Cubase reliability

I’ve been using Cubase since around 1992. In my opinion ostensibly it is certainly the best DAW out there especially if you are like me and use all features - VST’s, vocal editing, production. etc. It excels at just about everything. I would hate to have to change.

Lately though I’m being cost lots of time money and frustration by the unreliability of this platform. The stupidest little things continue to happen and it’s so disappointing.

For example, I just got a master back and there is one vocal part that inexplicably is delayed more than the others. There’s absolutely no reason for this. On the first master it is fine, but we sent out for a revision and this particular track was untouched other than a tempo change to the song. I only noticed it on checking the return master - silly me - and it sounds like a delayed part in there. I’m now wondering should I pay for a further revision or just let it go. The whole situation is very unprofessional and should never happen with a pro DAW at this level EVER.

This is just one example, but I could list ten others like it that are very similar in one way or another. Silly inexplicable inconsistencies.

I don’t want to go into a whole rant or take half my day uploading screenshots and videos demonstrating all this. All I want to say and I’ve said it before on here is, Steinberg, I don’t give a rats behind about new features. Make the amazing features you currently have WORK consistently and RELIABLY. 90% of your focus should be on reliability for professional use, nothing else. Please. Or I’m going to have to make a switch to something else which I really don’t want to do.

People from mastering engineers to fellow producers are basically asking me why are you putting up with that, it’s not working properly, you need to use something else and it’s true. It’s really, really letting me down again and again and costing me a lot of time and frustration, as well as money.


So you changed the Tempo (i.e. the timing of the Project) and then a Track starts having timing problems? Sorry but that sounds more like operator error.

Unless there actually is. I’m guessing the combination of settings you used for Musical/Linear Timebase and Musical Mode were not correct for the desired outcome.

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Oh surprise, a snarky commentator on the internet.

It was not operator error. If you read my post I’ve been using Cubase for over 28 years. The track is in musical mode. For no reason it is delayed by about a 1/4 of a bar. You can play it back, and where all the other tracks are audible from the start of the bar, and the locator shows the audio track start at the start of the bar on the offending track, it doesn’t make any sound until a quarter of a bar later. There is absolutely no reason for this. All the other tracks adjusted to the tempo just fine.

As well, if you read my post, this is but one example of many in the last year or two where I’ve had problems like this. Another example is timing issues which I’ve posted about elsewhere on the forum, where things don’t bounce properly unless I use real time bounce (why?), so kicks and snares are flaming, and they are doing so inconsistently. I can’t even bounce the audio it has to be bounced using real time bounce and then added in as an audio track. Just another example of many. It’s sketchy and unreliable.

raino is one of the most helpful members of these forums.

Nothing “snarky” about the reply that I can detect.

Obviously, nobody is going to help you since you know it all already.

Thanks for the rant.


Im like you, have been using since v1.0 on atari. I left really big gaps between upgrades, as I just wanted to make music so I would setup up the daw, lock the box and user it for min 5 years with no real upgrades…I used it from sx3 and next upgrade was v7 I think…something like that.
What I did find was that I missed out on a lot of changes and it took quite a while when I finally would go to a new version. SX was so solid. the upgrade left to 7 left a very bad taste in my mouth. I grew to love the multiband compressor…literally the best piece of kit I have ever had but no one else seemed to get it. I swore I would never use any inbuilt efx in any daw (I use Live a lot).
My point is when I first upgrade, the constrain compensation was hidden on the bar, not sure why, when it was default on in SX. I must have hit a shortcut for it and turned it on but did not realise and spent weeks thinking it was Cubase…so sometimes siltation is our enemy…although Im sure you have combed through it.
I do agree with you though re: new features, Im really over half baked hype, from practically all software companies. I spent a lot of time in generic remote getting stuff together and it works…ok. Then the remote editor looked like gold so it was part of my reason for upgrading to 12. Its so half baked its a waste of time…for me anyway.
When its a tool of trade and reputation is at stake…yes it does matter and I commiserate with you. I tried using variaudio…after melodyne its just no. 11 years later you cant change reference pitch as if we must all be constrained to concert pitch of the 1939.
You need to make a call…and so do I.
It was a hard slog with Live doing control scripts although python is much easier than js5…so dont be surprised, unless there is a lot of resource and PRO users, not bedroom producers…you probs wont find better.
NI has dropped all the good stuff and just catered to the preset surfers…and good luck to them but expect that across the board. You only need to listen to the last couple of years and perfection has replaced good music and human expression…doesnt mean it can be tech but mixers are now controlling so much of the art because its all done by 1 person and they use tools that just iron the life out of the mix and voice just sound like singing robots now (I mean most…there are still gems but they are exponentially disappearing for 120bpm 2.5 minute cycling rubbish…sorry…makes me vomit…)

I agree, test the devs work with a more diverse beta team and wider music experience.


