Cubase Pro 11 does not release audio driver

I am using latest version of the Yamaha Steinberg USB driver (v2.1.1 for Windows) and Cubase Pro 11 with latest update (v11.0.41). Cubase does not release audio to other applications when Cubase is in background, and yes, I have this checked in the Studio Setup.

For example, I cannot use audio in youTube (page freezes in Edge browser) or iTunes (player stops) if Cubase is active whether in the foreground or background., or during launch.

I am using Steinberg UR816C as my audio interface with latest firmware.

Suggestions appreciated,


Obvious question.
Is the tab in studio setup: Release driver for other applications ticked?

Switch to MAC! You’ll even be able to have multiple daws opened using the same audio interface!

You don’t need a lMAC” for that… just a proper audio interface with multi client capable ASIO drivers…

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Thanks for suggestion and “yes, I have this checked in the Studio Setup”

Deinstall the USB driver, download version 2.03, install that driver and it works.

Thanks JuergenP,

That did the trick.

It is most surprising that I have to use an old driver, rather than the latest, for Cubase to release the audio interface correctly. I hope the Yamaha Steinberg staff read these posts so that an updated version with a fix can be released.

If you want to save yourself the trouble, just configure your computer properly.
You’ll then be able to hear the audio coming from multiple programs at the same time, Windows included.
I can’t understand why some people are still struggling with the obsolete Release Driver when Application is in Background thing. Most ASIO drivers are now multi-client compatible.

In theory this works, in reality the driver 2.11 is blocking audio.

Well this reminds me Presonus when they made the sample rate in Windows to automatically match the ASIO sample rate, without even mentioning it on the release notes, just “updated USB drivers to version x.x”.
Makes working with RX totally impossible and causes opened programs to crash or lose the connection every time we switch to a tab that is in a different sample rate. Contacted the support but they didn’t acknowledge it. Three updates later and they still did not revert to previous behavior, forcing us to use an anterior version.

I’m 100% sure this is intended by the company since it is easier for users that have a basic setup, but absolutely not when you’re doing complex routing between programs and work with different sample rates.
I’m saying that because Steinberg drivers have always been working that way (which I explain here in details), which may explain the trouble some people are experiencing.

But now, if they have decided to no longer make their drivers multi-client, that’s not just another step backwards, but a whole era. If I am right, then they will probably never revert it, unless it really is a bug, but I don’t think it is.

In my case, the reason is because I have to use the Yamaha Steinberg USB driver for my Steinberg UR816C audio interface to show up in Cubase.

And why do you absolutely have to select the UR driver ?
If there was no problem, your UR channels would normally display in any driver, like ASIO4ALL and Generic Low Latency ASIO Driver. That’s exactly what I’m explaining in the post above. The USB driver was updated, and is the culprit, this has nothing to do with the ASIO driver but with how channels are managed in the operating system.

As an experiment, I uninstalled the Yamaha Steinberg 2.0.3 driver, rebooted and installed ASIO4ALL.

The UR 816C does not work at all, not even in standalone mode just playing an MP3 with windows Player.

In Cubase, device is not found.

So it is clear that the UR must have Yamaha Steinberg usb driver to work

Maybe you’re into something ? …

" I can’t understand why some people are still struggling with the obsolete Release Driver when Application is in Background thing. Most ASIO drivers are now multi-client compatible."

We are here asking because checking the “Release Driver” button doesn’t work. I can’t understand why YOU’RE struggling to understand what was clearly stated in literally the first paragraph of the original post.

Downgrading the USB driver to 2.0.4 (or 2.0.3) solves the problem, as stated directly above your comment. Now checking the box actually releases the driver.

Even the Steinberg website keeps a copy of 2.0.4 on the download page of the website with the statement, “If the problems described here are seen, reverting the driver to V2.0.4 may resolve or improve the symptoms.” So it is a known issue, and the solution has been posted. But yeah, feel free to double down and pretend you know better than everyone some more :wink:

But the Release Driver feature isn’t even required now, except when using the obsolete Generic Low Latency ASIO Driver.
Those were things for when multi-client did not exist, that is, before 2010 or so. Just read the posts 3 and 4 by @alin89c and @fese.
Without Release Driver there’s no issue with the latest driver, and that’s a fact.
I don’t know better than everyone, I simply know.

My post was simply meant to help users get rid of the problem once and for all, but if for some reason you prefer to keep struggling with buggy obsolete features that may break at anytime when updating the driver, then it’s up to you.

Just take a look at the UR category in this forum and see how many people are actually struggling with this. Almost 1 topic out of 5 is about the user not being able hear audio from other programs while Cubase is running, and various associated issues, and guess what ? Obviously, they all have Release Driver enabled and have no idea how to properly configure the computer. And this is without the version 2.1.1.

Anyway, since then I have made a complete guide on how - and why - to make the right settings, and it has successfully helped many people. It explains everything, including the issue with v2.1.1, so you can’t say I’m not aware of it.

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Un check the ‘Release driver when application is in background’


Do you actually have a piece of UR equipment?

Luckily not, and it’s better that way!

Actually I have a UR22mkII that receives the audio from my main Presonus interface and I connect my smartphone to it so I can directly record video with my computer’s audio. Judging from all the problems that these devices generate I’m not going to plug it into my PC anytime soon. I did a few months ago for troubleshooting someone’s issue here on this forum, and it was just awful. After I was done I immediately uninstalled the driver.

On the other hand my Presonus interface works like a charm and and there is no limit at all. The ASIO driver can be loaded in multiple programs simultaneously, and I can hear the audio from Windows at the same time, there’s absolutely no need to “release the driver”. That’s basically how a multi-client driver works. If the Steinberg driver still can’t do this in 2023 then they are completely off the mark.

Thanks for your reply.

See also my post at Yamaha Steinberg audio driver 2.1.5

New Yamaha Steinberg driver 2.1.5 resolves all my issues.