Don't Make Cubase more like Ableton, Make Cubase more like Cubase

I see this request way too much - “Cubase should look more like Abelton”, “Cubase needs clips”

No, Cubase needs to be more Cubase, and then it needs to be more Cubase.

First of all, the whole Clip Based Ableton Production Arranging Thing is over hyped, over rated, and over done. I wont say it sucks or has no place, but, it is overrated. And it’s not what Cubase is about.

Cubase is about boring details - studio infrastructure, signal management, sound/sample asset management, expanse project management and oversight, workspace management, complex MIDI studio management, excessively large editing and export tasks, and start to finish compositional workflow. Anyone who knows what’s up, knows there is a universe of creativity in this way way beyond clip based loop production of which that style can still be easily constructed in Cubase.

If some Cubase users want utilities and workflow like Ableton, they should request Ableton to release a VST/i version of the program that can be hosted in Cubase, just like Propellerhead did with Reason.

At most, if Steinberg does try to do something Abletonesque, just like above, it should be done as a VST/i rather than be baked directly into the base code. Why?

-Updating it/adding features/revisions/etc wont interfere with the rest of Cubase, create bugs, crashes.
-It wont take resources away from the rest of Cubase development
-it can be on its own update cycle

Also, Groove Agent can already pretty well do what Ableton does if you go deep into the features and UI of Groove Agent.

Groove Agent doesn’t have to be only drums, Steinberg could easily expand its concept to just generally more about “Groove”. Bass, drums, rhythm, etc.

Groove Agent could be updated with a full editor view, with clip based system which already exists with patterns.

Groove Agent is pretty much a DAW of its own right, and pretty much can do what Ableton does.

Conclusion: Cubase does not need to aspire to anything Ableton does

All resources should be put into bettering what Cubase already does better.


Fully agree. Cubase should not mimic any other DAW-like product, but keep its character and evolve in a clever and professional way.


Thanks for the support, I always feel a bit dumb after rants


I’m not sure this qualifies as a rant; most of it seems to be pretty reasonable. Cubase has things it does better than other DAWs, and it would be nice to see that as the target for improvement rather than new features.


Totally agree.
Cubase is a feature-rich DAW for all kinds of professional and hobby users, the user-interface redesign is great and it looks crisp and pleasing. But pls. no total flat-design, pls. no loops or other toy features…


I agree. Logic Pro has clips now, I never use them. I use Ableton or Bitwig if I feel the need for clips.
I use Cubase/Logic for more traditional song writing/composing/editing., with real musicians, overdubs, takes, comping, chords, pitch correction etc.
Clips might pull in new Cubase customers though. So there may be commercial reasons to include them in a future version.
I would prefer more tools and workflow improvements for old fashioned song writing/recording/mixing, but I don’t know if my 50 eu upgrade fee every year is enough to finance this.


In order for GA to have clip like features it would need to be able to automatically detect the sample tempo and pitch ala ableton or serato sample. Cubase doesn’t have these features. Basically GA would have to become serato sample which would be incredible but I doubt that would ever be achieved or happen.

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Cubase is the best DAW in my opinion, I totally agree with the sentence “make cubase mor like cubase”.
I think it’s great that cubase is implementing a lot of songwriting tools like the chord track and the scale and chord assistants, the arranger track, etc. That in my opinion make cubase unique.

+1 to all of the above. I view Cubase as a precision tool, handling almost anything I throw at it, I am completely happy that it is comprehensive and complex. By all means add “toy” features (ref dynamaltee) to attract new users if you must, but please don’t let them dominate product development. Reliability, flexibility, quality, workflow -these are the key issues.

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I did not consider the initial post as a rant, but as a clear statement. I am observing - since a year or so - that far too many postings are from users of OTHER DAWs who demand that cubase should behave like the DAW they are coming from. Far too often it is obvious that it is not really about a great new feature for Cubase but much more about lacking knowledge about underlying terminology (how things are named in Cubase) and lack of ability or readiness to take the learning curve. Cubase has so much to offer that it is for sure worth digging into it. The product will benefit from improving being what it is instead of trying to mimick other DAWs.