It was a snarky comment without any attempt to assist other than claim operator error and you made a snarky comment without any attempt to assist. Software does have bugs do not try and pretend it might not be an issue in this case.


I could not agree more. I think Cubase is too heavy on gimmicks and they inevitably create issues within software. I created software music over 30 years ago and hardly ever experienced issues but now that is not the case within current versions. There may be other factors but they were not so difficult to find and sort out when I began working with software to create music.


You probably had one of the tracks set or not set for musical mode, which is why when you changed the tempo, the track was off.

You did listen to the whole track after changing the tempo, right? You just didn’t change the tempo, save, and send?

Also, are you sending a project file to a mastering person or an exported mix?

I thought below was trying to assist, but if you say it wasn’t I stand corrected…
(and yes the above line is indeed snark)

Since you are chronically having these problems while myself and thousands of others aren’t having having the same problem, it’s likely the cause is specific to your configuration and/or workflow and not Cubase in general. The symptoms you described are consistent with a Audio file that has Musical Mode disabled or has an incorrect Tempo assigned to the Audio. Or if you have the Track set to Linear Timebase and change the Tempo the start location of the file will shift relative to Bars & Beats but remain at the same location in minutes & seconds.

Since I’ve made this very same mistake hundreds of times myself I thought it might possibly be what occurred in your situation. Sorry I didn’t intuitively grasp you were too experienced to make that error.
(who let the snarks out)

The bottom line is if you change the Tempo & then start having timing problems it’s most likely something related to the Tempo Change.

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Well, this must have been the one and only time he failed to be helpful.

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You are supposed to be helpful but you haven’t read the original post carefully. I said in my original post, this is just one example of many problems, the most recent one that has specifically impacted things professionally. And nope, it’s none of those, as I already explained, I had carefully set the tracks up before changing the tempo. I’ve double checked everything before posting on here including going back to previous mixes and checking and the track plays back fine.

Not being able to trust off line bounce is another huge one. What a pain. I can’t even freeze tracks and trust they will stay put and I use a lot of VST’s.

In my follow up post I explained - I see the audio start on the bar, I don’t hear it until a quarter of a beat later. No other tracks are doing this.

I’m having these problems in Cubase over a number of systems, from an older Intel PC on Windows 10 early last year through to the current MBP. My system is almost generic in a sense. Native Instruments, Waves Plugins, Vienna Ensemble, a few third party plugins.

Thanks yes I agree if you’re using it professionally what you want first and foremost is that it is absolutely rock solid. That should be the number one focus.

Yes I did but I didn’t notice this as it’s a subtle detail. It’s true I should have checked more carefully. It’s one fairly quiet harmony in the midst of a vocal section. Now it sounds like a delay, and it’s not the effect I intended for that section, and it doesn’t match the first chorus where that additional harmony wasn’t there. If you read my other replies, yes it was set to musical mode, the same as all the other tracks. It is definitely a software glitch. I sent a stereo mix to the mastering engineer.

Well, I don’t want to bicker and argue on here with people I don’t even know from a bar of soap so I’ll just say this as one voice plus @toooldforthis, Steinberg, you need to urgently and stridently focus on making Cubase PRO industry standard level rock solid. That should be the sole priority, everything else should come a distant second. That’s my feedback. Thank you.

I’m no Cubase expert but I have noticed that if I change the tempo when a project is already underway, I then have to adjust the position of instrument tracks by a fraction of a bar to bring them back in line with the audio tracks.

This should absolutely not be necessary.
I would recommend you started a new topic describing your issue and hopefully someone will respond with some valuable advice.

I haven’t found that to be the case - midi files will obviously change with tempo changes just fine, and audio files if handled properly will also time stretch or warp also. Even so with what you’re describing that obviously should not be the case - you should be able to rely on and trust in the softwares technical accuracy.

I know you’re airing your disappointment and not so much seeking help.

However, in regards to this issue are you sure you haven’t accidentally adjusted the offset of that track via the inspector?

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A) You shouldn’t need to do this B) it is most likely that the Instrument Tracks have the correct timing & it is the Audio that’s off.

One culprit that is easy to sneak through is having the wrong Tempo assigned to the Audio in the Pool. This frequently occurs when Loop Recording Audio because Cubase incorrectly calculates the Tempo. I think this is because usually the Audio File length is not an exact multiple of the Loop length - but I can’t figure out how to test it to see if that’s really the cause.

I make it a habit after every Audio Recording session to verify and correct the Tempos of the new Audio in the Pool. We shouldn’t need to do that. But once it’s a habit you hardly notice plus it reminds me to enable Musical Mode if needed.

Thanks for your desire to help, I appreciate that. Yes I’m very sure and checked it.