Can you modernize the look of Cubase?

I love using Cubase, but compared to some other DAWs, it just looks so old…
Even Dorico and Wavelab are way more “modern” than Cubase!
I know, Cubase is one of the oldest DAWs out there, but why do you have to make it that noticeble?
It really needs a new overall look
(And it’s a little bit buggy too)


Not for me. I’m used to the way Cubase looks and responds. I don’t want any drastic changes. Just incremental ones


Interesting… in my opinion it almost looks too modern already :smile:

But I’m an old fart who started on monochrome Ataris…


They could at least give us an optional new skin :confused:

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Like the way it looks, and how it’s laid out. It’s efficient resource-wise, and clean.

Like that one doesn’t have to ‘relearn the whole DAW’ every time a new version release hits the streets.

If we must choose, I’d rather have useful stuff added, bugs fixed, etc…than too much time being spent on the paint job.

  1. Improved XML import/export.

  2. Improved logical editors…with more event types and abilities.

  3. More track types to automate more things. I.E. A real time macro launching track.

  4. Improvements and updates to the expression map system.

  5. More/better tools for working with the automation lanes…powerful Logic Editors devoted to batch script changes to those lanes. Unlimited versions of takes in VST automation lanes (and easy to swap among them…cut and paste the best bits of the various takes into a new lane).

The last several years instead of getting more ‘little things’ that save time and improve work-flow, we get new skins, UIs, and the trade off getting some ‘cool new looking stuff’ while breaking things that worked really well for decades.

I personally don’t have a problem with fresh looks and work flow improvements. It’s just that…surface level changes tend to take enough priority as it is.

Sometimes I go take a look at the stuff people claim ‘looks so cool, modern, and fresh’…then learn pretty quickly that it sucks with multiple monitors or big screens. It might be really good for sound design, doing EDM music using a bunch of VSTi’s…but then suck for straight up composing a song, doing a symphonic score for a gaming engine, syncing to film, or connecting to a 128 input mixing bus and recording a live band.


Cubase is pretty good at many things but it’s not going to match every product on the planet for every specific need/task.


Let’s hope not.

Interesting. I use both C12 and Wavelab 11. I don’t see Wavelab as more “modern” than Cubase. Wavelab offers the light and dark modes. Actually, I think I like the overall look of Cubase over Wavelab. I’m specifically thinking of Wavelabs Montage, and the wave editor compared to the Cubase Project page and Cubase Sample editor. I do most editing of samples in Wavelab, however that is mostly from habit.

What specifically looks old in C12?

Having seen the GUI of HALion (Sonic) 7 I have hope that some of the improvements might be transferred into Cubendo. Let’s see.

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Hi @Brian_Roland,

I think that you and all the others in this thread have quite a few valid points regarding Cubase and the current GUI, while speaking from different angles.

However, I still think that it wasn’t the best design decision by Steinberg to restrict the main GUI color scheme customisation as much when Cubase 11 got introduced.

For example with Cubase 10 and 10.5 (and earlier versions), eye sight impaired users could still create their own high contrast color schemes, even a more or less white Cubase GUI with dark system fonts could be configured.

Or even something with a rather unconventional touch of pastel color choices. Nowadays, only four relatively dull and dark main color schemes can either be picked as such, or they can be adapted by picking some rather dark pastel colors, but nothing too light, or even white (as in “inverted contrast”). Strangely enough, one can still completely mess up the custom GUI coloring by choosing bright red or ultramarine blue main GUI color values, but never bright yellow or orange, or white.

What I’m referring to is this:

In "Preferences" → “User Interface-Color Schemes” → “Custom Color Scheme

…and in…

Preferences” → “User Interface-Color Schemes” → “Focus Color

…there’s no entirely free choice of picking colors from a full RGB color band(s), whereas the color pickers in all other (“lower level”) parts of Cubase’s GUI color choices still enable the full RGB / hue / saturation / value ranges.

