New user here! My thoughts on Cubase 9.5

Hey I just came on to Cubase about two months ago, and also use Studio One. Because I’ve ended up doing very intense score-work, Studio One just isn’t right for that yet so I got on the Cubase wagon. One of the guys in my complex is on Cubase (and on this forum, I believe!), and he turned me on to it. I’m on it now for all of my score projects, whereas Studio One is still for song work. I was able to get into the Cubase flow pretty quickly, but am naturally kinda fast at that. :smiley:

I feel like Cubase is an amazing DAW. It’s much deeper than Studio One and allows more flexibility with certain things, especially in the MIDI arena. Scoring to picture on Cubase is a much better experience for me in some key ways. It’s super stable as well, for me.

One area that Cubase is lacking is that it requires much more clicking and navigating around to get simple things done than Studio One does, and I hope that this is something on their radar to remedy soon. I work at a crazy fast pace and very often the clicking and navigating around gets in the way. Sometimes key commands can help, but often not. Studio One has this as a significant advantage in this way, and it’s biggest thing I do miss when I’m on Cubase for scoring. If Cubase got this part together and maybe got a new GUI person/company to come in and really dial that in, I feel that there would be no contest between the two – Cubase would be a very clear winner. There are other niggles like any DAW will have, but that’s the biggest one for me.

I agree with clicking and navigation especially if you use multiple mix consoles and editors.

The entire key commands needs an update IMO. It’s become difficult since C7.

But meanwhile, to take you to the next step since you are “crazy fast” get an iPad and download Metagrid for $15. Its the best improvement i can think of that goes past using your keyboard. It will make things faster.

I haven’t heard of that! What are the advantages to it?

Cubase just needs someone who knows what they’re doing to not even necessarily overhaul the entire GUI, but to make the current one as efficient and modern/up-to-date as other DAWs like Studio One, Live, Bitwig…and even Pro Tools in some ways, believe it or not!

For me, after I created my own key commands and macros, there is very little clicking and navigating with the mouse.

Using a marker track and learning the keyboard shortcuts will speed things up a lot for navigation. I also use a shuttle pro 2 which can be programmed up and becomes very instinctive. Though I’ve never got the shuttle function to work as well in 9.0 as it did in 8.5. It’s always annoying when upgrades unpick something that was working so well.

Just go to the Metagird home page. No more KC combos. Everything laid out customizable with written labels, colors, icons. You can use it with any DAW where you use shortcuts, but with Cubase the shortcuts are integrated with Metagrid so you don’t need to even consider your created KC shortcuts. For example every KC in Cubase shows up in Metagrid. But if I use Wavelab, then I still need to rely on the shortcuts I have created with Wavelab.

Number of buttons on any page customizable.

Using it with logical editor works great.

It’s also very useful for film composers who have huge orchestral templates for opening/ closing/enabling specific tracks.

I use 3 32 inch ultra wide monitors to keep things open such as mix consoles, drum editor etc. The extra screen space combined with Metagrid allows me to work much faster than with just a keyboard.

The iPad works fine with PC too.

Cubase feature set is much larger than any of the DAWs you listed. As a matter of fact it’s IMO larger than any other DAW.

With Pro tools midi was an afterthought. It still can’t do nearly as much in the midi realm as Cubase does. On the flip side, Cubase is playing catch up when it comes to exchanging projects, tracks, etc…which PT has done so well from the start.

The others DAWs you mentioned are much newer reflecting less features, but nice gui and sometimes great logic because their foundation is newer…

It’s not a situation of simply “someone who knows what they are doing.” It’s about limited resources i.e money, marketing, and steering it in the " right" direction for the future. The Cubase user base is very diversified so what you may think is most important, may or may not be reflected as a whole.

And finally, keep in mind something that seems so easy to add or integrate can be nearly impossible or at best a nightmare, due to all kinds of issues. This includes adding a missing key command simply to close a Cubase window.

But back to the topic…if you want faster workflow, get a dedicated iPad with Metagrid organized the way you work.

OK, THAT is very appealing, and beyond what regular KC and Macros can do. Thank you for this info, I might just do it.

And hopefully Cubase improves things like making the Inspector not needed for many things, which if it’s something you’re used like I am becomes a major PIA, automation being viewable on the tracks without needing to open them up downwards, and the divided top part under the timeline which is a bit wonky right now, then that would be a gigantic step in the right direction. KC’s wouldn’t help with those two. It’s things like that which make a really noticeable diff when you’re a speed demon like I’m guilty of being and have insane amounts of tracks to navigate through. :slight_smile: And of course make them all options like they are in the other DAW’s, and then they won’t piss off the old user base.

Cubase is great and so deep and I’ve really been enjoying it, and to me it just needs some help in the efficiency and workflow department with some of these things, to be fully up to date with speed and efficiency for the modern composing/production world.

Yes, agreed - I meant the GUI and logic portions. The features in Cubase are almost unbeatable, aside from a few things like you mentioned. And good point re: “someone who knows what they’re doing”. I guess I feel like some of these things are universal, and not necessarily new “features”, and if they’re offered as option or to be very configurable as most things are in Cubase then it would elevate the software greatly.

I kinda feel like your speed is lower because you’re still getting used to new software. I might be wrong, but re-assess that in say, a year.

It’s entirely possible, though I do see the complaints I’m mentioning in quite a few places here as well. The things I see a need for improvement for relate to the amount one needs to click or navigate to do certain things that are just the way the Cubase GUI is at this time, and they’re mainly what I mentioned above. I’m already very fast at most things because I’ve ported a large amount of the Studio One key commands over, which helps greatly, and I have a weird alien ability to learn and get comfy on new DAWs and programs crazy fast…it doesn’t make sense, really.

Metagrid is going to help a lot with other things, and I’m really psyched you guys turned me on to it!

Greggybud, are you using the 10.5-inch iPad or the 9.7-inch? I’m going to buy one, and I’m seeing that some people have two of them for the ultimate flexibility, but I’m wondering if I just get one for now, that the 9.7-inch one is good enough space-wise. Hard to tell without actually comparing them with Metagrid itself on, so I can’t do it at the store.

I dont know what size I’m using. Im out of town now, but any size would work i think. It really depends on how many buttons you want on one scene. The larger the buttons the more scenes you use.

I have scenes for the project page, midi editors, processing, mix console, and automation. One cool thing you can do is program the button so for example if I hit " enter" in the automation scene, it will automatically go back to the project page scene.

I just stole my iPad from my wife. She doesn’t miss it and is fine with a tablet.

I’m new with Metagrid, so don’t ask too hard of questions. But it has immediately become central to my workflow.