Sound Card and Asio driver issues in Cubase 6.5 64 bit 7

I am new to these forums so please forgive me if something similar is already covered somewhere. If it was - i couldn’t find it.

I have home-made PC for Cubase 6.5 and challenge is with the sound card and asio drivers under “device set up” or “VST connections”.

First of all please take a look at what is the 64 bit Windows 7 PC is made of:

ASUS P5Q Pro Turbo Motherboard, Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale @ 3.16GHz , 8GB DDR2 8500 Dual Channel Memory, and 500 GB hard drive at 5600rpm main, and back up 1 TB drive at 10000rpms.

I have M Audio Monitor Speakers, and sure I needed a Sound Card.

I DID NOT want to use on-board HD VIA sound, but I was rather contemplating between ASUS STX90 XONAR sound card as being the only 124 dB SNR card and being the brick and mortar stores sound card with the highest reviews. My second choice was M-Audio US41750 Audiophile 192 Hi-def Aud Card.

Well I got the Asus Xonar STX but now I am not sure that was the best move. Here is why:

If I use Xonar Asus drivers that came with sound card both project playback and / or live midi get distorted and lag is present, even though the set up screen shows latency of 20 ms output and input 10ms. My midi is connected through the audio USB midi cable.
If I switch to full duplex ASIO it becomes even worse: latency goes to 40+ ms for both input and output.
If I try to use Yamaha driver that came with Ci2+ then becomes the worst, I have no sound whatsoever at all and sound is non -existent with CI2+ plugged in PC by USB, kills all sounds, completely. Not only in Cubase but rather in any application, from Windows player to You tube browser, etc. Completely dead - sound wise. Even one of my project sin Cubase that was ‘on’ when i plugged in CI2+ has no sound anymore at all under any settings. It has become permanently muted. And I cannot reverse it??!!???
So after buying CI2+ and buying Asus STX and another $400-500 later, I am doomed down to generic low latency Asio driver because that is the only thing that works without distorting projects and plays.
Was purchasing ASUS STX a mistake as a sound card that was supposed to be used for recording? Or another question: why the latency is so bad with steinberg/yamaha driver from CI2+ and why there’s no sound there at all?
This is definitively a bit overwhelming and I was reading somewhere that M audio sound card worked perfect with Cubase, so I don’t know. Any thoughts ? Any inputs? Thank You all in advance!!!

First of all welcome to the world of music :wink:(and systembuilding/troubleshooting/endless learning)

So now you use the CP2+?
Did you do systemopimizing like turning off all energysaving option especially for all your usb ports, turned of all cpu tuners or programms witch control cpu speed in order to ave energy or reduce noise of the fans (asus TurboV /ASUS EPU/ or Stuff like this needs also to be disabled in the bios). Program witch have control over your system can cause so called latency witch takes effect in dropouts and stuff like that.
Could you do a check with latencymon?

Nice link for system optimizing

Just to repeat what i got out of you message,
At the moment you have the asus soundcard in your pc and driver installed?
you have the onboardsoundcard active and driver installed?
and you have the c12 installed with latest driver?
If three times yes there could be selfproduced driver conflicts. Try to deactivate the onboard for sure.

If i would build my system i would prefer a faster HD than 5200rpm (it also depends on cache and bus) and i would split one for system /one for sound / one for projects and an external backup. (I am not Mr Technic so if i am wrong dear cracks on our forum correct me and let me learn PLEASE)

The Ausus Xonar

Dolby® Technologies:
Dolby® Digital Live
Dolby Digital Live encodes any audio signal on PC in real-time to Dolby Digital (AC3) 5.1 surround sounds to your home theater environment through one single S/PDIF connection

Dolby® Headphone
Dolby Headphone technology allows users to listen to music, watch movies, or play games with the dramatic 5.1-channel surround or realistic 3D spacious effects through any set of stereo headphones.

Dolby® Virtual Speaker
Dolby Virtual Speaker technology simulates a highly realistic 5.1-speaker surround sound listening environment from as few as two speakers.

Dolby® Pro-Logic II
Dolby Pro-Logic II is the well-known technology to process any native stereo or 5.1-channel audio into up to 6.1 channel output, creating a seamless, natural surround soundfield.
Smart Volume Normalizer™:
Smart Volume Normalizer™
Normalizes the volume of all audio sources into a constant level and also enhances your 3D sound listening range and advantages in gaming
Xear 3D™ Virtual Speaker Shifter:
Virtual 7.1 speaker positioning
Karaoke Functions:
Music Key-Shifting and Microphone Echo effects like professional Karaoke machine
Professional Bass Management/Enhancement system
3D Sound Engines/APIs:
Vista: DirectSound3D® GX 2.5, DirectSound® HW, DirectSound SW, A3D®1.0, OpenAL generic modes, 128 3D sounds processing capability

XP: DirectSound2.5 SW, A3D®1.0, OpenAL generic modes, 128 3D sounds processing capability

sounds more like a better consumer card to me, not desigend for music production.

