I own both Pro Tools 11 and Cubase 8.5 and I try and stick with Cubase whenever possible because it’s better in many ways.
Now that Avid released Pro Tools 12, the PT community is up in arms with how they feel that Avid is going in the wrong direction. I’ve heard several people say that they are wanting to find another DAW solution, and I try and convince as many people as possible to switch to Cubase.
The problem with this is that Cubase isn’t quite there to where Pro Tools users can keep their workflow in Cubase, making the transition easy for them. There are still reasons to keep Pro Tools, and if Steinberg acts quickly then they can diminish those reasons to almost nothing.
Now would be a great time for Steinberg to take over Pro Tools by implementing that Pro Tools workflow into Cubase almost completely. There are a few key ingredients though that must be implemented first:
- We need to be able to move to hitpoints with the range selection tool. If you have the range selection tool selected and you click anywhere, you can split the range with your mapped key command, which is good. For me I mapped it to the B key because that’s how we split a region in Pro Tools. Only problem is that I haven’t found a way to click anywhere with the region tool, select next (or previous) hitpoint and then get the region mark to move to that hitpoint. It seems that I can only get the playhead to move to the hitpoints. If this is already there somewhere, somebody please tell me how to do it; otherwise this needs to be implemented so that Pro Tools users can keep their workflow and won’t feel awkward if/when they do finally make the switch.
-Once the range selection can move to a hitpoint (not a highlighted range; just a single click with the range selection tool), we need to be able to hold down shift (or some modifier key) to select an area from the current hitpoint to the next hitpoint. Continuing to hold down the modifier key and selecting hitpoints will add everything in between to the range selection. Unhappy Pro Tools users who are thinking of making the switch will want to keep this workflow.
-We need the mixer window’s channels to be able to change to the color that we selected for the track instead of having only that color strip at the bottom of the channel, or having the fader color change. The entire channel needs to be the color so that Pro Tools users feel right at home.
-Lastly, we’ll need to implement the mono/stereo function to tracks in the same manner that Pro Tools currently does it. When you have a mono track but want to have stereo plugins on it, we currently have to use workarounds (like moving it to a stereo track or by routing it through a stereo buss and putting the stereo plugin on the buss instead of the track itself). While these workarounds exist, the workflow isn’t quite there in the manner that we can do it in Pro Tools with ease, simply by putting a “mono/stereo” version of a plugin on a mono track and it turns it into a stereo track.
These are really the only basic things that I think Steinberg can accomplish to really make Pro Tools easy to give up. If users can edit as easily in Cubase as they can in Pro Tools, then there’d be no reason for me to have both DAWs. As long as there are the things listed above that exist in a Pro Tools environment and not Cubase, then Pro Tools users will have a hard time making the switch in droves.
Does anybody agree/disagree with me on these main points, or do you have anything to add? Do you think that Steinberg can implement these things in Cubase 9 and get a good chunk of the Pro Tools user base who are about fed up with Avid?