Cubase and filmscoring.

Hello, is anybody here using Cubase 6 for filmscoring? I have various documentary/film projects to score in the future, and am wondering if I should upgrade to Cubase 6 (I currently have Cubase Essential 5) or get some other software that might be better suited. What do you think?

Here I’m thinking specifically of syncing picture and sound. Does cubase have a good and precise “Media Player” for syncing?

This is one of the purposes I use Cubase to do. I find that it works solidly. I am only familiar with Cubase 6 (full version) as to how well it works for this purpose. But I use it regularly for scoring.


Thank you so much, Jay. That is very reassuring. :slight_smile:

I’ve never scored in anything else and don’t want to. On my last project I was wishing I could render video edits in C6 too as everything else was so easy to do.

Don´t know how many films I scored with Cubase. I make my living out of it and use it for post production and the final audio mix of the film. Keep in mind that you will most likely deliver in 48 KHz. Recommended video-codec to work with, unless you have a dedicated card like black magic or aja, is Quicktime Photo-Jpeg (quality set to 75 %). You can for example use quicktime pro to convert the film you get.
Good luck!

I too use Cubase for film scoring–works great. Video is on a second machine (Sony Vegas as an MTC slave) along with Finale.

I work as an engineer for a film composer. Cubase is great for scoring although some annoying elements its lacking are:

  • No ability to drag audio clips around while having the video follow you. Makes respotting and moving files to frame accurate positions frustrating.

  • No direct quicktime export (apparently you have to buy Nuendo). The silly link audio with video feature or whatever its called doesnt cut it.

  • Mediabay has some issues and is generally clunky IMO compared to other hosts drag and drop simplicity.

In any case, its great for MIDI and great for scoring. And if someone scoffs at you for saying you use Cubase instead of Pro Tools, look at them disdainfully and reply extremely sarcastically “Oh, you do MIDI in Pro Tools? How quaint.”


Theres alot of snobbery in this industry unfortunately

The basic rule of thumb should be
“Does my DAW do what I need it to do”?
If the answer is “Yes”, then you’re okay & have no need to change.
If the answer is “no” then you need something else.

Yep, I use Cb too for this. Got PT HD but I still use Cb for all of my composing.

I would second the deficiencies mentioned, particularly the video image not following the clip dragging, love to see that implemented. Still, there’s ways round that using markers and snap to marker etc. but it’s not as good.

Steinberg are intending you to buy Nuendo if you’re more into media work than music/composing.


I use Cubase Artist 6 for scoring, and it works great.

Since version 6 I haven’t had a single problem with video formats or playback of any kind.

Nuendo’s “Edit Mode” takes care of what you mention above.
Also, Nuendo has this wonderful feature in the CR called “Monitor Sources” - this allows you to set up to 7 additional monitor sources that you can audition singly or in groups at a mouse click - without having to mess around with solo/mute states. Awesome, especially in film work - and another great thing in Nuendo is the Direct Routing. Also missing (and very useful, especially if working from PT material) is the "convert tracks from interleaved to split stereo & vice-versa - all the way to 10.2.

If you do a LOT of film, and need this stuff, try Nuendo.

This worked in v2, v3, and v4, before SB based the video off of the QT engine. Is the ability to do that now broken?

As said, this is the Nuendo-only “Edit mode” feature and it has never been in Cubase…

What do you mean never been in Cubase? I just got through saying that it IS IN CUBASE.

I dont recall it being there in the past, however I didnt start using video in Cubase since SX3. Whatever the history, no you cannot do it in C6 and I dont remember being able to do it in 4 or 5 although I may be wrong. I wonder if SB efforts to clearly delineate functionality between Cubase and Nuendo has something to do with it. Obviously SB developers have never had to move music cues around a project or they would know how valuable this is. Not a post-production only feature.