Official statement on Cubase update policy requested

I could make a long and dramatic post about my frustration and go into detail on why I might leave Cubase, but I’ll spare you that valuable lifetime. Instead, I’ll make it short and precise:

The quality of the last couple of Cubase releases did not meet my expectations for a “professional”, expensive product.

After sticking around for a few years, I have noticed the typical cycle of a broken major release, dealing with annoyances and unfinished new features while waiting months for updates. These updates often do not address the specific issues some users may be hoping to get fixed.

Then, a paid .5 release which repeats this cycle.

With the next major version, usually remaining bugs and annoyances that are not deemed critical are being carried over unfixed, accumulating over years and years.

I am used to both better release quality and update frequency from competitors like Reason, which I have not encountered a single crash or issue with from version 3 to 7.5 in the time span of about 10 years. In terms of update frequency and amount, Reaper is a shining example, while being at a fraction of the cost. They manage to deliver updates the size of a typical Cubase maintenance update within days, difficult ones in 2-3 weeks. Compared to Cubase, which lets its “professional” users deal with their bugs for months.

So, I’d like to make an informed decision on whether or not I should keep investing patience, energy and money into Cubase. Please just give me an official statement about the following questions:

  • Is Steinberg currently in the process of increasing the frequency of maintenance updates?

  • Will there be public beta tests in the near future to ensure broader testing?

  • Will Steinberg increase the amount of maintenance updates for the Cubase versions that came before the newest, latest major release? ( e.g. now that version 11 is out, still supporting the 10.5 branch to make it a more stable option for people who don’t want to upgrade )


Of course this would remain unanswered. I thought so.

Well this is a user forum, so not sure your expectations were properly calibrated to start with…

There are enough moderators that can speak on behalf of the company and have the ability to relay information.

@Matthias_Quellmann Please collect the info on this topic from the team and answer this thread on behalf of the company. I’d like to know where things are at.

Weird flex bro.

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Sorry, there is something exhausting about your comments, opinions and the way you present them. Putting you on ignore.

I agree that it would be great to get answers to your three questions but, from my experience, Steinberg never answers to ones such as these. There have been days, not so long ago, when the company seem to open things a little more (via feature implementation polls with the results obtained, and more frequent interventions from Steinberg crew). Seems that lately, they all have withdrawn into their shell again.

Truely, I think that Steinberg have a development staff that, for a reason or another, has a problem managing the existing stuff as it is (turn-over ? Amount of past fixes leading to an unmanageable code ? Too much features piling up ?). I’m wondering this, while seeing persisting bugs such as the ‘unpinnable’ sub-items in the instrument tracks inspector. Shouldn’t be rocket science to fix something like this one…

As long as you continue to pay for the product then the shareholders/big wigs have no reason to support bug fixing/stability as number one priority. Even if that was the developers preference.

Their priority is to release new features which encourage people to pay for updates each year, and provides them free marketing. If the vast majority find the product stable and without issues, then it’s considered a success.

For me personally, There’s lots that could be fixed, but nothing that prevents me from working. But it is very disappointing when you see half implemented ideas, or very simple improvements that would do wonders for the general use, such as updating some of the screens so you can make lists bigger etc.

The big question is if people would be willing to pay for a yearly update which purely addresses key issues and improvements. Could be losing 50% sales in that year, if that decision was made.

I just don’t see how they can get off this yearly sales drive.

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Well, if enough users ask for a bit more communication and transparency, maybe they’ll reconsider their approach.

Honestly why would they though? Once they give an inch, then you’ll always have that expectation and be pissed when you don’t get a reply from a dev within 30 minutes. There’s far too much immaturity and a lack of rationality in this forum, as well as false and unrealistic expectations based off of a lack of understanding of software development and running a business. Based off some of the conversations I’ve had here, I would be exactly the same way… In fact, I would be even more silent. It’s like those recording clients who you have to explain everything to instead of just producing and engineering… The sessions become an inception of ‘why’s’ and typically those are also the clients who want everything for nothing, they want to be famous, they want radio play, they want to tour Europe then North America, they want playboy groupies, they want to attend one of Bill Gates naked pool parties… but they don’t want to listen to a single thing the producer has to say forcing the producer to explain everything like they are teaching a child 1+1 and regardless of how logical and pragmatic and democratic the producer is, it’s still not good enough.

The devs would just always be having to explain ‘why’, and then they would have to explain the why of the why, and then the why of the why of why, and then the why of the why of the why of the why and explaining it would all be pointless because it would be more complicated than what 99% of the people on this forum could understand or they lack the philosophical depth that is acquired by someone doing one thing for 30 years - like software code.

If they answered your call out today, then what? What if someone makes the same post next week? It’s just not realistic, and very few companies have that kind of engagement. It’s not an open source program.

In regards to your OP, you dont have to upgrade. I have paid for Cubase 11 myself, but I don’t even use it. I use 10.5 on Windows 7. I have - zero - nada - problems. Also, you do realize you can have more than one version of Cubase installed? I have SX3, Cubase 4 32bit, Cubase 4 64bit, Cubase 8.5 32bit, Cubase 8.5 64bit, Cubase 10, and Cubase 10.5.

