Cubase review By Ricky Monila, very accurate

Steinberg please watch this, I totally agree with this guy, very accurate good video about cubase cons, that most users suffer from:

Although I’ve been using Cubase for many years I also use Logic tons since mid 90s. Every time Studio One has a major update I download the demo…watch all the tutorials and I have to say the direction they are going is exactly what I was hoping for Cubase esp especially regarding workflow. There’s still a few features missing but I think they are becoming pretty strong competitors.

6 minutes into a 23 minute review and it feels like he’s still in the introduction phase without saying anything substantial. I go check the blog post he links to about the topic on the video in the hopes that’s easier to digest than listening to him talk and talk without saying anything and it’s got zero details; just links to the video. So while he may make some great points, I’ll never know because of the presentation. Also, his entire review seems based on a very specific use case: controlling my external hardware and patches from the DAW (but I don’t want to read a manual either).

If someone would care to summarize his pain points here, that’d be appreciated but I already spent more time trying to watch that review (and now posting about it) than was worth it.

My take: Cubase seems to be trying to move towards Studio One in terms of mimicking the workflow, while Studio One seems to be trying to move towards Pro Tools in terms of mimicking editing and mixing features. If Studio One spends 4.5 to 5.0 working on MIDI, they’d really have the potential to be a Cubase competitor on all fronts. If Cubase spends the next two years working on workflow, ease of use, and remote control of effects/instruments to compete with S1 (the 3 areas where S1 has a clear lead IMO), then they could potentially leapfrog S1 on all fronts.

I honestly think Steinberg has less work to do since they have all the fundamentals in place in terms of base feature-set. Presonus basically has to integrate MIDI from the ground up since they initially made the decision to almost entirely shun it.

A complaint wrapped in a review. As the first comment under the video says: "What I learnt from your video is that the important thing is simply learning how to use your DAW. "

…and let’s not forget that the (original) Studio One design concept was entirely based on Cubase. :nerd:

I started with steinberg with pro24 and never stopped to use cubase until now.
I don’t have time to test/learn a new daw but i’m curious about your comments on Studio 1
Can someone summarize the workflow improvement of this one vs cubase?
Maybe you can suggest other sources where i can found it.

Good S1 info here:

in this DAW competition world,looks as if Studio one will be a leader in few years ,feature wise,ease of workflow,innovation, implementing good features from other DAWs,and fulfilling user requests.also looks like they go pretty fast programming and its cheap relatively and give user 5 licenses to use !! well tough world

I might be wrong on some of this, but here’s a few things…Studio One basically invented the one window workflow with docked tabs in a DAW. So the dockable mixer, the docked media and plugin browser, etc. were Studio One innovations in the DAW world. Now, just about every DAW implemented this type of workflow. Part of this included the drag and drop workflow (just drag and drop a plugin from a browser versus finding it in a menu and double clicking to add). Now apply that to anything you’d ever want to drag and drop. Studio One has very uncluttered menus. Right-clicking opens a context specific menu with the most relevant options. There’s not 10 menu items with 75 menu options under each (which is how Cubase feels to me). There’s a smart tool for easy audio editing. No need to constantly change the active tool, there’s a way to do 90% of your editing with a single tool including fades, splits, trimming gain, etc. Studio One also has few preferences. There’s not an option for everything like Cubase. The DAW is setup with the 80/20 rule in mind. So some people may find that limiting, but it’s refreshingly simple in that “it just works like I expect” type of way.

