I bought C8 when it came but I’m still on C7.5 for tracking for various reasons. I’m slowly switching over though. I just noticed something that surprised me quite a bit. I’m in the middle of a production, working in 7.5, but I decided to open the project in C8 and do some exports.
Well, it sounded very, very different in the low end. After troubleshooting a bunch of things, I narrowed it down to the HPF. A couple of things:
In C8, the HPF selected setting is 24dB/oct when I open the project. However, it actually is set to 12dB/oct and shows up like this in the graphic display as well. This seems basically like a bug so I’ll report that soon. EDIT: my mistake. It does use the 24dB slope but the graph shows 12dB.
I tried a few things to get closer to how it sounded in C7.5 (using null testing) but I can’t find anything that comes close. On the track I have HPF set to 91Hz. In C8, the closest I get is if I set it to 215Hz (!) with 12dB/oct, or 152Hz with 24dB/oct.
What surprises me is that the difference is so vast. Opening my C7.5 mix in C8 makes it sound really muddy since it has so much more low end. I do realize that changes like this in the software will yield different results, but I thought it would sound somewhat similar at least!
Did anyone else notice this? How have you dealt with the difference in sound, what kind of settings have you changed to get closer to the previous version?
I can of course just open the project in 7.5 and work from there, but I was surprised that C8 wasn’t more “backwards compatible”, if you will, with C7.5 projects.
Ah yes, just read through some of this. So I’m not alone. Not that it makes things better, haha. It would have been good to have a “compatibility” slope along with the other slopes. I do understand that things change between versions and that’s perfectly valid. But the change to the filters is huge. Even with the EQ change between 6 and 7 (I think?) you could still select the old behavior (and still can).
All that said, I do actually like the new slopes better. The HPF in 7.5 felt like it was filtering much higher so the new filter makes more logical sense to me. But still… “Compatability slope”, please!
I have tested this and it appears that the Cubase 7 high pass filters are actually an octave above the value set, so if you enter a value of 80Hz, the -3dB point is actually at 160Hz. I would like to know if this is intentional or a bug.
Running tests here too, seeing the exact same thing. At set frequency, it’s actually down by 6dB. No wonder I always found the C7 HPF quite intrusive!
EDIT: Actually… With a 2dB/oct slope, a 6dB drop at set frequency is exactly what we should see. So in that sense the C8 filters are inaccurate. We’re not taking Q value into account here though, which could explain the big difference. Without documentation it’s a bit difficult to know anything more about it. But all the more reason in that case to have some sort of compatibility mode.
I wonder if Steinberg are trying to hook in the bedroom EDM producers - ie make the product sound more bassy out the box? I agree they shouldn’t have changed the default slopes without slapping a big banner across everything AND given a one click option to match the HPFs in previous releases.
Haha, that’s a bit too cynical… But yes, a warning when you open a project would be good (they have it in Wavelab), and a compatibility slope. What often surprises me is the amount of hush-hush (my interpretation of course) when something is changed. It takes users to find the changes and start wondering what it going on before it’s figured out, often with no comments from Steinberg’s direction. It makes it feel kind of monolithic, which I don’t think is a good strategy. I’d love to see some more Steinberg activity on the forums, since it’s a great way to work with support (i.e. other can see previous issues that may relate to them).
Joking aside (for even more joking), if they chose this as reasoning, it would show a deep misunderstanding of the production techniques of the genre.
The way to get “bass” in electronic dance music, “EDM bass 101” if you will, is by cutting low frequencies in non-bass tracks so that there is clear separation of concerns.
So the steeper slopes of v7 are actually more bedroom EDM friendly, in that regard.
And that’s just the bedroom producer basics. A more advanced technique, but also common and generally well understood, is to even cut bass from the bass itself. And to have a dedicated sub bass channel.
Hardcore bass genres will often split bass into three bands, sub, low-mids, and mids. And then cut the sub and low out of everything else with some low-mid overlap around 150 Hz.
Btw, on those older EQ algos, I’ve always noticed that Cubase, which is way more popular in Europe, especially v5, has been a longtime favorite of trance producers, who just love that “crispy” Cubase stock EQ. Aggressive EQ, but it has its charm. I actually like it better than v8, because of this.
I’ve said this before, and it certainly can’t be true, but I swear I can always tell when someone is using the older Cubase eq for quick-and-dirty filter sweeps. It seems to have an almost “cheap” telltale resonance and crispness, but oddly satisfying.