How to avoid latency issues?


Looking for advice and words of wisdom. I had someone record background vocals last night on 4 songs. For each song, there were 25 - 35 recording events. When I went back to work on the songs today, I noticed that the 4th song had crackling in all 33 raw wave files. My conclusion at this point is that I pushed my luck using 256 buffer size, and perhaps I need to start using 512 buffer size.

I assume the crackling is related to audio dropouts. To avoid high CPU usage triggering the dropouts, I typically restart my computer prior to starting a recording session.


  1. I read that some engineers are able to use very small buffer sizes. How do they manage that?

  2. Are there some best practices? Maybe I should restart Cubase between each song project to minimize CPU and other resources?

  3. Doesn’t Cubase display warnings when dropouts occur? I vaguely remember that in earlier versions of Cubase. I now understand there are Cubase tools to monitor latency and I need to study up a bit more. It is just frustrating that I recorded 33 files and didn’t know I was having issues. It would have really slowed things down if I verified each wave file after recording.

  4. I also noticed that the 4th song had a Superior Drummer 3 drum track that was not frozen like I normally try to do. Good chance I would not have had the issue if I froze the track prior to recording vocals.

  5. So the main question is, do you need to be constantly monitoring CPU and resources to make sure dropouts do not occur?

Thanks in advance for any help with this,


Are you sure the crackling is really recorded in the signal? Isn’t it just playback issue? If you would have a drop-outs while recording, you would be informed by Cubase.

  1. Have a good stable and reliable system and use Direct Monitoring.

  2. Yes it does.

  3. Of course, when you freeze CPU heavy tracks, you get more for recording. But Direct Monitoring solves this.

  4. Not really, if you have tuned system.

Thanks Martin for always being here to help me out!

The issue is definitely there in the recorded raw files in the Audio directory when I play through Media Player. Maybe it is not actually dropouts but something else causing crackling noises in the raw files. It only seems to crackle when actual singing (higher signal) is taking place not in the silent parts of the wave file. If it is not dropouts, do you know what else could be causing the bad recordings?

I tried to duplicate the issue without success. It just seems that, on the night in question, my PC or Cubase app was in some state that caused these recording glitches to occur. The recordings for the first three songs no problem, then the 4th song had an issue.

This is a long shot, but this song had a tempo track unlike the first three songs. However, the tempo track was disabled for the recordings. If you recall I had a similar but different issue reported with tempo track: Another Strange Glitch - Tempo Track Enabled - Cubase - Steinberg Forums

In that case it was crackling noises during playback and not recording.

BTW, does Cubase or anybody have a plugin do get rid of the crackling? I am trying to learn more about the audio editor, but I am having trouble ‘seeing’ the crackles.

thanks again,


There is no plug-in like this in Cubase. You can find one in WaveLab or you can use SpectraLayers.

To me it doesn’t sound like a common drop-outs.