I also fully agree to this statement. Cubase most not implement clips. During the ideation I use Maschine as VST to have the clips in parallel to all Cubase composing features. After this, for arrangement, I drag & drop the clips into the cubase project and Maschine remains as sound source (with multiple outputs). I like this workflow a lot.

Absolutely agree!!!

i agree…ableton lite rewires through cubase for anyone who needs it…personally i find the interface of ableton mind numbingly boring and unintuitive but i do rewire a version of lite to make use of some of the synths

I agree entirely. For me there is already to much of trying to be all things to all people with the last few updates.

I definitely have no need for ‘clips’, i can understand that there might be a user base that does tho…
I guess this is what the voting system is for, make sure you vote for the things that are important.

I for one am jealous of a few features of ableton such as the macro’s & racks…
Doesn’t mean i am going to pick up ableton as the daw as a whole is missing so many features that i love and cant live without in cubase.
But it definitely would be a huge benefit to be able to have that kind of control over my audio, it would open up sound design doors and speed up my workflow by ALOT.

Every daw eventually takes concepts from each other and its somewhat needed to stay relevant, but of course you should always strive to innovate with features unlike other daws & i think cubase already does this well.
We lead the pack with soo many things.

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Well, great thing about Steinberg is they created VST/i, and made it open source - so there are a ton of solutions out there… which is sort of how I look at Cubase, it’s an organizational shell of which Steinberg put VST out into the world for everyone to create whatever they want to put in it.

Not %100 about what you’re talking about with Ableton, but it sounds like Blue Cat Audio patchwork could be a solution for you, or KushView Element Modular.

Totally agree !
knowing ableton quite well :
to me cubase is 100 times better and faster for handling big projects, finishing projects, mixing and editing, but there is still a few areas where cubase can learn from >

1/ more modularity in the midi and audio insert / processing.
( eg i can not work actually without a plugin host to merge / chain / paralell plugin presets like Image Line Mini Host ( the best ! ) or Blue Cat’s Patchwork - and especially merge and recall different complex config with ease )
Althought the lastest Multitap Delay is clearly heading in the right direction regarding modularity
despite some limitations ( MultiTap Delay : how to set each tap's timing in ms? )

2/ An Easier way of midi assigning controllers to parameters
( NB : i know my way around Remote Devices & Quick Controls :wink: but still…)

3/ Ability to have other midi inserts than steinberg in the midi inserts slots / without all the routing hassle when loading them as instruments etc.
( anyone struggling with midi divisi ? )

4/ a kind of drum rack host ( 1 midi note = a whole chain ( instruments + inserts etc… ) )
i use kontakt like this, nothing near as easy.

4b/ A possibility to control start and end point of a sample in GA / Sample track / Sample editor with cc for quick editing / choping ( and this is not only for beat, editing foley session, sound design recordings etc… is soooo faster with this )

5/ the docked “channel settings” window in lower zone

+1 for mentioning groove agent wich is a killer as a midi phrase player !
if tempo detection in mediabay was implemented, it could work as a clip player :wink:

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I think Ableton Live is also shifting towards more traditional DAW features. To my understanding Ableton Live 11 will have more traditional mixer view in addition to the Session view (‘clip grid’). And phase locked multitrack ‘audio warp’, which I personally would welcome in Cubase too.

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I agree, too to Lovegames post
As a hobbysit I have tried a few DAWs in the past
And I’m not going down the whats better Daw route,as it s been heavily discussed
But overall Cubase seems to gel with me a lot better. The more I have got to grips with things its got better and better
Cubase has a great pedigree ,lots of history, powerful stock plugins,lots of great features/tool ,Gui is good as well as navigating
The song export feature is now even easier to use. Midi editing is very powerful,Audio is too
For composing songs, Cubase is great.I found using Ableton quite hard going in places.
Not been with Cubase long (just over 24 months) but enjoying the learning process,anyways
Given time Cubase will add more features and become more powerful.Of course there are areas to improve on no doubt.But there is no such thing as a perfect DAW

Does the maschine VST automatically define and change the tempo of samples to match the project tempo? I haven’t investigated this yet?