From Acid Pro 7 to Cubase Pro 9.5

Hello @Cubasers,

It’s been a long long way. After years of looking for a new DAW, since Cubase 9.5 added the Grid Zoom feature along with In-Place Midi Editing, I decided to give it a go.

I’m fluent in FL Studio 12 (with its superb Vector UI), tried my best to wrap my mind around Live 10 without success, switching to Mac just to try Logic Pro, and finally returning to Windows 10 with Cubase Pro 9.5… I think I found most of what I used to love in Sony (Magix) Acid Pro 7.

I still need some time to adapt to this new DAW. Seems like the UI is now pretty logical (reminds me of Sonar with some Live’s typical rounded corners).

So far I just have these few questions:
- 2 Windows?
Why does Cubase (for Windows) opens in a Main Window (the Application) and then opens a new Window for the Project? I understand the need of a Main Window and a Project Window, but why not merge both in an elegant way like Studio One or even Photoshop CC did? It’s a little annoying to always enlarge / close 2 times when opening / closing the software.

- Drawing empty clips
When I drag and drop, let’s say a Snare (.wav file), and then use the Draw tool to paint it somewhere else, why does it draw an empty clip instead of the actual wave I’m using?

- Mixer: Track Fx Chain Behavior
I loved the way FL Studio handles on a right panel all the FX for a selected mixer track, with a dozen slots to create, move around, replace any Fx in the FX Chain. How can I do the same with the same speed in Cubase?

-32 Bit VSTFx / VSTi + DirectX Plugins

  • How come Cubase doesn’t integrate JBridge like FLStudio did when it went x64? Do I have to buy a JBridge license to make it happen or does Cubase has its proprietary 32-to-64 bridging seamlessly integrated somewhere?
  • Not mandatory, but what should I do with my DirectX plugins? I have this Timeworks 4020L reverb with tons of custom presets, and a couple other Audio FX that are very old yet unique…

- Zooming Vertically with the Mouswheel
CTRL+Mousewheel zoom is great, but how can I Zoom-in Vertically on the Sequencer or in the In-Place Midi Editor with my Mousewheel? Whether I press CTRL+SHIFT or CTRL+ALT while Mouswheeling… Nothing happens (à la “FL Studio”). What’s the workaround?

Thank you so much for your replies (if I get any) :slight_smile:
Cheers from L.A.

No answer yet? Trust me guys I’ve done my homework.
I did use the Search for each questions.

Maybe it’s a street cred issue? Well I’ve been around this forum since Cubase 5.1…

Naw, its not a credibility thing, I haven’t been here very long, having come over since the sinking of SS Cakewalk. But in that short time, one of things I noticed, though, is that everyone brings their minor complaints, myself included. Its a well-worn path, and people tend to tune it out.

But yes, at least on Windows, an MDI-style inteface is considered proper UI design where multiple documents (projects) are open within an application. Cubase is a bit of an oddball in that you don’t have that, and you have to activate another project to use it. Sonar never had that restriction. My guess is there are architectural reasons, probably tied to legacy code that is preventing it. Its not a dealbreaker, just an annoying anachronism. MDI design was novel in 1990, this is 2018.

SuperG,

Seems like you’re a computer history encyclopedia!
MDI-style UI. Probably an ancestor of Skeuomorphism, Flat UI, and the regrettable Metro UI…

That’s what I guessed. On the first look, it’s obvious that Cubase has several layers built up from legacy code.
When I saw that rounded-corner it immediately felt like an Ableton-inspired UI layer. But when you dig down to 3rd level menus, you’re immediately thrown back to Windows 98se.

Okay so let’s say my “2 Windows” is in fact a request for a complete revamp / rewrite, just like when FL Studio went from v11 to v12.
I’d love to be around to see a Cubase X with a fully Vector UI, won’t be a luxury but a necessity.

BTW, very sad about Cakewalk. It was by far the most user-centric forum/company I’ve ever seen.

Lol! Yes, I’m a programmer - started back when DOS ruled and dirt was invented. :mrgreen:

I don’t know FLStudio I’m afraid (Cubase since the Atari days when it wasn’t even called Cubase) so not sure what I’m comparing with, if you could provide a screen grab it might confirm what I think you’re after. Is it not to be found in the Inserts and Sends tabs of the Track inspector?

Only a guess since I don’t have a direct line to Steinberg but I think they’d really rather we didn’t use 32bit plugins at all. There was a Steinberg 32bit bridge up until version 8.5 but they ditched it in the name of stability (which has worked IMHO). Their bridge was allegedly not as good as jBridge anyway.

Good luck!

