Cubase 12, frustrated again, this time "checking licenses" forever? <sigh>

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KVRian
1122 posts since 8 May, 2018 from Sweden

Post Mon Feb 06, 2023 4:57 am

Milkman wrote: Sun Feb 05, 2023 1:28 pm I think some of the "the internal meter is lying" and "your windows system / Mac OS task manager is lying" narratives have come from steinberg themselves. The things that prompted me to come post about this here was a) curiosity about other users' experience, b) steinberg denying the "checking licenses forever" bug that I reported, claiming it must be a "dishonest task manager" despite my real world testing. They simply don't want to address this and create wild goose chases for users instead of accepting more QA worlk for themselves.
Having worked in tech support, troubleshooting often feels like a wild goose chase but techs are following a script. They need you to try certain things to eliminate them as possible causes. This starts right at basic things like "Have you tried turning it off and on again?". Getting so far that an actual bug report is being generated for the developers is an extremely lengthy process and most tickets are terminated long before then, either because a solution was found, or the customer turned irate and refused to follow instructions to provide the necessary details.

It's also worth keeping in mind how most tech support is structured. You'll usually start with a level one tech who will help you through basic troubleshooting which tends to solve the majority of issues (there's a reason they tell you to reboot the computer, you'd be surprised at how many times this actually fixes the problem). If you remain helpful and provide the information requested without turning hostile, the ticket will be escalated to 2nd level support who are usually more qualified. Before the ticket is escalated however, the second level tech will want a lot of details, otherwise they'll just bounce the ticket back to 1st level support. This is why the 1st level tech will guide you through several seemingly pointless information gathering exercises. Same is true when/if the ticket eventually gets escalated to 3rd level support (or to the developers, depending on the company).

Here's the supposedly "broken" License Manager on my system, as well as performance meter while playing back a 32-channel project.
Image

High DPC latency is a common cause of playback problems so make sure to eliminate any drivers or hardware that causes DPC issues.
Image

This is on a 3 years old Ryzen 3800X running on a 6 years old Asus Prime X370 motherboard. The rest of the system is a bit of a hodge-podge of old and new components. No special care was taken to choose "Steinberg-friendly" components.

Synthman2000
KVRian
827 posts since 27 Apr, 2016

Post Mon Feb 06, 2023 6:57 am

All I can really add is that I have been on Cubase 9.0.2 - I simply have had no need to update yet. 2 systems a self administrated old office machine (I run massive sessions on this without issue) and a custom built DAW. Both have been flawless. It has a been a 100pct joy for 6 years now, both systems 100pct solid.

How is this is so?.. The only things common are :

PC's built by DAW custom company (or well researched/upgraded mem/cpu myself)
RME audio interfaces
Intel CPU's I won't use AMD
I don't allow W10 updates since 4-5 years
They are DAW only machines and neither have Anti Virus and both are offline and
only online briefly for plug in updates.
High end series Seasonic PSU's.

I run just about every developer of software effects processes and synths.

Both are running perfectly and have been for 6 years. I sincerely hope any updates to C11/C12 will result in similar stability moving forwards. For now I am at least 18months minimum before I start to migrate over. I simply have no need to change so continue to maximize value from these 2 systems.

I have a licence update to C12 (but may opt for C11) I have not decided yet, will leave it till the time comes. I have a brand new i9 12900K machine awaiting to go into service, whenever.. no rush. I just do W11 updates every 3 months at the moment. The music making machine will be run 9.0.2 till it irreparably breaks, no need to change till then.(that machine has ran so long the CPU fan starts to whine as it ends its life luckily I bought the same cooler/fan for £15.00 3 years back that is the only servicing it will have had in 6 years.)

I tend to slowly run a system for many months before trusting it. I am generally against updates once a system is proven stable. Any updates and upgrades hardware/software can bring headaches that are very stressful. Take your time and build trust slowly.

Milkman having different problems on different systems is a nightmare. Not an enviable position sorry I could not be much more help. I just stick to what has worked well for me so far. Anyone can fall foul of a tricky PC/software issue, they can be stressful and time consuming to hunt down and resolve.

VitaminD
Pick Me Pick me!
9393 posts since 12 Mar, 2002 from a state of confusion

Post Mon Feb 06, 2023 8:03 am

A Power outage could have corrupted anything -- config files, system files, etc -- on the hard drive. I keep meaning to buy an UPS for this reason. Maybe it is time.

