Microsoft Surface Pro 6 and Cubase 11 Pro drop outs with small project

Good morning!

I’m getting audio overloads with a very small track count and not many plug ins. I’m wondering if anyone else has the same set up, and how they’re doing?

I’ve tried all ASIO Guard settings, and the custom power scheme recommended in Robin Vincent’s Molten Audio vids, have turned off WiFi, VPN (in Device Manager), and MalwareBytes.

I haven’t upgraded to latest UR28M drivers. Looking at the Read Me file there it didn’t seem like it was aimed at fixing performance issues … but maybe i should anyway?

Thanks for sharing any experience with your Microsoft Surface Pro 6, and any other replies also welcome! :slight_smile:

Specs in profile, will update here momentarily. Robin Vincent seems to be getting a lot more out of his Surface Pro 6 than i can, though!

Cubase 11 Pro, W10 on Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Intel(R) Core™ i7-8650U CPU @ 1.90GHz 2.11 GHz; 16.0 GB, 64-bit) , with two bus-powered USB hubs; UR28M interface


I am sorry that I can’t help you here. But my laptop is Celeron N4020 dual core. It is a far much worse CPU than yours and it sort of works fine here. Of course I can do any serious mixing or production with many VI’s. I am pretty sure that there are something on your Windows setup that causes the problem. If you are ok with some Github thing. Try this.

My computer was fine without it but it noticibly boosted the performance of mine.


Hi @evanh75 !

Github looks very interesting, if only to review their list of potentially bad actors to consider disabling. One Drive … that looks like it could be a problem. Tiles maybe also, others.

Thanks again!

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I turned off One Drive in addition the other things i mentioned earlier … still poor performance as mentioned.

One thing i noticed is that my screen will very very briefly flash to black multiple times when i have several plugin windows open in the (very modestly small).

Does that point to a possible reason my “average” load is so high even with the project not playing, and i get dropouts unless my buffer is quite large?

Cubase 11 Pro, W10 on Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Intel(R) Core™ i7-8650U CPU @ 1.90GHz 2.11 GHz; 16.0 GB, 64-bit) , with two bus-powered USB hubs; UR28M interface

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Do you have the latest version of Windows? I’ve read that you have to have the latest version of Windows 10/11. (I somehow think that you already did though…)

Yes, thanks vey much, latest version W10.

Two questions from this thread I’m still wondering about re: my Microsoft Surface Pro 6’s poor performance running Cubase 11 Pro:

  1. One thing i noticed is that my screen will very very briefly flash to black multiple times when i have several plugin windows open in the (very modestly small) project I’m running. Does that point to something that might be causing problems ?

  2. i haven’t updated my latest UR28M “tools and driver”, mainly because i still have PTSD from hours spent troubleshooting the interface some weeks ago (now working, thank goodness), but also because it’s read me file didn’t make it sound like it would especially help the problem.

Does anyone feel strongly that the poor performance would significantly improve if I did update the UR28M tools and driver to the latest (I’ve got the penultimate one)?

  1. Does anyone think the two bus powered USB hubs I’m using may have anything to do with my Surface Pro 6’s poor performance running Cubase 11 Pro?

Thank you very much for any help!


Cubase 11 Pro, W10 on Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Intel(R) Core™ i7-8650U CPU @ 1.90GHz 2.11 GHz; 16.0 GB, 64-bit) , with two bus-powered USB hubs; UR28M interface

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Hello -

I think I have narrowed the cause down to each of two specific plugins:

  1. Waves Greg Wells PianoCentric
  2. Waves Greg Wells MixCentric

Putting either (and definitely both) of these will push both meters much higher, and will give red spikes.

Can anyone help me understand why please? They are both VST3.6.9

Thank you in advance! :slight_smile:

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Addendum: The above is incorrect. I can load a lot of plugins and still have the Audio Performance meter stay to the left.

What I’ve truly narrowed it down to is adding a VSTi just socks it to my system really hard … can’t even add two VSTis into this very small project without hitting red on the meters.

So it’s back to … I can’t figure out why my system, which should be able to handle this, it can’t.

I did go through the Apps in W10 and deleted bloatware …

Any further thoughts please?

Thank you!

Cubase 11 Pro, W10 on Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Intel(R) Core™ i7-8650U CPU @ 1.90GHz 2.11 GHz; 16.0 GB, 64-bit) , with two bus-powered USB hubs, Steinberg UR28M interface

ADDENDUM: Another thing that pushes the Audio Performance System system into the Red - Record arming a MIDI track connected to a VSTi.

Does that help at all in narrowing down where the seeming inability of this not horribly low-powered system to handle a small project?

Thank you!

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Hi - Can someone please tell me if the info I’ve attached from LatencyMon helps explain why my system seems so weak?

I’ve also done the usual things like turn off One Drive, and in Device manager I’ve disabled the driver for Tunnel Bear VPN, disabled the printer, updated all drivers I could think of, changed power settings, background services, etc., and other stuff.

Two VSTis, a handful of plug ins (all VST 3), buffer 512, one MIDI track record enabled, less than 6 other audio tracks … and I’m red lining. :cry:

Cubase 11 Pro, W10 on Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Intel(R) Core™ i7-8650U CPU @ 1.90GHz 2.11 GHz; 16.0 GB, 64-bit) , with two bus-powered USB hubs; UR28M interface

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Hi -

I’m having trouble getting good performance with my Microsoft Surface Pro 6 with Cubase 11 (another thread). I’ve done a lot of optimizing changes, but I haven’t gone in and adjusted the UEFI/BIOS settings.

