Hi there to anyone interested.
I started off answering another thread on the same topic, but decided to rather start a new thread here. I’ll look at elastic audio, but also other areas where some of the protools features almost turned me to The Darkside.
I’ve been running a studio in JHB South Africa for many years now. My main software has always been Cubase (Starting with SX1). A few years ago a multimedia college (Citi Varsity) moved in next door and hired me to do Music and Cubase lectures part time to their audio students. The course covers Protools, Cubase and Reason as the main softwares, so I have become very familiar with protools the last few years.
There is a constant comparing of Cubase to Protools by both students and lecturerers . In my opinion Cubase smokes protools in most areas except Grouping, Spotting and Elastic audio.
The grouping features in protools speak for themselves. Way more advanced than what Cubase has to offer, no chance of even arguing there
Spotting means move audio clip and video follows. In Cubase you have to move the play transport line thingy to find your spot point , then move your audio afterwards. A bit sucky, no arguing there
And finally the elastic audio in Protools compared to Cubase Audio warp. Firstly, Protools can do mulitrack stretching which Cubase cannot. No arguing there
But its also the speed at which you can access and warp quantise in protools, in the arrange page, and more so the accurate manner in which it works that impressed me. (And I really didn’t want to be impressed)
For example in cubase, say I record myself playing a bass, guitar, bongo drum (anything really as long as its no more than a stereo file) for a song. By the end of the song I’ve dropped in say 4 or 5 times and have several clips. If I want to quantise that audio to the grid here are the steps I need to take…
1 Check crossfade/edits are in the right place
2 Bounce the files into 1 file so I can access the whole take in the sample editor. (otherwise each clip has to be processed separately)
3 Access sample editor and calculate hitpoints. Although much, much better than before, hitpoints in cubase are still not as accurate as Protools. Another sore point
4 Edit hitpoints
5 Click make warp tabs from hitpoints once happy with my hitpoints.
6 Close sample editor to check that my grid is set to quantise value I want
7 Select edit from main menu and choose warp quantise. (no option for %quantise)
8 Play with warp setting till you find the best Algorythm.
Doing the same procedure in Protools
1 Choose elastic audio plugin
2 set warp markers, very accurate and quick AND on the arrangement page
3 Open qauntise panel and quantise. You also get the choice here of %value and groove quantise.
It works this way with multitracks too. Quick, intuitive, easy to do sections at a time if different settings are to be used(eg, triplet fills), and most of all sounds fine once done! Also works on separate takes in one go, so no need to bounce takes into one long file.
I have to say, it is thing of beauty and considering most of my productions use live instruments over midi, after seeing this about 2 years ago I thought to myself WOW I should be on Protools. Add to that Protools 9 opening to Asio and I really was convinced. So I got a copy, installed,started using for real and discovered why I LOVE Cubase
In the end I still use Cubase for just about everything and suffer through the one or two areas where it lacks in comparison. And if I really need multi track warping then its bouncy, bouncy off to protools edit away, consolidate, back to cubase and import.
There thats off my chest
Cubase is really great. I love the workflow, control room, midi capabilites, etc etc.
1 sample editor in place mode, like we have midi in place editor.
2 Multi track warping
3 Better mix/edit grouping, with VCA channels.
4 spotting and the ability to export a quicktime movie file, especially if edits are made to the movie file in cubase
I honestly think if the programmers added these features to Cubase 7 there would be no need to ever work in any other software again. The varsity could install full versions of cubase everywhere and let protools go. I’d say 85% of the students end up preferring Cubase to Protools by the end of their 3 year course anyway.
My 2 cents worth (which if you look at the exchange rate here in SA is about 0.2 cents just about anywhere else )