Not one Cubase mention in Reddit EDM favourite Daw thread!

Cut corners? It was the FIRST DAW to do any of this ever…PERIOD. They ‘wrote the specifications’.

Per bus, maybe. Not ‘per plugin’.

I don’t disagree here. It might be better, but instead we got a thousand new synthy sounds, meshy-flogger sounds, and a Sampler track, because, yanno…ignore EDM at your own peril!

Meanwhile, macro/logic editing hasn’t improved in years. Automation hasn’t improved in years. Score interpretation hasn’t improved in years. Still can’t batch process a lot of things that in theory would be as simple as adding some event types to the logic editor. There’s still only one brush kit in the whole kit and it’s borderline lame.

There is a 2 minute solution to getting something tightly side-chained to a hi-hat.

It still takes hours to convert all the terraced dynamics imported to the score editor via XML from a visual element, to a working interpretive element.

You CAN make a third party plugin to do what you wanted.

The stuff I’ve been attempted to address…there’s no plugin solution for.

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Yes, that’s the extra ironic bit. They own the VST specification, and updated to VST 3.0 specifically to better support sample-accurate automation and separation between plugin instances. Yet, a DAW named after a breakfast cereal is better at, you know, actually sample-accurate automation …

I don’t disagree that the automation, macros, logical editing, and scoring bits have seen very little love. Chances are they started out with one of the older code bases, where efficiency-per-byte was strictly necessary, and have modernized it over the years, and at some point, Nuendo was supposed to be “the new code base!” but that, too, was > 20 years ago.

Maybe what we all REALLY want is for Cubase to decompose into a bunch of powerful music making software making blocks, and some way to compose them all together in the way that best suits our workflows. With well defined data models at each layer (e g, “MIDI” vs “parameters” vs “automation” are actually different layers.) While that sounds like the proverbial “a lot of work,” they’ve also had 25 years to do it. I guess the market just isn’t quite big enough to warrant an investment on the scale of, say, web browsers, which have been around for about as long, but turned into something totally different in that time.


In all honestly it wouldn’t take a whole lot to get Cubase up to par with the likes of Bitwig or Ableton for electronic music production.

The simple addition of real macros that can be assigned to multiple parameters across a project 7 its plugins, in place of the limited quick controls we have currently.

The also simple addition of global modulation sources (user shapable LFOs, tempo syncable envelopes & better arpegiator options) in place of the VERY outdated MIDI inserts.

Those 2 alone would make me stop lusting after Bitwig. I have been requesting these features again & again for years. They need to make an appearance by Cubase 12 or I’m jumping ship to a DAW better suited to my needs, from a developer that actually listens to its entire userbase & not just film composers


You can see they had the right idea early in Cubase development with the modulation MIDI inserts, but they failed to keep on top of them and update as years went on. So are like fossils in the mud now.

The biggest issue is they can’t be linked to an automation parameter, only MIDI CC. This severely limits their use and usability for new users.

Great for External hardware users though lol :slight_smile:


Actually, they can. A bit of a kludge, but possible. I agree, this should be a hack that’s not necessary, but oh well.

Load a Virtual Port.

Set up some empty MIDI tracks to store ‘routing and MIDI effects’.

MIDI Track > Virtual Port > Generic Remote

It’s not difficult at all to have a few generic maps with their inputs set to a few virtual ports, and plug and go in those maps as needed.

If you need to instant render later there are couple of options.

  1. Set read/write on the automation lanes bound in the generic remote, do a pass as to record everything to the real VST lane, then disarm/mute the MIDI Routeing track.

  2. Freeze the MIDI routing track to a part, have it put the CCs in a lane rather than in part. Copy and paste the results to lanes you need.

This also opens up new doors to store anything you do with controllers in MIDI parts, or easily draw-in/edit stuff controllers do.

Advantages: Superior graphical and list editing (Through Key Editor, List Editor, Drum Editor, etc.) Cyclical recording, retrospective recording support, ability to run Logic Editors and batch process, and more. You can also automate a lot of things that do NOT have native automation tracks/lanes (such as playing a macro, or arming/disarming tracks).

Disadvantages: Lower resolution and/or accuracy? At least in MIDI editors, it’s easy to nudge and bump everything where it really needs to live to get the sound. Can even do it via Logic Editor so it’s something of an automated one time entry.

For what it’s worth, EDM aren’t the only people who want things like:

Cyclical recording and versions for automation lanes.

Logic editing on automation lanes.

Ability to create patterns and effects on automation lanes using modifiers, similar to the MIDI mods with MIDI/Instrument tracks.

