A few quick question from a new Cubase user coming from Logi

Hi people!

I’m coming from Logic and is learning Cubase 7. A few quick questions I haven’t been able to find an answer to has accumulated on my list. I figured it’d be an easy task for you guys to turn them from q’s to a’s.

  1. In Logic most plugins had a mono->stereo version, so that a mono track of a vocal recording for example could be turned into a stereo track by using an effect. This doesn’t seem to exist in Cubase, and if I choose a stereo track right from the start I cannot record mono? I’m probably doing something wrong here.
Seems that VST is limited in this regard and the only solution is to route a mono channel to a stereo group channel and use stereo effects here Correct me if there is a better way..
  1. I’m aware of lanes, but is there no way of simply getting another channel that is hooked up to the same instrument? I’m used to this way of working in Logic for creating layers of stuff with for example drum tracks. I know midi lanes can have layers that play at the same time but it’s not quite the same thing. Are lanes still the suggested way of working in this sense?
Add the VST plugin in the VST Instruments window instead (F11) this allows for multiple tracks for the same plugin. It also allows for multi out and multi timbral plugins.
  1. When using the comp tool to create a comp of a few vocal takes, assume here that the automatic crossfade isn’t enough and I need an extra long fade in one location. This works great to add and adjust, but if I need to adjust the comp after adding the fade, it is no longer possible. Even if I remove the fade, I still cannot use the comp tool again to adjust the split. Even if I glue together everything I still see a line where the fade was and if I open the audio editor I see there is a split between the clips where the fade was that I cannot glue. What’s going on here, what am I doing wrong and how am I suppose to work here?
First remove the fade by selecting the two clips and select remove fades from the edit menu. Then make sure snap is one and use the default selection tool. Click and hold on the clip sizer of the foreground clip, move the mouse a little and it will snap back together with the next clip. Do the same on the second foreground clip. After this you can use the comp tool again as before.
  1. There’s no gain plugin in Cubase, how do I automate the gain without affecting the volume fader? The first thing I thought of was to automate the pre sections gain instead, would this be considered correct or do I need to get a gain plugin?
There is no gain-plugin bundled with Steinberg which I personally find a little strange. Any plugin with a trim or gain feature can however be used. Free alternatives are available such as Solaksis free gain plugin which is probably among the better.
  1. When editing automation, how do I easily draw a flat u-curve, that is: |_| often used on for example a gain plugin to pick off parts that I want muted. I saw the square draw tool, but it seems I have to invert every other draw to get it right, probably not the right way to do it.
    The kind of curve I am referring to here is this: http://d.pr/i/JBG9
After alot of testing the best solution is probably to use the select tool and put a point at the beginning and another at the end of the segment and then click and hold for a third point inbetween that you drag up to the left to form the first part. In this method you actually see the value you are putting it at. Finish of by doing the same for the end of the segment and remember the set value to get the line straight. Another way is to use the square line tool but this is abit tricky and will not get a number feedback so it requires an extra step selecting the points to adjust them.

Thank you so much in advance, hopefully I can contribute to beginners myself further on when I’m more confident with Cubase.

EDITED: I consider everything answered. Thank you to all that contributed. Hopefully this thread will help others that move from other DAWS.

Your questions tell me, Logic is Crap!!!

It’s crap being able to use stereo plugins on a mono track without fiddling with group tracks?
Or perhaps it’s crap actually seeing the values of automation nodes without clicking each?

DAWS are different, I’d not say a single one of them doesn’t have strengths that others lack. I’m trying to get accustomed to new ways of working here though, so whatever is superior I look for ways of working and advice here, not a DAW war.

For 2) you can add an instrument and then use midi tracks rather than create an instrument track

Thank you, I just tried and that does exactly what I was looking for! I’m gonna add all the answers to the top post for others to find that may have the same questions.

Not wishing to ruffle any feathers here but can i ask why you’re moving?

Personally i have no experience of Logic but hear it’s pretty good. Or are you departing from an Apple environment?

I for one am very curious about Reaper… very flexible grouping, routing and highly configurable. Just sayin…

Logic is indeed a good daw, but it’s also getting old and lacks newer features. I was attracted by some of the new features in Cubase 7 like variaudio 2.0 and indeed I must say that it speeds up the kind of work I am doing and makes cumbersome tasks more inspiring like vocal harmonies. Also Logic is the only daw I have any considerable experience in and I wanted to see whats going on at the other side of the fence. So I looked over the alternatives out there and found Cubase to be the one that had the most going for it to make me move so I decided to try it.

I had a look at reaper but it was not my cup of tea, it suffered from the same issues as Studio one. I consider both great upcomers but they are not mature enough for me. After taking the Cubase dive I must say that there still is things Logic beats the rest, but there are also a heap of things where Cubase shines and there’s somethign about the workflow that just feels slick.

Things I hate about Logic is (for your entertainment):

  • Project organization. Folders in Logic is just pure crap. I end up using the hide track features and most project end up a mess.
  • Vocal work, obviously there is no variaudio. Creating 3 harmonies for a vocal line is a total pain in the ass and is probably one of the things that takes the most time. Usually I use melodyne to create fake harmonies and juggle these around till happy then recording the real thing (unless the fake ones will do). There is no way to view multiple harmonies here, we’re talking 4 damn melodyne windows that aren’t aligned. This takes more time than anything it seems.
  • No chordtrack, no arranger, both great features for quickly testing a song idea without putting down alot of work.
  • Midi editor is good, but Cubase midi editor is FANTASTIC, complete with speedy features like inverting chords. Saves so much time not having to think about how that F#m is inverted in the second position now again.

