Antsy for Eight - System Backup, Prep & First Impressions

Excited, anxious, worried, confident, trepidatious and supportive, all at the same time.

I know this will devolve into bullet lists, but how do we feel about this important release.

I’m not crazy (questionable), it is important, right?

7.5.x has been the most stable for me. I could live on this version for years if I had to (but don’t want to).

Bottom line: We had 7.5 around this time, a year ago. 7.5.40 has been confirmed, but isn’t likely to make 2014 (as I hope the coders are taking a much needed break very soon).

Almost for sure, v8 isn’t well into until next year.

7.5.40 is going to be almost 100% bug fixes, stability and compatibility issues, I’m sure.

Which hopefully will not add additional bugs for anyone (a tough job).

So, how do we feel about this “delay” of v8 and about it in general?

Cheers.

I feel the same. :confused:

They’re all important, but, I guess it’s a question of perspective. I rely on Cubase to make a living. Unless it’s a complete rewrite–which is doubtful, since 7 was supposedly a deep rewrite–I’m pretty committed to waiting a while before relying on it.

Lucky you! I’m jealous. 7.5+ has been incredibly buggy for me.

[strummed acoustic guitar starts up] …I remember when I opened my home studio for business in '09 with, what–Cubase 4? I could do practically anything I wanted. Just insane amounts of … everything! Low latencies… Put the Mac to sleep and resume a 75-track mix… Just insane. The most solid DAW setup I’ve ever seen in my life. Anywhere.

Now, 7.5.3 crashes on open… on close… it now crashes and doesn’t even set off the Crash Reporter in OSX. I’m getting odd behaviours almost every outing now. Nothing I can’t work around, and nothing fatal, per se, but lots of little delays and nuisances–that are embarrassing in front of clients.

7.5.40 is going to be almost 100% bug fixes, stability and compatibility issues, I’m sure.

Your faith is touching, Jalcide. I’ll believe it when I can go a week without seeing “Video Service” errors. That has been a bug–loudly posted about on this forum–for about 4 years. Still, nothing. Steinberg’s last word? “Solved!” But it’s not. Four years!

So, how do we feel about this “delay” of v8 and about it in general?

I’m totally excited, don’t get me wrong. The redesigned MixConsole in 7 and many of the features introduced in each version is totally exciting. What will they come up with for 8? Can’t wait to see. Steinberg have always been leaders–pioneers, even–of DAWs. The tools they have created keep them at the forefront for songwriting producers.

But I’ve been power-using Cubase/Nuendo for years, and I have my methods. The longer I do this, the less change I need, let alone want. I’m in no rush to get a new version number. What I crave is rock-solid stability. The heck with new plugins and windows and especially samplers and VSTi’s!
(That being said, I’ll probably buyit, but keep my previous versions–as I’ve done since 5). :wink:

What I do know, is that, since Cubase has become more and more buggy and fussy, I’ve reinstalled Logic and am making sure I’m staying current. Because, if Cubase starts costing me any more studio time due to instabilities caused by rushing out new version numbers before maturing their software, I will switch.

Still, fingers crossed! I do have hope–and have been loyal to Cubase since the “VST” days.

Thanks for the reply, Enj, I’ll be hoping your particular issues get worked out.

I used to be a Mac Logic user (PC Cubase before that, Bar & Pipes Amiga before that, Music X before that, two tape decks before that), then switched to Mac Cubase, then to PC Cubase then PC Studio One then PC Sonar X3 and finally back to Cubase 7 and 7.5.

And back in the day I had a small recording studio business, but gave up and became a software developer (which I love).

Now, an out of control music hobby is about the only thing keeping me sane. So, my sanity is slightly tied to Cubase, one might say. Yikes! :slight_smile:

Cubase ran pretty stable on my 2006 tricked-out Mac Pro, so I think we really do have a platform choice with Cubase, which is awesome. Logic, not so much. Still have love for Logic, but that’s a past life now.

I still have dreams and nightmares of the “Environment” in logic.

