Cubase versus [...]

Sorry for responding to an old thread, but I’m new here since I’m looking for a new DAW. I currently use FL Studio but I’m fed up with its lack of musical heritage. I write music starting from a blank page, i.e., I’m not remixing, sampling, or looping much, which apparently are what FL Studio is used for. My compositions involve multiple instruments (but not an orchestra), and complex harmonies. Output to audio file and Musescore via MIDI for printing sheet music. Whatever DAW I buy must handle key-signatures well. I’m considering Cubase because I’m told it’s a composer’s DAW. But I’m a little distressed about all the negativity I’m seeing in this thread.

I have 5 PC’s in my studio (my “studio” is spread out over several rooms in my house) so I’m sticking with Windows. But money is no object - I want the best, most stable, DAW for blank-sheet composing for people with actual musical training. Because of the long learning curve I want to pick something that will remain a top product for years to come. Is Cubase the best in the Windows world for what I want?

I’m the OP, and yeah, I’d say it’s the best around for Windows. I still meet WAY more composers who use Logic, but I ended up switching to PC anyway, and Cubase seems to run better on Windows than OS X for my workloads.

But if you’re shopping around I’d also check out Reaper, Ableton, and Studio 1, all of which I’ve heard good things about.

Not a big fan of Reaper. Even though they have more regular DAW now, the … “tracker physical rack simulator” still shows.

Ableton is where all the EDM people who don’t use FL Studio seem to hang out. If you want to use web-sourced BigBassTrapStep downloadable packs, you could do worse than Ableton and a copy of Serum.

Logic has seemed like a stepchild of Apple, who makes their money elsewhere, for many years. I’ve seen more than one “personality” switch away because of that. Plus, Apple hardware costs more, and does less, hardware wise. (If you like the UI and ecosystem, it does other things for you, but hosting plug-ins at high CPU loads, or doing high-end graphics, is not their strength.)

Luna is really only a weak copy by comparison. Similar to Maschine – very niche and special case oriented. If it happens to fit exactly what you want to do, well, great! Chances are, it won’t. (I even own a Maschine+, but just can’t make friends with the software. Not how I work/think/play.)

Studio 1 I’ve never managed to check out, so no prejudice from me there, one way or another :slight_smile: Pro Tools I last used back when Macs ran on Motorola 68k hardware, so also keeping quiet about that one :slight_smile:
That being said, the MIDI / music / notation bit of Cubase has always felt a bit better than the others to me. Unless you need a full page notation package like Sibelius/Dorico/…

I used so many Daws in last 10 years. Logic is great. And I was in Logic about 9 years. Than I switched to Windows and Ableton. Ableton is super. Really. Powerful and creative DAW. Support of Ableton is also sweet (Sorry but Steinberg support is really strange and they don’t reply for your e-mails by the weeks! And it’s not normally). Also big problems in HDPI on Windows in Cubase are so annoying as well… Just one reason why I bought Cubase it is film scoring. I think that on Windows no other DAWs can do this job… Or I am wrong?

That being said, the MIDI / music / notation bit of Cubase has always felt a bit better than the others to me. Unless you need a full page notation package like Sibelius/Dorico/…

For sheet music I prefer to output a MIDI file to MuseScore. The problem with my current FL Studio is that for a multi-instrument composition it’s very labor-intensive. All the Piano-roll tracks/instruments need to be added to the same piano-roll track and then each instrument needs the user to manually assign a MIDI channel, and also FL Studio has no concept of key-signatures so even though MIDI supports key-signature metadata, it can’t use it, so there’s lots of hand-editing required on the Musescore-end, too.

So assuming Cubase can output a multi-instrument MIDI file with key-signature and time-signature information, then I won’t need Cubase itself to produce sheet music.

I thought people use Abeleton for live music production. I’m looking for a composer’s DAW: start with a blank page, write melody, harmony, counterpoint, etc. with multiple instruments. Is Abeleton good for that? How is Ableton for the musically-trained - does it know from key-signatures? Can it diatonically transpose chords? (can Cubase?).

…what does this mean?

Ableton is not just for Live. But yeah, it’s amazing for the live! It’s great Daw and it have so many unique plugins. It’s amazing for the experiments. It have scale assistant as well. Random, scale, utility and many more. Probably it’s not the best for film scoring. But I create music for the film in Ableton. It’s hard, but it’s possible… Regarding HDPi, check my post here:

The reason why Apple has added features like a Clip Launcher and invested in updating things like the Sampler/Quick Sampler and others is because they aren’t blind. Same with Digital Performer.

Many people here… ARE blind. They can’t see past their noses - e.g. the market segment in which they primarily operate.

If Cubase could sell 1M copies to EDM producers tomorrow, that would do a lot to help fund bug fixes, feature additions, etc. for everyone. But, people here are too ignorant and bigoted to see how these two markets can mutually benefit each other. Instead, they prefer to polarize with elitist attitudes and posit a “competing market” as childish in an attempt to decrease its validity.

Things are completely different over in Ableton land. They’re adding more studio DAW features, and you don’t hear any of the producers there calling them “features for old people,” etc. This attitude seems to exist primarily in the film composer market and in the “fan base” for “Old DAWs” (SONAR had the same kind of user base - still does, at least on the forums; and we all know what MOTU Nation is like…).

