Disk cache meter spiking with audio drops - unable to find cause

Hi guys,

Over the last few months I’ve noticed I’m getting fairly frequent audio drops and disk cache meter spiking in the transport bar, but I’m struggling to find the cause of the problem and hoping someone might be able to offer suggestions I haven’t tried yet.

My setup:
Cubase 8.0.40 Pro 64bit
Windows 7 Pro 64bit
i7 5960X 3.7Ghz
GTX 980ti
4 x 16GB (64GB) Corsair DDR4 RAM
C: Samsung 850 evo SSD 500GB (OS and Programs)
D: 2TB Seagate Hybrid SSHD (Audio Files)
E: 2TB Seagate Hybrid SSHD (Sample Libraries)
Audio Interfaces:
Line 6 UX2 (Single channel Recording)
M-Audio Delta 1010 (Multi Channel Recording)

Project setting:
44.1Khz | 32bit float

I tried adjusting the device settings:
Device settings:
256 buffer size | Preload audio - 2 second |Asio Guard - High | Audio Priority - Normal (Previous)
512 buffer size | Preload audio - 6 second |Asio Guard - Normal | Audio Priority - Boost (Current)


  • Samsung Magician shows C drive in Good health, there is almost 200GB of free space

  • Seatools shows Both D and E drives in good health, D has 480GB and E has 365GB of free space

  • Have run virus scans with multiple tools, inc Avast, Webroot and MalwareBytes

  • Tried disabling anti-viruses and other background programs

  • Ran a chkdsk on all drives.

  • Cleared junk from drives

  • Hard Drives have 1% or less fragmentation

  • Removed any 32bit plugins in the project.

  • All power setting in control panel are set to max processor, never turn off HD etc.

  • Tried using generic ASIO driver

Third Party Plugins used:
Slate Trigger 2
Slate RC-Tube Channel
Fabfilter Pro Q 2
Fabfilter Saturn
Metal Amp Room
Pod Farm 2.5
Addictive Drums 2
Ozone 6
TSAR-1 Reverb
Melodyne Studio 4
All of which I’ve been using for years without issue until the this issue started happening a few months ago. I’ve tried fully disabling (Not just bypassing) all instances of third party plugins too.

Obviously my first though is that the tests are wrong and one of the drives is failing in some way, but I’ve been watching the disk activity in the resource monitor to see if I can see any obvious correlations with the reading there and what’s happening in Cubase, but all the audio/samples must be loaded into RAM because the D and E drives are showing absolutely 0% activity during playback.

There is activity from the C drive and sometimes it looks like the activity spikes coincide with the disk cache spiking, but the activity amount is incredibly low, usually a few hundred KB, although sometimes going up to a couple of Megs, which is of course nothing, especially for an SSD.

So I’m totally at a loss as to what’s causing it and I don’t want to go spend money on new drives, if I’m not even sure that’s the cause of the issue, or even which one might be the cause. The CPU plugin load is only about 20-30% with plugins enabled and barely registers when all third party plugins have been disabled.

The only thing that I can pin point it down to even slightly is it seems to happen more frequently where I’ve done a lot of audio splicing, but it’s occurring with only 3 tracks spliced at 16th notes, I’ve had projects on slower machines with 10 times that without issue.

So I’m totally scratching my head.

Any help greatly appreciated.

Have you tried any of these…


When updating the nvidia drivers make sure you do a “custom” install. Then choose “clean install” and untick all of the other stuff that gets installed (not needed unless you are a gamer). Make sure to scroll down to untick all the software (you can’t untick the actual graphics driver).

A while back I deleted the Realtek HD sound driver from my MSI motherboard (there were two realtek drivers, I kept the other for PC sounds, etc).

Update the eLicenser software and run maintenance. If it doesn’t help try running eLicenser and Cubase as “Run as Administrator”.

Is your eLicenser dongle an older one? Maybe a newer version would help.

If you have MS Office installed on this PC… I noticed that fairly recent MS updates activated a few MS Office add-ons which, in general, bogged down my PC. Most are not needed. Go in there and disable the ones you don’t need (basically all of them in my case).

Good luck :wink:

Regards :sunglasses:

Hi, thanks for the reply,

Have you tried any of these…

None of the issues mention there are the problem, but I’ve done them anyway to no improvement.

“Then choose “clean install” and untick all of the other stuff that gets installed (not needed unless you are a gamer).”

Unfortunately I am. So I can’t remove all of it. But I removed the 3D vision driver and the HD audio driver, basically everything but the physics driver. No effect.

Is your eLicenser dongle an older one? Maybe a newer version would help.

I think it’s new enough, it came with my copy of Cubase 7. My iLok is a 2.0, but I only use it for about 3 plugins. I ran the eliencer update and iLok updates too.

If you have MS Office installed on this PC

Deactivate any unneeded Add Ins, there was only 3 activated anyway. No effect.

I’ve realised that this issue seems to be specific to a certain project. It effects it even with 100% of plugins removed. Projects on the same drive are totally fine. I thought it might be an issue of the project being stored in Dropbox, so I took it out and placed it in a folder outside of Dropbox. That didn’t work, so I moved it to a brand new drive that is newly formatted and basically empty. That didn’t work either.

I have one last thing to test, which is that the chopped edits are using Variaudio, so is to remove that from any of the samples.