I gotta say.. Cubase for editing audio ain't a patch on PT!

Ok. So I’ve been on cubase 13 for a week now and if things continue to be so difficult with basic editing I’m gonna have let it go and move back to Pro Tools.
I gotta say… PT leaves Cubase in the dust for audio editing.
Even with a PT background I can still see how Cubase is completely all over the place with basic functionality.
I’ve taught PT in high schools and within 1 x45 min lesson kids are up and audio editing and placing anything anywhere… placing the play head wherever they choose… all in one window… mostly with single keystrokes… zoom is super intuitive.
I’m flabbergasted at how clumsy Cubase is with simple edits.
Completely unintuitive. How I’m I diving deep into it’s programming to do absolutely fundamental processes that PT does in a single keystroke?
I’m no Pro tools fanboy but for the love of god… Steinberg… wtf!!!
I can see that I will need to sit with this software for at least 3 months to get it to do things simply… with programming shortcuts and macros galore.

Anyway… I’m gonna start making a list of stuff that’s just plain stupid but simply and elegantly achieved in PT. In fact, if it wasn’t for midi functionality which I want to learn, this thing’d be done and gone… I’ll pay PT the money!!!

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I’m glad I didn’t go to your high school!

With good will: if you haven’t figured out how to edit easily after a week in Cubase you probably SHOULD go back to Alsihad.

Many of us here are professionally well-versed in both. I don’t think there are many who would share your perspective. I know I sure don’t.

There are plenty of people here who would likely be glad to help you as much as you have your high school students if you were to ask.

To borrow a term… I’m flabbergasted to see complaints about some of Cubase/Nuendo’s greatest functionality-- macros, and I assume (if you’ve gotten there and are referring to them as “programming shortcuts”) the Logical Editors.

Best of luck, and may you find editorial happiness…somewhere!



It seems you probably haven’t used Pro Tools. I studied deeply and taught it as well.

The functionality for audio editing is completely logical in my experience.

Apple Logic makes sense mostly… intuitive.

I would say that so far, in a week… I’ve found maybe 30% of processes to be sufficient;y intuitive.

Stuff like… you can’t even audition something in the media browser until you discover you have to set up control room and create a monitor path…
It’s like… why?! I want to audition a loop and it’s not even automatically bussed to the master output? Explain that to a 14 year old… You google it and virtually every beginner is asking… why can’t I hear my loops? It defies logic… Generally in a DAW if you see a PLAY icon… you should be able to click it and hear what it’s sitting next to…

But, within 45 mins I could;d get a 13 year old up and running in 45 mins.

No hope of that with Cubase.

Anyway… whatever… I’ll make a list of stuff I think is poorly implemented and then I’ll decide whether it’s a bridge too far.

That’s not a complaint that has to do with editing but with setting up your DAW. It’s been years since I set up PT from scratch, and maybe it’s easier, but regardless addressing what you’re talking about now is quick and you only have to do that once and you’re done. So as far as having a problem with editing in Cubase it’s a non-issue.

(BTW: Two decades on PT here, professionally and for a living, and in parallel more and more on Nuendo until recently where it’s now 98% Nuendo. Post production)

I’m thinking you should probably take that list and post it here to see if you’re really not able to do what you need or if you’re missing something. Or post things as you find them.

In my experience a lot of engineers think DAW X can’t do what DAW Y can but it’s just a matter of either not having learned what the function is called, or where the command is, or how the app functions… and as a result the engineer can easily adjust and learn to do the exact same thing in the other DAW without too much effort once they understand the difference(s).

But it requires actually asking about it and keeping an open mind about it.


Oh, please. I’ve used ProTools, as have most of us operating in the professional sphere. In my case, starting with Sound Tools back in the early '90s.

