Nuendo 12 crashing over and over again

It is basically a really clean Windows 11 installation, just basic Steinberg and NI apps plus SINE. Studio setup crashes basically with each call (using Soundblaster AE 9 Asio), I cannot get the NI MK2 S88 work and Nuendo 12 just crashes and crashes. This is really basically no 3rd party apps and I am not able to work even a little bit. Try creating an instument track, use SINE, use the not working keyboard, close the instrument. Crash. Restart: Crash. Open Studio settings, try changing the MIDI ports: Crash.

Like a small child that kows just a single word: Crash.

I already think about completely dropping Nuendo and switchung to Studio One, which was way more stable on my previous system. I hope a new, clean installation would change things, but was disappointed. Nuendo 12 really seems to be a mess. Try VSL MIR Pro – no way in Nuedno, crashes at load. No issue with studio one or even Magix Samplitude X7. The story goes on like this.

I sent at least 12 crahs dumps to Steinberg today, hope they will address the issues.

Like this, Pro Tools will remain the Number 1 tool…

Dare I suggest that a Soundblaster is not a suitable audio card for Nuendo?
These are primarily gamers devices (unless things have changed since my early days) and were never really recommended for professional use.

Have you considered a better interface at all?

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This must be an isolated issue with your system then.

FWIW: I use Nuendo for MIR Pro / MIR 3D day in, day out - as a matter of fact it’s my main environment for MIR development. While there are certain restrictions when MIR is used as panning device, the combination is very stable and reliable otherwise.

I’m using Windows 10, mostly, but quite a few of VSL’s developers are on Windows 11 already (customers too, of course). As @neilwilkes suggested in his previous reply I’d try another audio system, to rule out any shaky drivers. Take it from there.

All the best,

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I once had constant crashing with a Focusrite Scarlett and it was fixed by switching to a better interface. In my case I got an RME Fireface 802 and it’s been great so far.

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I am still using my combination of RME RayDAT & RME ADI-8DS Pro converters.
Works beautifully for me.
Soundblasters though…do they still upsample 44.1 to 48 (and back again on export) on the fly without bothering to tell you?

I don’t have a lot of experience with them these days but they did allow it on the X-Fi. You could switch it to a mode where you could set the sample rate to 44.1. I don’t know that they all do that, the X4 I have at work only lets you set it to multiples of 48kHz. I think the ones that support ASIO will properly respect the requested sample rate and not resample. That was more of a problem back when their DSPs were weaker and they were more limited in what they could economically do.

It is also probably not the biggest deal if they do. Back in the early days, like the SB Live, when people were really pissed off about it, the resampling was pretty bad. Again, DSP limitations. You could legit hear artifacts in some scenarios. They cleared that up back in the X-Fi days though, the resampling is clean enough as to make no audible difference.

Not trying to say they are a good choice for pro audio use, mind you. I am an RME fanboy all the way, but I do understand that a $1000 entry point is a high barrier for people for audio interfaces.

That said… if you are blowing money on Nuendo I would argue maybe you should be able to afford an RME. I mean don’t get me wrong, I like Nuendo, but objectively there are VERY few cases where it is needed/useful over Cubase Pro at half the price.

I am starting to wonder, given this is the second questing in a couple days of “expensive software, low end hardware” if Steinberg’s licensing has been cracked and we are seeing people who sail the IRCs coming in here asking for help with pirated versions.

There are some very good and also worrying points there.
Firstly the dreaded SB’s (and I have never owned one) I recall - although this may be inaccurate - that even when you were setting the SR to 44.1 they were internally going up to 48 internally for processing then down again to 44.1 on output. I will try to make the time to look into this and find out if I do actually recall correctly…but the point is that to my mind it IS a big deal if they still do this, as the very act of resampling will add quantization distortion - degrading the audio - each time you do it plus you really have no control over how it is being resampled. Are they using the ‘whole numbers only’ method or fractional division/multiplication?

Where I also agree is that users of Nuendo with cheap hardware does indeed sound dodgy, although it is possible that they blew the budget on the software and intend to update hardware later because they believe the hype that all the heavy lifting is done in the software.
Not trying to excuse this - but is it not the case that only registered users can get access to the support forums?
(and if it isn’t then why not?)

With regards to resampling, it isn’t as big a deal as you might think if done right. Like with any digital audio processing, you can do it such that any rounding (quantization) errors are way below the actual 24-bits of data you have if you want to. Remember that in your DAW your audio probably gets resampled… a lot. A bunch of plugins oversample the audio which means they resample it up, process it, then resample it back down. You can easily have this happen multiple times in a plugin chain on one channel, never mind the whole signal.

Also it doesn’t matter if it happens at an integer rate or not. They aren’t doing anything so simple as just doubling the samples, they normally use something advanced like sinc resampling which doesn’t matter if the target is an integer multiple of the source or not.

Your DAC (and ADC) likewise does this. There is about a 99.999% chance your DAC is oversampling, meaning it operates at 64-128x the sampling frequency it is fed and does resampling and digital filtering on the data to allow a lower bit DAC to produce high bit audio.

Even for the non-perfect resampling, it is often something that is just not audible. If you have an algorithm that does produce numerical distortion but does so at -120dBFS then you just aren’t going to hear it.

All this is a long winded way to say that the resampling on new sound blasters, if present, isn’t a big deal. While I understand the purist idea of not wanting it if not necessary, it really isn’t a thing to worry about.

As far as the registered users aspect, I don’t know. Been way too long since I got my account and of course I do down the software. I just know this was something we saw from time to time on the Cakewalk forums back in the day when I was a Sonar user. People would come complaining of lots of issues, crashes, etc and have real low-spec hardware/computers but yet be talking about the highest end version of the software, which was a good bit cheaper than Nuendo. Often upon some inquiry it became clear it was not legit, which of course might be part of the issue.

I’m not saying that is the case here, it is just strange to me that we’ve seen a couple of SoundBlaster users in the last couple days, both using extremely expensive DAW software.

Registration yes. But it is not tied to activation. And that’s a good thing. That way, each of my employees can create their own account, which is then their responsibility.

I was unfamiliar with the Soudblaster AE9, so I googled it. From its stats alone, it seems like a very capable and powerful system (PCI card and breakout box w/mic input, headphone preamp, etc). Also, given that it sells for $300, that puts it out of the “toy” area. My Presonus Studio24c cost half that!

Here’s what it says on the Soundblaster site:
The core of the Sound Blaster AE-9 is the flagship audiophile-grade hi-res ESS SABRE-class 9038 DAC. It delivers an ultra-high DNR of 129 dB, 32-bit 384 kHz playback over PCM, DSD64, and an incredibly low Total Harmonic Distortion of -120 dB (0.0001%).

I must be showing my age here, as I still recall from way back in 2000 when we were setting up (shortly before we got Nuendo 1.01, in fact) back in the days when there were still things we used to call ‘Shops’ - they were great. You could actually visit them & check out what you were looking to buy, and speak to members of staff who knew what they were talking about, and in some of these ‘shops’ you could even test gear out in advance of buying. Sadly, that’s all gone now & it’s online box-shifters only and forget all about tech staff and support.
But I digress.
The staff in the shop specifically warned me off Soundblasters to the point where they informed me if I wanted to go down that route then they simply could not help. That was when I bought my first RME, and I have been using RME ever since with zero regrets.

That all said, the combination of crap hardware & High-end software really does imply pirated software to me too


Sorry. That’s because of the Soundblaster. This is a toy for gamers. Nobody in this world uses a Soundblaster for a high quality DAW.


You won’t find any device that matches the latency of a PCIe soundcard. Also the AE series uses excellent DACs and headphone amps.

We digitize analogue recordings. Our clients have generally banned internal audio cards in most of their offer letters because of their poor quality. Sorry. Too much interference and poor connections for the audio cables. Absolute no-go.

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I mean, while that is true in a general sense, the quality of the hardware and drivers matters more. I’d be real interested to see if a SoundBlaster could match the latency of a USB RME interface. You can run those with a 64-sample ASIO buffer no problem.

Also along those lines, you need to check what the actual total latency is, because the ASIO buffer is only one buffer the card might have. Some devices, particularly cheaper ones, will let you set the buffer real low and you think you are getting super low latency but there are other buffers that bring it back up. So you have to check the actual RTT latency you get on your interface compared to others.

Finally if you want low latency PCIe, well again the undisputed king is a pro interface: An RME: The RME HDSPe AIO Pro regularly sets the absolute top for performance in DAWBench.

I’m not trying to hate on Creative Labs, I owned their products for many years. However they are not pro audio interfaces, they aren’t designed to be that and that’s ok. The point is if you are into pro audio, considering a pro audio interface is a good idea, and if you are willing to drop a grand on a DAW, it is kinda silly not to have one. If someone is playing around with Reaper or Cakewalk or Cubase Elements and using a Soundblaster because that’s what they can afford, I’m here for it. That was me in university. One of the wonderful things about digital audio is the low barrier for entry. Heck, Cakewalk in particular can get good latency out of the integrated Realtek interfaces on motherboards.

But if you have the kind of scratch to buy a top end DAW, one that is really only adds features that are useful for post, immersive audio, and that kind of thing then you either should have enough money to get a nice interface, or you are spending your money unwisely. Cubase Pro is truly excellent software and I would 100% spend the money it costs to upgrade to Nuendo on better hardware instead if you can’t afford both.

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I have the same astonishment at this card, and the same comment. It’s not a mixing or recording card. That’s where the problem lies, and in any case another interface is needed. At the same price, which is a basic price, you already have something better to work with.

Well, i didn’t wanted to complain about professional hardware. But depending on the scenario usb devices are not always the best choice. And not every USB audio interface is “pro audio”. And there is a difference if you need real-time for live performance or not.

I think that the Sound Blasterx AE series provides a really good DAC and amps. My old Steinberg URC22 audio interface provides input options for instruments, but the sound quality didn’t convinced me. A lot of clinking in the bass. You can’t even change volume via Windows when operating in ASIO mode. Indeed, the Steinberg/Yamaha ASIO driver is very fast. But if that comes at the expense of audio quality, that’s no use.

With PCIe you can use the normal Windows Audio API and Windows Mixer, side by side with other Apps. And there is no latency. Because it operates at a fraction of a millisecond where USB needs at least 100 millisecond or more. You can also use ASIO4All with Steinberg Software that needs ASIO and then you have no latency that you can feel.

It also very much depends on the software. For example, Steinbergs Dorico 5 uses a different audio engine than Cubase that is much much slower. I am using Dorico 5 Elements to type some score sheets, but also to learn and practice score sheets with my favorite plugin and midi keyboard. I’ve used a lot PC USB DACs and the UR22C. In my opinion this was a pain and completely useless for live playing. No problem with PCIe. This was the main reason why i have switched to Sound Blasterx AE.

The latency doesn’t play a role for us because when we record, we pass the signal on to the singer via an analogue mixing console. At the same time, it goes to the interface. We don’t route the signal through the DAW to the musicians, but through an analogue mixing console - and in parallel via the interface to the DAW.
This means the musicians can hear himself through the analogue mixer without any latency. This is an old technology from the time when people still worked with tape machines.

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This is also how we operate too. An RME RayDAT out to a pair of ADI-8 DS, with the outputs of those going to an analogue console. It just works, and latency is something I don’t even need to think about. The other benefit is that there are no internal DAC/ADC either.