Supports 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @16/24bit with > very low latency >

sounds good but says nothing

The Steinberg C12 interface should normaly do the job but perhaps some things aren’ t right conifgured yet.

I also had an usb soundcard the Fast Track Pro but decided to get a Pcicard after to much troubles spend also 400€ for an RME card but now everything is fine. I do not make better music yet but time witch i spend before in searching solutions for my usb card, i spend now this time in trying to help people here.

Greetz Bassbase

Here’s some things to try:

  1. Disable onboard audio in the BIOS. That being enabled could be messing with the system.
  2. Make sure that the mix knob on the Ci2+ is turned all the way to “DAW”
  3. Make sure that all of the Xonar’s “fluff” is turned off
  4. Play with the buffer settings (for the Xonar) and see what works

When you’re recording, are you using any effects (in Cubase)?
How are you hooking up your monitors to the soundcards?

Well first off all huge thanks to everyone for being so kind and responsive and willing to help. :wink:
I’ll try to address all of your questions and observations:
a) there are 2 versions of STX cards, one is surround version multi channel, and the other STX is 2 channel monitor version, only. I have 2 channel.
b) The card has amplified headset output, so I am NOT using that. I use headset output from M Audio AV30 monitor speakers.
c) All I use from the entire card (STX Xonar) is RCA stereo to M Audio Monitor speakers.
d) All effects on xonar sound card are disabled. No dolby, no dts , no effects, no 3d.
e) Yes, the HD VIA on board sound have been disabled
f) the only purpose I’ve imagined for CI2+ was just a seamless integration of microphone / vocals into the cubase.
g) I’ve kept MIDI still on emedia midi/usb separate connection to PC
h) Speaking about devil/pc/ asus mobo - all energy restraining applications that came with ASUS mobo are uninstalled completely.
j) Yes I understand that HD speed of 5600 might be a problem. But at the time I did not know that minimum requirement for 6.5 was 7200 rpms. That didn’t apply on previous versions but rather 6.5. At least I think so, I might be wrong.

Obviously I will have to check on the latest Yamaha driver- Not sure, if it is.
No I didn’t do any latency tests or optimized. If I was to install new additional HDD not exactly sure how to set them up, (I know that)

Also please take a look at this link to understand why I have chosen STX over M Audio, Please see Output, Input, Distortion etc. results

Now to to answer to Shinta 215 first and foremost you were right knob wasn’t all the way to the end to DAW. Yes, onboard was disabled. Yes all the xonar unwanted stuff was off, and yes I use a lot of effects in Cubase. I m interested in EDM, so I guess a lot of effects. I have to admit i have no idea how to play with buffer settings on Xonar. As I said Direct connection over RCA stereo from sound card to Monitors. Not through CI
I have actually created a pic of my set up on Flickr:

I wonder if everything should run through CI2+ , but I am freaking out after the last time when I turned CI2+ I completely lost sound - permanently on only the project that was open when turning on CI2+. I cannnot afford such loss. Luckily I had back up. But now I am afraid. Currently CI2 is unplugged completely because of it.
Thanks again and I’ll follow up once I do tests.
Cubase set up.jpg

One more thing tho - I don’t beleive HDD is a challenge because all worked fine when I used just on board sound, prior to changes I’ve made- and yes STX 90 is PCIexpress card.

Using effects adds to the CPU usage.
If you’re using a lot and your buffer settings are too low, you will experience dropouts during playback.
During recording, if you are monitoring with the effects enabled, the audio will lag (due to the added time needed to process the audio [latency]).

There should be a button labeled “Control Panel” in the device setup (after you select your soundcard from the left-hand side).
On that same page should be a checkbox for “direct monitoring”. If it’s unchecked, check it (it may be greyed out. If it is, your hardware doesn’t support direct monitoring).

Direct monitoring will give incoming audio the shortest (and lowest latency) path to your monitors.
When it is enabled and the track that you are recording on is in monitor mode (the speaker button), Cubase will temporarily bypass the effects. You won’t hear the processed audio, but you will hear the audio faster.
Note that this is only for recording. Playback won’t be affected.

This is very disheartening… Warns me about Ndis.sys but I have no WLAN - this is a desktop on wire (LAN), and correct me if I am wrong but NVIDIA graphic card’s driver seems to be the biggest culprit to me. CPU seems fine. Direct x : challenge.

Here is part 2 of Latencymon testing:

Shinta215 thanks for the response, I will check for new BIOS and mobo drivers I think that is a good starting point, but I am really confused with latency test results.

Did you see my picture of Hardware set up. Does that seem right to you or should I just run everything through CI2+?

I just realized why you lost all sound when you used the Ci2+.

