New User: Is this REALLY the manual? Astonishingly bad

I gotta tell ya – this is the worst manual I have ever seen. SOOOOO many pages say: “Do this with this feature and this window” and DO NOT SHOW a freaking graphic of that window or where the hell to find it!


I am very very experienced with DAWs – from ProTools to DP to Vision (remember that one) to Logic to Studio One and am studying Cubase really hard now. My jaw is dropping at the hideousness of this manual.

All they’d have to do is add some freaking screenshots pointing out where the fukk these things are that they are describing. Does Cubase hate humans? Seems like it. Grr.

So frustrating. No wonder all the reviews say Cubase has a “steep learning curve.” It’s steep because there is virtually no manual!

The thing that made me post this is this:

  1. I want to add an FX channel that gets its signal from sends on other channels.
  2. I click on “sends” on a channel. A little windows pops up with useless info and the news of “No buss.” Uh… yeah – I want to make one, buttwipe!
  3. Help menu – no use.
  4. Manual says: “When you add an FX channel track, you can select if FX channel tracks are created inside or outside a dedicated folder.” BUT DOESN’T TELL YOU HOW TO ADD AN FX CHANNEL! Gee, thanks for telling me what I can do when I add one… if only you’d tell me HOW!

EDIT: I figured it out. Gee, I don’t want an FX track, I want a CHANNEL! Sorry, gotta make a track. I guess Cubase programmers are not musicians and have never been in a real studio.

Anyway, sorry for the rant – I hope you found it amusing.

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I found your post amusing with all the swearing and and tamtrums , sorry i can’t help with the ,manual but i can help but telling you that if you have any questions on how to use Cubase or other Steinberg produce you can always save those questions for a Tuesday and Friday 6pm GMT and interact LIVE on the Cubase Youtube channel and be shown with the software what you need to know there and then , there’s a little time lag but It’s live .
Now, im quite experienced with other daw’s and i can tell you with 100% confidence that NO OTHER daw company has this LIVE Q/A session twice a week .
Come join us , enjoy Cubase :wink:
Also the Cubase Youtube channel has all the available questions marked and listed in the 4 hour sessions so you don’t have to see them live and if you want to search for perticular questions you can use this resource and be shown how to do it .

Once you realise there is help out there on a major scale then the manual sort of becomes obselete .

Anyway i hope you find this helpful and enjoy Cubase , there a reason quite a lot of us have been using it for over 30 years but i’ll let you find that one out yourself :wink:


Thank you for considered and thoughtful reply.

The Cubase user base would be much bigger if they would spend a few thousand bucks and hire a professional writer to redo their manual. It’s rather arrogant that they are so inconsiderate of new users. Every single review I read about Cubase stresses the steep learning curve. Imagine if Cubase cared enough to make the manual actually helpful? That would be worth 1,000 youtube live events. Doing something twice a week ain’t as good as a useful manual that is available 24/7 all over the world.

Thanks for the info, but 6pm GMT is 10:00 a.m. in Los Angeles. If I ever happen to be up at that hour, I’ll tune in :wink: (I go to bed at 6:00 a.m.)

Thanks again.


Once upon a time (Cubase 6 and earlier), we had a real printed manual, which was amongst the best I’ve seen, so I still keep it on the shelf, even though it’s now quite outdated, so I feel your pain. I also have a range of other books that I bought over the years such a Simon Millward’s “Fast Guide”, which not only explains Cubase, but demonstrates techniques and workflows to get the best out of it.

Unfortunately the printed manual never translated successfully into the electronic formats, in my opinion. Worse still, the ever-diminishing attention span of people means almost nobody even reads the online documentation any more either, as evidenced by daily posts here on the forum; so congratulations for at least having put in the effort!

You have the option to keep shouting at the screen of course, but you could invest in a 3rd-party tutorial such as the Ask.Video 101 just to get you over the hardest part of getting started, or there’s lots of free stuff available off the main Steinberg website as well (, for example the 10-minute video titled “When to use Effects as Inserts or Sends”.