Cubase is in a very odd place right now. Ahead in so many ways, behind in so many ways, but is still “Cubase” through and through.

I, too, get a bit worried about the songwriting features, welcome as they are.

This is software that has to be a lot, to a lot of different folks.

Maybe they’re getting the last of the songwriting features lined up, before the onslaught of Ableton-esque features, that the future market will be dictating for them, becomes a primary focus (of which I’m a member, oddly, even as old as I am – O.G. electronica guy here).

They’re clearly trying to hit all the angles, which can’t be easy.

One thing almost all of us have in common as production value increases, plugin counts increase and power-hungry plugins increase, all while raw CPU floating point crunching remains relatively unchanged, is … the freeze/unfreeze workflow. I hope they address that in v8.

My fear is that the light-duty songwriters will keep postponing these sorts of pro studio features.

I think the irony is that there should soon be a rich market of “songwriters” that are electronic-oriented and therefore will be pulled into the “Beatport production requirement” rabbit hole. That tidal force will be putting the “pro” features back in the spotlight even for Steiberg’s “pro-sumer” market side of the spectrum.

But Steinberg gets that (Germany has been at the forefront of many electronic genres from day one). I can sense they are going for the whole cake, not just a piece of the pie. It’s ambitious, breathtaking even, but also a bit stressful, at times.

Well said Jalcide! Dang, I thought I had been doing this a long time! Amiga!

I actually LOLed at your “Environment” dream/nightmare comment. Yeah. That was satanic!
Believe me, I don’t want to leave the fold. I have to defend all the time why I chose Cubase over Pro Tools. And it’s the innovation and production features (MIDI / songwriting tools) that allow me to work so quickly in Cubase. I’ve tried to do what I do in PT and Logic and it just ain’t happening.

So, like I said, I’m still eager to see what they come up with, and I’ll just install 8 and play with it in quarantine for a while.

PT has plenty of pain points. Too many to list here. You shouldn’t have to defend too hard.

As for new Cubase updates, I’ve built a pretty hardcore rackmounted DAW, with removable server-style SSD “trays” that allows me to backup the entire Cubase and OS environment, bit-for-bit (and fully bootable), so at least that dragon is slayed.

I’ll backup the day v8 comes out and then upgrade without fear. If I need to revert, it’s takes 5 seconds and my backup SSD gets popped in, then becomes the primary and vice versa. I don’t even have to open the computer case.

With SSDs so cheap right now, it’s a great way to go.

On OS X, Synchronize X Pro (among others) will do the bootable backup thing just like Paragon Drive Copy (among others) on Windows.

Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

7.5.40 should be a no-brainer. I’m not expecting that to introduce issues, but it’s possible.

Cool. I do the same thing, except I’m on old-fashioned HDDs. I use Carbon Copy Cloner to have incremental backups of my Project drive (which is an external RAID) on a backup disk, and my OS X to another (and bootable) disk.
I keep another, older, smaller HDD that is my sandbox–I try any and all upgrades on that (i can verify that 7.5 actually works quite well on Yosemite).

So yeah, I can blow up a couple drives and I’ll be down only as long as it takes to reboot. Changed my life when I learned about this bootable-image style of backing up!

CCC is good! Cool, sounds like you’re prepared. :slight_smile:

Prediction: we’re about 3 to four months early on v8.

v7.5.40 may come before the new year, but I won’t be surprised if it’s a week or so into 2015.

Get that cybermonday backup SSD/HD now.

I worked at a studio during an ownership change. The new owners were yahoos who disconnected our backup system. Of course, immediately after that, the main PC’s Project dive blew up. I had to look a client in the face and tell him all of his work was gone. About 15 songs we had been working on for weeks. It was so humiliating.

So I resolved that I would never be put in that position again. I made backup the number one priority when I started my little thing up here. It’s great to hear from someone else who takes backup just as seriously!:smiley:

Wow.

OUCH.

Also, been there (not quite as badly).