The Electronic Music Production market is probably bigger than the film composer market, at this point - and that’s ignoring the fact that Electronic Music is making more and more inroads into film, anyways. It’s certainly a better market for growth, right now.

That growth creates long-term users. If you don’t get many users early, you lose them, often forever. People choosing Ableton, FL Studio, Logic, Pro Tools, etc. right now as 22 year olds are likely to be using those same DAWs in 10 years. A decent grass roots effort is necessary.

So, a DAW that has feature sets geared towards that kind of production not only helps the “EDM Kiddies,” but also Film Scorers.

This is why you see DAWs like DP and Logic moving in that area. Because this stuff is increasingly needed within those market segments.

The only thing this thread tells me is that there are a lot of “film composers” who are unwilling to modernize, and probably have very rigid ideas surrounding what a film score actually is.

It’s 2021. Time to move on.

P.S. It’s almost impossible to sell anyone onto Cubase who isn’t already a user, due to the dongle. Not only is it really awful if you have to use a laptop, but it’s also an inconvenient licensing method as you has to constantly move hardware around just to run your DAW on your Desktop/Laptop… and some Laptops don’t have a lot of USB Ports (and some don’t have ANY USB-A ports).

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Hmm…I have a studio with many io…RME, Clarrett, Sebatron tube pres blah blah etc. I bought the ur44 and did a shoot out…no hype, great unit…after that I went and bought its bigger brother ur428 as sson as I could…its now my go to interface.

Im not sure how everyone else has so many complaints about stability…rock solid here.

Cubase has been excellent since v1…not always perfect but a great tool
Brilliant job steiny…just dont drop the ball

" But, people here are too ignorant and bigoted to see how these two markets can mutually benefit each other. Instead, they prefer to polarize with elitist attitudes and posit a “competing market” as childish in an attempt to decrease its validity."

I’m not interested in markets or segments. I’m an FL Studio user looking for a new DAW that has more of a musical heritage. FL Studio has none - its original developer, GOL, had no musical training and it shows: FL Studio doesn’t even have any concept of a key signature. I’m here because I was told that Cubase is a thought of as a composer’s DAW and that the product and user-community are both oriented more toward users like me who are musically-trained. How is Ableton in that respect?

Could someone please translate this for me because I STILL don’t understand what he’s saying or whether there’s a real problem here. I’m in the market for a new DAW - I’m currently an FL Studio user - so I’m here looking at Cubase.

HDPI is a pixel density standard used in the mobile-device world, primarily in Android. I don’t understand what it has to do with Windows. I’ll be running Cubase in Windows 10 on a 4K 32" monitor with an Nvidia Quadro RTX 4000 graphics card. Will I have problems with that setup?

Anything that gets used at Satan’s workshop here on earth, aka Berklee School of Music, is automatically added to my list of “don’t use, ever, under any circumstances, never, no way” list.
:slight_smile: :

Having used both Logic (even was involved in later testing and development on some of the instruments and Logic Control) and Cubase/Nuendo since the mid 90’s, all I can say is that the only limitations on either program are the user. They are both gloriously equipped softwares.

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Yes, you will have the graphic problems in Cubase on Windows in 4k display. As I sent the link before…

This is not always the case. I use two different 4k displays, and do not see this on either.

I tested it on two computers. Also people told in my post about this problem. Also Steinberg via e-mail confirmed this bug. Spectralayers crash the interface… So…

So nothing. I’m stating an observation. The problem is specific to certain setups.

Ahah. Yeah, in this way Steinberg need to post an option, BUY Cubase but just for these computer specifications. You are lucky then.

Ableton Forum - Index page

Honestly don’t see a point in asking about Ableton here. 98.6% of users here will have a fervent bias towards Cubase, so you aren’t going to get very useful responses. You’re better off asking there so that you at least introduce some balance into your “research.”

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Yes…and each will have pros and cons…design compromises…just like marriage hehe

I love both Cubae AND Live but they are disparate and from @art1 op…Live will be very limited in this context…Logic not so much if that is another choice ie mac (I had that on atari!)

I have no display issues but the reflection from the large 4k screen just bothered me too much and from experience, I much prefer segmented 3 * 2k screens, 2 are side by side and 1 underneath ie Project and console with plugins and temporal windows underneath on the 3rd screen BUT I never noticed the display issue (gtx1650 nividia graphics card)
I use a large 4k for DTP though (another workstation)

@art1 Its an important decision; I would just allocate a fixed amount of time per daw eg a week and dive into the trials/tutorials, then jsut commit 100% to the choice. I had a real struggle in learning the dual window/approach of Live but once I got it, I realised I could just use session view and take the arrange view mentality in Cubase, this is why I use both but I am very very happy with this and the workflows of each but because it empowers me to do whatever I need very quickly I have never bothered to look further eg studio 1 etc

Happy journey

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I tried StudioOne. I have longtime friends at Presonus and I wanted to like the program. They told me former Steinberg engineers had worked on StudioOne. If they did, they didn’t bring anything from Cubase/Nuendo. It didn’t feel familiar or comfortable. Just doing simple things felt complicated and not user-friendly.