Professionals, don’t upgrade every time there is an upgrade. They wait, and strategically upgrade when the time is right, when there is downtime, and no risk. That’s because we all know, that the nature of software and computers is very temperamental.

That’s not quite true.
I use a number of apps (usually in the 3D graphics area) for which the devs are quite open and communicate quite a lot on forums etc.
Also, actual customer support is a thing in that field.

I do have a problem with Cubase, which seems to be related to the graphics code and makes Cubase occasionally unusable. Support has been of ZERO help.

Now, there’s ton of complaints on this forum about issues connected in a way or another to graphics.
It’s pretty clear to me that there is quite a bit of fragility in their dealing with graphics in newer versions.
Working with Cubase in 2021 brings back sad memories of early 2000s when graphics drivers and graphics apps were still maturing and having graphics-related issues was common. Meanwhile, the industry passed that phase (more than a decade ago).
From all the apps I’m using today, many of them heavy on the GPU, it’s only Cubase, an audio app, that makes me tell to myself each and every time I’m starting it “I hope it’s a lucky shot and it’ll work this time”
/rant over

This is true of course.

But, therein lies the issue, the overwhelming majority of users aren’t professionals, and they neither rely on the software to put a roof over their head.

In the past 10 years, around 10-20% of people I’ve worked with still have primary income via Audio work. Few of them only manage it because they invested in property and have income in that way. I’ve had to change what I do, as a result, the work just isn’t there for me anymore.

From that predominately hobbyist market there’s a real weight placed on Steinberg for MORE updates and MORE features. Cause it’s exciting, right?! :wink:

apples to oranges, for one, the video game industry is bigger than the film and music industry combined. You’re talking about huge enterprise level industry that employs people whose sole job is pipeline management, or management and maintenance of the game developers software tools. Find me a music studio who is employing someone for the sole purpose of keeping plugins updated.

Secondly, video games and graphics is still a rapidly developing field that has bi-directional dependencies software to hardware and hardware to software - for example, ray tracing. Music technology is relatively stagnant and you’d probably be hard pressed to find a music studio that employs more than 10 people.

All that being said, I’ve at times had better quicker support on a very personal level from Steinberg, and not from Adobe which employs 20,000+ people. I couldn’t even get Adobe to link me to some old CS4 updates which they lied about not having, which obviously they do.

There wasn’t a single mention of the games industry in my post.
I was talking about 3D animation, vfx, graphics. An industry populated mostly by small studios or freelancers (and also by big houses similar to what you describe). BTW, even in the game industry the small indie studios made of less than 10 people are very common.

Even if you’re right, in a smaller, less corporate industry, support to customers is usually of higher quality, not lower.

I got replies from support, but they were very generic.

I’m not comparing Steinberg to Adobe.
I’m comparing them with someone like (a small, high quality developer with amazing support. They push out weekly builds that fix reported bugs. I had bugs fixed in a new build in less than 10 days). Or with someone like Epic Games, if you want to get both corporate and game industry related. Very open, active on the forums, public roadmap of future developments, high speed of builds release etc

3D animation, vfx, graphics… Video games are the main driving force of this. I live in one of the video game development epicenters of the world - even some of “smaller” studios are occupying entire floors of large commercial buildings. I didn’t say there were no game studios with less than 10 people, what I was saying was, there’s no music studios with 50-100+ people employed.

The advancement of these technologies is still very fresh… There isn’t anything like that in the music industry… and imo, if anyone has tapped into the sort of logistical needs in the current commercial music climate Steinberg has tapped into it best in terms of understanding the utilities people need to get the job done quicker and better - simple changes like extending Markers through the entire project. Those are the features we need

“Even if you’re right, in a smaller, less corporate industry, support to customers is usually of higher quality, not lower.”
Not so sure about that, for example, it took Acustica forever to fix Cubase problems. I’ve reported bugs to plugin companies 4 or 5 years ago that still haven’t been fixed. I’ve reported bugs about my MOTU MIDI Express XT and despite it still being a product they sell, they pretty much told me, “yeah we’re not going to fix this”.

It’s a complex business issue, because while Adobe is traded on the NASDAQ and has 20,000+ employees, they also have more customers, and thus, more support requests. Adobe is a POS though for not linking to updates for products I paid for.

really, I’ve had backs and forths with Steinberg support running diagnostics on my system, trying to isolate problems, find culprits, etc.

these are different software types, different code, different fields. SideFX has 100 or so employees. I count 63 in my Cubase ‘About’, and many of the names I see across the entire product range.

cant really compare VFX software dev industry to music software dev industry.

Some nice rules of evaluation there that you’re trying to establish yourself. Must be nice and cozy in your bubble.

I happen to know the Sidefx guys quite well and I can tell you have no idea of what you’re talking about.

You mean common sense?

That means nothing.

Now, now, don’t rush to praise yourself.
I meant “childish” or “immature” behavior, rather.

I have higher goals than common sense to praise myself over.