SpectraLayers 7 - basically unusable (edit - fixed in latest patch)

Just installed SL7…

Older cubase projects with SL6 as an ARA plugin no longer open - cubase dmps -have to kill via task manager

on Restart cubase tells me “The application was terminated with an error while executing the following file”

C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3\SpectraLayers.vst3

seems to replace SL6 as an ARA extension so you can’t select SL6 it defaults to SL7

also unhappy about some NI asio driver:

Faulting application name: SpectraLayers.exe, version:, time stamp: 0x5f0624d3
Faulting module name: nimc3asio64.dll, version:, time stamp: 0x5989bdb7
Exception code: 0xc0000005
Fault offset: 0x0000000000082f07
Faulting process ID: 0x5ec
Faulting application start time: 0x01d6699545e5eb48
Faulting application path: C:\Program Files\Steinberg\SpectraLayers 7\Win64\SpectraLayers.exe
Faulting module path: c:\program files\native instruments\maschine mk3 driver\asio\nimc3asio64.dll
Report ID: 6e978e20-62ee-4cce-92aa-5d49f92f392c
Faulting package full name:
Faulting package-relative application ID:

(windows 10)

^^^^ so now old projects don’t open…a bit f*cked so need to uninstall I think

renaming SpectraLayers.vst3 to SpectraLayers.vst3.old allows me to open but obviously without the SL6 data

I notice that there a lot of SpectraLayers dmp files created too - really not ready to be released I think

Hi dr, can you upload the Cubase and SpectraLayers dmp files somewhere?
Meanwhile reinstalling SL6 will restore SL6 as your ARA editor.

just PMed you…

Thanks - after analyzing the Cubase dmp file you sent me, this problem should already be fixed in the upcoming patch to be released pretty soon.

thanks Robin

as I mentioned in the PM - you can’t just replace the .vst3 file with the one from

C:\Program Files\Steinberg\SpectraLayers 6\ARA\VST3

you need to do a full reinstall of SL6 to get older SL6 cubase projects running again.

There is something not quite right in that kind of installation…you can have both standalone versions running on your PC but not with the plugin version…maybe you should have had a different plugin name for version 7 - to keep proper compatibility with old projects. Ugly I know but would have avoided this mess

Yes, it’s not ideal but it’s the recommended way by Celemony (creators of Melodyne and the ARA standard) to handle new versions of ARA plugins. This allow your projects edited with SL6 to transition to SL7, regardless of how well the DAW supports the VST3/ARA standard.

I also am getting SL7 crashes when scanning VST3 plugins. Get’s to an iLock-based plugin which needs to be authorized (which at this time, I don’t want to do), so I select cancel in the iLock dialog box to pass on authorizing it, and repeatably, SL7 crashes to OS X 10.13. In other hosts (like Cubase and Wavelab) it would just ignore the plugin at that point and go on. Not the end of the world, since it’s a new ability in SL7 to load VST3 plugins. But at this point, VST3 plugins don’t scan as the process crashes to the OS.

Also fixed in the upcoming patch coming pretty soon!

hi Robin

as per my PM

this patch doesn’t fully fix the problem. It stops the cubase hang - and subsequent crash dump BUT it doesn’t actually make SL6 cubase projects work with SL7.

If you load the SL6 cubase project then you get a white (or blank) edit window…

If you quit cubase and restart it and load a blank project first - then apply SL7 as an extension to that project…close that project and then open the SL6 project then SL7 extension opens.

Impossible to have any faith in using the software in anger…


still f*cked and the patch isn’t a fix

Looks more like a graphic driver issue than a SL issue in this case; have you tried switching SL to OpenGL mode ? (Edit > Preferences > Display > Rendering API > OpenGL).

edit: it seems you had the same issue with SL6 and fixed it by switching to OpenGL https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=294&t=170334&p=909718#p909718

yes - but that’s not the problem is it ?

it works fine if I open a non-SL6 cubase project …close the project then open an SL6 project. I don’t change anything else - no settings change - no GFX driver change.

Doesn’t work if I start cubase and open and SL6 cubase project FIRST…

The GFX driver issue is a bug that you haven’t managed to fix since it was reported. It shouldn’t just randomly stop working or start working again…you can’t just rely on keeping your fingers crossed that things will work.

Your stock answer to the many many many issues that are being posted around the internet is that “the upcoming patch fixes it” - well that is nonsense. This software really wasn’t ready to be released. Sorry Robin - I know Steinberg pushed for this release date but really it’s not satisfactory - you should have pushed back.

As it stands, it’s broken.

Mr dr
You have managed to find a bug, on a newly released version, on a quite unique software, on a rather novel field with large untapped potential for the the whole audio sector, that is.

And then you initiate this post with a surprise mark over your problems find, furthermore ending the title with a conclusive judgement. Then after direct responses and attention from the main developer to your specific situation, you conclude this software “wasn’t ready for release” hence negating the rest of us, satisfied and expecting customers the access to it… furthermore stating what the dev “should have” done.

