Is My SoundCard Crashing My PC ?

Having recently increased my PC Ram from 4 to 8 Gigs (max my motherboard would take), installed Windows 8 64 Bit and Cubase 7 64 bit, an EMU 1820m Soundcard supports the audio & Midi. (Drivers no longer supported since 2011)

I haven’t been able to work with a stable system since upgrading from C 6.5 which was perfect

This is what happens:

Open C7, load about 3 Vst as my track progresses then load Vst 4 or 5 (if I’m lucky), each with a different sound, then as the track is playing, C7 crashes ending with a sound of a very fast repeated stutter / delay coming out of the speakers, so is or could this because my Emu is to old now (had it in the family since Cubase SX) and it’s time for a new one, or is there some settings I need to do in C 7 ?

If a new soundcard is the answer, then I would appreciate some suggestions as to what would work best with C 7 64 bit ? , I’ve been looking at the Motu Audio Express Hybrid, any good?

Thanks in advance to everyone that replies and HNY

There’s a chance your EMU drivers are not suitable for Win8, check if someone else has it working.

With witch buffersize and latency?

Motu drivers are stable I believe and many of their devices have things like hardware-based DSP effects (as do RME now to an extent).

Echo Audio have great drivers as well, but no PCIe at present (pre-amps on USB and all their devices are good).

RME is however the bees knees but is expensive.

If you’re keen have a look at Sonic Core X-ite, a complete studio in-the-box (would love one myself).

Cheaper stuff, Roland is worthy and have reasonably solid drivers, as with Yamaha I’d expect but the latter have only improved with the Steinberg name (have a shocking support history on their own).

Terratec have made some good devices but have gone more in the consumer direction (as has EMU).

Maudio is another choice but driver support is less than spectacular, unless recent experience with ProTools using ASIO has improved things.

ESI make good quality audio equipment and made solid drivers for Windows XP and I’d say probably would now also.

Thanks for all the replies.

I have a few more questions before I go and invest in a new soundcard.

I have a few vst 2.2 & 2.3 synths, I have removed IK Multimedia & Arturia (crashed as soon as i opened it) synths which were causing sticky midi notes.
I left my Korg legacy series (VST 2.3), Virtual guitarist 2 & VG 2 FX ( VST 2.3) and Emu Emulator 2 (VST 2.2) could these cause any problems ?

Here is more info on my PC
Processor Intel® Core™2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz 7.1 4.2
Determined by lowest subscore

Memory (RAM) 8.00 GB 7.1
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT 4.2
Gaming graphics 4095 MB Total available graphics memory 5.4
Primary hard disk 162GB Free (233GB Total) 5.9
Windows 8 Pro with Media Center


Manufacturer System manufacturer
Model P5K
Total amount of system memory 8.00 GB RAM
System type 64-bit operating system
Number of processor cores 4


Total size of hard disk(s) 1462 GB
Disk partition (C:) 162 GB Free (233 GB Total)
Disk partition (D:) 391 GB Free (466 GB Total)
Media drive (E:) CD/DVD


Display adapter type NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT
Total available graphics memory 4095 MB
Dedicated graphics memory 512 MB
Dedicated system memory 0 MB
Shared system memory 3583 MB
Display adapter driver version
Primary monitor resolution 1680x1050
DirectX version DirectX 10

I have tried using various buffer and latency settings but the PC still crashes and the Asio and Disc usage is showing approx 50 - 75 percent.
If the soundcard is the heart of the problem, is there anyway of testing before I replace it?

Thanks again

If the downloads are still at Emu I found that, not the latest, but the Vista 64 drivers (the version before the last)worked best. You could try that under emulation if you are using the latest. Another possibility would be to use ASIO4ALL if it’s still about. Driver substitute for anything and last I looked was free.
It would be best to consider a change though.

However, looking at you full system details I’d treat yourself to a whole new one. Keep the OS, graphics and the Emu.
Way out of date and it will eventually nickel and dime your wallet and brain to death working out what’s going wrong all the time.

Thank you Conman

I was really hoping that a new PC could be avoided, especially as I’m currently a home Dad at present so the there’s no steady income.

I have been looking on the net to see what kind of prices Audio PC’s are going for, seams to be around £1000 upwards in the U.K.
However if that’s the only way up then I’ll have to find a way to buy new, are there any recommendations ?

Thanks again

Self build is much easier than you would think. Like Lego kits. Just a little care at times. Scan is one good UK company to keep tabs on. Sometimes they sell the whole thing in bits for self-assembly and one of their engineers posts on the sound on sound site so if you go over there you can ask questions. Phil or Pete Kaine .

Hey groovechild - your pc specs sounds ok, and you should be able to create music and run a lot more VSTis than you are currently able to. Instead of buying an expensive “audio pc”, why not upgrade your soundcard - you’d need a good one if you buy a new pc anyway.
But it really depends on what you want to do. Do you want to run hundreds of cpu-heavy instruments/plugins without commiting to audio, or just use Cubase as a multitrack audio recorder with a couple of virtual instruments - or something in between?



