Cubase SX 3 / WinXP user ready to get current


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


majority in here on Windows or Mac?

in practice, what is main difference between Nuendo and Cubase setup?

There are several advanced features in Nuendo that you may have no need for. I suggest that you check the feature list of Cubase, and see what, if anything, is missing from your ideal program. Then make a choice.

As far as OS, Windows is by far the better choice, not only because it is more efficient with Cubase, but if you intend to use PLAY, you really don’t want to be running it on OSX, unless you have no other option.



I did scan the comparison matrix and most of what I’m used to in SX3 is only in the top tier current Cubase, but when I checked Nuendo it was kind of confusing. I can see where there are add-in packs to add Cubase functionality to Nuendo, though when I used Nuendo in a studio about 4 years ago I was right at home - it seemed the same as Cubase for what we were doing while tracking that day, so it left me kind of confused as to having multiple tiers in two parallel product lines rather than just multiple tiers in as single product line.

Any idea if the score printing tools in the current Cubase (or Nuendo if there are any) have improved much over CubaseSX 3 era? My understanding back when I set mine up was that most folks exported to Finale or Sebelius to do actual orchestral score production. I have a three movement symphony finished in Cubase / Quantum Leap (precursor to PLAY) and it sure would be nice not to have to export and buy and set up an entirely different app to produce scores with (especially when I wouldn’t need any of their libraries or rendering features).

any other users able to offer some advice? Hoping to make a decision soon but am out of touch with the current state of Cubase and DAWs …

old DAW died, scrambling to start ordering parts for a new one, need a page of systems and components that have been tested (either by Steinberg or machines that Cubase7 fans use that seem to work well ) - looking for adequately powered and quiet.

Also, can Cubase7 use as many cores/threads as I can provide with processor?