Things I don’t like so much about Cubase on the other hand:

  • The MDI approach, multiple windows flying around, just WHO wants this approach? Thankfully I can stay in the project window to a much larger degree than I though so it seems ot be much less of a hassle than I first though.
  • Some minor things that is just, dumb… like having to use the old approach of the VST instruments window to get multi outs or multi timbral, small things like not displaying the values of nodes in automation, no way of putting stereo plugins on mono tracks…

But as you see at the end of the day Cubase seems to be the faster, more inspiring program to work in where the must cumbersome tasks that I dread is alot quicker. I also enjoy using a DAW that is actually developed and has a strong future. Nobody knows if that Logic x is actually coming or if that price drop of Logic was the last breath of an abandoned product. Also, the feature of Mac computers doesn’t feel too certain, where are new pro?

Ok that was a long post, hope someone enjoyed it :wink:

Damn… i have to upgrade to C7 just to understand half these benefits!

I will hold out until i at least notionally grasp what the chord track is and why i need it in my life!

The benefit of the chord track isn’t so much about it making music for you, but it’s a very fast way of going from idea to “something” that helps you realize what the song may need to work. Using the chord track and the arranger features (arranger has been available since C5 I think). You can simply play something basic on the midi keyboard and have that “painted out” through all the chord progressions in the song by simply entering the chords. You could even render this out to normal data and start adding the touches that makes it sounding more than just a pattern.

In other situations later down the production you may for example want to try a pad sound. With the chord track you can easily add this to a larger section of the song with extremely little effort to see if it works or not. In the past you had to play or draw in all those chords and THEN see if it worked. It’s a little bit like “Band in a box” but more useful as it’s in a DAW environment. I don’t think alot of songs will be made using solely chord tracks, but rather alot of ideas will be tested faster and this leads to increased creativity when trying an idea doesn’t take so long that it turns into a time issue.

I’ve noticed the results sometimes being good enough to be rendered out and built upon aswell which also saves time, but it needs to mature more before this really is a good application for it. For now it’s a great sandbox tool to get ideas into notes. There aren’t much on youtube yet but look around and you’ll find a few clips.

I might add that I think the console-mixer thingie pretty damn good too once I got used to it and stopped cursing the MDI crap :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks. I will see some how-tos on this…

Depending on how you write music the chord track can be different things.

Also, note that the chord functions in Cubase are not limited to the chord track only. In Key Edit you can edit and insert voicings and chords, in Score Edit you can show the chords from the chord track, and the Logical editor is chord-aware too.

I absolutely love the chord functionality of the key editor. The ability to reverse chords in such ease is such a speedy thing to have at hand. I wasn’t aware that the Logical editor was chordaware though, any practical examples of how this is useful?

I agree, the chordtrack can be many things depending on how you use it. It’s already pretty advanced but I do miss a few things. An annoyance is that it’s pretty limited in what kind of patterns it can handle. You can pretty much use a basic triad and a bass note, you cannot have tones in the pattern that isn’t part of the chord tones and not even an octave walk afaik anyway.

Play with different voicings (Piano, Basic, Guitar) and turn off automatic voicings.

Go look in the Logical Editor presets.

Explore Cubase!

I’ll add it to the list of things to explore :wink:

number 4: When you open the channel setting of the track and hit the W button for write automation, isn’t the gain in the pre-section recorded? (to my knowledge all parameters in the window are recorded in C6, however never tried it with gain in C7)

SIGNATURE manually added

Menoj - http://www.theroosterz.nl

Cubase 7 with MR816X+Focusrite pro 26 IO, CC121, Liquid Mix, Adam p22A with SUB8, Roland MC303, Halion 4, VG2, Arturia Analog Factory, Soundcraft Compact 10, Rode NT1. i7 3930K @ 3.8Ghz, Win7 64 32GB RAM, Fender Jaguar Hot Red, Fender Bassman 100 + 2*15 inch, Dynacord Bass King I, Fender Relicmaster Fretless Jazz Bass. TECAMP 612XL, MarkBass TTe500

Absolutely, the pre gain knob is automatable in C7 and I assume this is the correct way of doing it.

Well, not necessarily. It kinda depends on where you want to change the gain. Once you start adding gain dependent plugs during mixing, pre everything gain, like clip gain, often becomes counteproductive, affecting things like downstream comps, changing compresion levels, etc, etc. So that’s why people use gain plugs, to put them in a specific position in the chain.

Although, they’re just simple reductions. You can literally use any plug with a gain/trim knob on it for that (which is what I’d do in Cubase, use any small plug with gain / trim knob on it) so having a dedicated pure gain plug isn’t anything close to being a necessity, more a convienience.

I realized this too when starting to look around more close on things. Still I think Steinberg should include a basic low-cpu gain only plugin for this need. I ended up downloading Sonalsksis free gain plugin just to have one at hand and not have to think about which plugin I might be able to borrow a gain section from. It works well and I’d recommend it for simplicity.

I now consider everything answered, thanks for all contribution. I wrote down all answers in the first post for easy future reference to other movers.