In 10 years of Cubase, I can't say I've ever had a major issue like you're experiencing though. That's from Cubase 7 to 12 on 3 different systems (Intel and AMD). But I do sympathize with you. That has to be frustrating to deal with. :(

Milkman
KVRist
Topic Starter
120 posts since 17 Mar, 2005 from Bay Area

Post Mon Feb 06, 2023 12:14 pm

AdvancedFollower wrote: Mon Feb 06, 2023 4:57 am
Milkman wrote: Sun Feb 05, 2023 1:28 pm I think some of the "the internal meter is lying" and "your windows system / Mac OS task manager is lying" narratives have come from steinberg themselves. The things that prompted me to come post about this here was a) curiosity about other users' experience, b) steinberg denying the "checking licenses forever" bug that I reported, claiming it must be a "dishonest task manager" despite my real world testing. They simply don't want to address this and create wild goose chases for users instead of accepting more QA worlk for themselves.
Having worked in tech support, troubleshooting often feels like a wild goose chase but techs are following a script. They need you to try certain things to eliminate them as possible causes. This starts right at basic things like "Have you tried turning it off and on again?". Getting so far that an actual bug report is being generated for the developers is an extremely lengthy process and most tickets are terminated long before then, either because a solution was found, or the customer turned irate and refused to follow instructions to provide the necessary details.

It's also worth keeping in mind how most tech support is structured. You'll usually start with a level one tech who will help you through basic troubleshooting which tends to solve the majority of issues (there's a reason they tell you to reboot the computer, you'd be surprised at how many times this actually fixes the problem). If you remain helpful and provide the information requested without turning hostile, the ticket will be escalated to 2nd level support who are usually more qualified. Before the ticket is escalated however, the second level tech will want a lot of details, otherwise they'll just bounce the ticket back to 1st level support. This is why the 1st level tech will guide you through several seemingly pointless information gathering exercises. Same is true when/if the ticket eventually gets escalated to 3rd level support (or to the developers, depending on the company).

Here's the supposedly "broken" License Manager on my system, as well as performance meter while playing back a 32-channel project.
Image

High DPC latency is a common cause of playback problems so make sure to eliminate any drivers or hardware that causes DPC issues.
Image

This is on a 3 years old Ryzen 3800X running on a 6 years old Asus Prime X370 motherboard. The rest of the system is a bit of a hodge-podge of old and new components. No special care was taken to choose "Steinberg-friendly" components.
30 year net/sysadmin here, and as I've mentioned in a handful of other comments, this isn't my first Steinberg rodeo.

The issue that spawned this post 1) can be reliably reproduced 2) does indeed result in real (not visual only) distortions in audio playback within cubase under heavy load + the stuck licensing process, 3) is confirmed to be using 1 real CPU to do so.

While many techs follow scripts, what I am describing isn't just a tech wasting my time with a script. This is part of a long term pattern(going back decades) where steinberg ALWAYS first denies the issue, suggests the user is not reading their system's logs or data output correctly, suggests the user's system is in some way at fault, and forces paying customers off the forums and into email chains that lag months before receiving replies.

High DPC? Lol this is a squeaky clean windows 10 system that was rebuilt twice during the troubleshooting of this issue (stuck license process), and has zero driver problems. This is the sort of nonspecific hunt that I am describing, actually.

Perhaps it's my NIC drivers, or maybe an errant motherboard chipset driver that doesn't show up anywhere else ? Perhaps I should......


..... Buy all new components, build a new copy of windows, move to a new home address, and then try again, or else I can't say I've done thorough troubleshooting? 😉 Sorry - just a little steinberg customer service humor. This has been going on a LONG time, and did not just start with the license checking bug.

Milkman
KVRist
Topic Starter
120 posts since 17 Mar, 2005 from Bay Area

Post Mon Feb 06, 2023 12:33 pm

Synthman2000 wrote: Mon Feb 06, 2023 6:57 am All I can really add is that I have been on Cubase 9.0.2 - I simply have had no need to update yet. 2 systems a self administrated old office machine (I run massive sessions on this without issue) and a custom built DAW. Both have been flawless. It has a been a 100pct joy for 6 years now, both systems 100pct solid.

How is this is so?.. The only things common are :

PC's built by DAW custom company (or well researched/upgraded mem/cpu myself)
RME audio interfaces
Intel CPU's I won't use AMD
I don't allow W10 updates since 4-5 years
They are DAW only machines and neither have Anti Virus and both are offline and
only online briefly for plug in updates.
High end series Seasonic PSU's.

