Cubase SX 3 / WinXP user ready for forklift upgrade - help


I can’t seem to create a new post or reply in any of the relevant product forums so hopefully I can get some guidance here. I’m currently at SX3 on WinXP on a PC using Waves Gold, Kontakt2, EastWest Quantum Leap orchestral library, Spectrasonics, others. It’s time for a fork-lift upgrade of product and DAW. I got this setup stable and useful after latest round of updates in 2008 and it works perfectly for me though today, but feel like my DAW could die at any time and need to get current with my setup now that I’ve broken my studio down and moved it across town.

I really only record a few analog audio tracks at a time as far as studio tracking goes but go very heavy on the VST instruments and apps and soft-sampling, MIDI and audio tracks during mixdown and home-mastering. My main context is scoring modern dance and short film bits, though I’d like to score a full length movie during the useful lifetime of whatever Steinberg products and hardware setup I get soon.

I have two main question-clusters:


  1. Hardware - am considering a jump to Mac from Windows because I can get a discount on Mac through work. But I’m having a hard time telling which Mac system (mobile would be nice but again being able to do full symphonic stuff with Eastwest PLAY and so forth is more important to me by far) - am guessing choice is between a Mac Mini and Mac Pro? On a Mac, how do you buy extra-quiet cooling fans or pick out an SSD drive of choice, audio hardware, etc? But OTOH, I’m sooooo familiar with the Windows / VST / ASIO world (at least as it existed in 2008) - if I’m only saving $400, say, on a Mac Pro (that model line is the only not to be updated lately, so am worried they’ll update it right after I buy one), is there any real advantage to switching to the dark side?

  2. Cubase vs Nuendo, and which flavor of Cubase? Although this is more a project studio context, it looks like I need to get the top tier Cubase offering to get all the familiar tools I’m used to working with in my current Cubase SX 3 … ? Why are their two products, anyway, I’ve never understood that, hehe ?

    Please help! I used to be very active on these forums but somehow when they made the move from it ditched all my user history and product registration and it won’t let me register my SX3 9 digit USB-eLicenser/Steinberg key so I can’t really interact in any of the relevant forums like Cubase 7 where I could ask what kind of workflow issues I’ll be faced with migrating my projects from SX 3 to 7, (or to Nuendo), etc …

Thanks all


Good description of legacy problems. Switching to the dark side we should not. I have Windows XP, Cubase SL2 with E-MU 161, had it working in good harmony, but after reinstall Cubase will not recognize the low latency native A-MU 1616 driver.
I can upgrade to Cubase SL3 but have not seen confirmation that this might solve driver issues with E-MU.

Finally getting back to this - have my new DAW built and I see there has been an update to Cubase 7 since I was in here last back in March. Any opinions on if the huge negative reaction to Cubase 7 has been mitigated by enough fixes and design improvements in the update(s)?

When I first looked at it, it just seemed ridiculous to have to jump from SX3 to Cubase 7x at considerable cost only to actually LOSE important workflow elements I’m used and have something run incredibly sluggishly compared to what I’ve got with a much older version on an old computer. I did find copies of 6.5 at third locations but that was a few months ago - no idea if it’s still available. I’m hoping maybe Steinberg actually listened to their user base and reincorporated missing elements and fixed the majority of the bugs Cubase7 seemed to be laden with …

Any ideas?