Mixer UI Improvements

This is something that comes up every so often but doesn’t seem to go very far, mostly I guess because people - not being professional interface designers! - don’t tend to know a good way to explain what it should be changed too.

Be good to get a good discussion going to see what people think. Are you happy with the way the mixer interface works in Cubase? Or do you think it’s overdue somewhat of a few tweaks, or even a total overhaul and redesign?

Steinberg - are you planning any sort of major changes to the way the mixer works visually, and if so would you like to engage with us on it?

I think the main bugbear for myself, and my colleagues, it that you can’t see and edit the Inserts, Sends and EQs at the same time - you have to switch between them. And by default, new tracks show the EQ display - which with the way the mixer works I tend to not use anyway, tending to use EQ as an insert to save having to flick between different views.

Here’s how it looks on a few other DAW’s:

Pro Tools

Here this shows each track with 5 inserts and 5 sends visible, along with I/O. Not sure if you can expand this to more, or how much you can control in terms of send level straight from the interface - can someone expand on this? I’m not really familiar with PT.

Logic

This is even better - all inserts, sends, I/O and EQ are shown on one display - you can clearly edit send level straight from this too - although it sucks that it just says a buss number rather than what it’s actually sending to. Can this be changed?

Samplitude

Also cool - and more traditional style EQ controls which some may prefer (I prefer the graphical style personally). Another clever thing about Samplitude’s mixer display is that it can be shrunk and stretched, in a zooming in - zooming out sense. Not sure how useful that is unless you have a tiny monitor or bad eyesight, but it’s still quite cool :wink:

Now you’ve seen these, and how you don’t have to flick between different view modes, can you see how Cubase’s mixer is a bit of a pain? Also, it shows that Cubase’s mixer is a bit inefficient in terms of screen space - everything is pretty ‘chunky’ compared to other designs.

Be interested in hearing if people do prefer Steinberg’s way of working as compared to the competition, and what they like about it. It is quite handy being able to have the big VU meters and more detail in certain modes, but it would be good if it could be more modular.

At least, would it not be good to have an ‘edit all’ mode, that maybe showed everything something like this rather crude mock up I’ve done below:

Takes up same amount of space as currently.

Perhaps it could be modular? Set the number of inserts and sends you want? Increase the display size to fit more? Any reason not to have unlimited number of inserts and sends? Ability to re-order on screen, and perhaps that re-ordering defining the channel flow?

Your thoughts!

Exactly Mr Corbett, this is my chief gripe about Cubase. First, the GUI should allow more flexibility and personalization. Personally, I want a mixer UI that looks just like a hardware mixer… with direct access to EQ’s and sends, etc. What would also be totaly awesome, and a big selling point I think, is if Steinberg got together with somebody like Neve or SSL and had an emulation of those desks, enabling us to by-pass UAD or Waves plugins that provide this

Someone may object citing bloat or costs. Here’s MY vision: more choice in versions of Cubase. Personally, I have no use for things like LoopMash or MediaBay, all I want is a multi-track and desk emulation. So, they could provide versions dedicated more towards my type of use, and versions dedicated more towards other popular uses. If one were to object to this idea on the basis of production costs – having to box, ship, and market various versions, the answer is pretty simple: downloads. Downloads eliminate so much of the expense of retail software sales, and free up resources for development

I like the mock-up. However, the modular approach IMHO would be better still, based on track types. And to repeat myself over and over :laughing: , un-linking track ordering between the project window and the mixer is something I feel is essential. At least an option to break that ordering if desired would be appreciated. :nerd:

Hi,
+1
I’m glad someone adresses this issue again (you are probably a sound-engineer).
Nice mock-up…
But to be honest I sort of gave up on hoping this will ever be adressed, for this has been requested many times before. No reaction from Steinberg whatsoever.
A VERY basic feature, but obviously the people at Steinberg have never tried to use Cubase for serious mixing.

And there are lots of other basic issues when mixing, check my other posts.
I have recently created a setup that allows automatic opening of active plugins only , plus the channel editor when selecting a channel, and placing the plugin windows automaticly at pre-defined locations.
Also a very basic feature I would say, (how do you like closing, opening and rearanging plugins ALL the time when mixing???) but I needed two external programs and a lot of time to get this working:
“bomes miditranslator”, and “winsize2”
http://www.bome.com/products/miditranslator
http://sourceforge.net/projects/winsize2/

I use midicontrollers (BCR/BCF/Ipad + touchosc) to fast switch between mixerviews.
This helps a little…
And you could set up two mixers and place them sort of half over each other… :laughing:

My next effort to get some usable controll over Cubase: trying to convert zoom in/out controller-data to usable endless controllerdata so you can zoom in/out with two endless rotary controllers.
Sorry for hijacking… :mrgreen:

JB

Yeah I like the mockup, +1 for modular mixers!

Aloha j and excellent point. Such a time drain.

{’-’}

And +1 also:

Steinberg team check the “studio-one”(presonus) solution (any chance we get automap or dedicated controllers assignable to plugins no matter where they are inserted?).

JB

Bump!

More people must have an opinion on this.

Any chance of any comments from Steinberg reps themselves? The UI guy (I forget his name) used to engage on these forums fairly regularly, is he still around?

Please share your opinions on this - really could do with more of a discussion on the future of Steinberg’s mixer display.

Surely 113 of the people who’ve viewed this thread aren’t completely meh about the way the mixer display works?

I’m one of the 99% (who’s viewed and not commented). :laughing:

In my opinion, I agree with what a lot of people have said here. Then again, I’ve always thought there were usability improvements that could be made to Cubase.

Having said that, I have also always had the distinct impression that the software architectural design of Cubase doesn’t let itself well to doing things such as different versions of Cubase based on your needs (c.f. Doug/twilightsong’s post about not needing LoopMash, etc.). There is too much cohesion between the various component of Cubase to easily extract one or more from the whole.

That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to see some of this stuff. I just don’t think it’ll ever happen.

If it were up to me, everything in Cubase would be a “black box” concept. For example, the mixer is pretty simple: it takes 1 or more inputs (audio or MIDI tracks) and produces 1 or more outputs (busses). It doesn’t need to manage VSTs to render MIDI as audio either - Cubase provides that capability and simply exposes the interface to the mixer component. By doing something like this, the mixer is solely responsible for not only its look and feel but also its capabilities, i.e. the base mixer that comes with Cubase could support a 3 band sweep EQ per channel but ABC Company could produce a “premium” mixer that has 5 band EQ. Since the mixer is solely responsible for the EQ processing, replacing the stock mixer with ABC’s mixer would not affect the operation of the rest of Cubase.

Etc.

I’m sure all users want a new mixer, but many of us are frustrated. well, how long are you ready to feel yourself an empty place? The only answer (all-purpose) we can get from the Stein team is: “we’ re in the middle of something, but it’s top secret information”. I can understand such a secrecy when they’re building something new (like Loopmash or new photo editor or an Angry Birds based app, that will generate music, or another “groundbreaking music instrument” etc.), but when we want a “new” mixer, which had been implemented into other DAWs many years ago… :open_mouth:
So, when your requests remain unheard for years, you give up and just say “what will be - will be” :neutral_face: