dense orchestration with my Audiophile and buffer settings set to 1024. And I could have played it on 512 as well.
So, did I get something very, very wrong? I don’t want to get back to Audiophile and soon I’ll have a project that I should take care for. I’m enclosing my system details:

Win 7 64
Cubase 6.5
Intel i5 3.20 ghz
16 GB Ram Kingston
RME HDSPe Aio with latest drivers

I’m getting my sound through my Behringer Xenyx 802 mixer, using the RME’s breakout cable Line I/O outputs. Sound coming from Genelecs 8030A, if it matters.

East West Quantum Leap:
Hollywood Strings Gold
Hollywood Brass Gold
Symphonic Orchestra Gold
StormDrum 2
… and other

everything is with latest drivers / versions installed.
Here are some pictures for you to see:

Am I doing something wrong? It’s totally not possible that the Audiophile would be flawless, compared to RME.

Thanks a lot in advance - I appreciate it!


Had you run Cubase 6.5 with your old audio hardware before you added the RME card?

The CPU hit you are getting is mindboggling. It suggest to me some issues that have nothing to do with your audio hardware. Were you getting that kind of hit with your prior DAW? Trying to figure this out is where I’d start. It doesn’t seem normal on a quad. Are you running multiple instances of the VSTi? Do you know about using the VST Rack so you can use an instrument multitimbrally in Cubase and only have to use one instead of 16? If you have started using instrument tracks, then you are not getting the benefit of multitimbral instruments and probably have a whole slew of VSTis … just a guess.

You talked about ADAT, but do you actually have any digital connections? Aren’t you taking an analog feed from your mixer into the RME. If you do have other digital things hooked up that are not synced (master/ slaved), you will also get pops and crackle.


Hi there,
thanks a lot for replying!

Yes, I’ve used Cubase 6.5 with my previous soundcard - the Audiophile 2496. I had some problems before as well, cause I’m using a 15 GB template and lots and lots of samples. I’m using the VST Rack - even though I’m using more than 10 instances - most of them have from 5 to 6 instrument instances. (about 70 channel tracks?).

I have only my mixer connected to the RME through Line I/O’s and I’m using only one PC - no slaves, nothing else.

I know I’ve been pressing my machine up very much and I plan on expanding to 8-core CPU, but yet it seems weird that yesterday I was able to play a track from beginning till the end with M-Audio Audiophile (~$200) and today I can’t play the track till the middle with RME HDSP express Aio.
It’s just weird.

I’m guessing that I messed some of the settings in Cubase?

OK … so the template ran with the 2496. Assuming you have the proper drivers installed and Cubase configured to use them, you should have absolutely no problems with your RME Card.

First, I’d double check to make sure that the ‘Hammerfall ASIO’ is slected in Cubase Devices audio, to make sure that Cubase didn’t simply select the generic ASIO Duplex drivers. If that’s not the case, meaning the Hammerfall is the chosen driver, I’d either work forwards or backwards with a new project adding instruments and tracks in the VST Rack, or freezing or deleting them from your chosen template while watching that CPU meter.

When I got down to around a max hit of 60%, I’d start adjusting the RME buffer down an see how far I could go. I’d expect something like 256 or even 128 samples.

On the other hand, if you problem start when you start adding effects plugins for mixing … you should probably just render you intruments first, freeze them or use ‘save as’ to create a second project and then delete all the instruments so you have an audio only project version.

The amount of total VSTi instruments, 10 or so, each with 5 or 6 different voices, is a lot. If that is the source of your high CPU hit, I cannot imagine any sound card working reliably with a 95% cpu demand.


Hi there,

thanks again for taking your time.
Yes, I used ASIO Hammerfall DSP in Cubase 6.5 (as posted in the first picture). The problem is that the same projects, with all of those instruments loaded, played fine through Audiophile. While with RME something is wrong. And it’s a PCI-Express. (= faster streaming?)

Everything is properly connected, so I doubt it’s a hardware thing. I wonder whether I connected everything inside Cubase well enough. :unamused:

Strezov, I’ve run out of easy answers. I can only suggest you start throwing a lot of VSTIs into a new project and watch what happens to the CPU.

As far as connecting inside of Cubase, it should be no more than making sure you’ve selected the proper driver for the RME … which you say you have.

The project/ template may have somehow become corrupted.

Good luck!