At 2020, probably most audio forum users are aware of dismissive vocal participants of various kinds. Inquisitive minds? particular usage cases? surely are all most welcome. Here, we have a very involved developer, who is quite responsive as well.
Personally, I have been supporting this special tool since early stages of development, have endured difficulties and now am all eager to find its best uses and applications together with expecting to be part of a vibrant community here that contributes to this evolution. So I take this opportunity to express my support and gratitude for the past and current efforts. And also, yes! I am delighted for version 7 release as it stands.

Of course. dr you are - indeed - entitled to your respectful opinions and judgements, like the rest of us. To me, the cited qualifiers and closed remarks that you put forward, come as hasty and detrimental of the communication that promotes solutions. If I may, send you an invitation to consider other users cases (as receptive of your proposed actions) and to hold a slight more open, or time allowing, stance when you find an issue with SL.


thanks for your insight - I would say that an acknowledged bug not being able to load old projects is a bit of a showstopper IMO. It’s not the only bug or new feature that is incomplete - there a quite a few bugs being reported…Robin claims there is a patch ready to release next week which he claims fixes most of these… doesn’t that suggest to you that it was released at least 1 week early ?

Probably same as you - this isn’t my first Rodeo - I’ve been with Steinberg thick and thin since the 1980s…I think I’ve bought EVERYTHING they’ve ever released since then. Certainly every Cubase/Wavelab since the pro24 days. I’ve been involved with software development nearly as long as that …I know a release that was not ready when I see it.

Like you, I’ve supported SL - indeed I was probably the first person to put their hand in their pocket and actually buy the upgrade to SL7 - I want it to succeed bit it’s becoming a bit of a joke across the industry as being unstable and unreliable…not really what Robin wants I suspect. We can all stick our heads in the sand and pretend it’s perfect but that ain’t gonna change the facts.

dr, please keep it civil. You’ve been quite aggressive since day one of this release, even sometime insulting.

Please understand that a bug-free release is impossible : no matter how much you beta test, the number of configurations and scenarios grows exponentially at the time of release, specially when it involves GPU computing and supporting a variety of hosts and plugins from many external developers. For instance that loading bug you experienced never showed up during our tests, and we’ve loaded several Cubase SL6 projects in Cubase SL7. What matters is how fast they are fixed when issues are reported. When I say the upcoming patch fixes it, I mean it - reported cases have been reproduced when possible, identified, fixed, and re-tested after fix.

The first update is scheduled for wednesday, and it comes with all the fixes mentioned. That’s really not a long time for the steps mentioned above, plus Steinberg validation pipeline before release of the patch. You even got a beta of that patch in advance. The other issue you’re mentioning seems unrelated, and more linked to the graphic driver or something within your Cubase environment that is causing DirectX 11 troubles. Please test the OpenGL mode and let me know if that works for you.
Please understand we cannot fix factors external to SpectraLayers, such as graphic driver support or whatever mess up DirectX 11 support within Cubase. It’s fair enough that SL provides a way around that with the OpenGL mode. There’s a form of autodetection built in SL when DX11 is not supported, but in this specific case the driver does not report errors soon enough.

SL7 has been released for only 4 days. You’ve got a beta patch at day 3. Again, please remain civil. We’re working as fast as possible to fix the issues and release an update, taking all feedback into consideration.

Thanks Robin, for your hard work, your quick response here and your clear statement.

Just my 2 cent even if SL 7 started with some bugs…

again Robin you seem to misunderstand the nature of the BUG

if you start cubase and load an SL6 project FIRST then it is broken. If you load an blank project and apply SL7 - close then open an SL6 project it works.

Are you saying that SL7 will load a different graphics driver depending on when the software loads ? Why does it sometimes work - then randomly stop working ?

FWIW this is an NVIDIA card - probably the worlds biggest manufacturer of GFX cards, really is worth testing with these.

The way you describe the issue itself (white edit window) seems to point to a graphic support issue rather than internal disfunction. And that DX11 issue has also been pseudo-random in the past (and could be caused by different DAW initialization order, as your repro steps seem to suggest). So there’s a probability that just switching to OpenGL could solve it.

This could also be confirmed by internal SL logs, which can be found in %appdata%\Steinberg\SpectraLayers 7.0\logs - please send those to me for analysis.

will do - my question is why does it work if you load differently depending on if you have loaded an non-sl6 project first - and why does it ‘‘randomly’’ change ?

I’m just guessing here, but maybe the window initialization order is different in these two scenarios:

When you load a SL project right after opening Cubase, it’s the very first time an edit window is created by Cubase so that SL can attach its UI to it, and maybe in that specific case the edit window isn’t fully ready to receive a DirectX11 context right away.

As opposed to opening a project that doesn’t need immediate DirectX11 context creation (SL-free project), which gives more time to the Cubase edit window to fully initialize (multiple event loops). And then attaching a DX11 context on top of it (loading a SL project) is probably easier.

Unfortunately I was not able to repro the issue you’re having with different NVIDIA cards.