Migrating from Reason 13 to Cubase

Hi all,

First post here. Sorry for the essay. I’m wondering if anyone can share their experience of migrating from Reason to Cubase. I used Cubase from version 2.8 to about 3.5 and then had a hiatus for a while, until picking up Reason when it first became a DAW. I just sort of stuck with it after that. I’m now thinking about switching from Reason for the reasons below. I did consider Ableton for a while, but a few hours in it suggested that the workflow wasn’t working too well for me. My first few hours in Cubase have been comfortable, if a little disjointed. So if anyone can advise I’d appreciate it. I never thought switching DAW would be a big thing, but I definitely aren’t yet in the right space to sit down at Cubase and be creative.

Reasons I’m thinking of leaving Reason (which would hopefully be addressed in Cubase) are:

  1. I have a Stream Deck and would like to utilise this to streamline things such as adding a VST instrument, with a VST EQ, VST etc. already in place.
  2. MIDI inadequacies - I always got frustrated that I couldn’t trigger LFOs in Kilohearts Snapheap from a note on.
  3. Track grouping
  4. Note latching - can’t remeber the term, but triggering the note on when starting playback half way through a note.

Things I like about Reason that I’d like to do in Cubase

  1. Random-ish Note Generation (cf Reason’s Quad Note Generator). I see that this can be done with MIDI Modifiers in Cubase and feel that automating things such as pitch range, spacing and velocity could be very powerful (I haven’t messed with the logical editor yet). I think this will outshine Reason, but just takes a bit more messing.

  2. Easy sample chopping. I can see how this is done in the arrangment window, but haven’t been able to do it directly in the sample editor (chop a snare, for example and duplicate it).

  3. Just the overall rapid laying down of ideas. This, I think is my main concern. I don’t really have a feel for how quick it is to perform routine tasks. For example, if I’m playing through a section and think: that could do with another string underneath it, I’d like to be able to just, say, duplicate the track, change a couple of params and shift it down an octave, turn a knob to increase the send to the FX bus. All in say five seconds, I imagine this is all doable it’s just that Reason feels to me as though I can just hook stuff in and it’s there and working. I guess it’s because it maps to a physical studio that it seems to make more sense.

  4. Easy routing. Cubase looks like it has very deep routing possiblities, but the cables in Reason showed me what I was doing. For example, say I wanted to use an LFO to control the filter cutoff of four synths on four channels, I could route the LFO output to a CV splitter, route that to a CV channel on the Reason Combi and then direct the CV there to the synth filter. I just tried this on Cubase: created a track with a synth, created a track with an Auto LFO. I routed the LFO MIDI output to the Synth MIDI input, but then have no idea how to link that to the Cutoff. I’m sure this is just my ignorance, but it was quite intuitive in Reason.

I don’t know if it’s just familiarity, but at the moment I feel like I can sit down with Reason, pick a sound and start clicking things together, like a Lego set. Cubase feels like it requires a more considered approach. The latter, I feel is what I aspire to, but not being a trained musician means that more often my music is the result of trial and error and luck. I am feeling good about Cubase, there’s seems to be so much depth and I think there are new pathways available that weren’t before, and hopefully the existing pathways in Reason can be translated over to Cubase.

Thanks for any advice or comparable stories.

(small update: re. routing, turned out the VST I was using wasn’t picking up the cc, switched to a different VST and the LFO is now routing to the VST param - now just to see if I can split that signal to other VSTs)

(ok update to the update, seems if I activate a MIDI send and set that to the second VST then it works as planned)

Muscle memory is difficult to overcome, so there will be some growing pains.

I’ve owned Cubase and Reason since V1 many, many decades. Reason definitely nailed it with the rack / cables emulation but I was never able to use it as a sequencer.
For many years I used Reason with Cubase via Rewire, a sync / communication protocol that has recently been abandoned. Reason? unknown. (Pun intended) .

I enjoyed that workflow a lot.

You can still use Reason as a plug-in to Cubase. It works, but not as elegant as having that Reason rack.

There really is no comparison between Reason and Cubase for recording and music creation. But I come from a studio / engineering background. Some people love Ableton Live. I couldn’t use that as a sequencer either back in the day. But they were the first to offer warping and they recognized Rewire, so I just sync’d it up to Cubase.

Hang in there. Experiment. Write shorter more focused posts and you’ll get plenty of help here. And you’ll never look back at Reason. At least for sequencing and mixing.

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Thanks for the response, much appreciated - and yes, my post was a little long!

Your reply does help, mainly as it highlighted to me that I only really use the sequencer and ‘MIDI’ effects (i.e. players) in Reason, I don’t use any of the effects or instruments. So that minimises the comparison drastically. Thanks.