Reaction to 8.5 has been mixed, from euphoria to derision. I’d place my own somewhere in the middle - not hopeless by any means, but feels rather like tinkering at the edges rather than truly facing the big issues that remain.
The same issues keep coming up again and again - unasked for big shiny new features are broadly unwelcome, specific workflow and performance improvements extremely welcome. 8.5 does have a few of the latter, which seems to be the main source of optimism.
But I’ve been through maybe half a dozen support issues in the last 24 hours, pretty much all from a year ago, none of which have been addressed. Many of them are a very big deal to a lot of customers. Meanwhile in the fallout from each release, inevitably lots of people start discussing the newer competition, who are perceived to be ahead of the curve in terms of customer responsiveness.
So how about a new approach. Let’s invent the marketing tagline for Cubase 9 right now - “The Cubase YOU asked for”. Spend an entire year going through all those bug fixes and feature suggestions which keep coming up, so we don’t have 20 new little improvements and fixes in 9, but 1020. No big new features, no cloud excitements, just making Cubase as lean, reliable and powerful as it can be. Get to grips with windows management and UI bugbears once and for all, resolve engine issues (such as the ongoing VE Pro nightmare on its 1 year anniversary), disabled / enabled track consistency and enhancements, faster renderings and so on.
I know the reply - whole point releases have to have something new to make people buy it. But this is the cycle of despair we’re in - new features soak up ever more resources trying to fix them (wow, the all-new VST Cloud doesn’t function well, wonder how many people hours that will now suck up that could have gone into more substantial improvements). And I know the other reply - why pay for stuff that should be free? As customers, we have to be pragmatic. The kind of changes I believe vast numbers of customers are waiting for will take an awful lot of time and resources, be they bug fixes or new workflow features. I’m happy to pay for that, if I get a much stronger product as a result, not one which is ever-spiralling downwards into unfinished ideas and bugs.
So to users - +1 and add your voice here if this sounds like a plan or come up with a better one (that isn’t “give us everything we want for free right now”). To Steinberg - let’s think about doing things differently, eh? How about opening a genuine and ongoing dialogue with your customers here?