You’ll notice none of that is on the MIDI side, where Studio One lags. However S1 has one BIG, I’d even say HUGE lead over Cubase on the MIDI side of things and that’s: remote control. Cubase’s remote options between the Generic Remote Editor, Quick Controls, creating a new device, creating a device panel, etc. suck IMO. The process in Studio One is easier to setup, and way more powerful when it comes to remote controlling plugins and instruments. In Studio One, the process to setup any MIDI device as a controller is as simple as:

  1. Go to Device -> New Controller Device
  2. Tell it what MIDI port the device is connected to, name it
  3. Now setup the device, a window opens - click the MIDI Learn button (you only need to do this once per device - not once for each MIDI CC/control)
  4. Move every MIDI knob on your device - this simultaneously creates a MIDI control for each parameter and a device panel
  5. You can then right-click any parameter to change it from a knob to fader to a button if needed (which is optional and not necessary)
  6. Click OK to Save

That’s it. You can setup a generic MIDI controller with a ton of controls in seconds. Literally as fast as you can move parameters on your hardware. Now, how to remote control plugins:

  1. Open a plugin
  2. In the plugin menu select the MIDI device you previously setup as a controller
  3. Open the Control Link panel in the plugin header
  4. Move a knob on the GUI, move a knob on your controller
  5. Click the link button
  6. Repeat as necessary for as many plugin parameters as you want (not limited to 8 like Quick Controls, no extra screens to set things up like the Generic Remote Editor)
  7. Close the Control Link panel

How it works: that plugin+controller mapping is permanently saved with the plugin. Any time you open the plugin, the mapping is recalled. As long as the plugin interface window is in focus, the plugin is active.

If you’ve ever tried to do this in Cubase, you’ll be frustrated by how limited Quick Controls are compared to S1, and the Generic Remote Editor is borderline useless unless you own the right hardware.

Trust me, the grass is not always greener. I came to Cubase from Studio One recently and prefer Cubase. Studio One development is not faster. The wait from 3 to 4 was over 3 years. But you got some huge updates along the way. The wait from 4 to 4.5 was only a year, but the updates were much, much smaller compared to 2.0 to 2.5 and 3.0 to 3.5. I think development has actually slowed down in that regard.

They’re pretty good at fulfilling user requests, but the development hasn’t been based around improving S1’s biggest weakness: MIDI. So if users don’t use MIDI extensively because S1 doesn’t allow for it in the first place, those same users won’t upvote MIDI features they don’t understand or need, and the developers don’t feel the pressure to build up MIDI features. It becomes kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

MIDI features missing from S1? Polyphonic aftertouch. MPE. Staff View. No sysex support. No MIDI Time Code (MTC) support. No MIDI Input Transformer/Logical Editor. No “External Instrument” plugin. Their Drum Editor can’t set a default velocity. Their new Pattern Editor can’t transpose patterns (don’t think Cubase even has a Pattern Editor though). They have a smart tool for audio but none for MIDI (neither does Cubase honestly). If you don’t use/need those things in Cubase, Studio One may work great for you. But if you do, you’ll be banging your head against the wall and pining for Cubase’s deeper MIDI implementation.

Studio One definitely wins in the usability battle as well as licensing/copy protection. They don’t charge for .5 releases, but I believe the upgrades for major revisions are $150. If they move to a schedule of a major 1.x update every two years (which is what it’s looking like now), then they may end up costing the same to maintain as Cubase ($150 every two years).

Lots of different opinions here. Well, I honestly can only agree with Ricky Molina.

My take as a Cubase user since Atari days: I also prefer using Studio One 4.5.1.
It has so many wonderfully implemented features. And yes, including MIDI features that make Cubase blush!
Also much prettier to look at, with better window management and workflow.
In comparison, the Cubase GUI has hardly evolved over the years, and is to me a big letdown and creativity killer.

The only, and really only thing that keeps me from jumping ship totally is Studio One’s lack of articulation management, like expression maps. An articulation editor has been requested over 400 times at Presonus. Still there’s no sign of it, even after all these years. Such a shame.

Steinberg had a golden opportunity to wow us and introduce a refreshed C10 with a bang. What we got instead was again the same tired GUI and IMO less then intuitive workflow.

Everybody is entiteled to their own opinion. Still, to me, Mr. Monila rather looks like someone who has not learnt using Cubase too well, not more and not less.

