Based on what the OP wrote, I think this is the best advice. I didn’t really know if I “needed” it either. You could take Wavelab and do a lot of experimenting with dither, shaping, and various file formats and gain a ton of knowledge. But like anything, that takes a lot of time so there is a compromise. I really depends on the users goal.
I have been using WL since version 4 and have seen a lot of changes. WL goes in directions far beyond Cubase, and is for users who want more in depth editing, mastering, audio analysis…most anything you need before sending the master away. Batch processing…sure you can find something cheap or free to convert a thousand .wav files to MP3 in a couple minutes, but you won’t find anything that also can insert seemingly unlimited processing steps and output in dozens of different samples and bit rates. The meters are fantastic. For some tools such as Smart Bypass there are work-arounds, but not as easy or quick. Ever have a client who chooses the slightly louder track? Smart Bypass eliminates the volume bias so focus can be only on the processing differences.
The GUI was totally re-written for WL9 and includes a few overall colors such as “dark” “light” etc. Things are dockable or not…lots of options.
It lacks good automation, but I believe that will be included in WL10. PG the author, answers anyone’s questions on a regular basis, and bugs are addressed in a timely manner. As a matter of fact, I have read there are some that have cropped up in WL9 with plug-ins but I’m confident PG will address them soon.
I think a lot of ME’s use Wavelab for assembling only because it is easy.
Something WL is not is that while it includes it’s own array of processing tools, I think most any user is going to go for the 3rd party tools that may be better or the very least, they are comfortable with. You are paying for an editing/mastering/batch processing/analysis application, not so much VST tools.
Hugh H: I don’t know, but you could ask in the forum for a quick answer. I know there is no DD, probably because of licensing costs.
So for the OP, wait until you feel comfortable with Cubase. When you have confirmed Cubase doesn’t do something you are wanting, then look to other applications such as Wavelab.