consulting what to buy/upgrade

Hello everyone,

I wanted to consult with you if it is possible - regarding the best cubase version I should buy / upgrade.
I am a song writer and do mostly - funk, R&B, groove, acid jazz, jazz, hip hop, dance, soul music. I am also a trumpet player. I use Seinberg UR-44 + cubase AI-7 + keyboard Roland XP-50 and iMac.
I usually record at home and do everything on my own without other musicians.
I sing and do vocals.
I am looking for a lot of VST instruments and mainly for playing the style of music I play and write.
Because I don’t play usually with other musicians I need to have instruments that are as close as possible to the real sounds of the instruments itself. Very important that the real instruments of an orchestra like Trombon, flute, strings will sound real.
I am not sure Cubase 7.5 is what I need, maybe more cubase elements 7, but not sure there are enough instruments. Maybe it is better to stay with the cubase AI-7 I have and to buy virtual instruments, because I use cubase mainly for basic recordings.

Have a great day,

An upgrade to artist or the full version of cubase is never a bad idea. The included vsti’s are usefull but maybe not what you are looking for. But since you do record vocals, having (a lot) more options on that aspect is allways an upgrade for your rig.

If you want real sounding instruments then you could take a look into the many available packages on the market. They are never included in any DAW standard package. They contain most of the times a decent string, a decent flute, … and so on, but that is not to be compared with what the sample bank builders are offering.

High quality natural instruments come from brands like East West, Vienna, cinesamples, Project SAM, Steinberg Halion Symphonic, Garritan and so on… They vary a lot in price and in functionality. Also: most of them are not cheap. Try before buy is the best thing you can do here and feal if a) the sound is what you are looking for, b) the workflow is what you want. Another thing you can do is stepping in one of the combined deals a lot of those brands offer. When getting bargains up to 75% in most cases there is no reason to regret any of those buys. You wil get multiple gigabytes of samples. Most of them are top quality.
I would not opt for the “complete” package of NI since the normal complete package is more a bundle of very old sample banks and vsti’s. But that said, the combination offered is a bargain overall deal but not specificly for natural sounding instruments. Different story with their extended complete package. That one is 1000 euro’s but then you get a really hefty bunch of vsti’s.
But that said, the same with the CCC2 deals of East West. This is top class stuff. Same with the Vienna bundles.

So there is no single path to go, but neither one of the above mentioned brands will fail to deliver what they promise.
My personal findings on those package:

  • East West is more Pop/Hollywood oriented. But very high grade. Their guitares are the best i’ve heard.
  • Vienna is more classic music oriented. The wealthy amount of variations in playstyle is a big selling point and awesome.
  • Garritan: very affordable and excellent sound, but needs some tweaking
  • Halion Symphonic: a bit a mixed bag, very affordable (99 euro) and outstanding on some points but needs some tweaking too.

Another option is to go for a workstation. The results are comparable with what you have with your XP though. They offer a very broad scale of sounds, but they are allways less expressive/realistic then the sample banks mentioned above. The advantage is they cost a lot less then the specific sample banks.

Probably other users will want to add to this comment…

kind regards,


I´m producing the same Musicstyle like you do. I think the update to 7.5 will never be wrong like roel said. The most Plugs i´m using are naturally sounding plugs, of course for SOUL (70´s & 60´s), RNB, Funk. I will give you a short list what i´m sing for my Music, maybe it could be something for you, if you haven´t these Plugs:

Drums: EZ Drummer 2, Superior Drummer 2, Addictive Drums, NI´s 70´s Drummer, NI 60´s Drummer, NI´s Modern Drummer, Battery 3, Spark VDM, Best Service Drums Overkill

Bass: Trilian by Spectrasonics. Nothing else more for Bass if you have this one.

Keys: NI Electric Piano 1.5, Scarbee Vintage Keys, Arturia Wurli, Galaxy II Pianos, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia Keys, NI´s Vintage Organs and Session Horns for Brass

Strings: VSL Special Edition, VSL Appassionata Strings 2, East West Symphonic Orchestra, NI´s Session Strings

Guitar: Music Lab Real Gtr. Series, NI´s Scarbee Funk Guitarist

Synth: A lot of Arturia´s Synth Collections

These are my personal favourite Plugs for making Soul/RNB/Funk Style. Of course, there´s a lot of more stuff out there, a lot of other Guitar Libarys or Bass Libarys for example. But with my Plug i´m really happy for these Music Style.


Hi roel and atarifalcon030 :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot for your comments - it really helps!


I’ve got terrible GAS for NI Komplete, but need to save up a bit more (pricey stuff). Looks like this package could deliver all you need, that said I own C7.5 but most of the time I well below up to Elements specs regarding trackcount (32), however I see myself almaost everutime exceeding the 4 slots insert limit. So in need of no more then 32 tracks (stereo?) and 4 insert slots then Elements is a better option. Also to be noted that Halion 5 also comes with a good set of sounds for your genre’s.

NOTE: The upcoming Sampletank 3 also really looks good, check it out.