Steinberg user manuals
I also own older versions of Cubase and have had no trouble getting them all running on various machines over the years; Cubase tends to just work, in my experience, which is a good thing. The latest version feels the most responsive yet in testing. The only sluggishness I experienced was loading in instruments and effects and this was compared with other DAWs on the same machine. Even then, we’re talking maybe an extra second or two, and it is heavily dependent on the sounds you load.
I also own older versions of Cubase and have had no trouble getting them all running on various machines over the years; Cubase tends to just work, in my experience, which is a good thing.
The latest version feels the most responsive yet in testing. The only sluggishness I experienced was loading in instruments and effects and this was compared with other DAWs on the same machine. Even then, we’re talking maybe an extra second or two, and it is heavily dependent on the sounds you load.
View All 11 Photos in Gallery Steinberg’s copy-protection scheme is more annoying than it needs to be. If you buy Cubase and plan on purchasing any major plug-ins, you’ll end up with at least two USB keys, which is an unusual situation. On a laptop with just USB-C ports, such as with any recent MacBook Pro, it can be a huge annoyance—especially since moving the laptop with the dongle attached risks breakage each time.
The Key Editor is simply wonderful. You can do just about anything during playback, including switching editing tools, deleting notes, and adjusting other notes. The Inspector offers transpose, quantize, length, and other useful tools that are easier to access here than in competing sequencers.
A lane across the bottom makes it virtually instantaneous to edit volume or other MIDI control data. The floating Transport Bar is fully customizable; it’s easy to pop in or out individual modules as needed. The Harmony Generation and Chord Track help you harmonize vocals and assist in putting together chord progressions, something that some other DAWs have yet to implement effectively. A relatively new addition is the Lower Zone, which lets you lock the Piano Roll editor, Mix console, or anything else you want below the arrange window.
This was something Cubase had needed for a while, and it’s a feature that brings the UI more in line with competitors like Logic Pro X. By switching between cursor tools using the number keys, and by using Cubase’s various shortcuts that make workflow more quickly, I find it easier to play in, lay down, edit, and arrange MIDI clips with Cubase more than any other DAW.
Dedicated buttons let you turn scrolling during playback on and off, and even whether you want the view to stop scrolling when you start editing.
Cubase Pro’s Score Editor includes enough notation tools that many people won’t need separate notation software. In addition to comprehensive symbol support, it also supports lyrics, drum notes, guitar tabs, and lead sheets, and it can import and export XML files.
Recording audio, either from live instruments or virtual plug-ins, is a pleasure. The bit audio engine supports 5. It’s simple to quantize audio material, and even distribute sound to different musicians with Control Room. VariAudio is good enough to patch up off-key vocal lines at least via the Sample Editor, if not in real time like Pitch Correct , which is more accurate anyway. For comping an audio track, Steinberg includes a dedicated, drag-and-drop-based Comp Tool, which speeds up assembling takes and lets you create new tracks on the fly.
Combine this with Cubase’s group editing, and you can quickly execute backing vocal edits or even multitracked drums. There are separate track and lane solo functions, plus a Cleanup-lanes command to eliminate event overlaps in one shot.
Recording automation moves is equally smooth, with its easily triggered read, touch, write, and latch modes. PreSonus Studio One is also pretty sweet for fast audio editing workflow, although my preference here will always remain Pro Tools despite needing additional steps for some tasks. Instruments and Effects Cubase includes eight instruments with a total of more than 3, patches between them.
Some highlights: Retrologue 2 is a classic subtractive analog synthesizer that now has three oscillators, 24 filter types, eight voices, a sub and noise oscillator, and a modulation matrix and basic effects section.
There are presets, with plenty of thick pads, five distortion modes, analog-style detuning, and fat bass and lead sounds. There’s not enough room here to go into too much depth, but Replicant Pad is straight out of Blade Runner-era Vangelis, while Warming Fireplace has smooth, gradual attacks and decays for a thick layer of analog. There are some great saw wave patches, too, including Rock Monster Saws and Poly Saws, in case you want to cheese out on the s, which I always do.
