I have a real problem that’s already cost me money, the respect of my customers and likely cycles of my lifespan.
You see I can’t help but be incredibly frustrated with the continued over-complexity of Cubase 10.
Allow me a moment to provide some background. I’ve been working in pro audio production since 1989. I’ve seen the birth of the DAW, the death of record sales, and the continued degeneration of the industry. When I was forced to use a new DAW I found only a couple of viable options. Pro Tools, Logic or Cubase. Logic has a decent workflow and ease of use that I find incredibly appealing. However, I’m moving further and further away from the Mac OS, and have now switched to Windows for the foreseeable future. Pro Tools was simply too expensive to justify based on previous experience with Avid’s lack of capability to introduce features that other DAWs would introduce many years before Avid. Finally, Cubase seemed to be the only option left, as it runs on both Mac and Windows and is incredibly feature rich. Choosing a DAW, as you may know, is a huge choice. Much like choosing a life partner, because once committed, you’re in it for the long haul. The alternative is to switch again and go through a level of pain no one should ever have to endure. (Getting old sessions to move to another DAW is as painful a thing as I’ve ever encountered in my long digital life.)
With that said, I’m using Cubase steadily for about a year now. I have written over 18 pages of my own manual to remember all of complexities and idiosyncrasies of this overblown software. You see Steinberg has long suffered from the philosophy that they should try and please all the people all of the time. This has resulted in an experience that forgets the basics and instead embraces a ridiculously busy interface, a clumsy workflow and obvious frustration. I expected as much work with software this advanced, but could never have imagined that using a DAW could be this frustrating. I’ll go deeper into this giant mess with subsequent posts about the numerous issues I have encountered with no resolutions. However, getting back to the matter at hand here, lets discuss one such issue that Steinburg support will not admit is a fundamental miss.
My use case is very often just songwriting. I like to record parts in a disjointed manner, simply trying to explore options for a song. What this means is that I want to record, with a click (count-in), and get going. Sounds simple enough right? Well in the usual Cubase fashion, it’s not. It still amazes me how awkward Cubase is. I need to do something rudimentary and Cubase inevitably gets in the way. The session and my momentum stops cold, anger ensues and I begin researching a fix or workaround. Coming back to a focused state for composing is a constant frustration with Cubase.
So what’s the issue?------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If I want to start recording from a beat and not on a bar, Cubase simply won’t let me. For example, I want to start to record at bar 9 beat 3. I place my cursor here, arm a track, hit record and the cursor skips backward to bar 9 beat 1. Try it and you’ll see. I simply can’t believe it. I DON’T WANT TO START THERE. THAT’S WHY I DIDN’T PLACE THE CURSOR THERE. How can something so fundamental and simple be screwed up? How can this be screwed up and not fixed with a high priority due to the user community screaming for blood? I mean, you’re really not allowed to start recording from wherever the hell you want to?
More on the issue…
This seems to be a function of the metronome getting in the way. If I again start at bar 9 beat 3 and turn the metronome off (no click or count-in), then recording commences from where I intended it to, from bar 9 beat 3. (great, except the musician has no click now) It’s only when the metronome (click) is on that this occurs.
Is this pre-roll? Nope, those settings are off. Should I have to waste session time mucking about with punch recording to overcome this? Hell no! This is simple stuff and should be fast fast fast! I certainly shouldn’t be expected to move material to the bar to record and then move it back after recording might be complete, right? Well this is what I’ve had to do.
I called support to inquire about this. The representative tried to help but had no answers other than to reset my preferences for the application. Long story short, I don’t want to reset my preferences and shouldn’t be expected to, ever. Not ever. However, because support had no insight for a fix, and astonishingly this is somehow still baked into the product, I did reset my preferences and it resolved nothing! But hey, my anger is at maximum levels, my lifespan is shrinking and I’m in a long term relationship with my DAW that apparently would rather kill me before simply letting me use it for the reason it was created.
So what to do? Support was able to replicate this behavior. However, support won’t acknowledge that this is a bug. He did think that it was strange and that there certainly should be a way to defeat this stupid behavior. He also suggested that I reach out here, as if the community is a partner developer for Steinburg. Hey, I have no other option, so lets give it a go and see what comes of it. At the very least I would hope that more community members would acknowledge this issue and comment here to get Steinburg’s attention. Have you ever wanted to start recording from a place other that the beginning of a bar? Can you replicate this? Please comment, and lets make this software better.