My christmas wish for Cubase 11: NO new features

Yes, you read it right.
I don’t wish for ANY new features in Cubase 11.

What i DO wish for is

  1. Refresh and redesign of the user interface
  2. Simplification and modernization of existing features
  3. Cohesiveness in menus
  4. Reliability and speed
  5. Priority on squashing bugs before new features

Cubase is extremely powerful featurewise but the GUI, consistency and overall usability is a mess. There are heaps of amazing features but functionality in many cases is downright horrible and some are so convoluted and hidden that people hardly know they are there.

For instance:
Presonus promoted Clip Gain Envelopes as a ”fantastic new feature” in Studio One v5 even though it’s been in Cubase for quite some time! The feature is extremely useful in Cubase but the way it works could be improved. Why can’t you manipulate it like ordinary automation? Why do I have to click EXACTLY beneath the 1-pixel thin border to the next track which makes it prone to erroneous clicking and manipulating automation on the wrong track?

Or just a couple of other things I can think of right away:

Why are there different menus for loading and saving track presets? Why is the Solo button red and Mute yellow when it’s the other way around in all other DAWs? :open_mouth: Why does different parts of Cubase look like they are different pieces of software? Why are Midi Devices so badly implemented? Why is it so tedious to work with physical inserts? Why are there inconsistensies in menus? Why is ARA still not fully working? Why, why, why?

I am quite happy with the feature set in Cubase but I feel that the way Cubase works could (and should!) be greatly improved.
I have collegues that think Cubase has amazing features but they just won’t work with it because it’s so cluttered and downright ugly in parts.

The best christmas present I can imagine would be a Cubase where GUI and usability is at full focus so the DAW layout/functionality is consistent, easy to use and stable.

You can move it like automation, i’ve not found it a struggle to draw envelopes. Perhaps check you’re doing it right(?):-
https://youtu.be/F6_S5_EdKy4?t=600

But the general answer to your question is that people feel that bug fixes and maintenance should be free as part of Steinbergs obligation to us as customers perhaps? Paid updates should be for features and improvements, and that money paid should go into the maintenance of the software as a whole.

I feel that they would have a far better developed product if they used full version releases (i.e. 11.0) for new features, and then focused entirely on maintenance and bug fixes for sub versions (11.5 etc.). But, just can’t see that happening as the annual release are as much about sales as they are progressing the product.

Plus, there’s decades worth of code and features hidden in Cubase, i think sometimes you just have to accept it’s quirks and roll with it. Any changes they make could have an adverse affect on longterm users with established workflows dating back to early version.

It’s rumoured that the MIDI Remote devices is getting an improvement in C11, This may be a perfect example of why things lack consistency across the software. They will probably bolt this on top of what’s there, rather than replacing/overhauling to create a more streamlined setup and allowing legacy functions to exist within the new system.

As much as the track/quick controls need updating to something more useful (Auto-populating/multipage/display feedback etc), replacing it would break so many controller setups that people have spent hours perfecting. And bolting on top just adds to the mess and confusion… I’m really curious how they go on this.

I’m not saying that it’s a struggle to draw envelopes. I actually love using it but it could still be improved.
How do I for instance select multiple nodes and raise/lower them like you can with ordinary automation?
If there is a way, please show me, I would be really grateful to find out! :slight_smile:

Don’t underestimate functionality in marketing. I am pretty confident that Steinberg could exploit a new look and perfected features just as much as breaking a new feature. For instance, nobody with a sane mind would use the current MIDI Device manager in marketing since it’s really clunky to setup and partially looks like something out of Windows 98. The idea is great but if something goes wrong setting up an external synth with the Device Manager, in some instances you can’t even go back and change it - you have to delete it and start over again. Not exactly a selling point is it? :smiley: On the other hand, a really good Midi Device Manager that it is smart, easy to use and set up - could very well be! Especially if you take into consideration that we are right in the middle of a hardware synth revival boom!

Steinberg please pick up the torch on this one and be no1 with midi and synths again!

If Steinberg wants to stay in the game - change is inevitable. You can’t promote and sell a piece of software that looks and feels severely dated and cluttered when the competition is starting to run around it in circles when it comes to GUI and usability. I’m not saying featurewise because Cubase has loads of goodies up it’s sleeve but I don’t think it’s sustainable to stay in the past and resisting change in the long run even if some quick controls might get reset. - Maybe if the Quick Control Setup was modernized and expanded to be easier and quicker to setup it wouldn’t be that much of an issue - just sayin. :wink:

It’s like all other businesses - move with the times or perish.

+1. This is my wish for 11 as well.

Ah! not sure on that one :slight_smile: Obviously you can adjust overall clip gain (Not envelope) and the envelope changes are applied in relation to that, but that will only help if you want to raise/lower as a whole.

