Cubase Pro 10.5 Audio Drops Every 10 Seconds

Hello All,

I’ve seen other threads along these same lines, but am yet to find a fix. As the title suggests, I encounter full audio drop-out in Cubase Pro 10.5 about every 10 seconds. Details:

  • I’ve had no change to my PC. This is a Windows 10 machine and I’ve been using Cubase Pro 10 on it for years. Sometime back I did the free update to 10.5, and Cubase is currently fully patched, as is my PC.
    -The issue started yesterday after I activated Cubase on a Mac Book Pro that I received from my college. I’ve not attempted to use Cubase on the Mac Book yet, but the issue started happening on my Windows machine after I did that activation. The activation was successful, no errors or issues, and Cubase opens without any licensing errors on the Mac.
    -I do receive a “Soft-eLicenser doesn’t have enough permissions to run properly. Please run LCC to fix this problem” error each time I open Cubase on my PC…but I’ve been receiving that error for a long time now. I believe it is due to having the license for an older DAW (Cubase 8 or 9) on a hard drive that failed and is no longer used…not entirely sure though. Regardless, that error has been popping up for some time and has never made any impact.
    -My interface is a Scarlett 18i20 with updated drivers and firmware. Changing the ASIO driver in Cubase does nothing. In fact, if I chose any other ASIO option listed besides Focusrite, I get no audio output whatsover. Changing the buffer size does not fix the issue.
    -This happens on all projects.
    -I have a full and valid license on all of my plugins and vst instruments
    -Sometimes all audio cuts out, and in-between that happening, individual tracks cut out one at a time (audio and instrument). When the full audio cuts out, the Stereo Out displays as if I muted the entire project, as the meter drops until the audio starts playing again.
    -I know it’s simple, but yes I’ve already shut down and restarted everything. When the issue first occurred last night, I shut everything down hoping it was just a driver glitch. But now this morning this issue remains.

Worth noting is I’m familiar with the popping and cracking that can occur when the buffer is set too low. This is not what I’m experiencing. This is a full on muting of sound, sometimes it’s a single track for about a second, then the track keeps playing, and sometimes it’s the stereo bus that appears to mute, although no muting is occurring in the project. The audio just cuts out at about a 10-11 second interval over and over. When it cuts out, it lasts maybe 1 full second, maybe a bit less, then the audio resumes as if nothing has happened.

I’m really hoping there is a simple fix for this. Any and all input is greatly appreciated!


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What about starting Cubase in safe mode?

I can give that a shot…not sure how though?

Also to correct myself - I did NOT register Cubase on the Mac Book…I thought I did. Just tried now and it actually won’t let me, which is weird because I just read somewhere from Steinburg that you can authorize two different machines with a single license.

In any case, maybe this issue is completely unrelated?


Google says to hold down CTRL when the splash screen displays when opening Cubase. I did that…didnt get any options as it shows I would, but I did get a different dialog box:

“Cubase Open Document Options”

It appears to list all of my projects. I can choose to "Open Selection, “Open Other”, or “New Project”.

I chose one at random to open and when I play it back the audio doesnt cut out. Nothing else has changed, all of my plugins are still active on tracks, etc. Not at all sure what this means?

What about deleting preferences then? Do a site search to find out where they are located

With the new dongle-less licensing that started with Cubase 12 you can authorize it on up to 3 different computers. However you are on 10.5 which uses the older dongle based license, which only gives you a single license. However that license for Pro 10.5 is on the dongle which can be moved between computers. Under the old scheme you never authorize a computer just the dongle and you can run it on any computer that the dongle and its associated eLicense software is installed.

That said, this probably isn’t related to your dropouts at all.

The most common cause for stuff like this is that you have a demo version of a plug-in that shuts off every so often so you can’t actually use it for real work until you buy it.

Hm. Maybe check what Steinberg says instead.
Safe Mode Dialog.

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You hold down Ctrl (Cmd Mac) + Alt + Shift when you click on Cubase icon to open to get into safe mode dialog. Google lies.


Should have been more specific. I googled the issue and the steps I saw were from the Cubase Help file (saw the same thing within Cubase).

Also, I appreciate the helpful response. This wasn’t you, but naturally thanks to others for the passive aggressive answers. I’m not an idiot, I just lack experience in dealing with these licenses.

After I did that last post, I did find that I can simply move the dongle from one machine to another…however, when I have the dongle in the Mac Book and open Cubase, it says:

“You have not activated your Cubase Pro 10 license permanently yet.
You may use it for another 24 hours 57 min.
Please activate the permanent license in the eLicenser Control Center.”

In that same window there is an option to “Start Cubase Pro 10”, which I’ve clicked on and it opens and seems to work just fine, but I’m wondering why I get that alert?

Of course, I did try the “Start license activation” option, and typed in the product key for Cubase, after which it told me the license had already been activated, etc, etc.

Strangely enough: I haven’t opened Cubase in ‘Safe Mode’ yet…I misread the instructions and just held down CTRL when I opened it which netted me some simple options to open different projects…but since I did that, the issue hasn’t repeated, including when I just open Cubase normally.

I have full licensing of all of my plugins…unless some that come bundled with Cubase are trial only. I do use HALion Sonic SE often, but as far as I know, that’s not a trial…and also I’ve been using these plugins for years now.


hmm. Yeah I’ll concede poor wording. I googled the issue. Steinberg’s black-and-white process is what I followed, not google’s.

Appreciate the help though.


Foremost, you should find out what version you are using.
10.0 or 10.5.

The dongle holds the license, and you should be able to use Cubase on many systems just by moving the dongle to the right system. There is no need to register something, that is already present on the USB-elicenser.
Soft-eLicenser errors will resolve, mostly, by starting the eLicenser Control Center as admin and do some maintenance on the soft-elicenser.

But the audio drop-outs are a different thing…
Could it be that you use a plugin that is not fully licensed anymore?
Something in demo mode?

My actual Cubase version is 10.0.5; not 10.5…typo on my part. I actually purchased 9.5, but I seem to recall a free upgrade to 10.0 due to the timeframe I purchased it. It was a few years ago, memory is fuzzy.

I’m able to start Cubase on the Mac if I have the dongle plugged into it, but it gives me that registration error I mentioned above. I can still choose to open Cubase and it works, but it seems there is a time limit. On my PC, Cubase opens with zero issues.

As far as I know, all of my plugins are fully licensed. The only exception would be if there are any that come packaged with Cubase that are trials. But again, I’ve been using this for a few years now (since 2018), and the dropouts had only started when I created the OP. Plus, I don’t really use the packaged plugins…there are none on any of the projects I’m working on. In fact, the only plugins I have on any of my tracks in all current projects are Neutron 3 and Ozone 9, which are fully licensed.

In any case, just as quickly and mysteriously as the dropouts started happening, they have stopped. I changed / modified nothing…it just corrected itself, it would seem. PFM, I guess?


There are no registration errors related to Cubase. No need for additional registration.

The behavior, you were describing, is known for trial software versions.

Maybe something went wrong some days ago.

The Izotope plugins I have were all purchased as a “Holiday Bundle” last year during black Friday from, so I know there is no issue with anything there being a trial.

Try this

  1. Create a new empty Project
  2. Add a single Audio Track
  3. Put the Cubase Test Tone Generator on an Insert to produce sound

Do you hear the dropouts with this configuration?

Hey Raino, strangely enough, the issue has actually ceased to repeat itself for quite some time now…it disappeared just as quickly as it surfaced. I suspect it may have been an issue with my drivers…possibly due to an update or something similar. In any case, I appreciate the feedback!