Some Perspective

I’m writing this post because I’m surprised at what’s new in C9. I was expecting features more in line with those that have been called for on this forum. To be fair, some of those features are part of C9; notably the MixConsole History and the Sampler Track (which arose from the survey Steinberg conducted last year:

During the past year there has been considerable emphasis on improving stability and workflow, and yet this clearly was not the focus of C9 (aside from the Plug-in Sentinel). Instead, Steinberg chose to devote resources to things like updating their built-in plugins. This decision reminds me of Henry Ford’s famous quote: “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” In retrospect, Ford made a good choice judging from the ubiquity of cars and scarcity of horses (slow or fast). However, it’s not clear that the same can be said of Steinberg and C9.

If Steinberg was correct in thinking that greater profit would be obtained from customers who want/need features like Frequency, Audio-Ins, and the Sampler Track, then we will see more releases like C9 in the future. However, if it turns out that customers with large collections of comparable third-party plugins (who are unwilling to upgrade) represent the greatest sales revenue, then we may see a change in approach for subsequent releases (perhaps as early as C10).

If the latter turns out to be the case, I suggest the following to help Steinberg better assess their users’ needs/desires: conduct a survey that consists solely of user-requested features. This would be done by culling the forum for suggestions, working with programmers to prune the list to feasible items, obtaining user input, and then sorting/grouping these responses into manageable chunks that can be achieved in one development cycle (which seems to be ~6 months). Following this approach will ensure that users – at least the ones on this forum – get what they want. True, not everyone will get what they want right away, but if the final list is made public, at least users will know that their needs will eventually be satisfied.

For me, Cubase is a fantastic program and has been instrumental in my music making (yes, I see the pun). And although I certainly will continue to use Cubase for some time, I am not going to upgrade to C9 because the new features do not justify the $99 cost. This is simply a business decision, writ small.


Steinberg never publishes any list of resolved issues for a major version upgrade. I would say they are afraid to mention resolved issues in marketing articles since this might not be the best strategy for addressing new potential customers. Nevertheless, several current users here on the forum already reported that C9 is really snappier, less resource demanding and more robust than C8. Also, the MixConsole undo feature alone is a huge workflow improvement in my opinion. So, I’m not sure where did you get the feeling that “improving stability and workflow clearly was not the focus of C9”. Moreover, please notice that there is already the version 9.0.1 with a list of documented bug fixes from the initial release. All these facts give me the feeling that Steinberg actually did listen to people’s complaints. But now, when C9 is here, others (and sometimes even the same people) are complaining about the lack of new features… I think it is just not fair to Steinberg. For me it is another evidence of impossibility to satisfy everybody.

you can NOT satisfy 100% of the people 100% of the time.