Somebody please tell me: Where's the innovation?

OK. I love Cubase, I have lived most of my life with it and never will switch to any other DAWs, that’s for sure. So I made the inevitable upgrade to Cubase Pro 9.

Then… from the competition, I hear exciting stuff such as “Per Clip Processing” (Logic) or “Background Freezing” (DP) or the excellent tool for 'vocalign’ing in Sonar… Unlimited inserts… Where are these kinds of real innovations? What’s the innovation in Cubase Pro 9? Could somebody tell me?

Docking? Mixer undo? Included high quality EQ, maximizer etc? These should have been there for a really long period of time.

Sampler track? Oh really. Wow! :open_mouth: Mind blown!!

From a faithful Cubase user.

I like the sampler track. I like bounce in place (not brand new). I surprisingly like the new split screen thing. Having finally ditched Ableton for good I’m so happy with being back to Cubase full time.

Every DAW offers innovation that the others don’t. Cubase offers stuff like Chord Track and Expression Mapping. Cubase is lightyears ahead of Sonar in terms of scoring to picture as well. Do your homework, Cubase is very innovative. Hell, they invented VST!!!

For what it’s worth, don’t bind yourself to one DAW. Try the others, even invest yourself in an alternate. I use Cubase, Logic X, and Pro Tools…all for different reasons. They all offer inspiration in different ways.

Want to talk about lack of innovation? Pro Tools didn’t even have offline rendering until version 10!!

Keep in mind this is cyclical, right now the priory is stability, work flow and hopefully more bug fixes…they got ahead of themselves and are catching up…

Pretty sure “Background Freeze” is the same thing as VST Guard, aka the pre-rendering of VST blocks ahead of time. If you want to reverse the comparison, DP just added support for external insert devices with latency compensation, whereas Cubase has had that for years.


True words. I use Live on stage because I need to trigger large groups of clips in sync remotely. There is no other DAW that works like Ableton for that…but then try to do proper arranging in Live and you are banging your head against the wall. It is still essential to know a few programs deeply to get the job done. Just like you need a few different compressors and filters, etc…

Thanks for the comments.

Cubase has innovated like crazy every build… So much that new features seems to be a primary focus for the main version release… It’s part of the marketing strategy for sure.
Just look, Cubase is a workhorse mixer/production environment, more features than just about any other DAW out there.
Track Types - so useful, no other DAW has so many useful track types. (chord/arranger/sampler/Instrument or Rack)…
The pitch correction Vari-tune was in Cubase WAY ahead of other DAW’s. (actually I don’t know another DAW that has this built in.
Multiple stretching+warping methodologies
the list goes on…
I would say Steinberg should focus less on innovation and more on the sturdy DAW construction and design, because currently there is a ton of user hassles or lacking features going around in the Bug reporting forums…
Maybe if SB focused more solely on Cubase it would be more popular, though?

Logic X has this, they call it “Flex Pitch”.

…and Studio One has Melodyne integration if I’m not mistaken.


I’m not sure but perhaps you have a closer look at the “Arranger Tracks” in Cubase.

I use Live on stage because I need to trigger large groups of clips in sync remotely.




Cubase 9 is performing here well during live mixing “and” recording at the same time. Biggest project at the moment 48 tracks with 2 x MR816’s and something else connectet by ADAT (16 channels).



An old post from the past:

Re: Pro Tools 10

Postby Chris Beuermann » 22 Dec 2011 09:20

No, we are not getting nervous:

Feature wise, Pro Tools 10 (€606,-) could be compared to Cubase Artist 6 (€299), having in mind that some features aren’t available in Cubase and others are not in Pro Tools. In order to reach a comparable scope of functionality as in Cubase 6 or Nuendo 5.5, the “Complete Production Toolkit 2” has to be purchased in addition to Pro Tools 10. That is another €1784,-. Total of € 2390,-

The whole “native” strategy is based on Steinberg technology (ASIO), which they do not promote publicly.

Almost all of the new functionality in Pro Tools 10 has been available in Cubase/Nuendo for a long time:

Multiple audio formats - Since Cubase SX 1 / Nuendo 1 (approx 10 years ago)
32-bit floating point recording and mixing - Since Cubase SX 1 / Nuendo 1 (Even Cubase VST had a 32-bit floating-point audio engine)
Extra long-format projects - It is nice to know that Pro Tools can now handle projects longer than 24 hours. Cubase and Nuendo support projects with a total length of up to 30 days.
Low Latency direct monitoring - Direct monitoring is implemented by using our ASIO technology. Cubase and Nuendo have direct monitoring support since Cubase SX 1 / Nuendo 1 (approx 10 years ago), it was available before in Cubase VST.
Clip Gain - Again, Cubase and Nuendo have this feature since Cubase SX 1 / Nuendo 1
Real-time fades - The ability to create real-time fades has been in our software for 10 years.

The list goes even longer.

Ofcourse we need and will improve certain areas of our software like for example the mixer. These are things we are working on.

“consolidation” is sometimes also good…



Sonic74 makes some interesting points about the level of innovation in Cubase 9 update. I would rank the usefulness and quality of the Cubase 9 update very high but the level of innovation quite low (“innovation” here is defined as features or functionality that are new and not available on any other DAW). That said, I do believe I am receiving value for money for the following reasons:
I am guessing that designing and programming the new GUI was very expensive. Even though it looks similar, it is probably almost a completely new program module since many of the changes would need to exist quite deep in the code. I like the fact that Steinberg has managed to design the GUI with some really useful features while maintaining much of the “feel” of the previous GUI so it was easy for existing users to learn. Also, the new GUI functions well right out of the box. A major rewrite like this would require good programmers and a good quality assurance system.
You are right that most of what is included in the Cubase 9 update is available in one or another DAW. However, the somewhat conservative approach of selecting only those improvements that have proven useful elsewhere and focusing some effort on bug fixes may not be a bad thing, especially for those who are making a living with this software. I suffered for several years using another DAW that focused only on updates and innovation and believe me it was a very tiresome and frustrating environment. And, as Wolfie2112 states, Cubase is not without its own innovations and strengths from recent updates.
In response to Wolfie212’s suggestion regarding multiple DAWs; I really only want to use one DAW and hope that Cubase continues to be one of the best so I don’t have to change. That said, I do appreciate the energy that knowledgeable posters like yourselves bring by demanding that Steinberg stay relevant and up-to-date.


I know I have mentioned this before, but the new functionality of the drum editor is really welcome. The ability to exclude all those parts that are not being used makes life much easier. You can go back to the overall view to add another part should you wish. Putting all the parts close together allows you to better see the rhythmic relationships a lot more clearly.

I also heartily approve of the “new” ability to add midi controllers whilst Cubase is up and running. Previously if I had forgotten to switch something on I had to shut down Cubase and re-boot. Simple stuff, but invaluable.

I am sure that others could point to small things that have helped. I am thinking that Steinberg have listened to the forum and are gradually repairing many things fallen by the wayside after many relentless years of innovation. I am not saying that all the more irritating bugs have gone, far from it, but I will say that this is the most stable version I have used. Period. It is a long way from the nightmare, at least for me, of Cubase 6x.

Great thread!

It’s clued me on some stuff I had not yet realized about the Version 9 upgrade that will most certainly help with the kinds of projects I do most often.