Padshop is a preset granular synth dedicated to atmospheric and evolving pad sounds, with two layers of up to eight grain streams each, plus built-in distortion, modulation, and decay. Spector is another synth with some serious kick. The built-in delay in Contemplate lets you create instant Sasha textures with the right chords, while Assault sounds like several era analog oscillators are exploding in your speakers with each key press.
In addition to the usual loop editing and slicing LoopMash offers, it comes with a library of presliced loops and lets you fiddle with the random and intensity sliders. This is a lot of fun right out of the box, and unlike with some other tone generators, you can just set this one, trigger it, and forget it. Cubase also finally picked up direct sampling capabilities in its latest version with Sampler Track, which offers plenty of editing tools and a library of several hundred pieces of audio to get you started.
And Halion Sonic SE 3, Steinberg’s bundled workstation synth plug-in, is packed with realistic acoustic instrument samples, fat basses, smooth pads, and useful leads. It’s a solid do-it-all sample playback plug-in for anyone who needs something to get started with. It even has its own built-in virtual analog synth now called Trip.
More than 80 plug-in effects come with Cubase Pro. There are plenty of included reverb, compression, EQ, delay, and mastering tools. A DJ-EQ plug-in offers three bands with kill switches for breaks and twists, while MorphFilter models low and high-pass resonant filters and morphs between them—throw this one on a weak synth preset and watch the fireworks. Guitar players may love VST Amp Rack, which includes dozens of presets across the board, plus Maximizer and Limiter stompbox effects for adding punch and definition, complete with oversize input and output level meters.
All told, Cubase’s plug-ins are at least up to snuff for serious composition and mixing work. The built-in channel strip can handle just about any EQ or compression task right from the console. There’s a noise gate; a compressor with standard, vintage, and tube modes; a 4-band EQ with a spectrum analyzer, a transient shaper for percussive material, tube drive and tape saturation, and a brick wall limiter and level maximizer.
You also get Voxengo’s CurveEQ for matching spectrum plots with other tracks. The new, built-in mixer channel compression sounds smooth and punchy as you turn up the ratio and pull down the threshold. On a new project, I was able to achieve a nice mix glue across the master bus with the ratio set to 1.
Maximizer also got a recent overhaul with a significant upgrade in sound quality, meaning that you may be able to skate by without a third-party mastering package as well. It’s easy to see why Cubase has such a loyal fan base after all these years. Our Editors’ Choice for PC-based recording software remains Avid Pro Tools, which is slightly more expensive than Cubase Pro but features the smoothest audio recording, mixing, and post-production in the business, plus the ability to scale to the largest of professional studios in terms of integrated hardware and service and support policies.
And if what you’re looking for is to record podcasts , you may be better served by an audio-only-focused app like Adobe Audition. I’ll always balk at the intrusive hardware dongle copy protection, because several competing programs get by without, not to mention almost the entire rest of the PC and Mac software industry.
And the competition has become incredibly strong, including powerful programs at much lower prices like Reaper and the aforementioned Logic Pro X. But Cubase has always been a powerhouse digital audio workstation, even before the latest round of welcome improvements, and now fans have even fewer reasons to switch away. Steinberg Cubase Pro.
Avid Pro Tools S|3 Control Surface
Used by star producers and musicians for composing, recording, mixing and editing music, Cubase combines outstanding audio quality, intuitive handling and a collection of highly advanced audio and MIDI tools. Whether you record an orchestra, a huge live rock show, or a band in the studio, Cubase is sublime in every sense of the word. Cubase Pro Used by star producers and musicians for composing, recording, mixing and editing music, Cubase 9 combines outstanding audio quality, intuitive handling and a collection of highly advanced audio and MIDI tools. Cubase Artist Cubase Artist offers a range of proven editing and sequencing tools based on the same core technologies used and appreciated by musicians around the world. Cubase Elements With many new features and enhancements, Cubase Elements 9 turns your computer into a complete production system for recording, editing and mixing audio and MIDI tracks.
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