Cubase included plugins

Is Cubase ever going to step up ALL of their included plugins?
A lot of them are mediocre. I find myself rarely using anything other than EQ, compressor, and limiter. Steinbergs pitch shifter is trouble. The delays… Meh. Reverbs…no thanks etc.
Most of their mod tools are out dated looking and sounding. I’d really love to see them work on stepping those up.

Hi @Walnut ,

Why do you day pitch shifter is trouble?

What would you like to see in the delays that is missing?

What reverb do you prefer?

The plugins added since Cubase 6 have been pretty well received, not just here but in other forums too. Some are only available on Cubase Artist or higher, while others are Cubase Pro only, so you might not have gotten to try some of the new stuff if you’re using using a cheaper version.

MultiTap Delay (added a few versions ago) can be a bit intimidating, but it’s super powerful. It completely blows the old ModMachine out of the water, and can be also used as a regular delay. You can change its sound character to emulate the sound of classic digital delays or tape.

The new FX Modulator is also very cool. Just wish it did hard clipping.

As for the reverbs:

Revelation is based on the algorithm of a certain commercial reverb. It has a very transparent sound that doesn’t require modulation to sound right. I would strongly recommend spending some more time with it, specially if you work with acoustic instruments. Don’t be afraid to play with some of the settings such as the shape parameter.

Reverence sounds as good as any other convolution reverb if you feed it true stereo (4 channel) impulse responses.

I do agree that the standalone old school modulation effects (chorus, flanger…) really could use an upgrade. The versions of these effects included with MultiTap Delay and FX Modulator are based on a newer algorithm that sounds a lot better to me.


no thanks - plenty of great 3rd parties to pick from if you need something in the plugin world.

I very much disagree. I want Steinberg (and Cubase) to focus on their DAW - core functions, GUI, and workflow- with better integrations of their functions in the DAW, not as new plugins


I’m using stock plugins heavily, especially the Delay and EQ. It’s very lightweight and very useful and handy. I don’t need to add a fake-analog color distortion/harmonics. Also, it’s OK to me if the stock plugins are outdated because there are so many 3rd parties. Of course, it would be great if I get more powerful stock plugins. But I don’t need to get more bugs though. Haha.

Personally, I’d also very much prefer if SB concentrated on workflow, DSW features and finally getting rid of SX components in the GUI than on plugins. The choice of 3rd party plugins nowadays is immense, with even lots of freeware plugins being of better quality than stock plugins.

That being said, there are a lot of plugins in Cubase that are quite good, some of them even rather unique (not that many multiband transient shapers on the market) or outright expensive if bought as a 3rd party (Supervision).
The older ones from SX days are mostly there for compatibility purposes.
I agree though that regarding the GUI, they are not that elegant and inspiring, but then Steinberg has never been known for really good UI design… I personally prefer selected third party plugins if they have a sonic or workflow advantage (very subjective of course)

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Hmm! What’s wrong with stock plugins? They have the utility they have. A chorus is a chorus, a delay is a delay. Used well, they can be very effective. Even if you had the best Delay in the world in your hands, if you don’t know how to use it, it becomes completely useless…

GUI, what does it matter, as long as the plugin does what it’s designed for. These tools will never be the main reason your song became a hit. These are just tools, it’s up to you to use them well…


GUI matters a lot, at least to me. The GUI helps define the usability and workflow, how you interact with a tool, if you get inspired to try things, how fast you get get a result. This of course has more to do with technical aspects of the GUI, e.g. a logical and clear layout, legibility, scalability (very important nowadays) and so on. Whether a GUI looks good or not is of course mostly subjective.

In these days where pretty much all new plugins on the market are pretty good in terms of sound, UI/UX is the deciding factor whether I spend money on something or not. YMMV, of course…


I can very well understand that our criteria are high in terms of selection when you want to invest in a plugin that sometimes can cost hundreds of dollars.

In this respect, I am no different from you. However, we are talking here about plugins that are offered with a DAW, in this case Cubase. That the visual side of the plugin is not as appealing as that of a $300 plugin, I understand very well. I wouldn’t want to pay $300 upgrades just because SB decided to revamp the GUI of all these (stock) plugins to make the visual experience enjoyable for these users. A delay is a delay.