You are not using the Draw tool in the correct manner. You can’t use the draw tool to paint the clip somewhere else. Use standard copy/paste or Alt/drag.

Inspector or Channel settings window or in the mixer. Just use drag and drop or the menus in the inserts.

Cubase doesn’t integrate J Bridge. It has moved on to 64-bit VST2 or VST3 plugins in order to maintain stability. I don’t know of a solution for Direct X plugins.

Use the keyboard shortcuts, ‘G’ and ‘H’ to zoom horizontally, Shift + ‘G’ and Shift + ‘H’ to zoom vertically.

First I’d like to thank SuperG for his badass oldschool knowledge, Planarchist for his insight on bridging and Stingray for his answers.

@Stingray, @Planarchist,

Let me show you what’s going on in other DAWs for these features. I’m going to take FL Studio for example, but I’m sure you know Reaper, Studio One, and Acid Pro have similar features behaviors. So much that it’s now a Standard users would be shocked not to see in a DAW.

1. Drawing Empty Clips
Everyone got it right, as it’s so obvious:
A Draw tool is meant to draw the clip you’re working on. Or an empty clip if there’s not midi/audio data yet on the track. It just makes sense. I believe this was inspired from Photoshop initially.


2. Mixer’s Track FX Chain Drag & Drop Behavior
Okay, I’ve got to admit FL Studio nailed it better than any other DAW. But I’m sure there’s a way to use Cubase the same way, isn’t there?

3. Mouswheel Horizontal AND Vertical Zoom
This is not only time saving workflow wise, it’s also enhancing creativity big time.

Mouse Wheel Zoom & Shortcuts Standards in DAWs:
• MW =Scroll Vertically
• SHIFT+MW = Scroll Horizontally
• CTRL+MW = Horizontal Zoom (centered on pointer’s location)
• CTRL+MW (on a Midi Note) = Increase / Decrease Volume of the Note’s Velocity Stem
• ALT+MW = Vertical Zoom (centered on pointer’s location)
• ALT+MW = Vertical Zoom (when pointer’s on the In-Place Piano Roll’s keys area)
• CTRL+ALT+MW = Nudge audio clip (or midi-note) left/right (when pointer’s on the Clip’s title/label)
• CTRL+ALT+MW = Slip audio or midi clip’s content left/right (when pointer’s on the Clip’s content)

I wish I could show you more DAWs videos about those feats, like Acid Pro’s blazing fast Clip painter and chopper (hit the “S” key at cursor and swoosh,your clip is split in two), or how other DAWs make a very smart use of the Mouse Wheel, but… I’m limited to 3 videos per post :frowning:.

Gifs made with ScreenToGif https://github.com/NickeManarin/ScreenToGif/releases

You’re welcome…and I’m always interested to see how things are done in other DAWs (particularly if it can be transferred to Cubse if worth it) but I can’t really see what’s going on in your FX Chain gif, so hard to say if Cubase does the same. I’m sure it’s obvious once you know or me missing something obvious but sorry I don’t get it.

Alt+x does splitting of files at cursor

Forgive my ignorance but wasn’t FL a loop based DAW and catered for a different set of musical criteria. With regard to the 2 Windows issue I have always found it useful to be able to open a number of projects at the same time(although only one can remain active) - especially if I need to retrieve something from an earlier version. You can drag a clip to create another and then move it to a new location.

FL Studio looks impressive. Cubase is not FL Studio. I don’t want to state the obvious but I have to ask… If you prefer FL Studio, why not use FL Studio?

Everyone has their own preferred manner of working but the mousewheel and modifier key shortcuts you specify for zooming wouldn’t be helpful to me (IMO they’re not time saving)… I actually much prefer Cubase’s keyboard shortcuts for this (take a look in the Edit / Zoom menu for all the keyboard shortcuts). But each to their own, of course.

@Planarchist
Simple, on the FX Chain GIF, I’m just adding VSTFx to a Track, then another one to another track, then re-arranging the Fx Orders of a track (just with the mouswheel up/down, it changes the priority/position of the Fx in its chain).

@Jari
Well that’s good news! I’m definitely going to use it everyday (to chop sounds)

@Silhouette
I know it can be hard to keep track of what’s outside your workflow. So, since Fruity Loops became FL Studio, just like when Acid became Acid Pro, it’s not a Loop toy anymore, but it became a full-fledged DAW.

@Stingray
“Use the keyboard shortcuts, ‘G’ and ‘H’ to zoom horizontally, Shift + ‘G’ and Shift + ‘H’ to zoom vertically.”
I’m sure keyboard shortcuts is a “Pro Tools Operator’s Paradise”… But when composing hours of music, you need to have the Mouse Wheel perform the Zoom with key modifiers as explained in my last post. It’s more accurate, and way smoother than zooming step by step shortcut keys.