Is anyone getting their Microsoft Surface Pro 6 to work well with Cubase 11? Did you have to make changes in the UEFI/BIOS settings?

Thank you!

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Sorry I don’t have a Surface Pro but a couple of things spring to mind…
Have you tried it with only the audio interface connected? I don’t know what is connected to your hubs but if they’re anything like mine it’s a lot! Also, don’t plug the interface into a hub.
Have you checked Task Manager>performance to see what windows thinks your machine is doing?
Can you borrow a different interface to see how that performs?
You could try and see if it works better with ASIO4all instead of the manufacturer’s drivers.
Good luck!

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Hi @wave100 !

Thanks for your suggestions!

Unfortunately, there is only one USB port in the Surface Pro 6, so I do need to plug the interface directly into it (on account of the dongle for Cubase 11, iLok for Waves).

I wonder if a powered hub would make a difference?

Yes indeed, thanks!The CPU speed is nice and flat, no spikes etc., but unfortunately it is at the upper limit of the computer (I tried it with turbo on and also with max power limited to 99%).

Is there anything else I can be looking at the Task Manager to learn?

That’s a good idea. I don’t actually have one though.

I think I can see you’re considering the interface might be an issue. I’ll try ASIO4ALL. I’ll be bummed if it does turn out to be that the UR28M doesn’t play well with the Microsoft Surface Pro 6. It’s got the latest driver downloaded, written last month or so it looks like.

Thanks for your help! I’ll go to Guitar Center and see if they’ll let me rent an interface for a day or so.

ADDENDUM: Well, I downloaded ASIO4ALL and played the project. The good news is that ASIO4ALL didn’t play my small project any better than my Steinberg UR28M, so I guess I don’t need to go check out another interface. The bad news is I’m still red lining in this small project at a 512 buffer.

I’ll spend a few bucks on a powered hub, just to see if that would make a difference, unless someone says that’s a dumb idea because the hub wouldn’t have anything to do with it … ?

It’s nice eliminating potential causes … I just hope in the end the one remaining explanation for why I can’t run my small project on the Surface Pro 6 is not simply because it’s not up to the task.

Can’t imagine that’s the case though - Robin Vincent ran 48 instances of a Halion Sonic SE patch (8 notes played simultaneously on each patch) before the Surface Pro 6 gave up the ghost. Surely there’s something I can identify and fix?

(Here’s what triggers the red line:

  1. Armed MIDI piano track. Lots of polyphony - two full hands playing, sustain pedal
  2. PianoTeq 7 VSTi
  3. Soundtoys Microshift
  4. Greg Wells VoiceCentric, PianoCentric, ToneCentric, and MixCentric plugins.

Each of those added in turn in any order noticeably bump up the audio meter, and when all are activated, that’s when it red lines.

Thanks @wave100 and @evanh75 for your help - any other suggestions from you guys or anyone else would be much appreciated!

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In terms of Github, @evanh75 - When I’m redlining, my CPU usage is only 40-45% in Task Manager (up from baseline 2-3%).

Does that imply that even if Github couldreduce CPU back to baseline while running my project (hypothetically, since of course it could never do that), it still wouldn’t likely fix anything since the CPU usage isn’t really very high when my system is redlining?

Thank you … I’m really over my head here at this depth of troubleshooting* … I really appreciate your (and everyone else’s) help! :slight_smile:

*The main thing i can’t get me head around at this point is: if LatencyMon is all green and happy, and Task Manager says my max CPU usage is only around 45% … exactly what part of my Surface Pro 6 is actually overwhelmed and unhappy with this small project??

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I am sorry that you still have the problem. I am not sure what causes the problem on your system. I have had similar symptoms a few times when I updated my system through Windows Update. (I am not saying that you don’t update. It is quiet oppostie that you have to get the latest win revision to run Cubase!)

It seems like you have done all the things I can imagine to solve the problem. So I am not sure what to suggest you to do more… Have you checked out Audio System section on Studio Setup menu? In Advanced Options, there are a few things you can experiment to see if anything can make your system ‘healthy,’ like ‘Activate Multi Processing,’ ‘Acivate ASIO-Guard.’ ‘Audio Priority, and’Activate SB Audio Power Scheme.’ I don’t mess with those that much but turning things on and off sometimes helped me to get less spikes.

Lastly, have you ran Cubase without your audio interface? I wonder what happenes if you run it only with the internal audio driver.

Hope you solve the problem soon.

Hi @evanh75 ,

Thanks for all your suggestions! I had tried all of them, with poor audio performance still.

As it turns out, someone very experienced and knowledgeable about running Cubase on the Surface Pro 6 said he dropped the interface i use because it wasn’t working great, and has much better performance on the Surface Pro 6 with other interfaces (like Arturia Audiofuse, among others).

Nevertheless, before giving up and accepting the situation I will be trying a single powered hub (instead of two passive bus-powered hubs that are daisy-chained together) in the next few days, maybe that’ll be the trick! :smiley:

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