Do you also want to imply that all the stock Cubase plugins sound like crap… Who would buy a DAW with such a reputation. Is everything perfect in CB? NOPE! Is there room for improvement in CB? YES!

You know, there are certainly some 3d party plugins that we pay a high price for which the stock plugins of CB have nothing to envy.

What is important is the driver in the car…

Hi @fese ,

Thanks for reminding me I had that! I was using Melda’s MTransient, and was wondering how much their Transient MB could help me and whether it was worth the upgrade … now I can check stuff out for free using Cubase’s own multiband transient shaper :slight_smile:

(Funny, Greg Ondo’s May 2022 question on transient shaping just referenced the old “non-MB” version! Take the feel of a live drum recording and use Groove Agent Sounds | Club Cubase May 6th 2022 - YouTube )

My sentiments too.

I find that while there are third party plugins that are exceptional and worth their value, there are few that do a better job than the factory default plugins.

The best use of time is to learn the ins-and-outs of the various types of FX processors, mixing diverse types of music with different goals. Once you have built up your personal knowledgebase of experience, you’ll see that in a well implemented plugin, the differences are not particularly great.

Absolutely agree. If you don’t like certain stock plugins, try/buy 3rd party ones. Problem solved. That can’t be said if it affects workflow.

I want Steinberg to focus on Cubase itself and its workflow. Their plugin set is a nice to have, not less, not more.

That goes without saying…a wrong decision on a slick and elegant GUI is still a wrong decision :grin:

Absolutely! It’s way easier to buy a $29 or $31 plug thinking that’s the cure, or maybe even silver bullet, instead of really learning what you already have including DAW stock plugs. Look what anyone achieved before DAWs with just the basic tools. They learned them…intimately.

“Better” is really vague and somewhat subjective, just like your favorite ice cream flavor. While a few prefer licorice, more will prefer Rocky Road. A stock EQ in Cubase, will probably be vanilla because you can do a lot with it. At some undefined threshold, I think “better” turns into “different” however we can still argue for an eternity on forums instead of creating a finished track.

I think there are lots that do “better,” but that’s from my sonic objectives usually dependent on genre.

Lets narrow this down to EQ for example. It’s all digital. The Cubase Factory is good. So why do I chose ProQ3 over any stock Cubase EQ including Frequency, or others such as F6? It could be GUI or just the fact that over many years I know ProQ3 and it just works for me. So no need to spend hours or days really learning another tool that you are already are comfortable with and meets the objectives.

But what if I want to address a certain piano note that is irritating? Ill go outside Cubase to Massenburgs MDWEQ6 or the UAD version, both with extreme Q’s and iso-peak to easily cure the problem, even “better” than ProQ3 even though ProQ3 GUI is way better than Massenburgs.

Or, maybe I want some added small distortion or whatever, so I’ll chose a UAD EQ emulation of yesteryear. Pultec, Manley, (which I feel I have learned over many years) and even the newer Hitsville are EQ tools that take me past a Cubase stock EQ. It’s not better, just different. Knowing when to use what on any sonic source for any given objective takes years of learning. Taking YouTube shortcuts might help, but could also hinder. Always do your own tests if someone else said it, and it really makes a difference.

I too am in the group that says stay focused on the core functions of the sequencer and let 3rd parties do what they do best.

But it’s important to remember with all DAWs, that hobbyists are in the drivers seat. Every day users and professionals are often at the whim of hobbyists desires. It’s a marketing thing, and I think focus on included plugs will only increase, especially now with the race to bottom pricing plugs, where I think a DAW developer often outsources these things.


Couldn’t disagree more. I use the stock Convolution reverb all the time. I don’t use that much modulation type stuff. But their EQ and Dynamics plugs are very good in my opinion. Yes I do use others as well but not because I think the included plugs are bad.

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I like the stock plugin suite and find myself using them more and more. On the whole they are easy to use and do their intended tasks well. Especially the Compressors, the reverb, the spatial stuff and Fequency EQ. The modulation offerings I find a bit bland, they could probably benefit from an overhaul or some new “character” plugin options to compliment these basic flavours . The delay is no Space Echo, but if you just want a delay it’s a solid tool, and a simple clean delay is pretty much essential for some tasks.

I do use 3rd party plugins too, but normally because I want something specific from them that isn’t offered from stock plugins . Or because their features and response are very familiar to me so I can work much quicker with them (certain channel strips spring to mind).