In response, I usually run several Synth VST’s Plugins while composing until I’m happy with what I have and then convert them to Audio Files and add VST effect Plugins as required.

So typical song might consist of around 5 VST Synths up to 10 more or less tracks drums, bass, piano etc) with between 5 to 10 Audio channels for vocals depending on the vocalist.

I have looked at the Scan website and have seen that they sell complete motherboards with graphics card and Ram etc, could this be an option, if so what would i need to change in my PC?

Hope this helps for some more advise.

It really depends on the VSTis - but, generally speaking, your pc should be able to handle that. If you’re sure that it’s the sound card (ie. driver) that’s causing the problem, and you want low latency recording, you probably would be better off with a new sound card with good ASIO drivers. And then when you get a new pc you already have a good audio card.


Sorry, wrong post answered. See below.

Sorry, with Cubase 7 I can’t agree with that as you’d really have to know your system, components and software. Cubase 5+ is a possibility, even C6 at a very knowledgeable push. In any event Cubase is a huge, very complicated and convoluted piece of work. I have seen so many here having continual problems with underpowered rigs. More than a few insist it’s Cubase and that they really know their stuff but they continue to have issue after issue.

If you only have moderate studio ambitions, band recordings, composing and the like and you can’t afford the system to go with the software; well if that was me I’d get the lesser powerful software in the first place. Sequel even. Reaper’s fine. Cubase does so much in the background it’s impossible to tell why any particular part of an underpowered system would fall down or why.
Saying that I really think that Steinberg should put a much higher minimum spec on the boxes for Cubase and push their lower down software for (non-orchestral) composers and they’d have a lot more happy customers with understressed and more modest systems. My opinion is that it’s at least as powerful, if not more, than Nuendo which many here with long term problems wouldn’t dream of investing in.
You build a good house from the ground up and not buy a gilded roof first and struggle keeping it off the ground.
The carpet goes down first, not the furniture.

Hi Conman

Thanks for your opinion, you have given me food for thought.
As I originally stated I have upgraded from C 6.5 which was running perfectly on my system, so to now run in to a load of problems has been a bit of a kick in the you know where for me.

Like many other users I have been building my studio for years and have spent thousands over the past 20 years or so, and now to suddenly come to a complete stand still because my PC spec is considered to be prehistoric is not good.

Before I upgraded I checked the box spec and it matched my system at the time.
I do agree with you that Steinberg should put a much higher minimum spec on the boxes for Cubase so people can adjust their spec as needed, especially for people like me as I’ve always had the top level just in case the lower level Cubases are missing a feature required as I’m working.

Just to give you an Analogy, when I purchased my car years ago I could have gone for a small engine, but I decided to opt for a bigger engine with better performance figures just in case I needed that extra power.

Now I have had to double my Ram from 4 to 8 Gig and run windows 8 64bit as advised by Steinbergs Helge Vogt and I’m still having issues with stability

At this stage I’m wondering can’t I change the motherboard and components to a better spec, I see that the ASUS P9X79 is a good one but what does it come with as standard, what else would I have to buy for it and would it fit in PC chassis ( LIAN LI PC-C33) ?

Anymore advise would be really helpful and thanks to all

p.s. Love the cat, but seems a bit impatient

Why don´t you go back to Cubase 6.5 for the time being? And your former OS. And check again when 7.02 is ready.
And did you run a memtest program. Going from 4 to 8gb can cause stability issues if not done 100% correctly (qualified ram of same batch/one set and at correct settings) So first thing to try is romove the new 4gb and see if that helps.
The only time I ever had stability issues was when I had flaky ram.

Thanks for your input, I may have to consider going back.
I had the changes done by a IT Consultant, he ordered a set of brand new Ram Chips to the original spec’s and make.
As for the Memtest, I’m pretty sure he done that, however i will contact him just be sure.

Many thanks

I’d second emotive’s suggestion that Echoaudio’s drivers are stable, until recently I had used Echo Laylas for years and never had any issues on a number of PCs. Their hardware is relatively inexpensive and has always been rock solid. I upgraded my PC last year and got one put together by Arbico computers ( )who did a great job, and their customer communication keeping in touch via email with build progress etc was great… good value too I thought.

I initially thought the RME Fireface UC was expensive. The sound quality is beyond excellent and the drivers are totally rock solid. The only foible I can find is that if you forget to switch it on as you boot up Cubase Selecting the Fireface UC asio in devices will freeze Cubase - if you select generic asio and then swtch there is no problem.
Their drivers are updated. If you are interested ring them up. They were very friendly and after inquiring about my set up gave me some excellent advice. It has been well worth the money.