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Cubase 13 Problems

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Cubase 13 is currently being promoted by Steinberg as the next big upgrade to the program, offering many new features and plugins. Existing Cubase users are being emailed and encouraged to upgrade their software.

Paul Andrews of Audio Support is a user, teacher and troubleshooter of Cubase and other music technology products for over 20 years. Here he writes about his intitial experiences with Cubase 13 as of December 2023.

Should You Upgrade to Cubase 13?

My short answer is no. Not yet (December 2023). Here’s why:

My experiences of music technology software over the last 20 years make me nervous of updating anything early in a product’s release cycle. It’s best to give developers time to find and fix bugs that weren’t caught during testing stages. This is especially true for Digital Audio Workstations such as Cubase. The way DAWs interact with VST instruments and effects published by third-party developers means there are huge numbers of potential bugs that can be caused by changes to the DAW application.

If a client asks me, ‘should I upgrade?’ I almost always advise waiting for at least a three or four months after any initial release. Most of the bugs will have been found and reported by early-adoption users and developers will have brought out one or two ‘patch’ updates to resolve any problems. Six months is usually enough.

Unfortunately, the initial release of Cubase 13 seems to be following exactly the same pattern. The program is full of bugs and Audio Support clients who have been running a stable Cubase 11 and 12 systems have been contacting me with issues since upgrading to Cubase 13.


Frequent crashes seem to be a common problem.

One action that seems to help is to wipe any Cubase 12 or earlier preference files before running Cubase 13.

How to find your preference files:

This has worked for some clients, but not others.

Problems with Native Instruments’ Maschine

This seems to be a conflict between Cubase 13 and the way that Maschine hosts VST plugins within a VST plugin. Updating Maschine via Native Access seems to solve the problem.


Another type of crash is the KERNELBASE.dll crash. This occured when my client was using the Chord Pads function.

I haven’t investigated this yet.

Unstable State Crash

This unstable state crash message has also been seen. I haven’t found the cause of this yet. It occurred when my client was using the Arturia Keylab VST instrument.

Conclusions so far

Based on my experiences with clients using Cubase 13 so far, I would not recommend users buy the update yet. Clients that have done so are either reverting to Cubase 12 or dealing with the errors as they occur.

When bugs are found in new software there is little we can do as users until the developers recognise and fix the problems. I will continue to report any errors I find to Steinberg and hopefully Cubase 13 will be a usable software product soon.

Any users that have already updated and are experiencing problems, please get in touch.

About the Author


I’m the owner and lead technician for Audio Support, a small company based in London, UK that connects remotely with clients worldwide to help them with their music technology issues. I’ve run Audio Support since 2005 and in that time I’ve seen and solved thousands of recording studio problems. 

Outside of Audio Support, I run music workshops at a local school, play bass in a 90s tribute function band and perform modular synth jams with friends on Twitch.

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