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jman70

Performance spikes in Cubase using Helix asio driver

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Hi!

 

I'm using my Helix floor as my main audio interface together with Cubase Pro 10.5.20. The helix is an awesome tool for routing and recording both my guitar/bass, but also my old analog synths through the effects returns. I though have a strange behaviour I wonder if any of you have experienced.

 

First of all, my PC is a dedicated custom built studio PC with 9th gen Intel CPU, plenty of RAM, large M.2 SSD and only my audio software installed. When I load a project where the Helix asio driver is used, I always get performance spikes with stutter and dropouts  when e.g. open up and edit VST instruments or editing midi notes during playback. However, if I change the active driver (Asio Helix) in Studio Setup to the "Generic Low Latency ASIO Driver" and back to "Asio Helix" driver, everything is working flawlessly and I do not get any spikes or stutter even in my largest projects (load rarely goes over 50%).

 

I have been using this workaround since I got my Helix, but it is a bit tedious to have to swith drivers and reloading my Helix template in Connection Setting when loading projects.

I have had support ticket to both Line6 and Steinberg, that unfortunately have not resolved this. Both Helix firmware and Asio Helix Driver is on latest versions.

 

Any of you out there that has had similar experiences?

 

BR

/Johan

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Assuming Win10 fully updated, reinstall HXEdit. This reinstalls the ASIO drivers.

If it's still a problem, install a different DAW (Reaper is FREE until you choose to buy it, Bandlab Cakewalk is FREE, there's a FREE version of Ableton LIVE).

If the problem persists with a different DAW, then it has to be a hardware problem. Contact the maker of the PC (unless it's DIY, then you're the guy!).

I use all 3 of the aforementioned DAWs on both an ancient i5 Gateway laptop and a 7th gen i7 HP laptop with no such problems.

I tried Cubase, thought it was a total PITA, but if you have a specific need for it, and the above fixes don't work, I'd hassle Steinberg until they tell you to bugger off, which, IME, is more likely than that they'll be helpful. You could also try their forum, but I found that also less than fruitful.

Line6 support is great, but they can't be expected to know everything about every DAW and hardware combination, especially custom builds.

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I just upgraded to 10.5.20 as well.  after a LOT of debugging... (i'm on a 2015 macbook pro).. the solution I found was to 1.  set the asio guard level to High.  Then 2.  on my external monitor, I have to make sure I keep my Cubase interface small.  Like half the screen size on my external monitor.  Otherwise cubase just chokes.  

biggest factor that seems to kill cubase for me is making the UI full screen. ...ridiculous I know... I'm not a happy camper with cubase right now.  The free version of 10.0 ran perfectly fine so I went all in on 10.5 pro.... and was borderline unusable at times until i figured out the above fix.  ...and making the UI super small is not a great fix..

So anyway, I don't think it's helix native, but cubase that has issues as I've had it spike without having any instances of Native running.  If you go to the steinberg forum you'll see lots of users complaining about CPU spikes that don't have anything to do with native. :(   ...sigh..

good luck dude.  It's super frustrating I know.  I'm tempted to try out Luna since I have an apollo interface, but I haven't given it a shot yet.  I hate pro tools with a passion.  Haven't tried reaper or anything else yet.  I like the workflow of cubase, but these spikes are totally garbage.  ..hopefully it's fixed in the next version..

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Did you check out the ASIO4All driver instead of the Line 6 drivers? As unfortunate as it is, the Line 6 drivers are pretty bad. Under macOS (which is what I'm running), performance is better using native Core Audio support (with the Helix running as a class compliant USB device) compared to the Line 6 driver (both in terms of CPU usage and lowest possible latencies) and under Windows your best bet as an alternative would be ASIO4All.

http://www.asio4all.org/

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While not the best in terms of latency, most of us have no problems with the L6 drivers. If you do decide to try ASIO4ALL and you can get it to work for you, great.

IME it sucks. YMMV. 

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1 hour ago, rd2rk said:

While not the best in terms of latency, most of us have no problems with the L6 drivers.