I run just about every developer of software effects processes and synths.

Both are running perfectly and have been for 6 years. I sincerely hope any updates to C11/C12 will result in similar stability moving forwards. For now I am at least 18months minimum before I start to migrate over. I simply have no need to change so continue to maximize value from these 2 systems.

I have a licence update to C12 (but may opt for C11) I have not decided yet, will leave it till the time comes. I have a brand new i9 12900K machine awaiting to go into service, whenever.. no rush. I just do W11 updates every 3 months at the moment. The music making machine will be run 9.0.2 till it irreparably breaks, no need to change till then.(that machine has ran so long the CPU fan starts to whine as it ends its life luckily I bought the same cooler/fan for £15.00 3 years back that is the only servicing it will have had in 6 years.)

I tend to slowly run a system for many months before trusting it. I am generally against updates once a system is proven stable. Any updates and upgrades hardware/software can bring headaches that are very stressful. Take your time and build trust slowly.

Milkman having different problems on different systems is a nightmare. Not an enviable position sorry I could not be much more help. I just stick to what has worked well for me so far. Anyone can fall foul of a tricky PC/software issue, they can be stressful and time consuming to hunt down and resolve.
Thanks for the reply! This has been my experience - - some platforms have the issue, some do not.

Right now my i9 12900KF is perfect and wonderful to produce and jam on, and cubase 12 almost never crashes. My wife's old, low-end laptop also does fine. The crash and resulting problem that motivated this post was a random installation crash with that CS-80V synth, and when I removed/reinstalled it and ran C12, C12 died during the license check and developed the reported issue.

I found others experiencing similar issues, but steinberg claims it's just a "task manager that hasn't refreshed" (that is their official explanation). Task man refreshes every 2 to 5 seconds depending on config, and blaming it on users...who don't wait for their task manager to refresh is *typical* steinberg nonsense. It's insulting, and for the $$ I spent on C10, 11, 12, I expect a little more serious tech support.

I may have to build an AMD system to see how C12 plays with that, lol.
Last edited by Milkman on Wed Feb 22, 2023 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Milkman
KVRist
Topic Starter
120 posts since 17 Mar, 2005 from Bay Area

Post Mon Feb 06, 2023 10:43 pm

VitaminD wrote: Mon Feb 06, 2023 8:03 am A Power outage could have corrupted anything -- config files, system files, etc -- on the hard drive. I keep meaning to buy an UPS for this reason. Maybe it is time.

In 10 years of Cubase, I can't say I've ever had a major issue like you're experiencing though. That's from Cubase 7 to 12 on 3 different systems (Intel and AMD). But I do sympathize with you. That has to be frustrating to deal with. :(
I can't buy a UPS right now and my old smart UPS 1000 died. The second time I rebuilt the same system, it wasn't a power failure but a runtime issue with NI's CS-80V synth. Steinberg's license stuff could very well have hooks into core system files and could very well be jacking them when it crashes, yep. I keep hoping for a good QA run at Steinberg to help narrow some of these things down, but no can do. They don't seem interested in QA outside what the community provides.

kostabanderas
KVRer
13 posts since 12 Feb, 2023

Post Mon Feb 13, 2023 12:35 pm

Have you had the chance to test the apple silicon machines? Long time win10/cubase user here but i’ve been playing around with a m1pro/32gb machine i use for work and just wanted to hear other users’ experience with apple silicon setups, especially sysadmin ones’ ;)

Milkman
KVRist
Topic Starter
120 posts since 17 Mar, 2005 from Bay Area

Post Mon Feb 13, 2023 12:54 pm

kostabanderas wrote: Mon Feb 13, 2023 12:35 pm Have you had the chance to test the apple silicon machines? Long time win10/cubase user here but i’ve been playing around with a m1pro/32gb machine i use for work and just wanted to hear other users’ experience with apple silicon setups, especially sysadmin ones’ ;)
Unfortunately no. I regularly support the apple ecosystem when I'm working for clients, but I'm... Laid off right now and don't have access to any Mac hardware. I have tested on a total of 3 desktops and 1 laptop, all windoze, and we just picked up a new MSI 12800H / 32gb / 3080ti laptop on a sale - we will also test in that hardware in the near future, but no Mac. Sorry!

kostabanderas
KVRer
13 posts since 12 Feb, 2023

Post Mon Feb 13, 2023 11:53 pm

Tnx for the reply anyway.
My advice, if you allow, since I've been dealing with computers also for ~20yrs, stay away from that rabbit hole altogether, if possible.
I remember, way, way back in my computer parts selling days, certain dial-up modem wouldn't work on certain motherboard in windows unless you set the modem's country to Mexico :D . After that, everything worked great and I sold dozens of such combinations, never had a complaint.
You'd normally think, in 2023, things like you are experiencing and similar crap would never happen but I firmly believe that companies will keep making crap and we'll continue buying crap :)
If you have that possibility, try out a machine and if it breaks stuff for you, return/sell/trade it and get another one. At least you know how to test it...