But please don’t get me wrong: there are still very reasonable and eye strain reducing color combinations possible, just that restriction doesn’t really make sense (at least to me).

Apart from that, I’d rather tend to reject any argument that says something like “oh, we just wanted to avoid users having to call our support department after completely messing up their GUI colors and then couldn’t find their way back.” :wink:



I agree somewhat …. If all the native apps app have the same look & feel that would be good & it really needs a couple of New Native Apps

  1. a good BASS sampler/ Synth containing a small selection of high quality bass synth & Bass guitar samples.
  2. a decent vst analog modelling 3 layer synth that’s not FM based.

& PLEASE :pray:. Don’t make the horizontal/vertical scroll bars/handles really thin …… (pet hate)

Thank you

I think the look is good, Dorico does look nice of course - and it’s zippy.

But I think if anything the interface could just do with a module that allows us to bind macros to buttons that we can snap in place or float as a toolbar.

That would be far more significant upgrade for me.


I guess you’re not including Ableton in this comparison.

Cubase may lack the glitz of logic, but Live is literally something from the last century.

I would like to see a refreshed look of Cubase but for goddess sake… I hope it will never look like Wavelab. I stopped using it when they made the change to the current GUI because UX is way worse than before.
Wavelab doesn’t look modern to me, it looks messy.

I’m all for a new modern look as long as it’s not making UX worse.

What are you specifically referring to? Maybe show some examples of bad Cubase vs. Good Whatever instead of just “modernize the look?”

Otherwise you get general replies to most anything visual. Background colors, buttons, drop-downs, VST design Project Page, Key/Drum/List editors etc

Personally, there are a lot of areas I would hope are addressed before more “modernization.”

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Pro Tools is the oldest DAW out there (audio) by far and, still to this day, looks like it was designed by a five year old. While it would be great to have some more customization options for the overall layout and color schemes in Cubase , our daily task of jumping back and forth between Pro Tools and Cubase for work really shows how easy on the eyes Cubase is over the course of a long work day, especially the track view.


Last tried it on a 4k Windows machine when they changed their product line, I couldn’t believe how appalling the interface is still.

I do like their inserts view on the tracks though. There’s a theme for Reaper which mimics it and i’m a big fan. :+1:

our beloved old cubase can benefit from some botox injections to iron some of its wrinkles :syringe:

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I mostly have no issues with the GUI, but it could definitely use some tweaking and finessing. For example, I would definitely appreciate to see the good ol’ mute/solo/etc. buttons for the “edit” window be finally updated:

Screen Shot 2023-02-23 at 23.04.02

I cannot understand for the life of my why Dorico would use them in its mixer as well, with most of their GUI being so sleek. There’s nothing “functionally” wrong with them, it’s just that they’re so… 90s? I don’t know how to put it down in words. They look so outdated compared with other modernized elements from the GUI that it’s funny. The “M/S/etc.” buttons from their mixer window are so much easier on the eyes IMO:

Screen Shot 2023-02-23 at 23.06.08

I really don’t get why do we have multiple designs for those buttons.

I love me some Cubase and I wouldn’t really want the logic of the software to change because I love it and I have spent many years learning all its secrets but I’d love if my beloved DAW looked more sleek and modern as some of its competion (no Pro Tools, not you).

Also, I’m I the only weirdo that misses the gradient-colored/shady events from older versions?

Screen Shot 2023-02-23 at 23.10.16

I’m OK with the way events look now because it’s really not a big deal but that was a very Cubase-y thing from yesteryear. I’d love if you could toggle a switch to activate the gradient on or off.

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Please no ! Even if Cubase could be improved in many aspects, it’s one of the rare DAW not hurting the eyes with flashy colors ans ugly skins like PT.


It looks unfinished and has no estetic on designe.
Also blurry on high resolution. And default daw colors must chose professionals, not users alone. Track pallete colours are note nice…and please do normal color presets management.

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