My (non-client / non-professional) seriousness comes from a very complex real-time, multi-computer DAW setup, a lot of sound-design-oriented plugin chains, a lot of plugins, a lot of tracks, large projects (from a RAM perspective) and having lost a lot of time due to issues with things not playing nice with each other. Wack a mole.

Finally, have a stable setup and it’s like gold to me.

So much so, that I’m about to purchase a backup motherboard of the exact same brand and model (so that Windows doesn’t have to be reinstalled due to a different motherboard replacement, should this one fail).

Something you’re immune to on OS X.

It’s a dirty little secret / gottcha with the PC path.

Thanks, Microsoft!

Anyway, my desire for much needed features, sure to be in v8, is tempered with stability, continuity and just getting stuff done.

Right now, I’m amazed at how stable my system is. It can run for days without even a reboot (seriously, like a whole weekend).

If v8 breaks this in any way, nothing it offers could offset that.

Hence, the backup plan!

Bloody brilliant with the mobo thing! You’re my PC hero now.

Thanks, the secret is two-fold…

First, if you’re doing the PC thing, go with Windows 7, as it doesn’t cry fowl if:

a) the hard-drive or SSD changes (Windows 8 does, but will still let you re-activate via an automated phone call to a 24/7 phone line – not terrible, but still slightly frightening). Windows 7 avoids this complely for hard-drive swap-outs (which is also nice for testing image-backups without Windows nagging you – it just works).

b) is much more forgiving toward motherboard of similar era replacements, but not a 100% guarantee. The only way to be certain is with a motherboard of the exact same model.

But, EVERYTHING else can change; video card, ram, etc.

It’s really all about that motherboard.

But motherboard prices for PC are super cheap, so what’s 100-200 bucks to save one month of plugin installs and fussing about.

Honestly, my last reinstall, for someone doing this on nights and weekends, took longer than a month to get back 100%.

With Mac, you’re spared this, but then suffer the whole “outdated Mac” thing. My 2006 Mac Pro still has plenty of raw specs to run Yosemite, but Apple creates arbitrary cut-off points (understandably, for their support economics).

Wow. I remember when Microsoft started doing that. I think it was XP. Shut down the audio I was at for a day while we tried to install some PCI card.

Yeah, the pros and cons of windows and Macs. Always the same. I always felt Cubase was a bit faster and stronger on PC, while the box itself was a better investment overall with Mac. In skilled hands, though, a PC can be made that will almost last forever.
The biggest pain with Mac now is that they’re on this super-accelerated upgrade cycle, which makes Steinberg draw a line in the OS sand faster. So if I want the new features, I’ve got to do a month-long upgrade. And, as you say I’ll eventually be cut out completely and have to but a new Mac < shudder>

Yeah. When I decided to commit to OS X 10.9, I did a clean install. And I’d say it was about a month till I felt everything was back to where it was before. Insane amount of reinstalling and downloading!

I have found since Vista SP2, Windows has handled motherboard upgrades without any issues. I have popped in a new CPU/mb/RAM combination, connected up the drives, and waited while Windows did the driver update. I often find that better than doing the full mb installation software, as Windows only installs the minimum, and not all the bloat-ware, with its resource-sapping services and utilities.

XP was a dog for that. It required too many user actions, and a lot of services-tweaking to make it DAW-ready.

Vista was behind the ‘waiting for OEMs to do new drivers’ 8-ball until SP2, by which time they were on board, and Win has generally been ahead of the curve since then. I generally prefer it to install drivers, because it is frugal with them (no bloat-ware).

btw. this is not needed-- i’m into my second motherboard (different chipset), different CPU, different GFX card, but the same windows 7 (that have been working flawlessly). there’s a windows feature called sysprep that uninstalls all chipset-related drivers prior to switching up hardware. it’s taken me about five minutes to move the system SSD into a new DAW, have it detect the new mobo and CPU and GPU and be up and running. (note: not raid-compatible.)

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/135077-windows-7-installation-transfer-new-computer.html

Yes, sometimes it “just works” when the chipsets are similar, and there is Sysprep and also good 3rd party utilities for when it doesn’t work.