Milkman
KVRist
Topic Starter
120 posts since 17 Mar, 2005 from Bay Area

Post Wed Feb 22, 2023 1:40 pm

kostabanderas wrote: Mon Feb 13, 2023 11:53 pm Tnx for the reply anyway.
My advice, if you allow, since I've been dealing with computers also for ~20yrs, stay away from that rabbit hole altogether, if possible.
I remember, way, way back in my computer parts selling days, certain dial-up modem wouldn't work on certain motherboard in windows unless you set the modem's country to Mexico :D . After that, everything worked great and I sold dozens of such combinations, never had a complaint.
You'd normally think, in 2023, things like you are experiencing and similar crap would never happen but I firmly believe that companies will keep making crap and we'll continue buying crap :)
If you have that possibility, try out a machine and if it breaks stuff for you, return/sell/trade it and get another one. At least you know how to test it...
We just got the new MSI laptop (A Stealth GS77 12UHS) and it was immediately defective, lol, so no testing on cubase just yet.

Right out of the box, this GS77 was hitting 95-100c on at least 2 CPU cores during windows update, basic program installs, etc. Not even running games or anything. MSI said they "cant do replacements".... for some damn reason, so Im literally getting the money refunded, and then buying another machine. Ill test cubase on that one eventually. :hihi:

Songwriter101
KVRist
91 posts since 1 Nov, 2012

Post Wed Feb 22, 2023 3:50 pm

Time to switch to another daw, for real. Don't waste your precious time with things that are broken. Your computer is powerful. Find a daw that supports your creativity and you can rely on. It's a shame otherwise.
First and foremost: We need great songs (again)

Milkman
KVRist
Topic Starter
120 posts since 17 Mar, 2005 from Bay Area

Post Wed Feb 22, 2023 4:27 pm

Songwriter101 wrote: Wed Feb 22, 2023 3:50 pm Time to switch to another daw, for real. Don't waste your precious time with things that are broken. Your computer is powerful. Find a daw that supports your creativity and you can rely on. It's a shame otherwise.
This is the thing that really hits me hard every time something like this comes up.

I KEEP TRYING to learn Live, and Ive been around Live (others using it, etc) for decades, but... I just cant find my workflow. Yet. I did exactly that a few months ago -- went back to my free license of Live that I got with my audio interface, and spent an hour or 2 trying to make a simple demo track... and I had a really hard time with the workflow, the keyboard shortcuts, the labeling of some parameters and functions. (Ableton starts to move away from standard nomenclature, which is confusing for someone who has used 100s of instruments, plugins, and at least 1 DAW that uses that nomenclature). I *keep meaning to learn Live*, and I keep failing to put in the time to find my workflow. Ive put in so many 1000s of hours in cubase...

You are right. I should put in the work, and stop dealing with a vendor that is this inconsistent.

Songwriter101
KVRist
91 posts since 1 Nov, 2012

Post Wed Feb 22, 2023 5:05 pm

Milkman wrote: This is the thing that really hits me hard every time something like this comes up.

I KEEP TRYING to learn Live, and Ive been around Live (others using it, etc) for decades, but... I just cant find my workflow. Yet. I did exactly that a few months ago -- went back to my free license of Live that I got with my audio interface, and spent an hour or 2 trying to make a simple demo track... and I had a really hard time with the workflow, the keyboard shortcuts, the labeling of some parameters and functions. (Ableton starts to move away from standard nomenclature, which is confusing for someone who has used 100s of instruments, plugins, and at least 1 DAW that uses that nomenclature). I *keep meaning to learn Live*, and I keep failing to put in the time to find my workflow. Ive put in so many 1000s of hours in cubase...

You are right. I should put in the work, and stop dealing with a vendor that is this inconsistent.
I understand the pain. I tried Ableton as well years ago and it never clicked with me. I listened to my gut instinct and never looked back. Ableton is a love/hate thing, it is different in many regards.

