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Unread 10-04-2012, 03:30 PM   #1
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ASIO Time Usage

Hey Guys,

Got a bitty of a problem:

When I'm recording in Cubase 6, my ASIO time usage is always really high, and it gets to the point where the audio is always crackling/clipping.

I use a Line 6 POD HD300 to record my guitars with and I use it as an outboard (USB) soundcard and it seems to me the problem is less when I use that.

But when I use the normal PC soundcard its almost impossible to play back the audio with out crackling clipping.

I dont run crazy amounts of VSTs just Superior and thats it and I've upgraded my RAM to 8GB recently.

Any thoughts what the problem could be?
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Unread 10-04-2012, 03:34 PM   #2
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Go download ASIO4ALL and switch to that. It can handle much bigger sessions.
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Unread 10-04-2012, 09:23 PM   #3
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You say that you use the computer's sound card to playback in Cubase. This is most certainly the problem. Normal computer soundcards are not made for handling real time processing that ASIO requires, especially onboard chipsets (AC97, Realtek, SoundMAX and such). They are only made to tackle light playback and rely heavily on the CPU on any kinds of effects processing.

More high-end PC soundcards like Xonar and X-FI uses integrated processors that to some extent allow production and playback with ASIO. ASIO4All can help alleviate some performance issues because it allows WDM-sound cards (WDM being basically the audio engine in Windows) to be "wrapped" or "bridged" into an ASIO engine.

When speaking of playback in Cubase, you aren't just doing a simple playback, but actually processing every single plug-in used onto all raw recorded material simultaneously in real-time. The resource toll is much greater than if it was a simple playback from, say Winamp. Instead of decoding a 5MB mp3-file, you are processing tens of MB per second and crunching big digits at the same time. Even each and every plug-in within Superior needs their share of resources. Bring up the VST Performance Meter in Cubase and see the jump when you disable / enable Superior Drummer in the VST instruments window.

With a soundcard built for ASIO-usage, the computer still does most of the processing, but the connection and sound card has much higher throughput capacity and buffering capability. HD300 is definitely the better option for using in your DAW, regardless it being recording or playback.

1. Like sggod89 said, Give ASIO4All a try
2. Adjust the buffer of your soundcard and try to find a compromise between latency and ASIO performance.
3. If you're on laptop, verify that while Cubase is running, your Power Options are set to "High Performance". Even if you are on desktop, check still.
4. Close any programs that are non-vital. Even programs that try to access WDM can cause pop and crackles or general interrupts.
5. Assess and decide if you need anti-virus running. Optionally, set up exclusions for Cubase6.exe process and the project folder path.
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Unread 10-05-2012, 01:38 AM   #4
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Thanks for that reply! Definitely cleared up some stuff for me!
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Unread 10-06-2012, 12:47 PM   #5
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Sorry to hijack but I've been having the exact issues with my Cubase 5 and Pod HD Pro, I'll definitely have to tweak ASIO4ALL and all that, thank you!
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Unread 10-07-2012, 01:43 AM   #6
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Would upgrading computer hardware improve ASIO time usage? My computer system is 4 years old and I've been getting lackluster buffer settings that are glitch-free. I can't hardly track with more than superior and 1-2 amp sims before I have to turn up buffer settings. The best stable setup I can get is 256 sample buffer at only 24/44.1. My audio interface can do 64 samples and 96k, but not without major dropouts currently. Would a new computer help?
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