Feature Requests and Cubase 6.5 review on Mac OS X


I recently moved to Cubase for one of the projects I handled. This is coming from Ableton Live then Logic and finally Reaper. Now, Reaper was stunning, but due to lack of Eucon support and weak MIDI, I jumped to Cubase. Cubase destroys Reaper when it comes to MIDI, but there are so many features in Reaper that are so exceptionally well done.

The System: Mac Pro 8-core with 10GB RAM running on OS X Lion at 32-bit.

The music I’ve been working on is a mix of pop with orchestras and electronic influences for film. During the composition stage, Cubase’s MIDI features were a life saver and the sessions were light since a lot of it was in audio.

Now, when we entered the mixing stage, here’s when the troubles began. The sessions are roughly 150 tracks (audio) running at 48KHz 24-bit. I understand Cubase isn’t as snappy on OS X as it is on Windows, but I hope Steinberg can improve that.

  • Running on 32-bit with access to 4GB RAM, Cubase would start getting sluggish around 40% into the mix. I admit to heavy plugin usage (although a lot of it runs off external DSP’s). CPU usage is around 40% and RAM usage is around 2GB. The session would keep getting sluggish and slow and eventually start crashing.

  • Somewhere around this barrier, the session also starts crashing. I initially thought it was due to plugin usage, but apparently not. Apple’s crash reports are a nightmare to read, but the main thread kept causing the crash. I had to resort to mixing different parts of the song in different sessions. Freezing for such a large session was tedious as it is one track at a time and with no bounce in place, there were no alternatives.

  • The mixer gets highly confusing unless mixer presets are used. The mouse click area to select a channel is almost non-existent. I found a tiny spot under the record button. Some form of mixer level UNDO is needed. Countless number of times, I ended up moving faders and had to re-balance.


  1. Mixer level UNDO, even if it’s a drop down menu on the mixer if not global.

  2. Detailed CPU Usage View per channel, like in Reaper or Studio One. At least you can optimize your workflow with this.

  3. Mixer Panel Colouring to distinguish tracks in the mixer and uncluttered mixer views.

  4. BOUNCE in place or Group FREEZING. Freeze function in Reaper is epic and fast. This should actually be the first FR. Please implement BOUNCE in place, it is the only way to get around large sessions.

  5. Inserts and Sends in the same view on the Mixer.

  6. Clearer way of indicating Linked/Unlinked tracks or a simpler approach, where selecting a bunch of tracks and lowering their level would work. I use a lot of Copy/Paste of channel settings and it would link tracks while doing so. Now in a huge session, you have no idea where it is linked and when I reduce the level, I’m also reducing the levels of all the linked tracks.

    I hope Steinberg can look into this and other users can chime in as well. Please do consider these feature requests.

I too tend to run my projects into the red sometimes, even though I have two UAD2Quads and a 6 core i7… I’m using Win7-64bit which helps a lot with RAM, I used to have a lot more unreliability with only 32bit RAM limits. And things have generally got a lot more reliable when pushing the system hard through the various versions. One thing I tend to do to help Cb cope is to bounce down tracks which contain a lot of edits (clips) and tracks which use VariAudio (I dup the track first, then deactivate the track and hide it in a ‘Backup’ folder). Some plugins I don’t run live, e.g. AutoTune, because they’re processing requirement is unpredictable.

  1. Mixer level UNDO - many people have asked over the years, hopefully they’ll get round to it. Yes please.

  2. Detailed CPU Usage View per channel - I’d like to see per plugin in a sortable list as well, whatever’s useful for finding the rogue plugin which causes spikes (usually AutoTune I find!), and also whatever’s useful for rendering away.

  3. Mixer Panel Colouring - could be better.

  4. BOUNCE in place - people are continually asking for this!! Yes please. I don’t tend to use freeze because I’d rather be in control of the results of the render in the project window.

  5. Inserts and Sends in the same view on the Mixer - yes I think we should be able to unfold those views above the mixer in combinations, not just one at a time (like we can with the track Inspector in the project window). This will allow people with high resolution monitors to see inserts and sends together then. Could also cut down to 4 inserts+4sends view, like PT.

  6. Clearer way of indicating Linked/Unlinked tracks - Totally agree, +1. I find the ProTools grouping method is the best.


Me too.

Great! I hope these features are needed by everyone else as well.

I’m stuck on 32-bit exactly due to UAD and didn’t want to use bridging on such extensive sessions. :frowning: