[SOLVED] SonarWorks Reference 4 Systemwide issues on Windows

Any owners of Reference 4 Systemwide may be interested in the response I got from Sonarworks after I alerted them to the process in order to make Cubase and Reference 4 run without driver interference. Reference 4 is a brilliant plugin on the master BUS in Cubase and using Systemwide out of Cubase is also excellent brilliant so if you have issues, this post will also help you understand and fix the problem.

I’ll attach the email I sent them and then put in there response. Some of you who use full release drivers may not have this issue however I tried ‘Drivers4all’ and still got the same problem. I want to continue to use dedicated ASIO drivers so this is not a big issue for me.

Just a note. The jpg I attached to Sonarworks was high detail but I had to squash it for this forum but you should get the idea.

1: My email to Sonarworks:

Hi, I purchased the Ref4 Systemwide bundle with Microphone.

My setup is simple;
Zoom R24 track as my I/O
via USB into
Windows 10 PC
using latest Cubase 10 Pro.

My issue:
Sonar works Systemwide must be closed=shutdown completely (using Task Manager) in order for me to go back into my DAW without sound output driver issues. Prior to installing Sonarworks software this was never an issue so I know its got to do with Sonarworks software.

The Situation:
When I am listening to an exported music file on my PC (just listening using any media player, my DAW is closed in order for me to do this) and Sonarworks Systemwide is selected as an output device and working 100%. [SEE ATTACHED EXAMPLE 01.jpg] All good so far…
Prior to Ref4 installation, I could close all open media programs, open up my DAW and my DAW work fine.
Now, even if I ensure that my Zoom R24 is selected as an output and system wide is bypassed [SEE ATTACHED EXAMPLE 02.jpg] then when I open my DAW, my DAW is unable to recognise the Zoom R24 as an output. You will see in example 3 [SEE ATTACHED EXAMPLE 03.jpg] picture that Cubase does not recognise my I/O as an output devise even though it is clearly been selected. Even though Systemwide is disabled.

When I close Systemwide completely SEE ATTACHED EXAMPLE 04.jpg and 05] then Cubase opens without OUTPUT issues… [SEE ATTACHED EXAMPLE 06.jpg].

Its almost as if Systemwide is still taking control of something even though it is bypassed and no longer selected as an output option.



2: Response from Sonarworks:


Thanks for getting in touch and sorry for the late reply! Unfortunately, the situation right now is that Cubase doesn’t work with Systemwide on Windows. It shouldn’t crash it or lock its drivers but it can be the culprit, in this case, having some issue in combination with your Zoom drivers or if you have some Steinberg Windows native ‘workaround’ drivers that are generally unstable (like the ASIO Duplex drivers, these might be the cause of the crash).
The reason why Systemwide isn’t working with Cubase right now is that Cubase works exclusively with ASIO drivers and Systemwide currently supports only Windows native drivers. We are working on creating ASIO drivers for Systemwide but I won’t be able to tell you when those will be developed. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.
Kind regards,



Nice of them to respond but this should be documented on their website. The only thing not correct in their response is that it DOES lock the drivers if you don’t close Systemwide completely rendering a Cubae Restart.

For others using Sonarworks, 2 years later and this is still a problem! Sonarworks has wasted much of my time as well on this issue.

Related: It seems that after leaving the computer on and stepping away for the night, when I come back in the morning, SW is sometimes no longer running in the taskbar. So I try to run it manually and it freezes, with the icon greyed out in the taskbar.

BEWARE SONARWORKS if you want to also easily play system sounds through other players. It does NOT play well with Cubase or Wavelab.

I am currently experiencing this problem as well with no solution found. It is incredibly frustrating as it prevents me from practicing lots of sound design.

For example, I want to watch a YT tutorial on synthesis, but my YT won’t even play the Video because SonarWorks is being used as the primary audio driver with my main output in my DAW. This means that because the main audio driver is locked in my DAW, SonarWorks prevents me from playing any other media in any other program (media players, internet videos). I have to close my DAW entirely, disable SW, restart my Audio Interface, and then re open my internet tabs to start listening to audio again. Incredibly frustrating and I haven’t found any solution :frowning: