It's called a DAW Not a Digital Audio Inspiration Station

After battling with Cubase’s counter intuitive/productive window management it occurred to me that Steinberg are allocating a lot of resources into plugins and things that are designed to inspire the user to create new and exiting music. But is that what the DAW is meant to do? It is, after all, a Workstation not an Inspiration station. The description, DAW, suggests an environment where one can get work done, not develop new exiting ideas.
So fixing things like the window management would seem to me, to be more consistent with the development of a professional DAW.


Do you have a specific problem? I use cubase as a tape machine.

So would you rather 100 new plugins or 100 new workflow improvements?.

I would like bigger buttons


I agree with you. I want a DAW that helps me get work done, that’s my priority.
Making noises comes second for me.
I need tools to get things done. I want a song/music writing tool. You can pick up synths and all other noise-making plugins all over the place and Cubase has tons already.
Though we still need noise-making stuff.

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I guess “DAW” was imprinted on such programs by people, who didn’t bother finding a better name.
IMO ProTools was a DAW before they added MIDI.

I actually like the term that the Steinberg folks found for their product, it seems much better suited:

We can argue about the “advanced” but the program really rather is a music production system than ‘just’ a DAW. With this in mind, new plugins are allowed, aren’t they?


The "Advanced Music Production System’ sure has come a long way. I just looked at my retail box for Cubase VST24 and back then it was a ‘Music Recording and Editing System’… (But then again VST itself was brand new at the time)

None of the Logic Platinum (or Pro) boxes right next to it from v4 up to v8 say DAW either, pretty sure that was marketing that invented that acronym…

Here’s the “Advanced” music production system in action.

I’m in the Key Editor, I raise the velocity of a note, it starts clipping
I open the MixConsole to check levels etc. No issues there.
I open VE Pro via Stream Deck to check things out. I find the issue and fix it. Pretty standard stuff.

Now here is where things go bad.

l hit Cubase on my Stream Deck and am taken back the MixConsole,
I hit a key command to close the MixConsole, I end up in VE Pro
I hit Cubase a second time on my Stream Deck and now I am in the Key Editor
I hit a key command to close the Key Editor, guess where I end up, VE Pro.
I hit Cubase on my Stream Deck a third time and finally I am returned to the Project View.

I think Cubase is the way it is (in part) because people over time have kept making recommendations about features, visual elements, and workflows they want added and Steinberg has listened and incorporated them. Any DAW is a legacy of that evolution otherwise they would just look like things we used in the early '90s. DAWs and how we interact with them is very subjective and what is intuitive to one user may not be to another. It sometimes may be easier to change and try new DAWs if you have fundamental problems with the one you are using. I went from Ardour to Pro Tools to Reaper and have as of late been in Cubase but I’m kind of agnostic about it and believe that as the user I must spend the time learning the DAW and how it works – rather than it being some perfect reflection of what I want it to be. It’s like education – it can be painful in the formative period, but you put in the time and hopefully it pays off down the track.


There are some glaring bugs that I think need fixing before any more development is pumped into plugins.

  1. Render In Place only works when the first direct out slot is active. Otherwise it will produce a blank event.
  2. Render In Place deactivates all solo/mute states afterwards.
  3. Cubase’s time-stamping of media files does not conform to your specific location/timezone.
  4. Global workspaces for some unknown reason save the visible bars view and cursor position. This makes sense for project workspaces, not Global workspaces.
  5. There should be more absolute actionable commands rather than toggles so we can assign separate kb shortcuts to ON and OFF.

Other than that and whatever I’ve forgotten, Cubase is great as a recording and mixing device.

I guess there are a lot of people out there liking Cubase as a DAW being inspiring and a creative tool for developing exiting ideas, while having maaany creative tools and functions included in the package, an elaborate usability and eye-pleasing GUI… and I am one of them…

they made a workflow improvement, that was so good, they made a new daw out of it… ableton :slight_smile:

Improved workflow = more inspiration (they go together, many people seem to miss that)

The less time you need to spend to get technical things done, the more time you have to be creative and focused on the music itself.

When I am in a creative flow and I have to do 10 clicks to try out an idea which suddenly comes to my mind, I’d rather not try it at all.

That imho is worth 10.000.000 times more, than having another plugin, which I can also get elsewhere.

Workflow improvements and bug removal please. I don’t need anymore plugins (and just changing the “look” of your standard plugins does NOT encourage me to upgrade).

Oh and why you’re at it how about putting all your bloatware into one easy to use program rather than having to open multiple programs to do simple tasks - which don’t work half the time anyway.

Oh and also how about ONE login to the Steinberg website?

Anyway going off-topic now so I’ll shut up :wink:

I think they designed a great improvement on the arranger tool. They sell it currently as Ableton .
Maybe there is your answer.

What im trying to say is that the designer of the arranger tool of cubase, designed ableton.

Exciting news. For sure you also have the name of that designer. So, he changed from Ableton to Steinberg?
BTW, Ableton is a company, not a product. Just saying…

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Well, ok, it’s called a DAW and not a Digital Audio Inspiration Station, but what a missed opportunity for a mean acronym, huh.


It gives a whole other meaning to “content creation” and “reach out to your audience”


Friendly reminder: moving a mouse across the screen to click an icon 10x10 pixels in size, is a productivity destroyer.
Pressing a button is predominantly done with muscle memory. Mousing cannot be done efficiently with the use of muscle memory, as the mouse is always starting from a different location on the screen . Thus requiring a varying amount of acceleration and deceleration in the movement of the hand in order for the cursor to arrive at the destination. In this case a 10x10 pixel square on a 32" monitor.

So Steinberg introducing more key commands and better window management would enable the user to execute complex sequences of actions with far less attention given to said actions and more attention given to the result of said sequence of actions.

In the meantime a big lifesaver is autohotkey in that regard.