Moving to Nuendo was a choice informed by experience and appreciation for its feature set, combined with disgust with Digidesign/Avid and the shifting sands of their marketing model and software support. I still have to use Alsihad when it’s all I have, and… well, whatever. I’m well versed in a bunch of the others, and they all have their nomenclatures and work paradigms. But these are tools, not football teams. Nuendo works great for me; maybe not so much for you.

But dude. If you are interested in Cubase, you really ought to read the manual, or at least check out the key commands, and then post from an “informed but still confused” perspective. The solution to your issue in the other crossposted threads about going to the start of the project was a 10-second search.


PS I’ve instructed any number of assistants and interns in the basics of Cubendo. Getting them started, regardless of age, has rarely, if ever taken more than a couple of hours.


Cheers Mattias.

Actually I’m not trying to run the line that DAW x is better that DAW y.
Yes, partly what I’m talking about is setting up a DAW but in the main I’m referring to editing workflow and out-of-the-box functionality.

So… I really don’t care what it’s called or it’s history… does it have a simple ethos to editing? Is it streamlined where one simple keystroke gives you versatile functionality.
I’m not referring to how to set up busses, etc… or handle vsts… etc…

So, just as an example.

If you edited audio all day long as an engineer assistant what’s the one thing you need to do all day?

Zoom in on audio , cut it, and move it. Those 3 things are fundamental and they need to be stupid easy with 1 stroke shortcuts.

A simple example is:

When you select a region in PT, the timeline is automatically selected. One click and you’ve highlighted that region and can start to toggle in and out points in the timeline.
This functionality is required for numerous reasons. It’s automatic.

Cubase’s solution. Select the region and use a key stroke to select the timeline as well…
There’s an extra keystroke for no really good reason. Yes. if you use the range tool you can have your dragged selection appear in the timeline… But… if you simply click a region you have to then press a key to have that selection show up in the timeline.

Another example…

In PT, you select a region and to zoom to fill screen you have one keystroke. You can then toggle back to your previous zoom setting by hitting the same key again. That’s called toggling! You cannot do that in Cubase.
In Cubase, you zoom to selection and how do you escape from your zoomed up view? You create a shortcut key for Undo Zoom. There’s another unnecessary keystroke.
I have found countless more of these things and I’ll make a list as I go.

So, I’m finding plenty of things that Pro Tools does either automatically or with one keystroke. Nearly every thing so far re functionality, I’ve finally found how to do something I consider basic and it’s atleast one extra level of complexity for no good reason.

I mean toggling has been around forever. The idea that one keystroke cannot toggle is pretty crazy to me.

I’m strongly considering going back to PT for any audio editing and then just using Cubase for midi composing.

However, for the time being I’ll keep trying for another 2-4 weeks with Cubase and try and find a way. I haven’t even bothered to look at all the deep functionality yet. I’m not interested in using it deeper until I can use it simply and elegantly.

I never thought I’d think of PT audio editing as elegantly simple but it just is!

If Control Room isn’t activated the pre-listen signal always goes to the main mix, which is by default Stere Out. In other words, out of the box you only have to make the audio output connection from Stereo Out to your desired hardware channel. Not sure, what is so complicated about it compared to Pro Tools.

To me your complaints sound like you are very familiar and comfortable with Pro Tools and somewhat alien to Cubase.
I am sure you had to learn all the things that you mentioned and will mention in Pro Tools. If you would spend the equal amount of time and an open mind to dive into Cubase you might be working at the same speed with both DAWs.

There is also the chance that Pro Tools simply fits your personal working style better. That is why we have so many DAWs. All of them can get the job done. Every one of us has to find the one that suits them best.

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Ok, but what is it that you’re trying to accomplish though? A problem with switching DAWs is that we do things for a specific purpose and when we can’t do those things in another DAW it appears limited, but what’s the goal to accomplish…?

For example, you mention using the range tool and then write But… if you simply click a region you have to then press a key to have that selection show up in the timeline.” Well, so don’t. If you need to highlight a part of the event in order to for example cut it then just select the range with the range tool, don’t select the event by clicking the region.

