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Cubase tracks dropping sample rate Digital Converters
Old 22nd February 2017
Here for the gear

Cubase tracks dropping sample rate


I am an amateur recording artist/mixer who has a pretty okay knowledge of cubase as I have been using it for 5 years. A problem has arose which has me thrown. I was wondering if there were any geniuses out there who could assist.

Basic info:
Running 2011 Imac
OS Version: 10.9.5
2.5Ghz Intel core I5 - 12GB 1333 MHz DDR3
Cubase 8
Saffire pro 40 + Octopre MKII

I recorded a track the other day at 48Khz as normal into my pro 40 with the MKII synced properly, everything sounded fine when monitoring and even when listening back. However, I close the project, open it up the next day and the vocal has this horrible digital 'distorted'/'grainy' sound, as if the sample rate is 28Khz instead of 48. (Link below)

I have removed all of my inserts, reset the outputs, restarted my Mac, tried to copy the tracks into another project but still the sound is there. I can go into the audio folder and find the individual wavs sound FINE playing through Itunes.
So I try to move the audio files to a different folder, open up the project and relocate them when prompted. However the same grainy/distorted problem happens.
So, I take an individual recording from the audio folder "Vocal main_16", import it into the same Cubase project, place it on the same track as the bad sounding takes and it sounds FINE. My attachments and the sound cloud link show the exact same take, the bad sounding one, and the same file re imported but sounding normal. The wave look slightly different also as a rather bad image shows. White = Bad sounding wave. Blue = Normal re import.

It is most definitely a problem with the audio recording. This has NEVER happened before and I have recorded since and I have NO PROBLEM.
And the rest of the audio in that project is fine, recorded in the same way, it's just this vocal track that's faulty.
It's not the end of the world as I could just piece together the individual files which would take a few hours but it is a last resort.

Anyone have any ideas? More info needed?

The normal file plays first, the bad file plays afterward.)

Thanks a lot for reading. I also hope this thread helps others in the future as I am yet to come across a discussion online that is like this.
Attached Thumbnails
Cubase tracks dropping sample rate-comparisonwaveform.jpg  
Attached Files

Vocal fine 1.wav (589.3 KB, 149 views)

Vocal bad 1.wav (530.0 KB, 311 views)

Old 22nd February 2017
Gear Addict
drycappuccinoguy's Avatar
They sound OK, at least not like you describe. occasionally you may have to reset your ASIO driver after starting up.
Note: if the sample rate changes the pitch and speed will also change proportionally.
Old 22nd February 2017
Lives for gear

Distortion can have many causes. The most common and the one that comes closest to your description involves CPU resources running low, Buffers set to low/High, or latency set too low/high.

If you haven't changed any settings first thing I'd do is power down and restart (not just a hot reboot)
Second clean up your drives and old projects, then defrag.
Third I'd look to see if any upgrades had been recently done that could have impacted your audio drivers.

Not sure if a mac has it but running Task manager will reveal what programs are consuming all the resources.
Try a different USB port if you have one too.

If all that fails try increasing the buffer and latency. This is what usually fixes the problem.

Its like an engine sucking gas, when the tank isn't kept full the engine sucks air and sputters. With a computer, your biffers are gas tanks that are filled by your interface converters. If the CPU tries to suck more data then the buffers hold the data stream winds up sucking dead air (No dats) and it produces a nasty static noise. If you increase the buffers and latency, it's like installing a larger gas tank. When the CPU is rocking at high speed it doesn't drain the tank completely and the data stream from the interface can continue to fill the buffers at a steady rate.

If you're buffers are too small you're essentially trying to stream the data all the time and few if any computers/CPU's can handle that. Data from a sound card is so stop and go it needs that buffering to act as a shock absorber and allow the CPU to work to work within its proper parameters.

I have had occasions where I was running on low resources and the DAW simply botched the recording. It may have been some algorithm or freeze with the program. Every version of Sonar has the ability to undo changes you make and it saves them in some kind of history file. When that file gets full the program gets freaky. The only way to clear the history is to shut the program down and restart it. In fact Sonar keeps some file extensions running which you also have to manually shut down or reboot the computer to get a fresh start. I'm on my 6th version and they all do it.

I had an old version of Cubase that had its own flukes too. When you stopped recording a track you had to wait for the track to finish rendering before you could save and close the project. If you closed the project with the tracks still rendering you'd either get a wait popup or you wound up with a damaged track. Maybe they fixed that in newer versions but its a different architecture then Cakewalk. I can sane a track instantly in sonar and they data remains intact.

It could be Data wasn't going where it was supposed to. If you're multitracking with a bunch of plugins, turn the plugins off or actually remove them all together, save the project with a new name, reboot from power off then reopen the second version.

You can also find and open tracks up individually with a different editor/player and see if the distortion is imbedded in the wave file. If it is you can only rerecord the tracks (or possibly try and fix the track with something like Ozone RX) If the tracks are clean playing them back with a separate editor then you can do a screen shot of the file names, reopen a fresh project, then import the files one at a time. This is a pain in the rear but you do what you got to do.

One of these should work. You can have tracks that simply crackle with no apparent cause. I get them with bass tracks mostly. The wave form is nowhere near 0db but because the bass produces a lot of power in the low frequencies the ears cant hear you tend to push it harder tracking.
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