Can Cubase achieve a very punchy low end?

Hi everyone! In two days I have been using Cubase for two months. The more I learn to use this DAW, the more I love it. Anyway it’s not the first DAW I’ve used.
Last year I started this amazing adventure in the world of the music production in the box almost from scratch. Being oriented towards the Urban/Hip Hop world but also Indie rock, it was a bit difficult for me, to understand which DAW and which workflow I considered most congenial to my creative expression.
I started with FL Studio, then tried Studio One for a smoother workflow. I installed Reaper but it’s more suitable on the mixing side. I also made some projects on Ableton Intro version.
Then I met Cubase and in two months I’m studying it and I’m trying to transfer all my skills into this wonderful DAW.

But… I noticed a detail that maybe is the result of my lack of experience and knowledge of Cubase stock plugins.
I have noticed sonic differences between all the different Digital Audio Workstations used.

Here, I have the impression that the kick drum on Cubase fails to achieve a punchy sound as required in musical genres such as Drill, Trap while it is excellent for old style Hip Hop, the classic Boom Bap. Can anyone confirm my impression? And above all, dear Steinberg developers, will you make me this nice surprise in Cubase 13 of some plugin that with a little push gives you that imperative kick punch like it happens on Ableton with Saturator and “soft clip” activated?
Cubase deserves to be appreciated by beat makers too :slight_smile:

EDIT: Well done, I nearly achivied that sound with a blending combo Squasher + Maximazer :slight_smile:


You can also try to have a look to the Envelope Shaper plug-in.

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Squasher is simply incredible!! It has transformed my synth sounds to a different level!


Yes, I tried Envelop Shaper… it gives more attack but the body isn’t enough punchy… I’m looking for a sound with both those characteristics.

UPDATE: I’m trying to achieve a very punchy kick in Cubase as I can in FL Studio or Ableton.
Cubase’s workflow is my favourite and I find in this DAW a very huge arsenal in features e functions but I miss a very loud punchy sound for a kick drum.
I can achieve something similar only with third part plugins.
I’m trying the Backbone software today to achieve at this sound but the problem is the same as before: when I apply a saturation or a soft clipper the sound loss any powerful low end and becomes droning in the mid - high range.

I hope Steinberg can find a solution for the Cubase audio engine. It seems there is a eq filter cutting a portion of frequencies to achieve a very loud low end as in other DAWs

I can tell you with full confidence that there is not.

Here’s what I would do. Fire up your FL Studio and craft the most earth shattering kick drum you possibly can. Turn that into a .wav file and import it onto an Audio Track in Cubase. Does it sound drastically different in Cubase than it does in FL? If it does, there is likely some issues with your audio setup.


Hmm. I think DAWs sounded more different in the past. These days I think “transparency” is the goal. I find it difficult to believe Steinberg would be “cutting a portion of frequencies” from anywhere. But this has been discussed before. As mentioned here, you would need a detailed examination. It’s actually been done. The second part uses EQ and is worth a look.

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I followed your suggestion. The main problem was my CR Volume too low than main volume in FL Studio or Ableton Intro.
This affected the perception of the various processing of the low end.
I also switched from 32 bit float to 64 bit float in the audio processing configuration.

Anyway in Cubase there’isnt a stock plugin like the one in Ableton to give a very punch sound with a little touch on the Drive knob in the Saturator + Soft Clip activated.

But now I’m sure the problem is not in the Cubase audio engine and with Urban Puncher, a third part plugin I can achieve a good low end in Cubase.

I find that extremely hard to believe tbh.

Can you give us audio examples?

But as a fellow Cubase user suggested above, exporting the kick of your choice and importing it to Cubase will tell you if there is something wrong with the setup in Cubase.

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Yes I followed that suggestion and it works now… I’d only like to find a stock plugin easly giving in a short time a very punchy sound for the low end for Urban / Drill / Trap Hip Hop genres.
May be it’s already here but I don’t know it or maybe it comes in the next future of Cubase …

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You can use the EnvelopeShaper together with an EQ, that should be able to do that task.

With stock plugins I’d probably use some combination of Magento II, Quadrafuzz 2, and Multiband Envelope Shaper plugins.

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That worked very well! I saved my preset chain too, thanks! Why there isn’t any similar preset in default? Hope Steinberg give a little more attention at modern beat makers too :wink:


Well, I generally avoid presets myself. If a kick drum didn’t sound punchy enough for me then I’d probably try another kick drum first! There’s countless options out there. And you’ll never find 1 preset that suits all of them. Pick a kickdrum that sounds closest to what you want, then eq/saturate/compress it until you get it closer to what you want. I bet you’ll get your desired result quicker than cycling through endless presets.

The only time I ever use presets is when I first open a new plugin I’ve never used before - I’ll cycle through all the presets just so I can learn what this new plugin is capable of, but after that I close the preset menu and manually tweak the plugin till I get closest to the sound I’m hearing in my head.

I’ve used a sidechained gate with a tone generator producing a low frequency to add clout and body to kick drums. No point me giving you numbers, cos each case is different. Have a play. Works great.

The gate is used to control when the tone generated sound is allowed through - ie when the kick is sounding.

This is all on its own track, with the sidechain coming from the main kick track.

It’s a good technique if the original tracking isn’t giving you what you want after normal processing.


Yes, every preset is only a start point. I created it to have a good start point with the plugins I need. This post starts from my need to achieve a good punchy kick as fast as I can get with the stock Saturator + soft clip activated in Ableton.

Thanks very much!!! I’ll also try that…

All you need for the hard drill and trap sound is a eq and a clipper at most. Don’t be fooled by all the youtuber producers using a tone of processing on their beats. Drill and Trap were always simple beats produced with very little processing. The most important thing is to get very good quality drum samples designed for the genre. Once you do this you won’t need to process the sound much if at all. The Cubase clipper is useless for this genre by the way.

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Crank up all drumtracks and send it to group

track lower the volume on drumbus work with maximizer and other dynamic stock plugin that are realy good in cubase. Then your done have rms to -6 and peak -1. Use tone generator and use clean sounds as mutch you can in the beginning , and work with transient and eq and let att sounds get the room and space :slight_smile: cant get harder and make the sub more air then that :). Its not the right way but its a way to make it fast of you have 32 bit float and work it down to main and not up like the right way hehe. My self have tryed that. And the 12” was in the wall;) and it sound clean litle dist and silky deep but hard as fu…k. Dynamic? Naa litle to mutch is good, can fix that with RX declipper :slight_smile: and No it just cranked up och fixed with stock plugins. Its not mix or even premix. Just crank that poopies up :wink: and clean waves and mono to hit that subs. Send a file just for fun. What you can do fast in cubase with stock plugins. I know that alot of pro mixers and producers going hard on me now hehe :slight_smile: alot of the stuff is in direct processing :slight_smile: