So last year I bought Cubase 7. It had every feature that I could possible wish for: beautiful score editor, Variaudio 2.0, beautiful new mixer (yes, I think the mixer looks good) etc etc, but it was not stable or bug free. Upon release, the program would freeze up when simply trying to play back a video track. Thank goodness they fixed that in the first 4 updates. So Cubase was very buggy when I got it, and it did get a little better over the time I owned it, and I was willing to give it a try, but when when Cubase 7.0.7 was released and Steinberg moved on, leaving me with $300 less in my pocket (and as a student I payed almost all my spending money to purchase it) I was a bit concerned. I might expect a couple of bugs, but not a whole slew of bugs.
Software that doesn’t remember my vst connections sometimes when I switch drivers, or that randomly stops playing things through the Retrologue synth and I have to restart the software or reload the synth, doesn’t really work as I would expect it to; and software that won’t let me hear the correct pitch of the notes as I shift them up and down (with the Retrologue synth) and only the final update fixes this problem, makes me wonder how it wasn’t noticed earlier. Cubase would hang on closing everytime I shut it down, and when I slept my computer during use, it would crash half of the time.
Yesterday Cubase crashed so hard that not even ending the process in task manager would work. I had to shut down my machine. Cubase also has various gui bugs that occur when I do simple things, such as edit automation. There are little breaks in the automation line until I pass over the line with my mouse pointer, and then they straighten up. There is a little part of the left side of the mixer background that appears to have very faint lines that show up right under the visibility section, and the software doesn’t seem to be designed for small screens. For example, the inspector sometimes expands down beyond my laptop screen, with no way to scroll down without editing the order of items in the inspector to make them fit.
Also, the crossfade and rewire windows (and a few others) minimize the project window when I open them, and the only way to work with these windows is to keep the project window minimized, which doesn’t work well on a laptop. And the Halion Sonic SE synth won’t let me see the last preset in use. And the other day I tried to load up a project with video, and it wouldn’t even let my play the video without restarting Cubase. And the Cubase stock deesser plugin gives my latency when I monitor a track through the software, and many other bugs are giving me issues. Like the bug that occurs (now for good) when I turn on the precount and metronome and try to count in halfway between two measures. The playhead will jump to the beginning of the nearest measure and start recording from their, and this is not a problem with snap or quantize or anything like that, because it used to work differently, or it would “decide” which way it wanted to work during a project before it simply “decided” to behave the buggy way forever. And there are many more bugs that I have had problems with unfortunately.
And many of the things that were fixed in the last update of Cubase 7 (7.0.7 - fixes listed below) seem like they should have been fixed earlier, and many things were left unfixed.
• When opening a file selector dialog the mouse wheel always works as expected.
• Switching the ASIO driver no longer leads to unexpected behavior.
• (OS X 10.9): All non-modal windows are displayed correctly.
• Projects created in Cubase 7.5.x that use the new TrackVersions feature are fully compatible with 7.0.7…
• When opening a project, locked tempo / signature tracks are now restored correctly.
• When using the Browse button in the Add Audio Track window, the Result (Previewer) part of the window is always displayed.
• The layout of MixConsole no longer misaligns when switching from a multi-display setup to a system with only one display.
• Setting the zone visibility of the input/output channels now works as expected.
• Hiding the EQ section in the Channel Settings window now works as expected.
• Using Control+Shift+arrows in MixConsole for changing levels now works as expected.
• The context menu on the channel strip module knobs and in the fader area of MixConsole now works as expected.
• Loading a second project with MixConsole opened in full-screen mode no longer renders the application unreliable.
• When using knob mode for the EQ section in the Channel Settings windows, the phase rerverse button is always visible.
• Loading an FX chain preset no longer renders the application unreliable.
• Changing channels with the cursor keys in the hardware rack of MixConsole no longer leads to an unresponsive state of the application.
• The gain reduction meters of the Maximizer works as expected.
• Copying a REVerence instance to another channel or copying a channel which contains a REVerence instance no longer leads to performance issues.
• (OS X 10.9): Using VST Connect no longer leads to an unsreponsive state of the application.
• Using REVerence (or Roomworks) and bypassing it, then moving to a section in the project without audio and disabling bypass for REVerence no longer leads to unwanted playback of a buffered reverb tail.
• Emptying trash in the Audio Pool now works without issues.
• Playing back a MIDI track containing lyrics events to an external MIDI device no longer leads to an unresponsive state of the application.
• Dragging an event up/down with the mouse in the Key Editor always leads to accurate audio preview.
• Resizing the controller lane in the Key Editor now works as expected.
• Import a MIDI file with the preference set to “Destination: Instrument Tracks” no longer leads to an unresponsive state of the application.
• Using the bottom scroll bar to navigate horizontally in the Score Editor no longer leads to an unresponsive state of the application.
• Printing to PDF from Score Editor and replacing an existing PDF file no longer lead to an unresponsive state of the application.
• Printing from the Score Editor in Cubase Artist / Elements / AI and LE now works as expected.
• Toggling between the vertical and the horizontal position of a symbol palette in the Score Editor no longer leads to an unresponsive state of the application.
• Activating “Animate Note Cursor” in the Score Editor preferences no longer leads to an invisible note tool without preview capability.
• When using an MR816 the hardware rack is always available from the drop down list.
• Changing the Digital I/O mode setting of MR 816 in the Control Panel or Audio Hardware Setup no longer renders the application unreliable.
I guess I’m saying all of this to make a point that if I buy a professional software (like Microsoft Word or Powerpoint or an Antivirus software etc etc) I would expect it to work reasonably with not many bugs. However, Cubase has many many bugs and just in general feels unstable on my system. I feel like I’m a beta user to some extent, like when I tried the free and buggy LMMS (but not nearly as bad). I’m not a studio that can afford to just keep pouring resources into software upgrades, because I don’t make money with my software. So when I’m stuck with a product that (at least on my system) doesn’t work properly and feels very unkempt and prone to making mistakes and crashing, I start feeling sad. I mean I want to like Cubase, I really do. But Steinberg, please do something to fix these problems, like perhaps giving me an upgrade to a newer version of Cubase when all of the bugs of the new interface and everything are sorted out.
Thank you for listening,