Great Tool

I recently switched to Cubase from Sonar. I’m still figuring out where everything is but I"m continually amazed at how easy it is to do what I want to do in Cubase. Things just seem to work the way one would expect them to and usually require around 10 less steps to get there. I’ve been watching Groove 3 videos to get up to speed and just about anything I can think of is usually a quick Google search away if I need a “how do you do that?” question answered.

I used to have to switch to Live if I wanted to do warping, Cubase seems to have that covered nicely. Basic editing operations are much easier, the score view is amazing. I’m at a loss to think of anything that hasn’t been thought of in the interface, it’ll probably take me a while to find it all but so far it’s been a joy to use.

As an example, I just got ARC2 for my monitors. It made them sound a LOT better but I knew right away I didn’t want to deal with disabling the plugin when I needed to do a bounce. I checked out a couple videos on the Control Room and was up and running in about 10 minutes. Now I can use my nifty plugin without it affecting the master bus. Brilliant! I’m finding this kind of stuff every day and I’m a happy camper, it just keeps getting better.

I still have around a hundred or so projects that I’ll have to use Sonar to tweak if I need to make changes but all of my new work is being done in Cubase. It’s like switching to a new Mercedes after driving a used Chevy.

I too switched from Sonar to Cubase and experienced the same thing you described. Frankly I wish I had switched a lot sooner. Everything was such a struggle in Sonar that I seldom accomplished anything. And the few things that I managed to complete always sounded awful. I thought it was me. Then I switched to Cubase and now I’m recording more than one song a week and having a ball doing it. My goal is 50 for the year, and I just finished #46. That’s more than I did with Sonar in the last 10 years!

It’s not just that the tool set is better in Cubase – that’s definitely part of it. But what I love most about Cubase is how intuitive it is to use. Within the first few hours I felt right at home. I seldom consult the manual. When I have an idea, I just start the program and get right down to business. I never have to stop and figure out how to do anything. In Sonar I spent most of my time fighting the damn program to the point that it took all the joy out of making music. I would struggle the entire time and eventually just give up.

If anyone else is thinking of making the switch, give the demo a try. You’ll be glad that you did. Cheers…

Congratulations and happy Cubasing, guys :wink:

When Cubase 7 was released I wasn’t very happy with the new design of the mixer (which broke some old but cool habbits and didn’t work as flawless as it should have in the first place) and tried some demos of other DAWs. Guess how fast I’ve been back. Cubase is so stunningly deep, a pleasure to work with day by day! Of course there’s always something that could be improved, Steinbergs’ schedule on fixes doesn’t always meet my personal priorities, not all advertised new cool features are relevant to me but all in all Cubase offers many different ways to house weirdest ideas of what to do with audio while remaining easy in handling and pretty stable as well. Yeehaa!

Glad to hear Cubase is working out for you. While you can just intuitively do lots of stuff in Cubase, it is still worthwhile to read & reread sections of the manual. Cubase can do all sorts of things you might not even think of trying. I’ve been using it for a long time and yet still regularly find some cool feature or shortcut I’d overlooked.

Yes, I agree. I’ve barely scratched the surface with Cubase.

But one thing I’ve learned over the years is that learning is most efficient in the context of actually composing/recording/mixing. On the rare occasions that I can’t figure out how to do something, I go to the manual (or post a question on this forum). Knowledge obtained in this way – and applied immediately – stays with me forever. In the past I used to read the manual first and most of the knowledge would just vanish before I could apply it. Cheers…

BaseCu, you’re right that learning by doing works best - but there’s one thing: that way you won’t find what you’re not looking for, which I think raino is referring to.

BTW, it’s nice and refreshing to hear such ‘outsider’ experiences - as a Cubase user since Atari days, I guess I’ve slowly taken all the goodness for granted!


There’s indeed much more to it than meets the eyes! :wink:

Yes exactly. And I wouldn’t recommend reading large chunks of the manual all at once. But, for example, if you use the Key Editor a lot, then every so often skim over that chapter - new stuff will jump out since your last skim. Also when you are looking stuff up in the manual, glancing over a few of the preceding and following pages turns up goodies.

It’s also useful to occasionally examine some part of Cubase that you don’t really use, like perhaps the Logical Editor or MIDI Modifiers. I find a good time to do that is if I’m stuck on some artistic problem. Stepping back lets my unconscious mull the problem over while I learn something new.

I guess my caution is that it is easy to fall into a rut using the same 30 elements of Cubase and never realized that there are 30 more that you’d love to use if you only knew about them.

