Best Cubase option for portable playback no audio recording

Hi - I’m looking to take my Cubase 6.5 projects portable, bringing an audio interface with me, to play on other speakers/monitors. No audio recording at all planned for that. I’m wondering what, if any, of the “junior” Cubase software programs might be appropriate for me.

Initial goals are as follows:

*** Minimal cost of the computer that is used to transport/playback the files.
– Since I’m not going to record audio, I figured any old laptop will probably do?
– Will this possible Cubase junior software run on an iPad/Android tablet? I’m considering buying one for other purposes, so that would be very nice if what I bought did run on that.

*** Minimal cost of the software. Though I’m not going to record audio onto it, it of course needs to be able to play Cubase 6.5 projects.
– Can I edit the Cubase project on the software?
– Can I use the laptop/iPad keyboard to enter MIDI notes (getting greedy, I know!)?

*** Does it need a dongle? All things being equal, it’d be nice to not have to use one.

Looking on the Steinberg website:

*** I see Cubase Elements as an option, I wonder if that will do. I can’t seem to find a Subforum for Elements like all the other Cubase products have, or nice little Steinberg vids. I guess I’ll check youtube, but if someone has a Steinberg link, please pass it along, thanks!

*** Cubase iC/Pro - can’t tell if it will run on XP (what I run Cubase 6.5 on), and those are remote controllers as far as I can tell, not something I can take with me.

*** Cubase AI … I can’t find that product on the My Steinberg page (though this seems to be the official forum to discuss them according to the subforum title!). Maybe it’s not sold anymore?

*** And Cubasis was looking pretty good, but it requires Windows 7, so that’s a no-go for me for now.

I have a thread on the MySteinberg subforum asking about Sequel in these regards, if anyone wants to pop over there, please do!

Thanks!

FWIW, here are a few comments based on a slightly different situation, but, hopefully with some relevance to yours …

If you’ll need a new audio interface, you might find one that comes with a cut-down version of Cubase thrown in - for instance, I got a free Cubase LE4 (with, IIRC, the Emu 0202 USB interface that I bought for my internet PC, or perhaps with my Zoom H4 hand-held stereo recorder).

There are a few good audio interfaces available (such as Mackie’s Onyx Blackjack, though its bundled recording prog isn’t Cubase) - you could check which, if any, come with a free Cubase. Also, some of those small hand-held stereo recorders come with ASIO drivers that enables you to use the recorder as an audio interface for input/output, my Zoom H4 being one example.

Re running Cubase without a dongle: my Cubase LE4 could have been run without one, because the Cubase LE4 license could have been be stored on the laptop’s hard drive, though I chose instead to put the license on a dongle, giving the option of using LE4 on another PC.

Cubase LE4 (and perhaps other similar versions) won’t run with a full Cubase license.

I bought a refurbished laptop (WXP) quite cheaply, specifically to keep next to my piano as a rough-and-ready recorder. I installed Cubase LE4 on it and I use my old Zoom H4 as an audio interface, so the only outllay was for the cheap laptop.

[I have a device (Moog PianoBar, discontinued) that outputs MIDI from my piano, so I can record audio (via the Zoom H4) alongside the corresponding MIDI. The audio quality isn’t the greatest (must be about the same as using the H4 alone, I suppose), but it’s good to have a MIDI recording. And setting up better mics is quite a big hurdle to overcome when just a quick recording’s needed - using the the H4 is so much more convenient.]

Before settling on using Cubase LE4, I dabbled a little with Reaper, but didn’t take to it - whereas I feel completely at ease with LE4. And, of course, I can open the LE4 files far more easily in a newer full version of Cubase.

Your situation will be different, because (I think you imply that) you’ll be taking files from C6.5 and wanting to use them in perhaps a lower-spec version of Cubase. So, of course, you’d need to know that you can achieve that without too much hassle. Of course, once you’ve got the cpr file into the lower-spec Cubase, you ought to be able to edit it, just as if it had been recorded in that version.

Hello Chase - Thanks for the wonderful reply! Nice solution for your requirements, very elegant.

