I have spent since about midnight last night here trying to work this out without having to post here and hassle you guys, but im at wits end…
Cubase 6.0.7 education version, build 634 - 32 bit, Win7 64bit, on mobo P35 DS3-R, with Focusrite Sapphire 6 USB (updated drivers on mobo + soundcard)
Have been using cubase on my laptop for couple of years and never noticed any issues. Formated my PC and installed the above setup. Wrote a track and was having trouble with high end content interfering, almost like a phasing issue but more like a distortion or artifact… eq’d the hell out of it but something was not right… ok so i ul it and noticed the wave display of my track on soundcloud showed the kick audio peaking and dipping in waves… had heard about this happening intentionally in some plugins to emulate variation in kicks etc (is this true?), and assumed if not it was just one of the many compression issues on soundcloud, but thought i would investigate given the high freq issues.
Chucked a spectrum analyser in the DAW with Bassizm kick track solo’d, and the high content was fading in and out every 4 beats or so - but im talking everything from about 1khz up to 10khz, which seemed a fair bit of frequency to be dropping in and out. Tried it again in guru sequencer with a range of different kicks… same thing, just diff frequency chunks dropping in and out depending on the content of the sample itself.
Kick i could almost handle, but my real problem lies in the fact that almost everything i feed into cubase on or off the beat in a 4/4 time signature (eg hats, synths for odd basslines etc) displays the same issues… i’ve included some waves i uploaded to soundcloud to show you what i mean > SoundCloud - Hear the world’s sounds + SoundCloud - Hear the world’s sounds
Test 2 demonstrates it the best, you can see the peaks and troughs of high frequency content on a solo’d percussion line, which is replicated exactly in the spectrum analyser in the DAW. Wish i could include a video as an eg, but if the percussion takes up 400 to 8khz say, beat one and two will hit normally, then its as if a lowpass filter is automatically sweeping down to cut down from 8 to 7khz on beat 3… 6khz on beat 4 etc then sweep back up to start again… that is what is creating the peak and trough waveforms.
I have tested tracks (ie solo’d with spectrum analyser on stereo out) both triggering from midi data and within sequencer Guru and groove agent one (w beat designer) - same results for both which indicates to me it’s definitely not a midi issue, nor isolated to one vst. This sent me in the direction of latency and the like so spent a while reading up here and in manual about Asio time useage and latency settings - ATU is sitting with 2/3rds headroom left which seems completely normal, no pops or clicks whatsoever outside of that. 10ms to 17ms buffer settings all work and make no diff to the problem.
I tried to activate direct monitoring to see if this zero latency setting could assist but it’s greyed out, which ive learnt means i need to route it in my console software - problem is Focusrite sapphire 6 soundcard doesnt have one! Not sure if this greying out is related. The only other soundcard issue that could be relevant is that my sapphire 6 in this pc has to use usb 1.1 rather than 2.0? That wouldnt affect just the high frequency then though… :S
In my hours of searching last night i even looked into issues relating to the specific mobo (why i included it above), but verified that the issue pertaining to latency spikes in the Gigabyte DS3R were not present after testing with DPC latency checker. Still tempted to do a bios flash if all else fails, but thats getting ahead of myself.
I was wondering if all this was normal at first, but the noticeable inconsistent artifacts it is producing combined with comments from many producer friends about the abnormality of of the waveform, makes me think not.
The only theory i can come up with is that there is some bizzare form of latency that is causing phasing issues that move in and out on a specific 4 beat patterns (enough time for it to build up?) - but again, why only high freq content?
I have barely slept trying to fix this so apologise if any of this is unclear or it is a simple problem ive overlooked. I have the latest realtek audio drivers from Gigabyte and for my saphire 6 audio card, and updated Cubase to the latest version as above, as soon as i had installed it.
Thanks heaps for your time people, hope to hear from you.