Long channel/track names cause some vst3 plugins to crash cubase

I often use very long descriptive names for my channels/tracks as i like to include meta data, instructions or key words. I have just set up my new pc (windows 11) and everytime i load certain 3rd party vst3 plugins on a track that has a very long name, cubase crashes. This never happened on my old pc (windows 10). The plugins work perfectly on other tracks that dont have long names but as soon as i edit the name of the channel/track, it just crashes. I can literally have a few hundred characters or even more, for a track name until i insert the problematic plugin into the inserts which then just crashes. I have so many projects and tracks that i produced over the years that contain so many lengthy channel names. Lengthy descriptive channel names is vital for me as a producer. All plugins are legitimate and paid

I opened up windows event viewer and it displayed an error name: Bex64 with the event id 1000

If anybody can recreate this error on their system who is using windows 11. I also use Ryzen 7 processor

This is driving me mad. Thanks for any information regarding this bizarre problem

Crash log would be helpful

Can you figure out the exact minimum number characters that will crash the program?

I will get hold of a crash log. Im away from pc just now. But i did note down the errors in windows Event Finder

What are you trying to say? The images are not really useful. It’s the log files that might be useful. Cubase Crash Logs location

Would you care to let us know which plug-in(s) that might be?

Quite a few i have noticed: vsts such as Vember Audio Surge, Soundspot Union, Cherry Audio Ca2600 and vst3 plugs such as waves plugins, sc ring mod. All plugs are 100% legit

I think i might be onto something. I had windows processes window alongside cubase and when i create the problem, the GPU spikes to 100% at the same time cubase crashes. If i load the vst2 variant, the GPU meter in windows processes barley moves but the problematic vst3 variant spikes the GPU and crashes cubase. So maybe its a graphics driver? I am using AMDs radeon built in graphics by the way. I know its common knowledge that a bog standard stock graphics card should be fine for music production but i also read somewhere that it can actually be quite important or beneficial for certain plugins

I don’t think it has something to with the graphics adapter or driver.
I can reproduce the issue here with 12.0.50 on Win10 (i7-7800k with Intel graphics).

I am pretty sure that the cause is the overly long channel names, in combination with how either plugins or Cubase handles that.
Plugins can request the channel name from the host. In the case of VST3 and a too long name, this produces a 0xc0000409 Exception (which the internet finds lots of useless entries for, but I think the most convincing explanation is the one from Microsoft Inside: Fail Fast Exception C0000409 | Microsoft Learn).
This Exception doesn’t produce a crash dump, so there is only the entry in the event log. Those show the faulting module (you can see “WavesSHell.vst3” in your screenshot).

I have tested this with several different plugins from different vendors. There are some where I am pretty sure they do not request the channel name never crash, but other where I know that they do (as they e.g. display the name in the UGI) always crash.
As it happens with VST3 plugin from different vendors who use different frameworks (VSTGUI, JUCE…) I leaning towards this being a problem in Cubase itself, but I’m not fully sure.
This is something only a developer could answer. I’d open a support call at Steinberg, just to make them aware.

I guess that this is one of those cases where a developer never thought about what end users are actually are capable of and how they “misuse” software :wink:

In your case, I would suggest that for the time being, just don’t use such long names. If you want to add information and metadata for tracks, that’s what the “Notes” tab in the inspector is there for (however limited it is in its functionality).

I browsed a bit through the VST3 SDK, and it seems that the limit for VST3 channel names is 128 UTF16 characters (VST 3 Interfaces: Steinberg::Vst::ChannelContext Namespace Reference, VST 3 Interfaces: VST 3 Data Types).
Someone somewhere must have forgotten to do proper bounds checking :grin:

I cannot seem to reproduce the crash with any of Steinberg’s own plugins, although there doesn’t seem to be one that uses the channel names, at least not obviously in the GUI.

Thanks for the time you took to help resolve this. You seem absolutely correct and you have saved me many hours in trying to identify the problem. I recreated the problem even on my old pc using the latest plugins (before everything was fine using older versions of waves for example). So the new versions of waves do bring up this issue. V9 version of waves which i was using before, i could use lengthy track names for those older waves plugs.

I know it may be unusual but having descriptive names helps .me tremendously. I have been doing this for 10 years and want to maintain this. Having descriptive meta data and descriptions and instructions on the channel name is so important for me. I can search for key words and it will take me instantly to a given channel, i can tell what subtleties a channel is trying to do when adding variation, i tweak synth settings and display which key parameters i am changing and display values in the channel name. The channel notepad is too hidden for me and i cant glide around the project window intuitively as i can with with my current way of working

Thanks again for taking the time to investigate for me and producing the error. It does seem that 128 characters is the limit for certain plugins. Its very bizarre.