The idea is great but if something goes wrong setting up an external synth with the Device Manager, in some instances you can’t even go back and change it - you have to delete it and start over again. Not exactly a selling point is it? > :smiley: > On the other hand, a really good Midi Device Manager that it is smart, easy to use and set up - could very well be! Especially if you take into consideration that we are right in the middle of a hardware synth revival boom!

Yeah, i have several incidents that meant i had to remove an external device and recreate it, including Yamaha hardware. Plus i’ve lost numerous configurations due to the bugs in the remote editor whereby changes aren’t saved unless you export the config file as a backup ‘just in case’ lol - although i think they’ve sorted some of the bugs recently.

MIDI 2.0 may give them a good excuse to give the whole external device a rethink, i don’t know if this rumoured improvement is MIDI 2.0 related or not… Or is going to provide a cleanup/improvement for us. Guess i’ll have to wait to see. It’s something i’m most looking forward to, if true. I’d hate to be dissapointed. :frowning:

I’d love to see an update that concentrates on bug fixes, workflow/interface improvements though. Whether i’d pay full price for it on day of release, not so sure.

Yep, I am using that one all the time, I love the functionality but I’d love it even more if the “multiple node”-move was possible - hence the request for an upgrade/improvement. Sometimes it just feels like Steinberg implements great ideas but then they’re like:

(with german accent) - “Ok! Now we’ve done dat! Let’z never check in again to zee if it needz improvement, nein!?”

That would actually explain a lot! :mrgreen:

Haha, yes I feel your pain. I’ve been there on numerous occasions myself.
It’s a real bummer and high on the list of “things that make you go, hmmmm!” :thinking:

Steinberg pioneered midi back in the 80’s so wouldn’t it be awesome if they could follow suite in 2020? :slight_smile:
I guess updating the midi standard will in turn force them to rethink the whole devices part of Cubase since it is somewhat archaic.
If it’s realised in Cubase 11 or 11.5 is however another question since this will most likely be a pretty big operation.

I would gladly pay them today if I knew this was the focus of the upcoming version.

  • Steinberg take my money! :nerd_face:

Yes S1 Clip gain envelope features are great. Hope to see it also improved in Cubase.

When I say no new features I of course don’t mean that nothing should be added but rather that Steinberg expands, streamlines and refines the existing ones to make Cubase stronger, better and faster. I am not against new features per se but at this moment in time looking at competing DAWs it becomes obvious that Cubase needs an overhaul first and foremost.

For instance, with MIDI 2.0 coming up I would expect MPE, MIDI Devices and overall MIDI functionality be improved and refined. External FX also needs to be reworked for ease and flexibility. Using control surfaces with Cubase could also be simplified and modernized.
The list goes on.

And please - fix pesky bugs like the expression map bug that ruins so much for so many. It makes Cubase seem amateurish and drags the whole experience down.

I don’t personally see these as “new” features but rather improving on the existing.

A big yes. I don’t need new features as much as improving the ones that they are already there. The only feature I wish is FLOWS, like in Dorico (Chunks in Digital Performer).

But yes, they should work on making Cubase 11 stable and perfect, and more appealing. Working with the MEDIA BAY (and the POOL) should be faster (as the Browser in Studio One), the many bugs of 10.5 should be fixed (like the expression maps one), freeze track needs a hugh improvement (in Studio One is much better, just copy how it works there), markers and time signature should appear in key editors (you may hide them if you wish as an option), and a lot of things. I don’t need new plugins, as the ones included in Cubase 10.5 are actually very good.

A better Window management system would be also great. Like when you have an instrument opened and you click in a different track with a different one, this one opens instead the one you had opened. And, if you want, you can “pin” one window.

Also, edit multiple parts in the key editor should be faster and easier, like it is in Reaper or Studio One. You just need a list beside the key editor (a list you can hide anytime). And key editor should not close if you delete a midi event!!

So yes, I wish they focus on improving the things they already have rather than the addition of new features. Because Cubase already has more features than any DAW (probably).

…Cubase 11 is weeks away…

Should change the title to Cubase 14 :smiley:

+1 for:

  1. Refresh and redesign of the user interface
  2. Simplification and modernization of existing features
  3. Cohesiveness in menus
  4. Reliability and speed
  5. Priority on squashing bugs before new features

and gain stage automation
and #6 sort out Sample Editor tempo grid display.
and the D3D10Warp.dll freeze bug being fixed.
Great features but it is code built on code built on code…
Needs a good tidy up.

Too late for 11, but let’s hope 11.5 sorts it out.

With the current release cycles, Cubase 14 will be along in 6yrs time. Imagine where Studio One will be at that time. If the GUI and usability in Cubase isn’t worked out way before then I doubt there will even be a Cubase 14. :thinking:

I believe Studio One’s strength is that it is still relatively new. There’s still basic functions being added to it in the latest version, such as MIDI Poly Pressure/Aftertouch, clip envelopes etc.

