Hi Chris/Helge and all at the Cubase development team,
I’m currently a Logic user (and have been for a few years, previously having used Cubase for a decade, up to SX4), and I’d first like to say how impressed I am with the way you guys work with Cubase users on this forum to listen to their suggestions and make improvements to Cubase via updates. While Logic has had some excellent version updates in recent years, the Apple moderators on the Logic forum are there purely to delete posts that they deem unflattering to Apple and Logic. They provide no feedback, no clues to forthcoming updates, or acknowledgement to users’ concerns and requests. So as a previous user who is very keen to return, thank you for the way you listen to customers and communicate directly with them!
I have just downloaded the trial version of Cubase 6, and it is magnificent! Almost all the reasons for my move to Logic have been addressed perfectly (while Logic remains buggy and its maintenance apparently a low priority at Apple). Based on the trial, I am very keen to look at making the move back!
However, I am keen for your feedback and thoughts on one thing that really concerns me about the Logic to Cubase move - the way in which Cubase handles low-latency for virtual instruments and for monitoring audio with effects in real-time. Logic does this very well, even at low latencies of 64 or 128 samples (which are necessary for using BFD and other virtual drums with a Roland V-Drums kit - where even slight latency makes drum tracking difficult). Cubase really seems to struggle, even on my Mac Pro, at latencies below 512 samples.
Logic’s way of handling buffers and latency is impressive (and unique amongst DAWs, I believe) - it has a “buffer setting” option, which refers ONLY to the buffer used for the active recording track, and then all other tracks that are playing back operate at a high buffer (of 1024 samples, I believe), so that they are not adding pressure to the processor. As a result, even with tens of tracks, each with plenty of effects running, you can still add a new track - either a virtual instrument or an audio track - with the benefit of incredibly low latency running a buffer of 64 or 128 samples.
The purpose of this post is to provide feedback to you and ask for your views on this. It’s going to be difficult to move back to Cubase with the potential for a relatively small track count to cause crackles and/or processor overload warnings if operating at a low buffer setting. I get a sense that Mac users generally agree, on this forum, that this is the one area that Cubase struggles in, and would love to see a real step forward allowing complex projects with high track count and numerous effects to still allow additional tracks to be recorded at low latency.
I am desperately keen to move back to Cubase - the interface is so much clearer and snappier than Logic’s, everything is stable, audio editing is far better, and the icing on the cake is the great support and interaction Steinberg developers offer on this forum, in stark contrast to my Apple experience.
Would you be able to provide insight on whether improvements are in the pipeline with regard to Mac based Cubase users, either through the introduction of separate buffers for recording and playback tracks, or some other development? It would mean a lot to me to know if this can be expected, and roughly when it might occur, and would make my decision to move back to Cubase an absolute certainty.
Many thanks for reviewing this lengthy post, and thanks in anticipation for your thoughts on this issue.