I go back with Cubase to the first Windows version when it was just a midi sequencer. As the “wintel” version evolved into a DAW, I quickly and painfully discovered that native computer processing power was not up to the task, thus the advent of the pro tools PCI “farm cards” on the Apple platform. After trying several digital hardware solutions (Roland and Tascam) with their own hardware limitations, and because of other life circumstances, I got away from music as a hobby for quite a while.
Just started getting back into it this year.
I must say learning this software is quite a daunting task. Cubase 10 is packed with features and I find myself quite lost at times. This came as quite a shock as I thought my previous experience “long ago in a galaxy far, far away” would carry me through the learning curve. Referencing the manual and watching both Steinberg and other YouTube videos, I don’t always find an answer to my specific questions. It’s more like finding bits and pieces and then trying to tie it all together.
This is very complicated and amazing software. I did not anticipate this steep of a learning curve. I have so far been both awestruck by its feature set and frustrated by its complexity. I’m sure if I had continued to “grow” in my knowledge of Cubase by continuing to use it as each version improvement was released this experience would have been much less frustrating but I’m also confident that after I get comfortable with the basics I’ll come to appreciate its complexity.
The point of this thread is that part of my job involves writing S.O.P.’s, work instructions and training. Steinberg has created allot of “help and support” content (the aforementioned YouTube videos, etc.) but I find much of it a bit disorganized, especially their YouTube channel. Don’t get me wrong, there is allot of good content in those videos but what would have helped me immensely is a “starter” video highlighting the enormous impact of establishing choices in the Edit → Preferences and Project → Project Set Up dialogs.
I’ve come to find these have a significant impact on certain behaviors, many of which I was initially inclined to think would be found under more traditional menu bar options.
Another example of being caught by surprise was how the rather mundane task of importing a midi file could be so frustrating. One of the things I did before setting aside music as a hobby for all those years was exporting and archiving all my previous work as both type 0 and type 1 midi files.
OK, so I’ll just import a midi file of one of my songs and use that as a basis to learn the program. I’m sure there was sound patch info in that midi file which caused Cubase to default to use its HALion Sonic equivalent of a general midi sound patch. But I could not for the life of me figure out how to change that piano patch to use a preset in “The Grand” which contains higher quality sounds.
Running a google search I finally stumbled upon an old, locked thread in the Steinberg forum detailing how the fact that there is no direct provision for changing an instrument sound in this circumstance and the way to do it is to create a new instrument track, select the VSTi you want to use, and then copy the midi data in the exported track to the new instrument track. Unless I’m still missing something, that is a rather convoluted way of achieving the simple goal of changing a sound patch in an otherwise complex piece of software.
I’m not criticizing Steinberg or Cubase. I think it’s amazing music production software and I can’t wait to get past my “growing pains” and learning curve. Just wish there was a more detailed “beginners” video tutorial as I’ve not found anything that touches on the Preferences and Project Set Up dialogs and something that would have explained in detail the “Track” hierarchy as I also found it very confusing that all those different types of tracks can peacefully coexist side-by-side in the same “window”.
IMO, Steinberg should hire a TS16949 / ISO 9000 consulting firm to help them create training docs and videos. I think it would go a long way toward reducing the number of questions that users post in the forums which in turn would diminish many of the complaints and criticisms of the program and claims of “bugs” in the software. I think allot of that (complaints / criticisms / bugs) may be based on allot of users not having a full understanding of the Cubase feature set.
As for myself, the realization that my previous experience is not helping me with the learning curve, I’m more inclined to place blame on my ignorance rather than “bugs” or features not working or poorly implemented.
Bottom line, if you (Steinberg) don’t have any in house TS16949 / ISO 9000 work instruction writing specialists, please hire or contract some.