I’ll follow up on my previous post in case it’s of use to anyone else.
When I upgraded to Cubase 10 I was getting random bursts of static, and the meters would periodically peg out of nowhere. CPU load was almost nothing, memory usage the same, no stress on the system at all. Following the principles of Debugging 101, I naturally looked at “what’s the last thing that changed,” which was my install of 10 on this laptop. I thus mistakenly thought Cubase was the culprit. However, I have Cubase 10 on two other computers, and I wasn’t getting the problem on them, just this new install.
I own the Melda plugin for comparing reference mixes (I forget the name), and I had it as a standard insert on my master bus. This laptop was a new Windows and Cubase install for a keyboard workstation. I thought I’d installed everything correctly, but I’d forgotten to apply the license for the Melda plugin. I thought I recalled something like this being part of the copy protection, so I applied the license and sure enough, the problem went away. By the way, this symptom happened even when the plugin wasn’t active - that was the disconcerting part as far as I’m concerned.
So, in my case at least, it was in fact a plugin that was causing the problem. I understand and accept copy protection schemes (I pay the bills as a programmer), but if copy protection code is a part of the signal chain then I don’t know what else is being altered, licence or not. They may be fine plugins and do a great job for most people but simply put, I no longer trust the plugin as I don’t know what else it’s doing to my signal chain. I’ve since uninstalled Melda from all computers and have never had this problem again.