Now's the time for Cubase to take unhappy Pro Tools users

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?

I think if Steinberg waits until Q9, they just might miss the boat to snag those customers, because that would most likely be 1 to 1-1/2 years away.
We still have the interim 8.5 plus a few of those updates to go yet.

Then there’s also the chance that Avid might fix things by then. 1-1/2 years is long enough to fix just about any mess, I would think.

Lastly, [and this just may be me], but as much as any software/DAW company would love to not only snag any & all customers, but especially those from other DAWs, they may actually ‘sneer’ at the idea of doing anything that’s not in their own present & future plans or business model, not to mention possibly just not wanting to play ‘second fiddle’ or ‘jumping to the dance’ of whatever Pro Tools has or hasn’t done [yet] - or could have.

The term that just came to mind right now is ‘Ambulance Chaser’ - something I think Steinberg would be too proud to become or ever be known as, despite how it would probably be in their best interest, not to mention all of ours.

I just want to say that the only reason I’m checking out this forum is 'cause I’m thinking of dumping PT and I’ve been using it for something like 13 years.

Would love to see a PT based look / feel & key shortcuts.

However, I’m concerned that Cubase isn’t really any better since

  • there’s no trial or demo
  • I can’t purchase / download the software online - I have to…wait for it…get a box shipped to me like it was 1999.

Hopefully, these problems can be sorted.

That was the case with Final Cut X and Premiere. Premiere got a lot of Final Cut users from competitive upgrades / key commands etc.

I use Protools (post production) and Cubase (creative/composing) too.

If Cubase could import automation from OMFs like Protools I would use Cubase for all tasks. Also the video engine / replace audio in video could work better in Cubase.

Please check the regular Cubase/ Steinberg page… all software can now be tried for 30 days (full versions)… al through downloads…

Hope this helps!

Of course you can purchase it online - what a daft thing to say! What you cannot download is an elicencer dongle.

I use both Cubase and Protools and pound for pound Cubase is much better value than Protools.
The chord track and chordpad are fantastic. VST faders are also great and you have to spend a fortune on Protools HD to get these.
Avid are ripping people off with a complete useless upgrade from 11 to 12 after sucking them into a support contact.

I agree about the 11 to 12 upgrade, as I’m sure most PT users would agree with you as well. Steinberg just has a few things to implement and I won’t have to use Pro Tools anymore.

For me it’s the fact that Steinberg haven’t yet gone to a subscription model; if they do, then I’m taking a week off and learning Reaper.

For PT users, welcome all, to the wonderful Cubase forum, where it’s often “crash helmets on, folks!”. In my experience, and in conversation with friends who are long-time PT users, it comes down to two camps, the “digital tape recorder” people versus the “creative sound” people. Both are right; you just have to pick the tool that fits better, and for me, that’s currently Cubase.

I would add the import session data feature in Pro Tools to the list. Thankfully Steinberg ain’t doing the subscription model, at least not in the near future:

While we all enjoy been part of the last two decades, with amazing improvement in any area that you may think of, Air Traffic communication is still done by Amplitude Modulation radio, in other words, with nothing much better than the original radio of the past. Why? Because it will cost zillions to change every plane and every airport in the world, that simple.
I use both PT and Cubase, but Cubase most of the time when composing, arrangement and mixing, and PT when at a bigger studio, because that is what they have as a primary DAW, around the world. They surely also may have another DAW at the back, but they primarily use PT, period. Are they happy? Actually, no. They are complaining about some Avid decisions in the last 5 + years. But change to Cubase or to any other DAW will cost them lots of money, not to mention the time it takes to get use to another DAW.
Also, and it happened to me more than once, some Customers really believe that IT SHOULD BE DONE WITH PT.
Since C5, Cubase has improved a lot, and we all know that, even at the studios I work with. Some things could be better, most of them noted here, but even if C8.5 includes those improvements, sudden change will not going to happen.
I think Cubase is better than PT in most areas, and is getting better quicker than any PT improvement. I think Cubase’s MIDI workflow is second to none, the chord track is incredible good and useful and the mix console is the best. Edit? Well, I am not sure. I am faster editing in Cubase than in PT, but the reason for that is I use Cubase since it was a simple sequencer, so I used to it more than any other DAW.
The other question here is: is really Sternberg aiming at replace PT? Are they doing some comercial approach to that? Are they encouraging the big recording and mastering studios to jump to Cubase?

Please stay on topic… The OT posts from this thread are now at