If you want to delete the region then click it and delete it.
If you want to trim start or end then you can either drag it with the selector or create the range and cut it.
If you want to add a fade you can drag it or you can select and use a key.

With the multitool you don’t have to use a key command to toggle between selection tool and range tool.

It’s another key to remember, but it’s not another unnecessary keystroke. You still have to press twice to toggle, in Cubase you have to press twice as well; once for zoom in and once for undo zoom. So granted, another key to remember, but the same amount of steps.

I think when it comes to moving clips around for example Cubase (Nuendo) is more elegant. That’s just me though. That being me is sort of the point in that we learn one and go to the other and it’s annoying.

Let me put it like this: I started out professionally on PT back in 2000 or so. I bought Nuendo when v1 came out but it took a long time before it became a significant part of my paid work. So by the time I moved over to using mostly Nuendo it literally took me weeks to get up to speed on it, and a lot of that was just getting my brain to go different places and do different things for the same end result.

But if I sat down and edited a TV show on PT today I would be significantly slower for at least an hour or so before my brain has adapted. And I would still be annoyed about things that Nuendo does that PT doesn’t do equally well or the same way or at all. But I’ll still edit faster than all but one person I’ve worked around in the past two decades, regardless of the DAW.

So my point is that it takes time to learn any DAW and the best approach is to learn it the way it’s “meant to” be operated, not to try to have it do things the other one did the same way the other one did it. You’re just never going to be fast enough that way.

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That probably would have been the wiser thing to do first, rather than a posting an emotional outburst, that looks indistinguishable from trolling.

And it makes me sad for the students who look up to you as a role model.


Fair enough Nico.

You may find the post to be an emotional outburst… troll… or whatever.

It’s an honest post of my experience with Cubase.

The issues I refer to are actually real issues.
And the list I make of basic functions will likely show empirically that Cubase involves significantly more steps to do basic functions for audio editing.
When I search the forums, many other people have the exact same issues and feedback. They are asking fundamentally simple questions about how to undertake simple editing tasks that are non-intuitive.

Keep in mind, I am only referring to audio editing workflow.

My personal experience is that Cubase for editing audio ain’t a patch on PT. That is not an emotional statement. It’s 100% true. It’s my experience and it’s what I’ve found.

Yes, it’s an opinion but it’s empirically valid when I back up my statement with examples and comparisons that confirm an operation is far simpler in one DAW compared to another DAW.

I’m quite prepared to concede when I find a Cubase has a simpler, more intuitive workflow in a given area.

And I assume, as I look at midi functionality it will have more elegant solutions to PT.

If I then write…

Pro Tools, for doing "x"ain’t a patch on Cubase … is that emotional? or empirically true? My observation, if I can show my workings, is valid.

I mean, PT and Cubase ain’t a patch on Ableton Live for using live looping. That’s empirically true and unemotional.

A Honda civic ain’t a patch on a Ferrari when it comes to acceleration.

A Ferrari ain’t a patch on a honda civic for family commuting.

I’ve Used pretty much all of them. The audio editing could be better. But so could the midi in PT.
The thing is what you can do with midi in cubase you can’t do in PT (subjectively/creatively)
But what you can do with audio you can do almost Identical to PT just in a different way.
I came here a couple months ago after years in pretty much all the Majors.
If I hadn’t spent a good month setting up my shortcuts, practicing them, Reading the forum to find answers appropriate for my workflow.
YouTube so much YouTube
But the first day I went in thinking I was a pro. A couple days later I made a post like yours being frustrated to the point of quitting lol
Even though I know everything else.
I didn’t know cubase.
I realised that without really sitting down and doing the boring stuff. I wouldn’t get to where I am now. And without this forum* it’s so so helpful
Cubase has a steep learning curve. But if you commit, you’ll understand what everyone talks re the power of Cubase

Screen Shot 2023-12-18 at 13.22.06

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I gave you an example where in your preferred workflow you hit “z” twice whereas in Cubase you’d hit “z” once and then another key once. That’s still two key strokes. How is PT “far simpler” in that case?

