Why has Cubase always been so buggy-just the nature of DAWs?

I’ve been using Cubase since SX3 and have remained a loyal customer for many years. It gets the job done when it works, which is most of the time, but bugs, crashes, instability and total loss of projects have never been too far away through all the years. Many years ago I got into the habit of saving copies of projects after every moderate or significant change/addition/recording/tweak so I always have a previous version to revert to if and often when disaster happens. And with every project I work with constant fear. When Cubase gets close to its maximum performance load bad things start to happen. And in years past it was a case of if a project gets too big, not only might it crash but it might not open ever again once closed. Upgrading to later versions of Cubase has almost always rendered many of my projects from previous versions corrupt or inoperable. It has always been a struggle.

I do not use any other software that behaves like this. My question is: Is Cubase just an unstable product compared to other DAWS (I have only ever used Cubase) or is it simply that it’s inherently difficult to program such a powerful piece of audio software and have it be reliable. Other software packages have their bugs here and there too, but nothing like this. For example, Photoshop has never crashed and corrupted my projects before. Upgrading Paintshop Pro has never rendered my older files inoperable. Soundforge has never crashed or given me a single bug in 16 years of almost daily use. And my video editing suites don’t simply crash whenever they reach maximum processing capability.

Cubase 8 performs worse than Cubase 5 for me and I’m just starting to think this pattern will never end and we’ll never have a version that is reliable enough to not have to sweat every time a large project is opened or an update is installed.

You’re clearly not a big Microsoft Office User … I’ve learnt through bitter experience over the years to press the save button after about every two lines of text entered into Microsoft Word :slight_smile:

I may be in the minority here but ive found cubase to be incredibly stable.Ive had one crash since i purchased 8 last year and it was simply a case of restarting Cubase.Didnt even have to restart the computer.Ive used it on two different systems and on windows 7 and 8 with no issues whatsoever.I use it everyday and have pretty big projects on the go with a lot of plugins/vst instruments/edits/automation etc.Now i used Nuendo 4 for years before i moved to cubase(cheaper) and that gave me very few issues either.Bar my computer not having enough ram when it was a 32bit OS.My interface is a fairly modest M-Audio profire as well.There may be the odd bug here and there but all software has that.I regularly use cleaning software and performance improving software to keep my computers in good shape so maybe thats the reason i have a very stable system as i dont suspect its just luck.Do you regularly clean your computer and test for errors etc?Perhaps that would help stabilise your system?I have a friend who uses a DAW as well and he always has issues and his computer is a mess anytime ive seen it.Not saying yours is,but i would recommend regularly using cleaning software as it definitely helps with performance.In my experience anyway.

I have been a Cubase user since it was available on the Atari. Yes, early/mid 80’s. There have been releases where there are issues so big, I had to wait until the next release to update to a useable product. Alternately there have been smooth upgrades as well. I have been in sessions where I’ve seen PT systems crash right in front of me. Maybe the DAW SW is indeed, as you say, a real difficult beast to stabilize.

Specifically, I have spent hours learning the steps to port an older version of a project into a new version of Cubase when experiencing a Crash On Open problem. Especially the C6.5/C7 to C7.5 move. Most of the crashes were resolved by opening the project in the last known good release, deleting the settings found under the F4 and F11 keys (Windows), Resetting the External Instruments to 'Not Connected" and making sure the F4 settings for input and output were correct. Then saving the file as a new name. Then open C7.5 and loading an empty template. Verify F4 settings. Then, while the empty template file is still active, open the previously saved C6.5/C7 file but select ‘NO’ when asked if you want to activate it. Then close the empty template song. This will force Cubase to activate the ‘problem’ project and will typically result in a successful load. Of course then resave it. But as you can see, it’s a hassle.

I hope this helps a little. I think the lesson I’m learning is to stay with the last stable release until the next stable release.

Joey Daddario

I have been using Cubase since SX3. I also find it very buggy and fiddly…actually it has been getting worse. Been considering moving over to ProTools recently.