We ‘non EDM’ people have been asking for this sort of thing for a long time, but instead got synthy content packs we’ll never use, new plugin ‘skins’, and sample tracks (what was wrong with Groove Agent?).

Yes, we’ve also been asking for improvements to the arranger tracks, score editor, macro and project/MIDI logic editing engine. Access to more event types in those engines, a few more native automation lanes for triggering things like playing macros, arming/disarming tracks, moving locators around, etc.

What still DO have that no other DAW does quite as well is:

Awesome MIDI editors and theory/chord tools.

Full Note Expression support.

Amazing Legacy support…for just about everything ever made since the 80s. Open ended enough to teach it to do a lot of things, and connect to equipment no other DAW ever could, nor ever will.

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As Brian mentioned below, it is possible to assign the MIDI inserts to plugins, but requires a MIDI loopback driver, and setting up a generic remote for each parameter you want to modulate.

This isn’t acceptable in 2021, however, and requires additional tools like X-Fer LFOtool if you want to be able to create user defined modulation curves on an LFO.

Also due to MIDI only having 128 steps, the modulation can sound clunky & anything but smooth, particularly when modulated at slow rates.

It is inconceivable that an industry leading DAW like Cubase, still has no global native mod sources that can be assigned to anything in the project, and quick controls are borderline useless these days when practically every modern plugin has MIDI learn.

Macros & mod sources need to be a top priority from Steinberg if I am going to continue paying for updates every year. I will cut them some slack on 11.5, but if these havent arrived by C12, I’ll be selling my 11.5 license & moving to Bitwig.

I’ve been requesting these essential features since about cubase 7 or 8, and I am certainly not the only one!

Sorry mate, but its going to take more than adding a few packs of techno & hiphop loops to placate us. Aside from sample content, the ONLY thing that has been added in AGES to the core Cubase feature set, that my workflow as a drum & bass producer benefits from are Sampler tracks & the automation bezier curves. Literally everything else has been filler. Even sampler tracks are only a minor benefit to me as a Halion 6 user.

We need modulation sources, macros, the ability to add crossovers to any channel to split frquency bands… you know… the kind of workflow enhancing features that have been present in Bitwig, Ableton etc for YEARS now.

I could care less about new VSTsound libraries. I do my own sound design & own 100s of gigs of samples better suited to my chosen genre of music than anything Steinberg have ever added to Cubase. I could care less about Native FX. We all generally own 3rd party tools that cover all bases. Yet Steinberg continue to ignore core functionality to provide us with filler fluff, most of us don’t need. Frequency 2, Multi-Tap Delay, Squasher & Imager are nice additions for sure (if you are new to production & havent already bought Fabfilter & iZotope everything), but have I ever even used them? not once! I already have tools I have used extensively for these duties, so why would I bother learning to use a new native plugin?

This is about core workflow feature requests that have been ignored by Steinberg since I’ve owned Cubase. It bothers me that they ignore essential features like mod sources & macros, to add video rendering features that i guarantee the majority of cubase users will NEVER use. Isnt that what Nuendo is supposed to be for? Just once, I wish Steinberg would prioritise getting the core workflow of the DAW up to par with more modern counterparts, instead of wasting time developing plugins & fluff, most experienced Cubase users wont ever use.

As for these new synths you speak of? I take it you mean retrologue & padshop? LOL

Retrologue is just a blatant reskin of the lack lustre VA synth engine in Halion. Padshop 2 is nice, but granular synthesis isn’t exactly the most common form of synthesis used in electronica. A wavetable & FM synth would be much more ideal. As it stands, even Halion 6 has no option for FM synthesis, you can’t even do the most basic form of FM, using one oscillator to frequency / phase modulate a carrier oscillator. Steinberg’s laziness shone through again & they deemed the cross mod oscillator type as adequate for getting “FM like sounds”. It is not!


Yeah it’s a pain, and when you start adding in lookahead enabled compressors the latency of the project increases who’s to know how those routings could go astray.

They should have updated the MIDI inserts section years ago, named it MIDI/Automation inserts and redone the modulation/lfo plugins to support automation.

The silly thing is the basic concept is already there, it’s only the target address that they need to change. Much more complicated in code of course, but that’s why we pay them to do the hard part! :slight_smile:

Also, none of this is EDM exclusive features, sound designers exist in all elements of rock, pop and soundtrack work too. Modulating any guitar amp/fx plugin for example could provide a guitarist/songwriter a unique sound/idea for a song.