Since you’ve started using Cubase at version 8 (I’m assuming), you might not have looked at the C7 forums. But there is a thread over there where folks shared a whole bunch of tips and tricks.

I also switched from Sonar X2a to Cubase 7.0 about 2 years ago.

I’ve got more recordings to show for in Cubase in 2 years than I ever did in Sonar over 5 years.

Arjan P, marQs, raino,

I agree that “…you won’t find what you’re not looking for…” However my strategy is to let my musical needs determine the technology I use rather than have the technology drive my music making. For me, it doesn’t matter if I only use 10% of the available features as long as I’m musically productive.

Over the years I’ve realized that I was spending too much time thinking about technology and this killed my creativity. Technology definitely has its place. For example, if it takes a long time to correct something by hand and some feature can automate the job with a mere click of a button, then yes, I will incorporate that feature into my workflow. But at the present time, I have no such problems. From the time I load a template to the time I export my work to 2-track stereo format, all of my effort is spent composing, recording, and mixing. And that’s why I love Cubase – it’s completely transparent. It allows me to be creative without getting in the way.

I should mention that when I received C8 Pro (my first version of Cubase) that I did skim the entire manual, so I have a general sense of the feature set. And to raino’s point, when I do need to consult the manual, I also check out related features as well. BTW raino, thanks for the link to the Tips Tricks And Workflow Goodness. Cheers…

That equals my approach :wink:

Spend about 15 years in Cubase now, it’s like a second nature where working is really fast. Fast!
Nonetheless I keep on discovering smooth methods, even more advanced in-depth functionalities the moment I need it and am simply stunned that this DAW already covers needs I didn’t even have yet. It’s nothing less than a monster of a DAW.

A good way to learn its capabilities is to create a test song that makes excessive use of a feature you just discovered or that was added in an update. Taking it to its limits while the musical outcome is not top priority. That always teaches me best what to expect from different functions, gives a good idea of what-could-I-use-in-which-case and also of the interaction of functions - adding a kind of a meta-level in understanding the subjacent technology and how to make the most use of it in an effortless (say: fast!) manner.

Technology is never master of creativity, it’s a framework for creativity as soon as you know what it offers, how it works, where it won’t help you, and - really important - how you can make it do what you are thinking just that moment - long before a great idea even has a chance to vanish :laughing:

That’s a great idea…thanks!

Very true. I have a whole bunch of projects named Learning XYZ, where XYZ is the name of some feature I want to explore. But I’ve found that while I’m not initially focused on the music itself in these projects, often that music becomes something interesting & useful. It’s like by not having a musical goal it’s OK to just do whatever. But then that whatever ends up being more creative than something done with a specific musical goal.

+1, I could fill albums with experimental stuff that was [partially] technology triggered :wink:

Cubase, Melodyne Editor and of course some musical ingredients as well:

Welcome to Cubase.

You won’t look back.

Just uninstall Sonar completely and forget about it. Just force yourselves using Cubase and you will be amazed how quick it will go. Don’t run Sonar side by side > delete and forget.

I’m also a X Sonar user but use Cubase for 15 years now. I was very scared to jump ship but glad I did.

I’m also a X Logic user but not anymore.


Hello former Comrades… :slight_smile: i too am also a recent convert for about a year now, since the release of Cubase 8. My very first version of Cubase and have never looked back since…

The features in Cubase are very well thought out and applications to workflow are almost intuitive. The main reason for my switch was the Score Editor and the way Cubase deals with MIDI functions. After getting off the surface, you’d realise that there is just so much and so much and so much more. Only recently i was introduced to the Logical Editor… its just absolutely amazing.

its a great community here and i am enjoying my stay.


Same here.

Often on the Cakewalk forums, you’d read statements along the lines of “Cubase is basically the same as Sonar, so why bother switching, etc. etc.” so what an eye opening experience it was to switch (I started with Cubase 7) and experience (cue angelic choir) stability and an intelligent feature set. Judging from recent browsing of the Cakewalk forums, seems like they’re still drinking the same Koolaid.

Welcome Tom H, BaseCu and Keyzs!

What caused me to jump to Cubase was not only a really great deal for it staring me in the face, but moreover it was Cakewalk’s absolute ‘cone of silence’ for months and months and months, purposely and completely ignoring the ever growing pleas of their loyal customer base who were literally begging them for additional news and/or updates to fix the boatload of constant complaints about X2.

That and their outright refusal to add any other updates after the lone X2’a’ - ZERO news and dead silence for months - and then we were supposed to do to what - lay out $149 for X3 after all that?

I don’t think so!

There’s other fish in the sea.

It was like a jump from mediocre Tuna to delicious Salmon for me!