Unable to load audio driver

The problem I have is that cubase 10.5 will sometimes not play through my soundcard(s). Instead when I select the card in VST Audio System > ASIO driver it will give me a warning saying “The audio driver could not be loaded…”. That warning is a new thing (since a couple of weeks), but the symptoms are not new and have been around for months. Sometimes it will not give this error however no sound will come from any of the channels, even though all the routing is correct in Audio Connections (F4). I can see there are no signal lights in any channels so it’s not a routing issue.
Sometimes audio will be working fine but then I’ll click on another app like spotify or Chrome and immediately sound in cubase, and perhaps in spotify etc will stop too. I may then have to restart cubase or the computer 4 or 5 times before I can eventually get it to magically work again.
It happens when running 44.1 or 48kHz. Unchecking/checking “Release [ASIO] driver when application is in the background” doesn’t seem to change anything.
The problem can occur even if I restart the computer, make sure everything that could possibly use the soundcard is closed, then open cubase… IT still won’t find it. Sometimes if I turn the clock source to ADAT then back to Internal it suddenly works (but rarely).

I get the same issue with both a focusrite Scarlett soundcard and when using my A&H Zed R16 firewire mixer (support for this product is depreciated so it doesn’t surprise me I may have issues with this but the focusrite kit I thought wouldn’t behave the same but it does)

Everything I use is paid for, no cracks or anything like that and I think all up to date. I have a 2019 16" Macbook pro running Ventura 13.1, but I’ve had the same issue with previous versions of the os, at least for the last 9 months or so. But it seems to be getting worse, and that message “unable to load audio driver” is new this year I think. I can’t think of a moment when this problem suddenly occurred (like after installing a new product) although I guess this could be the case, but nothing comes to mind.

I use lots of kontakt libraries like damage 2, spitfire strings and brass, also Orchestral tools Omnisphere, Keepforest devastator. Lots of heavy synths and things which require good processing power, but then I can open a new, empty project and this doesn’t seem to change anything, so I’m not sure it’s dues to a lack of processing power.

Thanks so much in advance if anyone could help me out that would be amazing. I’m losing a lot of time to this!!! Any ideas?

Thank you


Hi and welcome to the forum,

What Audio Device do you use, please?

Hello! I have the same problem with 2 audio devices (Testing them separately, not connecting at the same time). A Focusrite scarlett 4i4, and also an Allen and Heath Zed R16 Firewire mixer.
Thank you
FYI, that’s the image I sometimes get. But not always. The problem can happen without this warning
Screenshot 2023-01-23 at 17.45.29


If it happens with 2 devices, I would double-check the USB cable. Do you use the same for both devices? And I would try other USB port.

Thanks for your response! But one device is firewire (A&H), the other is USB (focusrite), so both different types of cables. Changing the USB port does not make any difference either, I’ve just tried that. Also, I can get sound through spotify/youtube whatever, with both soundcards, it’s cubase who will not recognise them, or if it says it can see them in cubase which it sometimes does, it will still not produce any sound.

I do think a likely source of the problem is a mismatch between applications of 44.1 and 48 kHz which is causing some kind of a bug. But I’m not really sure what I could change to fix it.

In fact. Cubase can definitely see my soundcard. I just started it, and it gave me the “The audio driver could not be loaded” warning. Then I switched the sample rate on the focusrite control software to 44.1 Hz from 48 Hz and cubase suddenly gives me a warning saying that the sample rate has changed. It knows the device is there and is communicating with it in some way. But just won’t play sound.

I restarted cubase disabling 3rd party plugins and the problem seemed to go away. Perhaps its a plugin that’s doing this. I’ll have to work out which one. Thanks for your replies.

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It seems this is not a third party plugin issue and it was just a fluke that it worked when starting cubase with third party plugins disabled.
If anyone does have any ideas im all ears!