The content of "Midi Devices.bin" may cause Cubase crash

I managed eventually find the cause of frequent crashes of Cubase 8 64 bit on Windows 7 - in fact recently it crashed almost on every song, right after the attempt to load it. At the same time Cubase 8 32 bit and Cubase 6 that I also had on my machine worked fine. I originally thought that it’s some VST instrument so I even temporarily renamed all VSTi folders, but it didn’t help. Then I took a song and started removing its pieces one by one until it successfully loaded into Cubase. Took me the whole evening but I know what caused the crash and was even able to fix it.

To my surprise even the song with a single MIDI track assigned to an external MIDI device caused a crash. It was assigned to Roland JV-1080 for which I long time ago created and imported an instrument description. Just to try something different I reassigned (in Cubase 6 that still worked) the track to a different MIDI port and voila! The song successfully loaded.

To confirm that the problem was actually with the external instument map I created a new song, added a MIDI track, assigned to port mapped to JV-1080, and when I began browsing sounds Cubase crashed.

I googled and found that it was a file “Midi devices.bin” that contained external MIDI instrument sound maps. Each of my Cubase version had its own copy of “Midi devices.bin”, and it’s only the one in “Cubase 8_64” folder that caused a crash. I deleted the file, imported devices again and finally was able to use Cubase 8 64 bits.

Being a software developer myself I believe something needs to be fixed here.

  1. The corrupt version of “Midi devices.bin” was created by Cubase, so there must be a bug there too since it created a corrupt file. I still have the copy of the bad file that I can upload if needed.

  2. It should have never crashed on a relatively insignificant detail as external MIDI device description. If the file contains improper information, discard it and continue as there were no instument mapping. I had to remap the device anyway.

  3. Finally it would be great to display some hint about what caused the crash, not just dump the error information. The dump is useful as long as somebody is able to look into it. It’s been many days since I sent my dumps to Cubase and requested support on this issue but still got no response. I understand that Steinberg support engineers are busy with lots of users, but then providing some context information about the crash cause might help users locate their problems themselves and free support folks from some extra work.

Best regards
Vagif Abilov