Once Studio One matures and has to carry more legacy functions along with it (As Cubase, Logic etc. have to), that’s where more bugs can inhabit, more UI differences occur (Staff/framework changes), and of course more limiting factors in regards to being able to easily progress the software. There comes a point where you lose control and resort to ‘bolting on’ features to keep up with user demands.

In contrast to Steinberg i’d say that PreSonus have a much cleaner codebase to maintain right now, the real test is how well they can manage the project moving forwards. Particularly in regards to where a function has been superseded but they still need to support legacy users projects. If they can avoid that awful habit of resorting to bolting on, or reskinning to appease it’s users demands then they’re on a winner. However, they’re yet to hit that crossroad yet, perhaps MIDI 2.0 may be the first hurdle they face whereby a technology change is the leader.

A fine example is how Cubase started life with MIDI CC being at the core of much of it’s track control (Because it existed in a pre-plugin era). Studio One being much newer, is able to run with plugin/automation at it’s core control. That’s two fundamentally different bases that the DAWs are built from.

On the plus this means that Cubase is very proficient in older MIDI concepts (SysEx, External hardware patches etc.), for Studio One it hasn’t got to carry that weight (yet!). Of course, the downside is that if you want to auto modulate a parameter in Cubase you need to load up old-school MIDI inserts, assign a specific MIDI CC message in the plugin to control, and send it down the effects chain.

I really don’t know how they bring 30 years of development up to date without completely dismantling and alienating long-term users. So the UI, and it’s clunky usability is the trade-off for that situation. I’d hate to be managing/overseeing the development as a whole, it must feel like a ball and chain around their ankle everytime a good idea is discussed.

This is such a great response, and so true. I’ve heard many complain that Cubase doesn’t feel modern enough and wish for a complete redesign. Imagine telling Hans Zimmer that he can’t open up old projects anymore because some of the legacy features are no longer supported. Imagine how much effort it probably takes to allow all of that to continue working while simultaneously adding and fixing other things. I’d imagine that Studio One’s future will only get more and more problematic, as such as Cubase’s.

I think that one of the most important things Cubase team has to do is fix bugs. They don’t do that a lot. The last update was 6 months ago and based on how Cubase 10.5 works, they should’ve released a few more fixing little things, like the expression maps issues. They are afraid to .1 updates.

They could also try to make the start up and the closing more efficient (In large and long opened projects, Cubase crashes like a 70% of the cases -in my computer- and, in any case, it takes a lot to close). They could add a meter that shows you the percentage of “closeness” or something similar.

I also think that the menus are not as clever as they may be. You need to click too much to do simple things. For instance, the media bay. It shares the same space as the control room, the vsts and the output meter. Why?

The same happens with inspector and track list.

On the other hand, in the lower zone, each CC is in a separate space so if you have 2 or 3, you can’t see the notes anymore… not clever. Besides, it’s hard to choose what CCs you want to see or not.

Studio One does these things much better, even having less powerful MIDI tools. But they work better with what they have.

Of course, I prefer Cubase, but I don’t see they fix their problems or improve the things they have already developed (Media Bay, Presets, Expression Maps, Lower Zone, etc.).

Freezing is also much better in Studio One, as it freezes each midi event separately and you can see the waveform. Then, you have the option to move it around to sync it better with other tracks and, if you want to change anything, you can un-freeze the track and the sync changes you’ve done are still there. This is something Cubase could do.

I’d settle for a prettier Score layout. The current one is just UUUUGHHH!

The lack of a simple an coherent menu system and clear functions is reflected also in other Steinberg products
Groove Agent is one of the most striking one.
After hours and hours of use, I am still not able to understand the mess is there…kits, presets, acoustic presets, midi presets, samples, beat agent, acoustic agents…pads that you can move, but only to a certain extent…the acoustic ones can not be copied.
If you try to load a midi preset in the midi player is almost impossible to locate one of the kit presets…or maybe the kits midi presets are not there?
You can load the kit, in 2 different places…or the multi program or a preset… :open_mouth:
in the icons of the added libraries…let’s say Nashville library, is not indicated clearly what is, if has an acoustic or midi instrument,or not …just the image and the name
to browse the library of groove agent is like to enter into a labyrinth, same thing for the media bay of Cubase
what about instead using little squares, circles and so on…to use a couple of letters to identify the different kinds of files, let’s say trp for track preset… mds for midi sample acs for acoustic samples…stp strip preset…those little graphic signs circles, squares, empty or full… are so small and look all the same!!!
by the way I am an happy Cubase and Groove Agent user :wink: …but please simplify a little and add coherence
definitely the media bay is one of the worst things

+1000

If Steinberg to do one thing only it is to simplify things

Is that the full Groove Agent you refer to @worshiptuned? I presumed SE was like that because it’s a stripped down version, but expected the full software to make more sense! :slight_smile: