Misbehaving VSTs... strategies?

OK I run a decent sized collection of VSTs (listed below).

Every single one of them (excluding BFD and Vienna… so far) has crashed at one point or another, bringing down Cubase and often forcing a reboot. I cannot recall a single day when at least one of them hasn’t gone down.

So while this isn’t directly Steinberg’s fault (except when Halion goes down) but I’m wondering if there is a general strategy for minimizing the impact of VST crashes on Cubase.


VST list (excluding the stock Cubase items):
Steinberg: Halion 4
Native Instruments: Komplete 8 Ultimate
Vienna Symphonic Library: Cube
East West - Symphonic Orchestra, Pianos, Stormdrum, Silk, Voices of Passion, Gypsy, Ra, Fab Four, Symphonic Choir
Spectrasonic - Trillian, Omnisphere, Stylus
Other: BFD2, MOTU Ethno, Mojo Horns

I’d love to know why VSTis aren’t sandboxed.

I like to use a bunch of free plugs. If they crash even once, they don’t get used again. I’d rather have a smaller collection of plugs I know work 99.9% of the time than a larger collection and the nagging worry that projects will crash on load.

Use EVERY plug jbridged and you have them sandboxed.

What you running it on? Very similar plugin collection, hardly ever experience a crash these day’s on windows, there were some a few years ago that was resolved by the good folk at sonic core who pointed out that almost all their user base that had hyper-x ram were experiencing the same thing due a tiny tiny little voltage discrepancy in the ram, all was solved when it was swapped out for standard ram.

Same sort of scenario using a tune up utility after migrating to win 7 64 bit. So, if things have got go faster gamers stripes on it, they tend to be avoided here. Seems to be lots of system specific variants causing a lot of problems.

Maybe if the broadband was ditched in favour of dial up, the infamous HUB would connect here :unamused:

Hi voxhumana, I use a similar set of plugins with very high stability… Off-hand I can’t remember a recent crash except for one strange situation with VE Pro 5. Otherwise, C7.0.2 and before that C6.5.3, have been very, very stable. I wonder if, as Outsounder mentioned, there is some other hardware issue, or perhaps a subtle software or driver-related issue that you might be able to track down.

Adjusting the motherboard BIOS is an essential first step to maximize stability. Not sure if there is a thread here about that, but search the net and/or contact a professional DAW builder who may be willing to share secrets for a consulting fee. I’ve done this a couple of times, and it has made every DAW I use that much more stable. If I recall properly, there is a very knowledgeable DAW builder in Australia named TAFKAT (do a search, you’ll find him). He may be able to help optimize your system.

Then, the next thing I do with any new DAW is hit it with two good tests, starting with Memtest86+ (http://www.memtest.org/), followed by Prime95 (http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft/).

If the system passes a decent burn-in period with both of those, then I make sure the OS is heavily optimized (too many steps to list here, but many tips can be found all over the net and this forum… not sure if someone has posted an up-to-date guide, but search around), and then I make sure things like DPC latency, etc., are all in good shape.

Only then do I install DAW software. And when I do that, a couple of critical notes – I still turn UAC off, and make sure I stick with one platform – either 32-bit or 64-bit – for 100% of the plugins. I’ve completely given up on bitbridges, since they have always introduced a small variable of instability for me.

I also make sure to select audio interfaces with a known track record of excellent, stable drivers. Recently, a friend convinced me to try RME again (I tried them a while back, but was underwhelmed at the time), but I have to say, RME is pure gold when it comes to drivers right now.

Those basic steps above will ensure a solid foundation to build on.

I have not experienced a single recent crash that I can recall from several of the plugins you mentioned, including Omnisphere, Trillian, PLAY, Kontakt, Komplete (although I don’t use all the Komplete plugins), and piles of others.

Best of luck!

P.S.: As for sandboxing, another option is to use VE Pro, which is pretty dang stable. (Although I did have a strange incident recently that I can’t seem to duplicate…)

I put all large/misbehaving plugins in Vienna Ensemble Pro 5 and link Cubase to that. This means that Cubase is protected from these things. If VEP 5 crashes (not that it has yet) Cubase will survive intact. Also loading and quitting Cubase works every time.

Much less stressful.

Yes, I think I will have to concur with others about your crashing frequency. If it is really that often, something else has to be wrong. Me, as an example, rarely have any projects anymore in which HALion 4 is not a part of. I have never, as in not ever, had it crash on me. I also have a decent sized collection of plugins overall, and I haven’t had a crash since like the beginning of C6. I believe there were a few back then.

Guys/Gals - some excellent advice.

I’m going to start with hardware tests first I think and see where that takes me,