Cubase 11 for guitar oriented rock music

My first Steinberg product was their Pro-24 III MIDI Sequencer followed by early releases of Cubase. Despite tending to stick to Cubase Pro versions, from Release 4 through to 8.5, I recently moved back to Elements/AI 1o.X as a result of the free software I received with various hardware acquisitions. Simply put, if you want to record a reasonable guitar oriented rock album (drums, bass, guitars + vocals), AI/Elements 1o.X is pretty much all you need.

However, as of late, I’ve been thinking that an upgrade to Release 11 would make sense; with a return to the Pro version most likely. After a review of the online documentation, I decided to watch the video produced by Steinberg which (as far as I know) is intended to assist you in selecting the correct version (Pro, Artist or Elements) to suit your needs.

Simply put, with a few minor exceptions, the video failed to provide anything of substance to entice myself, as a rock musician, to upgrade to Release 11. Based on the premise that you can play your parts properly during the recording process, the functionality on offer is superficial, if not unnecessary; a trait that seems to have been gathering momentum since Release 4.

Is it just me or has Cubase 11 been targeted at the non-musically minded at the expense of people who know how to compose a song, can actually play their instruments proficiently, and can handle the basic techniques required to record, mix, produce and master a track?

Please tell me it’s just me! What am I missing here?

Reading between the lines it sounds like you basically just need/want a multi-track recorder. If so then you might find that Audacity for free meets your needs.

There are plenty of folks on the forum that have a very sophisticated understanding of music, audio or both who find the advanced features of Cubase quite useful. So I don’t think it is correct to imply Cubase as being designed for musical dunces.

Here are some Cubase Pro features I now find indispensable to my workflow (a few are in Artist too)

  • Control Room
  • MIDI & Project Logical Editors
  • Workspaces
  • Score Editor
  • Tempo & Signature Tracks
  • Track Versions
  • Expression Maps
  • Multiple Marker Tracks
  • Comping
  • Render in Place
  • Direct Routing
  • Loudness Meter (and I expect Supervision to soon join this list)
  • Stereo Combined Panner

You might notice that the list includes both musical tools and audio engineering tools.

*** Update: 23:1o, 24-Mar ***
First up: On reflection, the term “non musically minded” is too harsh and I apologize for using it. In fact, why shouldn’t a DAW help anyone, regardless of their perceived “skill” level, express themselves musically? That’s a good thing, right?; so, again, I apologize.

 However, I still believe that the functionality introduced latterly, is diluting the primary structure and workings of the "DAW" in general (which, I suppose, could be explained by the "law of diminishing returns" in terms of the ever decreasing utility derived from each additional "improvement").

    I take also your point that I need a multi-tracking recorder, but I would argue (as stated in my profile) that Cubase is just that. Indeed, a cursory glance at the manual shows that the narrative gets very quickly to the crux of the matter I e., a quick introduction, set up, VST connections, projects, etc., and straight into; you guessed it: Tracks; a whole 8o pages worth (based on 8.5 Pro manual). And why?; because, at heart, Cubase is multi tracking music production suite.

*** Original Post ***
Anyhow, I understand what you are saying but remember, I’m talking specifically about upgrading to Release 11 from Release 10.5. For example, I haven’t been all the way through your list but many of the functions you itemise have been available for long enough in previous releases i.e., you don’t need to move from Release 10.5 (or even 8.5; and in some cases 4; in fact, cue Pro-24 III; it has MIDI editors, etc.), to 11 to get them. Also, as I said, based on the promotional video, there doesn’t seem to be any justification to upgrade.

.Or, is there really something, available only in Release 11 which makes the outlay essential for producing a high quality end product?

Sorry I read it as between Elements or Pro.

No. The Audio engine has not changed in ages. You can get just as good audio out of Cubase 8 as 11. So from a sound quality perspective no reason to upgrade.

That said there are new tools (Superrvision) in 11 that can make it easier to address audio issues like phase problems, frequency distribution and similar stuff. Now all of these problems could be managed just fine in earlier versions of Cubase. It’s just going to be a bit easier to accomplish in 11. So to some extent I’d expect that if it is easier to fix subtle audio problems, more of them will likely get fixed

You are absolutely correct. Perhaps I was expecting too much from a major release update i.e., 1o to 11, instead of, say, 1o.5 to 1o.6. I should also plead guilty to not keeping abreast of how other users, like yourself, use Cubase. Instead, I tend to assume that everyone approaches the creative process of making music as I do, which is clearly a very blinkered view from which I am unlikely to learn much (if anything). I will, however, try harder in future to keep up with what’s going on with other users in the Cubase community.

Be safe.