Drawing empty clips issue
Anyone has an idea how I can make Cubase draw the actual Clip with the Pencil / Painter tool, instead of useless blank clips?
This has been demonstrated in the “Painter FL Studio.gif”. It’s really a standard behavior, as you can see with this other example:

Pro Tools paradise? Not really. Just a fast and efficient way of working. As I said each to their own method. I don’t ‘need’ zoom using the mouse wheel at all. I find it clumsy and awkward and it’s certainly not more accurate. I prefer keyboard shortcuts and then I can use the mouse for other things. IMO it’s faster.

And I repeat:
FL Studio looks impressive. Cubase is not FL Studio. I don’t want to state the obvious but I have to ask… If you prefer FL Studio, why not use FL Studio?

No need to stifle criticism. He’s got some valid points, and he wouldn’t be here if he didnt see the positive in Cubase.

Direct X?
Thanks for the memory. This worked for me long ago when I still had a couple Direct x’s.
https://www.kvraudio.com/product/ffx-4-by-vb-audio

Yes, you will have to actually purchase jBridge. The alternative is to look for a substitute VST. Keep in mind sometimes jBridge requires some adjusting for certain VST’s but the developer is always good about answering questions. Ultimately however, it should be the goal to rid yourself of 32 bit, but I understand there are a handful I still use too.

No stifling intended. Yes, IMO there are some valid points.

@Stingray
Well when I said “Pro Tools Operator’s Paradise” I wasn’t being sarcastic, I saw a senior PT Operator at work: it’s like playing an instrument. I’m sure Cubase Operators are the same, it’s a form of art just like playing piano.
So yes, I do understand Kb Shortcuts works great for you, I love it as well specially when it comes to chopping clips and midi.
Also keep in mind whenever you (Stingray or anyone who’s replied to me) give me an advice, I immediately apply it to my workflow and try it for a week, so I’m very grateful for your answer(s).

Been around the world
Understand that I’ve been around the world (DAW wise). The latest DAW I’ve worked with was FL Studio 12 for 1 year. I also tried Studio One 3 for 8 months, along with Logic Pro X a few years ago, and Live 9 (even v10 beta) recently (but trust me Live 9/10 is a complete different beast like Bitwig). When Acid Pro 7 became extinct (and was later bought by Magix, just like what’s happened to Sonar), I had to look for a new home, starting with Reaper (UI was so ugly I just couldn’t bear it any longer).

All I’m asking for in a DAW, is 64 bit (to handle more than 8Gb of RAM), a proper MW Zoom integration with Modifiers, a Smart Grid (aka Zoom Grid), an easy to use Track FX Chain, and In-Place Midi Editing

Why I switched to Cubase 9.5
But as soon as Cubase 9.5 added Smart Grid, I decided to completely switch to Cubase Pro (a couple weeks ago). Despite the eLic. Despite the fact that Hans Zimmer along with about 65-70% of Film Score composers down here in L.A. are using it :slight_smile: (yes now I’m being sarcastic).
So yes, I’m in the same boat as you guys, except for what I call “standard” features. I really think those MW Zoom + modifiers could be integrated easily without losing anyone in the process (I’ll probably send an FR to Steinberg about it).

Why I ditched FL Studio 12
FL Studio looks impressive indeed (Vector UI, 32 Bit VST backward compatible, amazing native audio plugins like Reeverb2, or Fruity Limiter/EQ, and Time Signature Markers/Change more recently)… But issue is, in order to stay retro-compatible, Image-Line had to keep this “modular track” sequencer view (where tracks don’t reflect in the mixer, only the Instrument Rack / Matrix reflects in the Mixer: if it sounds weird to you, now you understand why I did not want to stick with FL Studio… Plus I’m a classical music composer not an EDM producer).

@SuperG
Thanks for understanding my tone / my deeper thoughts (I know it’s not easy to get it through a forum post)!

@GreggyBud

  • Oh thank you! I’ve downloaded this VB-Audio rack, seems like a great workaround for my late 90’s DX Plugins.
  • I bought a license of JBridge (and yes, Joao is doing an amazing job, answered to all my Support questions the same day!).

Thanks Zacchino for your great insights and clarifications ! IMO probably worth making a feature request (or two) to Steinberg.

@Stingray
Thanks! Well I’ve gone ahead and submitted an FR. Could you please reply with a “+1” to support it if you don’t mind?
https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=252&t=133162