Software legacies vs newer apps

I just started using Cubase but I’ve been aware of the software since the 90s. In fact I likely used it once or twice back then. I’ve used many other DAWs over the years such as Ableton Live, Studio One, Cakewalk, and Logic.

As someone new to Cubase I’m thrown aback by what appears to be cruft (Cruft - Wikipedia)? I see legacy elements all over the software. That is hard to avoid when you are a 30 year old piece of software.

It leads me to start think of comparable software and I ask myself, “What are they doing?” For example there’s Adobe Photoshop. I’ve noticed Adobe do surprising things over the years. They’ve created newer, more modern, similar software tools that overlap with Photoshop.

Photoshop allows you to do digital painting, graphic design, photo editing, basic 3D rendering, and UI design. However Adobe now has beta software for those different categories:

  • Digital Painting: Fresco
  • UI Design: XD
  • Basic 3D: Dimension

I think it gives Adobe some interesting opportunities. They get to re-imagine how to solve these creative needs. Since these are long term beta programs it allows them to do a lot of testing. They get to separate a new app from the legacy code of Photoshop. It also allows them to reimagine these creative workflows as separate applications. Keep in mind that you can export, share, exchange files between these applications fairly smoothly.

I wonder if something like that can exist for DAWs and specifically Cubase.

At the moment I’m not sure how that would work. Dorico certainly represents some of that. It’s good that they didn’t see the need to integrate ALL of those features into Cubase. Maybe there’s more like that to be done.

I think Adobe is testing the waters to see if they can solve specific creative needs in a better way from the ground up with new, smaller software. Besides Dorico, do you see ways in which Steinberg can continue doing that?

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