No trolling here, i promise ... but this is a real question ... Major DAWS comparison

1st of all, i want to make myself clear, i don’t want to start a war about which DAW IS best. They all have PROS & CONS & i like working on each one as they all have a different approach.

So now,
I’ve been using Protools for 15 years, Ableton Live for as long as i remember, Reason for even longer. Today i cross-graded to Cubase 12 …
On the first day of use : 27 instrument tracks with a lot of EQ & Mixing process - 27 sample based instrument tracks & i’m only at a 3rd of my CPU … to be honest, i thought : . " oh cool, Cubase is pretty stable !! Nice !!" & that was it …

But then,
!!! After a week of use of Cubase !!! : for real guys, i must be doing something wrong with my other DAWS but here it is : 33 instrument tracks + 6 reverb buses + 8 Group VCA’s + each instrument track has an EQ & a send to its appropriate reverb bus + each group has 1 Eq 1 Comp & 1 Ozone instance + the Master bus has also 1 Eq 1 Comp & 1 Ozone …
The summing is somehow much more accurate.
The thing is,
I just can’t read such a project in Ableton Live, neither protools neither Reason !!! WTHeck !!!

For real guys !!! Am i doing something wrong with my other DAWS (all have the same settings : soundcard sample rate, external SSD’s 1 for read, 1 for write, 1 for cache etc etc) !???!!?

In cubase, i can play with the timeline, backward, forward, start & stop, play pause, mute solo, vst recall etc etc in live, the same for the modulation lanes… i just don’t have any problem at all when i get pops & cracks in my other DAWS …

Do you guys have noticed this abyssal difference of stability between Cubase & … every other DAW !!!


Cubase 12 obviously is much easier on the CPU, but I must stress that results depend on your system itself. The most recent Pro Tools 2022 is also light on the CPU as well. So DAWs are improving by the day, and the competition is real. Having said that, Cubase and its elder brother Nuendo (I use Nuendo) are really punching above their weights…i mean they are very agile, nimble and adaptive. They take a shit load of plugins and still remain stable. I have tried it so many times and Steinberg products are resilient. I also use other DAWs like PT and I also have similar experiences. Enjoy the honeymoon with Cubase 12. Downstream, not everything you would be happy with. Some things like clip/event automation are much better in PT; Direct Offline Processing/Audiosuite implementation is much better in Pro Tools. I love Cubase/Nuendo and I also use PT. I use both DAWs frequently and I have learnt to use each for their strengths.

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I use both Live 11 Suite and Cubase Pro 12 here. I’d say in a similar sized project with roughly the same type/amount of plugins on each one, Ableton will probably sit about 20% higher on the CPU meter while its running.

I always assumed that was all the ‘always on’ real time warping and whatnot but who knows…

I did a test not long time ago with all major DAWs out there and performance wise, Cubase did the best job for me overall (hundreds of tracks and plugins routed through different subgroups and master buss processing all in one).
Its nearly on par with Reaper, when it comes to CPU efficiency, and that means a lot, since Reaper is probably the most efficient DAW out there.
Reaper felt less snappy overall though, when scrolling through the project with a lot of events on the screen.

Stability has always been good, when working in Cubase, as long as I did not use any buggy plugins.

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exactly what i 1st pointed out on my first days with cubase


Agree, I haven’t used Protools for a long time, but that feature is what I miss in Cubase too. Its about the only one so far, but still.

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i read a lot of threads on the subject & it might be it actually, the always on processing

all my plugins are paid … i had huge discounts as a student, long time ago :grinning: so i got hundreds of plugins for a fraction of their retail price, but still, compatibility is a real issue in Live, don’t know why & how but some plugins just can’t sit together in a same project.
For the moment i have not encountered any issue in Cubase. Falcon only is CPU hog in Cubase & somehow much lighter in Live (except for the polyphony).
But other than that, i can easily load 50 instances of Kontakt in Cubase & it works effortlessly which is a real game changer to me.
Protools, Live & Reason = 20 instances of Kontakt kills my CPU.(iMac 2017 so …)

that’s why i’ll always work with protools. Some features are killers really. The automation is so easy in PT. For mixing purpose only, this DAW is still one of the best.

I actually enjoy Cubase automation more than PT automation. The only thing i like in relation to this in PT is the clip gain, the fact that you dont need to split a clip before you adjust its pre-gain. In PT you can just select the region you want to adjust it’s gain and hold shift+alt and press the arrow keys to adjust gain. In cubase you have to split the track to events, and then you can adjust each event and maybe fade the clip boundaries to avoid pops and clicks. It’s cumbersome to do that in a very big project. That’s a major minus for cubase. Other than that, automation lanes in cubase are much more easier to work with…for example, just select a region on the automation lane and you will have angles and points…you can tilt to any angle easily, because there are points/handles to make that easier. So this helps with precision. It’s not like that in PT…Pro Tools has this plain automation which hasnt got the bezier curves and other aspects that cubase offers.

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I do agree. The hard thing for me at the moment (1 week old in Cubase) is to create an automation lane. I find it pretty complicated. The modulation lane doesn’t follow the movement of the parameter. (see the picture). I know there is a better implementation, yet to be found.

Pro Tools can be “light” but it has the worst cpu / multi thread management. So for me it is not light at all, it is a no go.

You have activated the “automation write mode” (W). Uncheck it.
If you want to draw the automation curve (instead of recording it during playback), you don’t need the write mode at all.

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Actually that’s because it’s in Read mode.
Reading the automation lane takes precedence over manual control.

Thanks a lot. I’ll try A.S.A.C

Ok, i have red this somewhere, I have to remember the Cubase workflow i guess. Thanks anyway.