Here is what's wrong with Cubase UI

Steinberg should take tips from Logic, Ableton, FL studio and Reaper

As I pointed out in a separate post, in 10.5, the other issue is with visually-layered graphics. For example, automation controller data (points, curves) is always black. Therefore, to edit autiomation in the arranger window, you must have a light-colored project area background. If all visually-layered objects are not user-definable with regard to color, they should at least flip light to dark and vice-versa, depending on the background color.


Logic 9 was the best (looking) DAW. Cubase atm the best also in functionality. Except for the plugins. They are unappealing and not most are not recognizable.


I can agree with the lightly aggregated users, colors are not the same. The IU is ok but not consistent in many ways.
There where Cubase 5 users or more early users that had a light color sceme, not you are stuck with dark matter.
And yes, cubase is ok, it does had a lot work to get it this way. But at least it runs…

Lots of good points here. The UI is getting better in some ways (and less so in others) and I hope Steinberg will continue to optimize it to be consistent and as professional as possible – it’s not there yet but I feel some good things have been happening, at least.

  1. still several types of scroll bars. Even the “newer” ones are inconsistent (compare e.g. in the mixer and the arrange window), badly aligned and too small. thank god for the mouse wheel.
  2. the use of an ellipsis ("…") for shortening plugin names in the mixer is plain stupid and makes some plugins with similar names impossible to differentiate.
  3. It is nearly impossible to make a good “light” theme. Not everyone likes dark themes and for me they are harder to work with, I find it more stressful for the eyes.
  4. the horizontal sliders (Volume/Pan in Track Inspector, those in the audio editor, the generic plugin editor) are an absolute PITA to operate precisely

okay but can you make a good music?

I think one can approach the use of a program in many different ways. For some that use Cubase “Music” is the main thing. For others the hobby is more to analyze and comment the program and its looks.


Not sure what’s your point here. That’s like asking aerospace engineers whether they’re good pilots or not before people can take them seriously.

You’re assuming too much. A lot of us are using Cubase for more than a decade now. We use it everyday, looking at this UI for over 10 hours a day and our job depends on using it.

If we’re taking the time to analyze it’s design, that’s because we’re passionate about what we do and want Cubase to be the best DAW for our use :slight_smile:

There is some more UI stuff that is unnecessarily confusing, like for example the little arrow on the right side of a plugin name:
Inspector Inserts/Sends: you click on it to change the plugin.
Track/Rack instruments: if you click on it, it changes the output configuration of the vsti. If you want to change the VSi you’ll have to click on the name of the plugin - and if you want to add a new VSTi there is another arrow on top of the track/rack window.

The UI functionality of these tools should be similar, but actually it is quite different, which is just bad UI design.

If you look at the old C6.5 version, all UI elements are still consistent, the mess started with C7 when they added a new mixer, changed fonts, changed track/rack instruments and “improved” the inspector. And since then they never managed to get it sorted - even worse: they changed more things (like the unusable scrollbars, the right-click toolbox etc)

And don’t forget the non-sizable Inspector pane. God forbid that you have a track name with more than 16 characters. Not only is the name cut off but so is the color you assigned to the type of track. I need that color in my workflow because after I finish recording, I sort all the MIDI tracks and then the Audio tracks in the Visibility area so I can select all the MIDI tracks at once and make them invisible.

I think one of the other GUI points for Cubase that needs to be added is the Brightness for Tracks, just like they added for the channel in the mixer, as well as the need addition of contrast for text & name brightness|690x401

I read somewhere it’s many hundreds of windows to be updated. So I guess over time they will more and more even out inconsistencies. Considering that the Cubase 11 update brought i.m.o. many seriously usable features, I guess they had enough to do…

I think the updated Cubase 10 / 11 user interface is the BEST of all DAWs I’ve ever used (have Reason, Cakewalk/Sonar, FL Studio, Studio One, Ableton Live). I am glad they do NOT use the boring, uninspiring flat design trend all over the place, just in appropriate areas.

Here a comparison: Same project in two different DAWs. I like the Cubase look and feel very much…

@allegro ,
Thanks for taking the time to do this.

For mac users the de-evolution of the GUI happened when OSX was introduced. Cubase went from a gorgeous and intuitive GUI with Cubase VST32 (under OS9) to Cubase SX (under OSX). It was a sad time.

SX was basically PC code quickly ported for OSX.
I’m pretty sure this was about the same time that Steinberg sold out to Yamaha. So there were many.contributing factors to the disarray.

I spent years on the forums pointing out what should be improved. Many of the changes were made, old functionalities were returned. But some things are still not addressed. Simple things like being able to type a new name directly into a Part or Cycle marker without having to use the “info line”. Seems so simple.

I could go on. Not today though. I’m too old to carry the flag these days. I’m actually very grateful to still have Cubase. It’s the greatest DAW out there. It always has been.

Thanks for carrying the torch on the features and functionality though.