The fact that you don’t even acknowledge that I wrote that and just write another long post just makes your thread and posts look like trolling or semi-narcissistic griping. Maybe you should start a blog if all you want to do is vent about this. Otherwise what’s the point of this thread? Is it a Public Service Announcement?

Lastly, just what is your professional experience as an audio editor? I’m curious, because how you’re carrying on this conversation doesn’t make it sound like you have that much experience.

Sorry if this post seems terse, but usually when people come onto this forum and start asking questions about how the software works or voice concerns users like us in this thread typically try to help to make the user get going as fast and good as possible… Same in your other threads. Yet you just don’t seem willing to engage that way… so… I’m just wasting my time with this, right?


Exactly. I use both PT and Cubase but I learned Cubase first. PT is a very good audio production system and so is Cubase. Now in the later versions of PT you can change the key commands (keyboard shortcuts) work to the ones you know in Cubase. If you know PT shortcuts, change them in Cubase to be what you know. It will help your learning curve. I deleted almost every PT shortcuts and made them to be what I knew in Cubase. I also use Keyboard Maestro to make macros for PT. If I have time, I try to do the same project in both programs. I don’t want to be locked into any software. I want to make music. Not play with the software.

I will add that I do like the way PT adds features taking a" slow as it goes " approach and not dramatically change the software with every new release.

Therein lies the rub. For perspective, I first started using Cubase at V9.5, having used Cakewalk SONAR (and before that Pro Audio 9) for upwards of a decade and a half (I’m thinking roughly 2000 to 2018).

While I’d tried a much earlier version of Cubase (SX or SX3???) back when I started using Cakewalk Pro Audio 9 (this after coming from Passport Designs’ MasterTracks Pro Audio), that version of Cubase was both extremely unintuitive to me and extremely unstable on my system. I’d also used Samplitude LE a bit around that time, but, while it was very stable, it was also super unintuitive. This was just before Pro Tools LE came out – I’d seen demos of it, and those looked good, but it wasn’t yet available, and I was wanting to get something “now”. I also tried a demo version of Logic (which was working on the PC at that time), but it also didn’t work for me, but when I tried the demo version of Pro Audio, not only was it highly intuitive (for a Windows user, which I was), but it was super stable. I initially thought I’d just use it for MIDI, and maybe pair it with Samplitude for audio at a later time, but it turned out Pro Audio worked pretty well for the audio side of things, too, at least when paired with some third party plugins (DSP-FX initially) to fill in some missing pieces.

I went through lots of generations of Cakewalk’s SONAR, even beta testing V2 through V6 (and also writing for a Cakewalk-focused ezine for a number of years). But then Gibson discontinued Cakewalk products (in 2018, if I remember correctly), and the future looked to be up-in-the-air, so I was looking for other options, and I decided to test drive as many other DAWs as I could, starting with MOTU’s Digital Performer, and including the latest versions of Cubase, Samplitude, and Studio One, with the possibility of trying Reaper and others in the future. (The ones I picked first had to do with short-term crossgrade deals aimed at Cakewalk users who’d started looking elsewhere.)

My goal was to try one project in each DAW I was considering to see what worked for me. I eliminated Digital Performer pretty much right away – for one thing, I couldn’t read their tiny fonts. Cubase 9.5 was next, and I recorded an entire song there, but it was decidedly not very intuitive. Studio One came next, but it didn’t do lots of things I needed it to do, and it wasn’t very stable for my needs. I never really got around to doing a project in Samplitude because BandLab bought the Cakewalk intellectual property and made Cakewalk for BandLab an option (and free), but I was finding I was more efficient for things I spent a lot of time doing when using Cubase, despite all my years of using Cakewalk/SONAR.