I’m looking at taking baby steps … first aiming to listen/edit on the upstairs monitors (DAW is downstairs), then when that is stable, taking things farther afield. My XP DAW running Cubase 6.5 is rock steady, and I don’t want to hook it up to our home wireless for fear of starting a cascade of problems. So even though I’m still at home, I’m looking for a “remote” solution.

I won’t need an interface to do this upstairs, as I have powered speakers. So I think the best product is either going to be Cubase Elements, or maybe Sequel (though I don’t know yet whether the latter plays/edits Cubase 6.5 .cpr’s).

I see there’s a trial version of Elements 6 above … gonna load it on a cheapo laptop and give it a go!

Thanks again for your response, Chase - it helped clarify some thoughts for me -

Not really, if you want to play back full cubase projects you will need a decent kit. Unless you freeze everything so you don’t have any plugins running. In that case it’d be easier to just export to wav and play that back on a device :wink:

– Will this possible Cubase junior software run on an iPad/Android tablet? I’m considering buying one for other purposes, so that would be very nice if what I bought did run on that.

Nope, unless you get Cubasis which runs only on an iPad. Not sure if this can open cubase projects, check the product page for that. I know cubase can open Cubasis files though.

*** I see Cubase Elements as an option, I wonder if that will do. I can’t seem to find a Subforum for Elements like all the other Cubase products have, or nice little Steinberg vids. I guess I’ll check youtube, but if someone has a Steinberg link, please pass it along, thanks!

Elements doesn’t need a dongle, I think it will open Cubase 6.5 files, but obviously missing plugins/features won’t work.

*** Cubase iC/Pro - can’t tell if it will run on XP (what I run Cubase 6.5 on), and those are remote controllers as far as I can tell, not something I can take with me.

This is just a remote controller, it won’t open or playback anything.

*** Cubase AI … I can’t find that product on the My Steinberg page (though this seems to be the official forum to discuss them according to the subforum title!). Maybe it’s not sold anymore?

AI was never sold, this is what they give away with hardware with an AI knob or other AI features.

*** And Cubasis was looking pretty good, but it requires Windows 7, so that’s a no-go for me for now.

Not really, Cubasis requires an iPad, not Windows :wink:


Thanks!

You’re welcome :slight_smile:

And thanks to you, Strophoid!

Appreciate your caution about likely needing more than a junior Mr. Laptop … will be careful about that. Going to the Mr. Egghead store (that’s actually the name!) for some used laptop action. Have downloaded a key for Elements, won’t be able to put all this together for a week or two at earliest. We’ll see how it goes.

You’re right … the Cubasis needs an iPad … but there’s something called “SKI” that goes onto the main DAW, and that’s thing that requires W7, at least as far as I understand it.

Although my XP is rock steady with Cubase 6.5 (I don’t mind the extra bouncing I’m sure I must be doing), I can see the writing on the wall in terms of the ancillary stuff that is getting released - remote control, etc. etc. Gonna hold on a little longer though!

Thanks again!

Aloha a,

My vote is for a laptop are here are some reasons:

If I run Cubase 5/6/7 with nothing but Steiny installed plugs,
I can playback 90-100% of any work
done on my more powerful desktop 'puter.

For live work which I do every weekend, and which
uses VSti’s only (no audio) I have no probs playing back
as much as 40 tracks of VSTi’s (see sig)

Later this spring I will spend a few days deep in
the rain forest doing some location recording using
the same laptop.
This year will be the first time using C7.

With the laptop rig I use an M-Audio FW410 for
location recording and live playback.

I find that this 4 year old laptop can do
lots ‘o’ basic recording/playback stuff
with no real hassles or hang-ups.

Seems to me a newer more up-to-date ax, (PC or Mac)
will probably do you proud in most situations.

HTH
{’-’}

Aloha C!

Rain forest, laptop, C7 … what could go wrong? :slight_smile: But watch out for the rabid humuhumunukunukuapuaii, I hear they go crazy killer when they hear anything in D minor (the saddest of all keys, of course).

But thank you for that. My next “rig” may indeed be a laptop, not a desktop. That’s a lot of power in that Mbook, 40 VSTi tracks!

Thanks again C -