Am I the only one who finds all Steinberg preset browsers insanely convoluted and hard to use?

On my laptop and my workstation, first of all, cubase preset browsing, along with preset browsing in other Steinberg products, like Groove Agent, and Halion, is incredibly complex and confusing. Now the features in there are very useful, as well.

The first thing that’s been hard for me to wrap my head around is that the preset browser has one mode, at least, and perhaps its most common or default mode, which flattens everything out.

There is, when saving presets, the ability to create and view folders, and the save preset view (in any place in cubase, or groove agent, or halion) where presets are saved, we can see folders. But there are no folders at all visible in the load preset viewer. (Perhaps there is a way to get to that mode, perhaps a 4 by 4 pixel icon somewhere hiding in plain sight).

It was even a highly lauded upgrade that Cubase 10 and 10.5 and Groove Agent 5, and Halion 6, can handle high dpi screens, and can handle various resolutions, but these dialogs remain coded for 1990s era pixel densities, when a 4 x 4 pixel icon could be considered large and friendly sized.

Perhaps in the box, along with an Elicenser, Steinberg could include a magnifying glass and a glossary of tiny pixelated icons that they use in their preset browsing, and elsewhere in the app.

Every other DAW I have used is LESS POWERFUL than Cubase, and that’s why I stay with CUBASE. But none is as fearsomely bad at UI as Cubase.

I feel that way too.


I don’t know if I misunderstand the question, but I have no problems showing folders in the browser. The trick is to deselect “Include Folders and Subfolders” (marked in red) and you can also add folders in Filters section by checking “Location Tree” (marked in yellow).

I used to struggle with the browsers. I never felt comfortable i was seeing everything to start with, or knew which symbols were for what items (i.e. MIDI loops/Audio files etc)

I think with Halion/Groove Agent i was also a little confused with the multimbral aspects whereby you have a preset at the top of the plugin (as a whole), and then presets within each channel slots. If you map a MIDI controller to preset up and down it only changes the global preset too, so many times i’ve been in the letter ‘F’ in the channel preset browser and have FX sends set up within the plugin, hit next preset on my keyboard and it jumps to ‘A’ on the global list and clears any FX i had setup.

But now i’m used to it, it’s all good for me now, but it would help to have a key for what each icon is or something. But i’m someone who doesn’t read the manual so i’m my own worst enemy! It’s probably all very clearly documented in there(?).

The browser is a bit clunky, yes. After buying a new pro license, it took me a few minutes to grasp the new browser, having used many older versions of cubase without it, including the need to check/uncheck boxes next to folders in the tree, and I had to make one request for support about it before it all came together for me. It was a learning curve I did not necessarily need, and the benefits of the browser are lost on me as I am very familiar with my file systems.

I find the Cubase browsers mystifying. Also the nebulous preset locations.

I do like how the media bay will preview all patches though no matter if its a track preset or VST preset or whatever. It’s obviously very powerful but they could really do with overhauling the ui to make it more intuitive.

Yeah the potential is there to be powerful, but then it falls down so badly.

Another prime example is if you want to drag and drop a MIDI loop to form the basis of a pattern in Chord pads, or in the Arp (Arpache etc.), you can’t just pick it up from the media bay, you have to drop it into the timeline of your project first. And then into chord pad/arpache - it’s crazy to do that extra step.

There is a learning curve here people, take some time to study it, read the manual and take notes and explore the different options and customization. It is a very powerful tool, but you have to set it up for yourself.

The preset browser is incredibly slow on my machine. On a plugin, it can take minutes to load just a few presets.