I am asking to get 100% clarity: Did/do you use the same version of Cubase on both the old and new PC?

Hi Johnny. I have actually produced this error even on my old pc. Therefore i edited my post prior to yours. I thought everything was ok but i was actually using old waves plugins (V9) and everything was fine. But today i tried the latest waves V14 on my old pc and it produced the error. Along with other certain updated plugins. So in a nutshell, its a limitation with certain plugins (especially the latest versions) like ‘Fese’ said above, that they cannot cope with reading lengthy track names. Theres no issues with cubases stock plugins by the way. Just certain 3rd party vsts and only in vst3 format

Funnily enough, i tried to go crazy with the channel names and see what the limit is. After a few hundred words (ridiculous i know) the system starts to slow down. So yeah, its crazy to think that lengthy track names can slow down or crash a system. Im quite surprised that this isnt talked about enough. Because 128 characters seems too little

No, the 128 chars is a limit of the VST3 SDK. The crashing is definitely a bug, just unclear where.
As I wrote, you could report is to Steinberg, but I wouldn’t hold my breath that it gets fixed anytime soon, as it probably affects only a very small minority (as in “you” :wink: ) who use the channel names for purposes they were not made for (you could argue that there should be a length limit on them anyway)
So your options are pretty much these:
a) change your workflow or stay under 128 chars
b) don’t use plugins that read the channel names.
c) try another DAW and see whether it works there.

I would really love to know what and where exactly the exception is triggered. And if it affects Cubase on Mac or other DAWs, too.

Thanks Fese. I already created a support ticket so I’ll see what they say. I can also produce this error in cubase 10, 10.5 and 11. I havnt tried earlier versions than that. Thanks again for the detailed response. You have saved me a lot of painful hours chasing my tail, as like you said, i have to perform a workaround. Thanks again. It really means a lot :slight_smile:

1 Like

A link to this thread should be included as we were able to carve out some important details.

Just a quick question if somebody can answer. I have a bunch of tracks usimg vst2 plugin variants. If i replace the vst2 plugins with the latest vst3 variant in the future, will that replace the plugin? Or is I think im going to use the vst2 variants for the problematic plugins. But the problem down the line is that you probably will only be able to use vst3 in years to come on your DAW.

This problem has actually given me lots to think about going forward in terms of future proofing my projects so i can open them in years to come. I have actually been guilty of using way too many vst2 plugins or not updated my plugins to a later version. On

AFAIK each plugin has an ID. If the VST3 version uses the same ID as the VST2 version Cubase will just replace the VST2 plugin seamlessly. So, it has to be supported by the plugin.
There might be additional details applying.

As @Johnny_Moneto wrote, it depends on the plugin and whether the developer implemented the feature of VST3 which enables it to transparently replace VST versions. It is actually quite easy to see: if you have both the VST2 and VST3 version installed, and both show up in the plugin selector, they have different IDs and the best thing to do for future proofing your project is saving the state of the VST2 as presets, using the plugin’s own preset mechanism (don’t just save the preset with Cubase, that won’t work). It’s a tedious process…
In case only the VST3 version shows up, it can replace the VST2 version if that is not installed/supported any more.

Thanks guys. I really appreciate it. Yes i have learned a lot of great tips for future proofing myself. Yes i noticed today especially that only some plugins support the feature where one can replace a vst2 with a vst3 variant automatically. This really should be a standard feature especially for big developers. Thanks again, both of you for your input. Amazing resource this place is. I wish you both well in your journey:)

Descriptive names is an awesome method! The more peculiar and exotic the better. I have actually ‘conversational’ ones ha ha! I also keep a ‘diary’ of my workflow on the desktop too, in Word.

Sorry to bump an old thread. But I just found this discussion after I had the exact same problem; Cubase would crash when trying to add any of my third party plugins to a certain track in my project. I managed to diagnose the problem to be caused by the channel/track name. I did a search to see if anyone else had the same problem.

This came about after I was trying to add effects to an audio file that I had drag and dropped from my desktop. Cubase created the track using the files name, which just so happened to be very very long and contained special characters. After successfully testing to see if I could add an audio track first, then dragging the file into that rather than allowing Cubase to create the track for me I had the thought to try changing the name of the automatically created track before adding a plugin to it, which fixed the issue for me.

I am on Cubase 12 pro