Part of my day job responsibility is as a Devops engineer (to support my software development), so I have gone that route many, many times. I have three 11U high racks of servers in my home office. :slight_smile:

I’m just getting to the point in my life where 150 bucks for a spare MB, to spare all of that, the near-zero risk, the peace of mind, is worth it to me.

In all honesty, the spare will probably find an early life as a VM server that has no fussy migration issues itself, should it need replacement, and can be harvested from there, whenever.

A sort of spreading of statistical risk across two machines that have identical specs.

The other bonus is that, in an emergency, the hot-swapability is reversible. E.g., my VM server goes down and need to use my DAW as the server, in a pinch.

This exact thing happened to me on my Devbox about six months ago and I was able to get back up and running on my video editing computer that had the same MB (it was planned for just this kind of disaster). It was so slick how it worked.

Update: since this thread has already go so far off topic, toward backups and migrations (which got it relegated to the Steinberg Lounge), I’m renaming the post to help with search-ability.)

@Jalcide.

People tend to forget that the opportunity cost for spare parts is the time spent trying to rush the research and sourcing of the latest suitable replacement parts, just after a time-critical system failure.

The fact is that anyone whose livelihood depends upon their DAW being up almost 100% of the time would be nuts not to spend the paltry sum required to have hot-swap systems ready to go, and kept ready by mirroring the live system’s data to them at least daily. And of course, test them regularly, or better still, periodically make them the live system.

I have worked for enterprises whose systems are responsible for $billions of transactions, yet they often only have sub-capacity or unreliable backups systems, if at all, for most of them. Too stingy for their own good.

Absolutely, well said.

I, too, have finally come to this conclusion. Building a computer just for DAW and that only was a huge step forward for me.

This last year I’ve really come to view my DAW as an “appliance” and have a new found respect for the hardcore pros out there you see using old versions of software. E.g., a lot of electronic guys are still on Cubase v5.

Version 7.5.x just may be my “v5,” we’ll see.

My plan is simple: make the image backups on an identical HD (Paragon Drive Copy likes same-sized partitions the best and I keep coming back to this software, it just works and is very quick).

Have fully redundant hardware. I even purchased an extra firewire card of the same make and model (I’ve had one fry on me before and the off-brand replacement was a nightmare).

Then, when a new version of Cubase comes out I can test the waters. If it works, great, I’ve advanced to the new version. If it fails, I’ll stay on the version that works and wait it out.

After some time has passed, I’ll test it again to see if plugin updates, or a Cubase point-release, solved the issue.

Eventually, the compatibility issues usually work themselves out.

But I’m prepared to stay on a working version, indefinitely.

This is a new approach for me. :laughing:

I used to just upgrade and course correct.

I have an entire album’s worth of work-in-progress songs due, in no small part, to my trigger-happy upgrading and updating ways of the past. That, and switching DAWs so much.

I’m staying with Cubase for good now. Shortcomings and all.

Well, if Studio One fixes their freeze feature so that it works with ghost-copied MIDI patterns without flattening them, I may change my mind. That is the only feature that would woo me away.

Aloha guys just to chime in.

Even tho’ I have read that their 1st release will be a 3rd party stand-a-lone
product, I am looking forward to see if any of Dan Spreadbury and crew’s
score notation work will be included in C8.

http://blog.steinberg.net/

Other than going back to Sebelius or Finalé. Cubase is now my
main ax in that arena and I would like to see some progress there; if just a lil.
{’-’}

I have too many monitors – and one is 55" – to run two computers. Don’t want to have the hassle of remembering to switch them all.

Rather, instead of running a boot menu, I have separate drives for each boot (general and DAW), and they were two completely independent and isolated installations. All my drives are in a multi-drive 5.25" bay, so that to change boot, I just unlock the current boot drive door and Win boots up from the other one. Once booted, I can close the other drive door if I need to.

The two boots share the same data drive – including Music, Documents, Videos, Pictures, Downloads and Favourites folders – as well as sharing a project drive.