Your monitors are only hooked up to the Xonar.
When you selected the Ci2+ driver in Cubase, it wanted to use the Ci2+ for both input and output.
It was as if the Xonar wasn’t even there.
Cubase can only use one driver at a time. If a hardware-specific driver is used, it will only use that hardware for input and output.

In other words:
If you use the Ci2+ driver, you can’t output to the Xonar (and thus your monitors).

When you used the generic low-latency driver, you were able to input using the Ci2+ and output using the Xonar.
The generic low-latency driver can use multiple hardware devices, at the cost of a lack of low latency.

Connecting everything to the Ci2+ would be the most beneficial.
You’d connect the Ci2+ to your monitors using the “Line Out” on the Ci2+ to the TRS inputs on your monitors using 1/4" TRS (stereo) cables.
However, don’t connect your monitors to both the Xonar and the Ci2+ at the same time.

Thanks - I will do so.
I was suspicious about my set up, too.
But that one project with loss of sound, I can’t here sound there even with regular low generic ASIO. Nothing there. No sound by no means. Like some one has pressed the ultimate mute button. I can see whole project but no sound.

Also NVIDIA video card is definitively cause of latency. Pls. see attachment after I’ve disabled GPU - all beyond perfect. What now? Change video card? this one is 5 days old. Unreal. its GTX 550ti. It’s nvidia’s driver causing windows 7 to go crazy.
What kind of video cards people use to prevent this?
No-wonder people switch to Apple. I am really disappointed that MS doesn’t prioritize audio processing, I mean obviously they don’t if they are letting all kinds of garbage drivers into its OS.
And yes I DID NOT have the latest Yamaha driver, I just did update from 1.1.0 to 1.6.2.
Still considering checking the mobo and bios.
Thanks again
GPU disabled.jpg

On that project you may want to check your VST connections, see if they’re all connected.
Cubase can loose its connections if the ports aren’t the same between hardware.

As for the video card:
I’ve never used the utility so I don’t know exactly what it means.
However, it appears to be the directX kernel causing the problem.
You may try turning off/down some options in the Nvidia control panel and see if that helps.
Remember: Nvidia drivers out of the box are geared for gaming performance and 3D processing; not being easy on your system resources.
You may also wish to try changing Windows’ graphical settings and turning off the bling (animations, transparency, etc). Reduce the amount of graphics resources that the system needs, and you may see an improvement.

Microsoft doesn’t actually test any drivers, nor do they have an “accreditation” program for drivers.
The manufacturer is responsible for their own drivers.

Apple’s got it’s own set of problems.

Make sure they’re up to date.

Unfortunately a lot of emphasis is on gaming and not the needs of good audio performance.

Like the sound card you bought! although the review goes into great detail on specifications it totally lacks any info about one of the most important aspects of any good soundcard for pro audio, the ASIO driver performance!!!

The initial setup before getting too far into troubleshooting video cards should be to uninstall the asus card completely.
Make sure you have all the latest drivers and firmware for your system and use the CI2, making sure that you connect the speakers to the unit. You then would select that as the system card and also in Cubase select the CI2 ASIO driver.

Once you get that working, then the fun of problem shooting any other related stuff can begin :smiley:

Unfortunately for me you all seem to be right. Fortunately I am getting help so I do not feel alone in this overwhelming moment. So OK nVidia is about to be killed as much as I can, if not replaced, and I will definitively remove Asus xonar from system, (tomorrow) and will post the results. Seems the right path…
Thank you all, again and I hope this topic helps other novices, not to make same mistakes I’ve done.

Remember… when problem shooting, one step at a time is best!

Remember… when problem shooting, one step at a time is best!

Best tip ever change only one thing test check, than undo if no effect and next one, than test again.

Good luck

Greetz Bassbase

When you selected the Ci2+ driver in Cubase, it wanted to use the Ci2+ for both input and output.
It was as if the Xonar wasn’t even there.
Cubase can only use one driver at a time. If a hardware-specific driver is used, it will only use that hardware for input and output.

I’m not sure that I exactly understand where my Edirol midi keyboard falls in this case:

If I

  1. Uninstall Asus sound card
  2. I disable on board sound
  3. I use only CI2+ and it’s Yamaha driver for all inputs and outputs

then what happens with the midi keyboard? Midi Keyboard is of absolute essence to me.

CI2+ doesn’t have any midi inputs or outputs or extra usb connections (please incl. picture)

My Midi Keyboard is currently connected through USB eMedia Midi cable.

How does this get resolved, please :question:

Leave it as is.
Won’t affect audio.

Thanks, so to repeat- connect CI2+ to PC, Monitors to CI2+ , use Yamaha driver only, and have Midi connected to PC via MIdi emedia USB connection? What is the driver for midi going to be?

If it auto installs when you plug it in, great.
If not, use the driver provided.

You don’t need to set a driver for MIDI input in Cubase.