Having a NIGHTMARE with Cubase, all help gratefully received

Dear Anyone.

I know you’re not supposed to ask more than one question per thread but I’m having so many problems with Cubase I’m just gonna list them all and take the flak afterwards. I’m a total NOOB to Cubase so be gentle!

1.) ASIO. SOMETIMES sound works in Cubase, sometimes it doesn’t, sometimes it just dies for no apparent reason and no settings have been changed. All the little lights are still flashing merrily, nothing’s coming out the speakers no more. ASIO4ALL’s saying all the inputs/outputs are fine, lights on, nobody home!

2.) Sometimes when I import a soundfile there’s no panning control on the slider. Instead, where the panning control SHOULD be it’s coming up as LFE. I’ve got zero idea what that means but it’s something to do with 5.1 surround, am I wrong? I’m only working in stereo, what’s it doing there?

3.) SOMETIMES - all these things seem to be SOMETIMES - when I import a sound file it comes in as TWO soundfiles, left and right. Which I suppose is fair enough, left channel, right channel. (But why only sometimes!?!) Thing IS - when that happens, of course you can’t put effects on the whole instrument at once because Cubase thinks it’s two different instruments. So as far as I can see you have to have TWO sets of effects going on, one for each instance of the sound, and carefully calibrate them both. Which is fair enough I suppose but takes forEVER to get right (And I THINK I’m getting phase issues too, not expert enough to be certain!) And again SOMETIMES - one of the channels won’t let you use any effects. Doesn’t matter what you put into it, no little lights flash in the effects boxes, only in the output box. It’s like the effect isn’t there.

4.) The really odd one. SOMETIMES (again the Sometimes!) when you load in a wave file the little box it comes up in has got loads and loads of lines in instead of just one under the wave form. It looks like a piece of lined paper with writing just on the top line. I tried using the glue icon to ‘glue’ all the extra lines together into one but that doesn’t work! What ARE all these extra lines, what purpose are they serving, do I just put up with them being there (I can’t see the waveform because it’s SOOO tiny to fit on its single line!) and why aren’t they ALWAYS there? (If a problem’s CONSISTENT, it’s easier to find its cause. NONE of these problems are consistent but there’s always a COUPLE of them happening, at least.)

5.) And last. I like WRITING music, blobs on sticks, not playing it in via keyboard. In Cubase’s notation, is there any way of making the note sound AS you’re putting it in, not just AFTERWARDS on playback? OK I can read music fluently but I’d still love to be able to hear the notes AS I’m using them, not just in retrospect.

Which of all of these do I consider most important to be answered? The random sound cutout one. I know Cubase takes over the sonic world and hates anything else having sound alongside it (it’s a prima donna!) but there’s gotta be a way to stop these random cutouts, no? OK. What do I have.

Cubase 5. Legit version. Couldn’t afford a modern version but this one was bought off Ebay with the box and everything. Windows XP. Foxconn Pro Motherboard. IDT High Definition Audio Codec. ASIO4ALL (if there’s other Asios that work better, tell me where to download them!) ADM-5 speakers. No other soundcards or anything cos when the sound WORKS with Cubase, it’s great. It’s KEEPING it working that’s the big one!

Yours hopefully