I think you need a daw which is conservative/normal. You run into walls with Ableton because your mind tries to like it but your gut is telling you otherwise. It is an ongoing battle stifling joy and creativity.

Do you rely on the shortcuts/key commands in cubase the most? Or the midi capabilities? What is the one thing in cubase that aligns with the way you think and act?

Which other daw comes close (many devs copy functions sooner or later anyway)?

Which daw is customizable enough to give you a cubase experience without Steinberg?

Be stoic about it and keep a cool head. Emotions stir up mud and it's harder to find a solution. DAWs and technology must serve and help.

There is a solution out there for you but sadly big companies are bad at solving unique issues.
First and foremost: We need great songs (again)

Milkman
KVRist
Topic Starter
120 posts since 17 Mar, 2005 from Bay Area

Post Wed Feb 22, 2023 5:29 pm

Songwriter101 wrote: Wed Feb 22, 2023 5:05 pm
Milkman wrote: This is the thing that really hits me hard every time something like this comes up.

I KEEP TRYING to learn Live, and Ive been around Live (others using it, etc) for decades, but... I just cant find my workflow. Yet. I did exactly that a few months ago -- went back to my free license of Live that I got with my audio interface, and spent an hour or 2 trying to make a simple demo track... and I had a really hard time with the workflow, the keyboard shortcuts, the labeling of some parameters and functions. (Ableton starts to move away from standard nomenclature, which is confusing for someone who has used 100s of instruments, plugins, and at least 1 DAW that uses that nomenclature). I *keep meaning to learn Live*, and I keep failing to put in the time to find my workflow. Ive put in so many 1000s of hours in cubase...

You are right. I should put in the work, and stop dealing with a vendor that is this inconsistent.
I understand the pain. I tried Ableton as well years ago and it never clicked with me. I listened to my gut instinct and never looked back. Ableton is a love/hate thing, it is different in many regards.

I think you need a daw which is conservative/normal. You run into walls with Ableton because your mind tries to like it but your gut is telling you otherwise. It is an ongoing battle stifling joy and creativity.

Do you rely on the shortcuts/key commands in cubase the most? Or the midi capabilities? What is the one thing in cubase that aligns with the way you think and act?

Which other daw comes close (many devs copy functions sooner or later anyway)?

Which daw is customizable enough to give you a cubase experience without Steinberg?

Be stoic about it and keep a cool head. Emotions stir up mud and it's harder to find a solution. DAWs and technology must serve and help.

There is a solution out there for you but sadly big companies are bad at solving unique issues.
That was a very well thought-out reply, and I appreciate it.

Yeah - I use tons of cubase shortcuts, including some of my own custom stuff for navigation. I have things like shift-ctrl-f set to zoom vertically + horizontally to the currently selected part, fit to screen. And I rely on the standard shortcuts as well, since roughly 2002 lol. My muscle memory...

I also use a lot of MIDI in/out, with a single synth and 3-4 controllers and keyboards. This is all memorized and put into templates. I can build a new cubase project in seconds and be ready to jam. After 2 hours, I could barely get a couple track-like things playing in Ableton. I couldnt "see" my project and MIDI notes in a way that clicked. (yet. I always say yet because I know if I give it some time, it will come. Many artists I listen to use cubase, live, logic, protools, etc, and switch back and forth to finish projects! No reason I couldnt eventually do this)

Emotion has absolutely gotten involved. You are right. Deep anger at steinberg's dishonesty and PR-style management of the flaws in their software make my blood boil, and it keeps boiling every time something goes wrong. On the bright side, things dont go wrong often, but when they do.... lol

Thank you for a reasonably reply!

I HOPE Ableton can be customized more, but after 2 hours (and some vids, docs), I couldnt see what I needed/wanted. Ive got the ADHD/spectrum thing and I just.. have a hard time getting started on something new, considering the time and effort Ive put into cubase.

Songwriter101
KVRist
91 posts since 1 Nov, 2012

Post Wed Feb 22, 2023 5:40 pm

You're very welcome. All the best and good luck. :tu: You've got quite a setup and now I got a better glimpse at your situation why you depend so much on cubase and why it's important.

If another idea crosses my mind about it, I'll write a post.

Edit: 2 years ago I played piano on a track in a commercial studio. If I remember correctly, they've used cubase version 6 or 7. I don't know what computer setup it was, but sometimes it is better Not to be "up2date" in the software world (looking at Microsoft and all the buggy updates in the last years for example). You had a setup which was more solid.
First and foremost: We need great songs (again)

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