Finally, there are many of us long-suffering fellow users here on the forum who will help out on specific topics if all else fails. Oh, and … trust us, the FX “track” vs “channel” terminology will make sense in time!


I’m not sure why anyone would bother learning a DAW via it’s manual in 2022, when there’s so many fantastic tutorials on YouTube available for free. Here’s 3 playlists to get you started:

Intro To Cubase: The Basics

The Essential Cubase User Interface overview for beginners

These tutorials are a longer/deeper dives into the basics

They’re each great resources, and if you think you know a certain topic already I guarantee you’ll still learn something new from the videos.

Enjoy learning Cubase! I too have much experience with various DAWs - from Cakewalk Sonar to a full Pro Tools HD rig - and after many years concluded that Cubase Pro is the best all-round DAW. It’s deep - and that depth may put some people off at first - but stick with the tutorials and you’ll be rewarded.


Thank you. The reason a manual is useful is to find SPECIFIC things. Like – what the heck is the toolbar? So many programs use that term and it means different things. If the manual was not so crappy, I could search for “toolbar” and a page would pop up with a screen shot of the main window and a nice big red arrow pointing at the toolbar. It took me several minutes to figure out what they meant by “toolbar” because there was no such page.

In a video, I would have to sit through several minutes of things I already know and who knows if that video will even define the toolbar? Videos are not efficient for specifics.

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Hey man. That index is great!!! Thanks so much! I see that many many users also dislike the shortcomings of the program and the livestream guy answers the same ones over and over. You’d think they get a clue and fix the issues in the first place!

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I spend a lot of time getting frustrated in the manual as well. The lack of pictures to provide context for what it is talking about is astonishing. Especially in a program so notorious for a finickity and cluttered ui.

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Ahhhh , you see , that’s where the index takes you straight to where you wanna go . I agree, it must be tedious for Greg Ondo to sit there twice a week to answer the questions but there’s NOTHING about Cubase he doesn’t know . He’s mainly giving advice for new comers ut he does get asked a lot about bugs which obviously he can’t sort out .
The manuals always been crap and believe me when we never had the internet and 3 million pages of confusion to read through it was a bit soul destroying but stick with it, you’ll get there, Cubase is a beast .
I, like other have used Cubase since the start but i still have the Youtube channel on in the back ground of an evening to bring back to mind those tips and tricks ive forgotten or i still have those 2well i’ll be f&^^%" moments as well :wink:

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I realize none of you have ever read the Scenarist BD/UHD " User Guide". 648 (almost) useless pages. Compared to that, the Nuendo manual is almost gold. (Plus, there’s this great forum and lots of free videos. With Scenarist I have to pay money if I need help.)
But in fairness: I’ve also seen better manuals than the Cubase/Nuendo ones. :wink:

I just want to add ‘MusicTechTuition’ to your list:

Music Tech Tuition
Check the ‘Lockdown learning’ he made if you are a beginner.

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Not here though: Huge OLD Q&A Video INDEX |

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I just ordered a book to learn Cubase 12 because the manual does not help me. I used to know Sonar pretty well but I’m just getting back to working with DAWs. It took foooorever to figure out how to page forward and back in score view. Not easy to find in an index. Everything that I found on it provided no pictures. I like Cubase 12 but it is very hard to learn. Especially when you are 74.

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Yes, the Steinberg manuals are horrible and useless. Instead of providing pics or walking through the steps to do a common task, it just lists out every parameter in cubase with a vague description. So you don’t even really know what the parameter does and have no context with which to use it. Always been that away.


Be careful. Do not insult Greg, who is a fantastic and dedicated tutor. The livestream is a wonderful community. Any insulters of Greg are instantly vaporized. This is scientific fact.

I just did two Cubase LinkedIn Learning courses and bought a book from Amazon. There’s quite a lot of video content on the internet as well. I just Google each problem as it comes up which I do with every bit of software I use. I have used the manual a little bit and tend to use control+f to search it.