Totally agree. The manual is pretty bad at explaining things and horrible if you don’t know Cubases’s/Steinberg’s particular terminology for a function.
Look at it from the user perspective; yes sometimes we want to look up a particular function that we already see in Cubase and need an explanation. The manual is fairly decent at that. More often, I run into what it’s really bad at: finding how to do something but I don’t know how to do or what Cubase features allow me to do a certain task. Finding the relevant information in that situation is sometimes nearly impossible, and if I do manage to find it in the manual it either involves some serious luck or a lot of time and aggravation. At this point I usually just Google it, go to Reddit or this forum, or go see if Greg Ondo did a video on what I’m trying to do!
I think what would help a lot and would be fairly easy to implement, is try embedding some related key words in the help topic. That would help if we don’t know Steinberg’s particular terminology for something or a particular technical term. Especially if ProTools, Logic, Reaper, Live, Sonar, SO, DP etc call a feature something else, embed those terms in the Cubase topic so people find the help they need more quickly. Also, try to include terms and ideas to cross-reference that a musician, that’s new to the DAW world, might think to call a feature or function.
And finally, to reiterate a feature request I’ve already made separately, please make the index of topics column on the left scroll-able and make it bring the topic to the top so we can see it after finding something by searching. If you don’t know or think to scroll down you don’t know there is often more to a topic or that there are other closely related topics. Index Column Scroll for Online Help
In general the online manual and PDF have the same content. But I find the PDF about a 1000% easier to navigate and use. The problem is all the nested links (and necessity to always be clicking them) online make it difficult to read through directly unlike the PDF where you can just turn the page. The PDF search functions are also more effective.
The only time I access the online manual is so I can post a link to info here.
User manual cannot describe all use cases. First of all, there are almost infinite use cases. Users are sometimes using Cubase a way the product planets were not thinking of. Sometimes guys in the Steinberg are totally surprised, how is Cubase used. It’s the same for every single software.
And second, very often there are several ways, how to achieve something. So only one use case would need to be described 5-10 different ways. Impossible to do it.
So the manual is describing the functions.
Btw, to learn the language of the application is a must (there is other thread on this topic here on the forum, very nice to read it).
Agreed, of course they can’t cover all uses. However, if they covered some of the most basic common functions and processes it would go a long way to making it easier for people to get started with Cubase, as well as getting to know the language of Cubase, as you pointed out. As it stands, Steinberg has helped create a large cottage industry for Cubase guides and videos. I’m sure Born to Produce, Groove3, Chris Selim, AskAudio, MusicTech, SonicAcademy and many others are very happy with the current state of the manual/online help.
Ok, I found an example of what I am meaning about the manual. This is the online manual, which is what I find often when searching online for some help with a Cubase function. And I very often run into the situation like what this example has.
In this example, for “Gain”, there is a description, but no indication of how to actually get to the point described, i.e., how to access the feature…
This is in the “Getting Into the Details” section, so it probably expects, you already know the basics. It’s also in the “Audio Processing and Functions” section. If I go to Audio > Process > Gain, I get there.