I’d already read the entire Cubase manual from front to back, but there is only so much you can absorb from a hugely long manual without much actual hands-on time, and, to be blunt, the names Cubase gave things were often extremely unintuitive compared to common usage by pretty much everyone else (and I started back in analog tape days then ADAT before getting to the computer). They also didn’t keep to Windows conventions on UI in many cases, and I was a diehard Microsoft products user.

I ended up taking a bunch of Groove3 courses on Cubase, in addition to doing a lot of googling every time I’d run up against a wall. There are features that I thought were missing in Cubase that I used a lot in Cakewalk, where I hadn’t noted those from reading the manual (there was just too much information to absorb), but that I “discovered” through the courses. There were also conventions Cubase uses that just are not intuitive no matter how you skin them (e.g. reversing how the mouse wheel works in scrolling from pretty much every other Windows application, and the “H” and “G” stuff for zooming in and out, not to mention just lots of ways they name features so you have pretty much no chance of finding them if searching on common terminology for those features).

BUT, as time went on, I got more and more productive in Cubase, and there is certainly a huge amount of depth in the functionality, and I still learn more and more as I go along (after having pretty much standardized on Cubase for all my new projects as of V10.5 and having used it exclusively since V11). I suppose I’m used to lots of the idiosyncrasies now, but I still do wish things were just more intuitive as I still find myself not knowing where to find certain things, even ones I’ve used a number of times, just not frequently enough to make them stick in my memory.

Heck, there are still new things I encounter that I didn’t know about most every time I’m looking into how to do something or just come across a new (to me) Cubase video, like this one that I found when googling Cubase audio editing after seeing the start of this thread:

I definitely do wish Cubase were more consistent, both within itself and with respect to more general application conventions (for Windows in my case, but I suppose for whatever operating system it ran on in a more general case). But it is certainly powerful, and way more so than what I actually use, partly because I still haven’t plumbed all the depths of things that might actually help me.

I haven’t used Pro Tools, but many of the videos I’ve seen of it give me the impression that there is a lot more unintuitive work to do (e.g. in setting up FX/aux buses) there than with Cubase (or Cakewalk), and I am much more MIDI oriented than pure audio oriented (my only audio in most projects is vocals).

Reading through this thread, I definitely feel like the key is asking the questions to get help on how to efficiently do things in Cubase. There is decidedly a steep learning curve, but, once you find out how to do the things you need, it can be very efficient. (Of course, there is usually a choice of multiple ways to do any one thing, so finding the one that suits your own workflow best is part of getting to that efficiency.)

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It still feel like I’m just scratching the surface.
But this forum has been a godsend…Honestly probably my favourite “social media hangout” right now lol

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The whole once you master cubase you master them all sort of applies in my eyes. After spending all this time in cubase when I step inside other Daws everything just feels a lot simpler than before…

This sounds like some fabled time of ye old when the internet was young and innocent

What was interesting for me is they are Ableton stock commands for that exact task

Heck, some of this was before the Internet in the sense that we think of it today. :slight_smile: (I actually was first exposed to the Internet, or Usenet as it was called at the time, back in 1982 when I started working at Bell Labs, but it was more like the mid-90s when it started to be closer to what it is today in terms of the web. I think I had my first real personal Internet account around 1995.) I believe I started with MTPro around when Windows 3.0 or 3.1 came out. My first computer-based MIDI sequencer was Texture, probably around 1986 – I’d used a Korg SQD-1, a hardware sequencer for a while prior to that. It was 8-track analog tape alongside that, then later ADAT, but I was probably already using MTPro by the time I got my ADAT (mid-90s).

This has probably been the coolest thing about the forum. Is there are so many old heads with literal lifetimes of knowledge. Who have seen things I never will which has led them to think In a way I never will.
Same with me growing up with a iPhone. Having all that tech so early changed the way I think about it. Approach it. In a way the old heads never will.
It’s the cross pollination of these generational approaches that I find exciting and downright interesting!