To me it’s the other way round: I couldn’t care less about Studio One. I had to test it to check a Presonus Controller, and I don’t like the Studio One GUI, while at the same time I’m glad about the sigtnificantly more advanced multiple purpose layout and power of Cubase 10 in my use. Studio One is no serious competition for my kind of DAW use.

So to me, the Ricky Monila feedback is no serious review in any proper sense of the word. It’s just a polite rant about something he has not developed any smooth workfow with, and has had struggle to use properly.

As result, this “review” just looks like quite a superficial user feedback, not leading too far, and anything but well suited to compare Cubase with other DAWs …

Exactly, that’s why studio one is really good.

But in late versions ironically steinberg is not taking good care of cubase.

I imagine if presonus team took over cubase, they would have made it into very user-friendly DAW

The grass there definitely is not greener (but to each his own) I was a Studio one user from version 2 to 4 …I Like Cubase al tot more, glad I jumped ship. S1 always had weird bugs, timing issues and half implemented features. Take al look around in the S1 forum and the type of bugs they are fixing (while introducing others). S1 users seem to be a lot less critical than the Cubase users btw.

S1 has no track alternatives. Layers is to limited and the scratchpad is not working for most users (just as an example)

Edit: Totally disagree with the “rambling on” clip about not getting along with Cubase… The guy has no idea what he’s talking about as fas as I’m concerned

I watched the video. It seems to be a larger issue and complaint about the Yamaha Motif hardware and how it doesn’t integrate “seamlessly” with Cubase. Lots of products by lots of companies dont always integrate seamlessly – especially if they are not made by same project groups within the company.

As far as the complaint about Cubase and that one has to read the manual or hit the forums or groups to get support seems a little pointless. I also use Cubase for songwriting, structuring and composition functionality but I still need to get my own support. Cubase is a highly complex software program originally used for computer based multi track recording. It will naturally require a lot of technical getting used to. The menu driving might be that its a more complex program that has more advanced functionality than Studio One, but I can’t really say as I don’t use StudioOne.

He did this because he had some problem “integrating” his Motif with his DAW? He never says what his problem was, but that should be the clue that maybe he’s not the sharpest pencil in the box. It was pretty obvious early in the video that he’s not comfortable learning new things, and since he is someone who has been using Studio One for years, it is no surprise that he became frustrated when he couldn’t reach that same level of expertise with Cubase after spending only a few hours with it. It sounds like he had unrealistic expectations about how much mastery he’d be able to achieve after spending a short amount of time with a DAW as sophisticated as Cubase.

His primary point is that there are things he knows how to find in Studio One, but he doesn’t know how to find those same things in Cubase. Well, yeah, that’s what learning a new DAW is all about.

There are serious and important shortcomings that need to be addressed in the Cubase GUI and workflow, but this video is not helpful in identifying those things.

I agree with some of his assessment of the general workflow, though he misses a lot of where it needs work – but it needs helps at this point, and I see it clearly when I use other DAWs (FYI, I’ve been a deep Cubase user for about six years now and know it extremely well). Also agree with his assessment of the child-like look of the GUI (thick distracting borders, etc.); that’s personal opinion, of course. Even though he didn’t spend the time to learn Cubase deeply, I know it deeply and know that it suffers from plenty of workflow issues compared to other DAWs I’ve used or tried. I’m not personally insulting anyone here, so no need to take it that way – this is simply my experience as a pro working on Cubase almost every single day for about six years now.

All Cubase needs is a thorough going-through with workflow/less click-click-click – this to me (and plenty of others it seems) is its major shortcoming right now. Let’s hope they do that for 10.5. Cubase is such a great DAW that is suffering from poor workflow compared to others in certain specific ways. I want to stay on it and am dearly hoping they put most of their attention on this for the next update/version, as well as updating the audio engine to be gapless and be able to load as much as other DAWs, etc, both in order to stay competitive with others.

I think I still don’t quite get what “child like” GUI means?

I don’t get how he could have missed that Cubase has the single window interface that he claimed it lacks.