Unprecedented Frequent Audio Performance Peaks

Hi all,

Apologies if it doesn’t seem as if I checked the forum or Google - I have.

Only since recently I’ve experienced very frequent audio performance average load peaks when producing, and for the life of me I can’t figure out the issue.
I’ve tried all the hints I could find so far, i.e.

  • increase buffer size (for some reason 1024 is max on my interface)
  • high performance mode enabled
  • multi-processing enabled (obviously)
  • tried any ASIO guard setting
  • windows has been on high-performance anyway
  • Antivirus Software deactivated
  • useless Windows services deactivated

The behaviour remains the same: my CPU and RAM are bored as hell, yet I have those frequent dropouts - the bar is actually pumping. Even if I am not playing anything, the bar is pumpig at around 50% load.

I have used the same setup for a while now, and never had those issues before. Any new plugins I had suspected, I removed completely from the session - no change.

Windows 10 21H2 build 19044.3086
Feature Pack 1000.19041.1000.0
Intel Core i9-9900K 3.6GHz
Interface: Focusrite Clarett+ 8Pre

Any ideas here? I am hardly able to work…

Have you tried latencyMon to see if you gave a bottleneck? What video card are you using? I have the same processor without problems but you haven’t mentioned video or motherboard

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Thanks for the response.

I have a simple Geforce GT 1030, 2 GB - but also, that has been there before during many flawlessly performing sessions.

I’ll check with LatencyMon later today, thanks for the hint.

Also - not related to your response, but simply because I forgot to mention above - I reinstalled the latest Focusrite driver of course as well.

So…ran LatencyMon and everything is supposed to be peachy :smirk:

I am lost. What else can be the culprit here?

Have you tried disabling updates for a week? Do you have the video driver supplied by windows or have you installed the full nvidia driver and software? When I had that video card I only ever used the driver loaded by windows. Are you using the ultimate power plan? (Google it to see how to enable)

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Hi there,

I tried reinstalling the graphics driver just now, but no change. It used to be the preconfigured one, now I tried with the latest NVidia update.
Also, I don’t even have Windows automatic updates activated, exactly because I know from experience that some KBs can mess with the DAW.

I briefly had Sonarworks SoundID Reference as main suspect, after I saw that it still keeps tasks open even when you remove the Plugin from the session, however, even with those tasks killed - same mess.

I also changed my Focusrite to different USB slots - same mess

Tomorrow I’ll try to reach the company that built my audio workstation, if they have an idea

When updating NVidia drivers make sure to select the STUDIO version and only install the driver and none of the accompanying applications.

To rule out any bogus settings or preferences in Cubase, you could try and start Cubase in Safe Mode with Preferences disabled.

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Yeah, I know about the Studio type driver versions, but that’s not available for this particular card :smirk:
I’ll try the safe mode later today, thank you :pray:

It shouldn’t be sonarworks either. I have it running all the time without problems. There are things in the bios that can be tweaked as well. I’m guessing you’ve already done a search on optimising a pc for audio?

Yeah, the machine config as such is pretty much up to professional level - it’s a customised workstation built, configured and tested by a pro audio boutique. Also, it has been running absolutely flawlessly for three years.
So I am actually still suspecting some nasty Windows update somewhere, or - god forbid - my interface is trashed somehow


Cubase SafeMode - same issue
Factory reset of the interface - same issue
Cubase reinstalled - same issue

No clue how I am going to print my pending session now with those glitches :disappointed:

I would contact Steinberg support if you haven’t already.

Well, the thing is that Cubase 10 is no longer supported :smirk:

I can’t see if being Cubase especially since version 10 hasn’t changed for a few years. It could be windows. It might sound silly but have you thought of trying win 11 or reinstalling win 10? I like to have a fresh windows installation every couple of years.

See if the pc builders can give you any tips first. Are there any bios updates? What is your m/b?

Does this happen with any project? Have you tried disabling (really disable, not just bypass) all plugins one after another and see if that changes anything? Maybe it is not Cubase but a plugin that went berserk after some update (I have had Waves plugins completely crash Cubase every time I closed a project, not having updated Cubase nor the waves plugins, but only windows updates…)

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Hi, yeah, it started happening on all projects. And I have actually removed the plugins entirely from the current session, just for a test - btw. this is only a mastering session with 3 audio tracks and one group channel and for some reason it has even more issues than the corresponding mixing sessions with a ridiculous number of tracks, sends and plugins. But, just to recap, the actual CPU and RAM is nowhere near the limit…it is “just” the audio performance (guess the ASIO guard) that is randomly but frequently spiking out. Hovering around 40%, and then for no apparent reason (no automation, no additional plugs coming in) WHAM…

Just called the guys who built this, but they also were puzzled. Yet they said whenever they hear any issues in that general area, it is from Cubase users (not sure if I should laugh or cry😏)

I’d try Win11 but my machine (according to Windows update) is not Win11 ready. I have to see what that is about.

Right now I am installing the Cubase 12 Pro test version. I don’t really want to have to upgrade, but it’s worth seeing if this one behaves the same way

Lo and behold: Cubase 12 does perform the session flawlessly.
So…what do I make of it? I still want to understand why 10 was suddenly starting to act up, but I fear that I might simply be forced to upgrade after all and accept it as mystery (or maybe Steinberg programmed a time bomb in 10 so it will behave buggy when it’s clear that it is out of support :sweat_smile:)

At least I know that my machine and interface are ok

Hmm, I had a similar situation once with windows defender (I forgot to exclude the new Cubase.exe after a major update, and the result was unusable), but you already wrote that you disabled antivirus…

Just to exclude your audio interface/driver, maybe you could switch to the Generoc Low Latency driver?
Also, have you run LatencyMon while running Cubase?
I’d usually never recommend it, and it shouldn’t be necessary, but try starting Cubase as administrator?
I admit, not very clever ideas, but we’re clutching at straws here :wink:

Testing C12 could be an idea, but since you wrote that the problems arose just recently, I would maybe support the idea of installing a fresh Windows 10, possibly on an another empty drive (much easier than backup and restore in case there is no difference). Annoying, of course…

Cubase develops errors the more you use it.

I had the same issues.

Create a fresh copy of Windows, with everything installed and ready to go.

Clone it and keep it for later.

When all is gone downhill, format your main drive, then temporarily, use the cloned disc as the main drive, clone this drive to the disc you wish to use as the primary drive, tell your computer which drive you want it to read as ‘C:’ and all will be back to normal.

Same thing here, all works well, I have a very powerful computer, and for no reason, Cubase (11) goes to hell near the end of my sessions.

Cloned a fresh copy of Windows with all installed, and the glitchy Cubase files run flawlessly…go figure…