File export - start of audio missing...again!

I had this problem previously in Cubase 10. It somehow went away but now has returned in Cubase 11. I set the markers and export and about 1.5 seconds of audio is missing from the start of the exported file. I’ve tried to export mp3, 16 bit wav and 24 bit wav and have the same problem. I thought a quick fix would be render in place but that also has the start of the audio missing. The file is the same length, there’s just 1.5 seconds of silence then audio starts abruptly. If I set the first marker to a couple of seconds before the audio starts then it exports ok, but then I have a gap at the start of my audio file. At the moment I’m having to export with a gap, then open in another program, remove the gap, then re-export. Does anyone know what could be causing this and how to fix it?

did you used automation? Maybe this gets not really initiated at the beginning of your selection…

Thanks for the suggestion, but I’ve checked and there’s no automation used.

I can’t tell you what is causing your issue but since: o1/ there are a multitude of possibilities, and o2/ you’ve seen / heard this problem in Release 1o and 11, I would start by reducing the problem scope. If you are sure that it’s not automation, I’d try three related strategies.

o1/ Start at the beginning with your operating system, audio interfaces, drivers, configuration, etc., until you get to the project level. In general, is everything set up correctly?; does anything look “odd”, different or has changed?

o2/ Once you have made sure (as best you can) that the system is okay, check your projects to see if the problem affects them all. If not, is there anything that is common to either group? i.e., the projects which render correctly v.s those which do not.

o3/ Assuming that there’s nothing obvious at the system or project level, start looking at your projects. Instead of a full mix down, perform partial renderings. For example, it a track has drums, bass, guitar, keys and vocals, render each instrument individually. I would also try to render sections of your tracks e.g., a single verse. Isolating elements in this manner may lead you to the problem but remember to render with and without whatever other processing you are doing e.g., insert FX, send FX, etc. I’d also create a brand new project and examine it carefully for any clues. If it’s clean render “nothing”, then record one track (or import an audio file) and render this “dry”. Next, add effect upon effect, rendering with each change until the problem appears.

I hope this makes sense and helps.

PS: You mention that you found this in Release 10 but it disappeared only to reappear in 11. If so, isolate projects from the three time periods (1o with problem, 1o / 11 without problem, 11 with) and analyse as above.

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Thanks for the super-helpful and detailed response. I’ll work my way through this to try and get to the route of the problem!

can you provide some screenshots?
or other information ?
all we can do is guessing…

Just thought I’d let you know I found the issue. It was a FabFilter Pro-Q 3 plugin with the Linear Phase set to Max. When I changed it to Very High instead the problem went away!

Did you report that to the Fabfilter support?

I haven’t yet, but will.