TLDR: after disabling E-cores, re-enabling them fixed a weird issue I was having but I have no idea why or what caused it in the first place. Apologies for the wall of text. I figured it was better to share this information in detail than leave it unsaid.
First thing: Windows 11 (latest), Cubase Pro 12.0.60 , RME Babyface Pro (latest drivers), Intel i9-13900k, 32GB RAM
About a month ago, I built a new PC with a latest generation Intel processor: i9-13900k. I had seen reports on this forum about issues with these, but I’m a hobbyist and music is not my primary use for this PC. I bring this up to clarify that this is not a complaint. I knew what I was getting into.
I primarily use Cubase to record my own music: acoustic and electric guitar (amps into load box with cab sim VST), bass, vocals, drum VST, other random VST instruments and effects sometimes, and outboard guitar pedals. I increase my buffer settings depending on how big/demanding the project is.
Lately, I’ve been recording jam tracks to play electric guitar along to with send effects and some outboard guitar pedals. Prior to the new PC, I had my buffer set to 128 when playing guitar and things were generally peachy. That system had the same OS and interface, but an intel i7-7700k. After the new PC, I was easily able to drop the buffer to 64 for some projects, but then started seeing some major peak spikes. The other meters stay low. Bumping it back to 128 worked fine to prevent any peak spikes going into the red. Then about a week ago, I read about disabling E-cores. I used process lasso (https://bitsum.com/) to set the affinity for the Cubase executable and disabled E-cores and was quite pleased to see the spikes completely under control with a lower buffer. Things had been going well like this for the past week or so.
This brings me to the weird day I had yesterday. I saw that 12.0.60 was made available and I installed it. I booted up a project to jam along with using my electric guitar, pressed the spacebar and started playing guitar. So far, so good. Then I clicked on my electric guitar track so I could enable a send effect and as soon as I selected the track, everything went silent. Playback didn’t stop, but I lost all sound from all tracks. The meter in the control room froze. I was using Ezdrummer for this project and there was a message at the bottom that said something like, “audio engine inactive.” I could not close Cubase, so I had to end the process in task manager. I booted it up again, this time with a different project. Same issue. All is well until I select a track with my mouse or keyboard shortcut. Cubase needs to be forced to quit. Then I went down the troubleshooting rabbit hole: restarting PC, launching with 3rd party plugins disabled, default preferences, resetting the audio driver, trying generic asio driver, uninstalling Cubase and re-installing the previous Cubase version, reinstalling RME audio drivers… I may be forgetting something. Then I remembered E-cores: I re-enabled them and presto, all is well. I tried various projects and all good. Re-installed 12.0.60 and everything works. Jumped in today and played for about an hour. No issues.
I don’t plan on disabling E-cores for the time being. Leaving the buffer at 128 is more than fine for what I’m doing. Having the audio go silent from simply selecting a track in the project or mixer is just really weird to me when performance is pretty fantastic otherwise. I’m not knowledgeable enough to speculate why that would happen, but it does seem related to E-cores. I don’t know if this would be helpful to anyone out there, but again, I figured I’d err on the side of sharing this information.