Disk Cache spike when start, stop and clicking on loop bar

So I’m not sure how long this has been an issue but I feel like it started around when I got Cubase 12 maybe a little earlier but I have no idea where to start to fix this. Every time I play, stop or click and drag on the loop bar the disk cache will immediately spike and also cause a drop out of audio for a few seconds.

If anyone has any advice on how to fix this that would be great.

these are my specs for Reference

Operating system: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (10.0, Build 19044)
Processor: Intel(R) Core™ i7-8700K CPU @ 3.70GHz 6/12
RAM: 32 GB
Hard disk1: Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB (931.5 GB/Fixed hard disk media)
Hard disk2: ST2000DM006-2DM164 (1.8 TB/Fixed hard disk media)
Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (11 GB)

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Every time I use Cubase i find that when playing, Pausing, and moving the player head the disc cache will always spike for some reason. it also causes there to be a delay when playing the track.

would anybody be able to explain to me what disc cache is and how it works with Cubase so I can solve these issues?



Disk Cache
Shows the hard disk transfer load.
Disk Cache Overload
The overload indicator to the right of the disk indicator lights up if the hard disk does
not supply data fast enough.
If it lights up, use Disable Selected Tracks to reduce the number of tracks playing
back. If this does not help, you need a faster hard disk. To reset the overload indicator,
click its display. In the Audio Performance category of the Key Commands you can
also assign a key command for this.

I guess you 're running the whole project on

Hard disk2: ST2000DM006-2DM164

If so, try run a project on your ssd and see if the problem remains. The spikes suggest your disk is not fast enough, though I 've yet to see a disk overperform and causing issues.

How many tracks on this project?

This issue starts as soon as even one track is placed into the session regardless of plugins or anything it just always spikes. I tried to move it to my SSD and still, the issue persists. do you think this could be from the fact I’m dragging sounds from an external HDD?

How did you ‘move’ the project? Copied the folder using the explorer? If so the project file is still reading files in the original location. You should either delete the original or a better option is to do a ’ back up project’.

I don’t think so, except if the disk is ancient, ready to die, usb1 connection, and reading tons of stereo tracks at 182Khz/32bit.

I would say create a new project on your SSD, record a couple of tracks there and see if the problem persists. Then you know if it is an actual disk problem.

An SSD will be fast enough for samples and project files simultaneously.

Data requested for every second are still not much for the read speed of an SSD.
Traditional ssd’s usually have a read time of around 500MB per second.
A stereo 96Khz/24bit Wav file has a file size of 576KB per second.
So (theoretically) with a traditional SSD you are able to playback around 1000 stereo tracks of 96Khz.
For lower bitrate, you would get higher disk performance.

For mechanical drives (HDD) you can do the math.

What do you mean dragging sounds, for what?

Keep in mind:

  • if you use a soft sampler for your samples then its a ram load
  • if you use something like kontakt’s “direct from disk” feature then disk gets in the game
  • if you treat your samples like regular audio material then it is disk load
  • if you use i.e. soft synths with large audio banks then its a ram load (disk and cpu do matter but still)

yea I thought that just moving it from drive to drive would fix it but guess not. however, I just tried starting a new project on the SSD as you said and it actually made a difference. The asio guard didn’t appear to have any load on it at all and the pause between pressing play and actually playing has gone as well as the disc cache spike upon playing which was the main issue that was bothering me. it however still spike up when pausing and moving the play head but that’s less bothering than the delay that existed when starting and stopping the track so thank you for the advice that’s really saved me half a headache.

I see so most likely won’t be the issue then. I will keep testing now that some fixes have been made since I started a new project on the SSD and it made it run much better.

Usually you want to separate the system disk from the one you run your project from.
So cubase and system run on their own and the rest load a second drive.

yea that’s how I was running it before but it seems to be working better from running the project on the same drive that Cubase is on so ill just run with it for now and move projects when I’m done with them I guess.

Yeah but you 're now working on internal ssd. before you were on external hdd.

So there are 2 parameters changed. internal vs external and ssd vs hdd. So not sure which one was the solution

I would say so you can try an external or internal ssd to see if that solves the problem

Well, if the external HDD was USB 2, then it would hardly go past 60 MB/s (assuming the USB bus isn’t used by another device), and this is on one single file read !
A DAW has to read the audio files continuously, so imagine if the computer has to read 30 files at the same time, the maximum transfer speed for each file drops to 2 MB/s (which is still okay for most formats), but most importantly, if the HDD cache is too small, the head has to move back and forth frequently to seek for each file, which kills the read speed even more. And in the most severe case, if the files are too big, the HDD won’t be able to deliver data fast enough and playback drops.

  • I have the same problem. Have you solved the problem?

USB2 is 30mb/s max and that is under ideal circumstances, reading one large file (I have seen USB3 speeds up to 350MB/s, with external sata ssd). I think the only reason that a slow disk like that seems to work is that windows caches disk access. So after one go, everything is read from ram (cache). I tested my internal HDD of my internet computer (not DAW, ssd only), which reads and writes 90MB/s, but reading small files it drops to 10mb/s, usb will be much worse.

I thought 480 Mbits/s = 60 MB/s but perhaps we don’t use the same math.

Well I have never seen anything go beyond 30MB/s, but your math is correct of course. For fun I just tested. An external ssd that can do 300MB/s on usb3 does 25MB/s on ausb2 port. An external USB2 drive does indeed do 30MB/s on a…USB3 port and only 25MB/s on usb2 port. So USB2 is even more limited then I remembered. This is with very good USB2 intel port.
Cheers Louis, thanks for the great work/support!

USB speed depends on many factors, but anyways, you just can’t use a classic HDD over USB for real-time tasks, you need an SSD with USB 3 for this.

I have just had this issue, an immensely frustrating bug! It has nothing to do with the disk at all. Ive never had it before, but it just occurred this evening on a project that had previously been working fine. Only recorded it three weeks ago, no hardware/software changes whatsoever since then. Also, only (currently) affecting this project. Posting here in case this helps anyone:

So, this issue occurs if the play cursor is in the final bar of a cycle range. However, if you move the right marker off the bar boundary (say, 1/32nd or even if just a tiny amount not snapped) the issue completely disappears and it cycles just fine (though obs not on the beat as you would want it!). For me, in this project, it is happening at bar 17. But stranger still, if I insert silence at the beginning of the project it moves forward to match.

So I isolated it to one audio track. Nothing special about it, no variaudio, audiowarp or anything.

This might be useful to others, I’ve found a workaround:

Split the audio track at the start of the problematic bar (i.e. at the start of the bar before the cycle end marker). Moving the problematic split bar to a new lane does not help, but moving it to a fresh audio track fixes the issue.

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Same issue. Steinberg make at least smth like Flush FX on Stop in Reaper!!!

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