 

I don't have any exact problems, either, but it's cleary sub-par (in terms of performance as well, I did a bunch of comparisons). Hence, I can pretty much imagine it to be at least part of the problem.


 

Quote

 

If you do decide to try ASIO4ALL and you can get it to work for you, great.

IME it sucks. YMMV. 

 

 

While being far away from an ideal solution, it helped countless people to get rid of driver related issues and usually delivers better performance than what comes with many budget interfaces (usually a licensed, slightly adapted more or less generic driver from Thesycon). It's not even too unlikely that the underlying code under the hood is a better suitable one for some situations.

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"Imagination...is funny....it makes..a cloudy day sunny...." :-)

(1940 - Music by Jimmy Van Heusen, Lyrics by Johnny Burke. Recorded by everybody that mattered in that era.My personal favorite by The Quotations - 1960)

 

The post by the_bees_knees22 (and my own experience) would seem to point more directly at Cubase as the probable culprit, but hey, if ASIO4ALL solves the problem, GREAT!

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Well, I'm not saying it will solve the problem, not at all - but it's a free solution to try out, no more, no less.

Besides, I know plenty of people successfully running the latest Cubase under Win10 without issues, so that doesn't seem to be a universally valid concern, either.

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2 minutes ago, SaschaFranck said:

Well, I'm not saying it will solve the problem, not at all - but it's a free solution to try out, no more, no less.

Besides, I know plenty of people successfully running the latest Cubase under Win10 without issues, so that doesn't seem to be a universally valid concern, either.

 

The "joy" of using Windows is that there's an infinite number of possible hardware and software combinations and configurations, but it makes troubleshooting a nightmare!

The limitations imposed by the Apple ecosystem are a major selling point for those who prefer a turn-key solution.

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4 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

 

The "joy" of using Windows is that there's an infinite number of possible hardware and software combinations and configurations, but it makes troubleshooting a nightmare!

The limitations imposed by the Apple ecosystem are a major selling point for those who prefer a turn-key solution.

 

Obviously. But then, trying out ASIO4All is a pretty valid troubleshooting option.

Apart from that, for various other reasons Macs aren't a turnkey solution at all anymore (at least not in case you're also using plenty of 3rd party software). Not exactly because of technical issues, though...

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Thanks for all tips and advices. Haven't tried ASIO4ALL with the Helix. Tried it out with other hw long time ago, but since I haven't had driver issues before, I have always stayed with the supplied drivers. The Asio Helix driver gives quite a high latency, but since I do all recording with direct monitoring it is not an issue.

Since I can remedy the issue by switching back and forth between drivers once the project is loaded, the most likely culprit should be Cubase. I have opened a new ticket towards Steinberg 23 days ago and still no response...(could be due to covid and after vacation periods, but thats pretty long).

 

I have been using Cubase for over 20 years, so I guess it's a bit of sunk cost fallacy for me to change to another Daw :-D Workflow of Cubase and knowing how inhouse VST sound and react makes me continue.

 

I might try ASIO4ALL and see how it reacts.

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26 minutes ago, SaschaFranck said:

Obviously. But then, trying out ASIO4All is a pretty valid troubleshooting option.

 

And easier than trying a different DAW. But if it doesn't do the trick, the three DAWs I mentioned are all FREE!

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4 minutes ago, jman70 said:

I have opened a new ticket towards Steinberg 23 days ago and still no response...(could be due to covid and after vacation periods, but thats pretty long).

 

I have been using Cubase for over 20 years, so I guess it's a bit of sunk cost fallacy for me to change to another Daw :-D Workflow of Cubase and knowing how inhouse VST sound and react makes me continue.

 

I found Steiberg's "support" to be less than stellar even before Covid. If ASIO4All doesn't fix the problem, trying one of the suggested DAWs is another FREE troubleshooting method to eliminate or confirm Cubase as the culprit while you're waiting for Stenberg. You don't have to abandon Cubase - unless, of course, Steinberg never gets back to you or can't solve the problem.

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