Top 9 Problems with Cubase 9 from a Logic X User

Only 9 actually because I’m actually loving Cubase so far. Also be forewarned some of these are kinda superficial and subjective, and some might simply be beginner’s mistakes. I’d still be extremely grateful for any suggestions from Cubase 9 pros.

This was originally posted on VI-Control, but it was suggested by another user to post it here in the hopes that Steinberg will see my suggestions. Special attention to the first 2 items as they are huge problems in my personal workflow.

1.) The video player window closes whenever you click outside of Cubase

I know a lot of composers are like me, and have a TV that’s dedicated 100% to displaying video from a session. However, I run my slave via the Mac OS X screen sharing app, so whenever I click over to my slave computer the video window in Cubase closes. That means my video is closing A LOT. It’s extremely annoying. In Logic X, a full screen video gets its own designated space, so it doesn’t close when you click outside of Logic. I’ve read everything in the Cubase manual that pertains to this, and found nothing helpful. The option of not doing screen sharing and having a specific keyboard, mouse, and monitor seems like a last resort to me.

2. No vertical mouse scroll zooming

Here’s an example of vertical scroll zooming in Logic
As a user of both Logic X for composing and Adobe Premiere for video editing, I’ve gotten extremely accustomed to scroll zooming. However, vertical scroll zooming doesn’t seem to be a possibility in Cubase at all even though horizontal scroll zooming is. Any ideas?

3. Playback disruptions when opening the key editor

If I open the key editor in the lower zone during playback, there is brief but consistent playback interruption. A friend of mine suggested it might be a lack of processing power, but I’m running cubase on a 6 core mac pro and have all my samples running on a 4 core mac pro. Not to mention, this session only has about 40 instruments in it. The last film I did, I was only using one computer, had hundreds of instruments loaded in logic, and I don’t remember having playback disruptions.

4. The top and bottom panels have odd limitations in their options for customization

The amount of tools a person wants visible on the top and bottom panels is purely preference, but the limitations in how you can arrange them is a bit frustrating. I’m a person that does 90% of operations through key commands, so I don’t want a lot of buttons on the panels. My main issue is that some items like: main transport, primary and secondary time display, tempo & time signature, as well as click & recount- are available exclusively on the bottom. And other items like: state buttons, snap, grid, quantize, and color menu are exclusive to the top. If I want all these tools accessible, I have to have both panels open resulting in a pretty significant waste of space.

I’ve highlighted the wasted space in this picture:

Does anyone know a way to have more control over this? Also, to be fair, these tool bars a much better than Logic in this regard. There are hardly any customization options in Logic for this, and only there is only a tool panel on top.

5. No ability to make controlled tempo curves

Here’s how increase and decreasing tempo works in Logic:

Cubase’s option to draw really specific tempos is great, but it comes at the sacrifice of Logic’s super clean tempo curve adjusting nodes. Is this something that exists in Cubase and I just don’t know about it yet?

6. Cubases messy filing system

Logic Filing:

Cubase Filing:

The pictures shows very similar sessions and how Logic and Cubase handle them. Logic has everything packaged. It’s clean and simple, yet you can still right click to reveal package contents and search through back ups. However, if you click on the Logic session itself it opens in the most intuitive place, which is your last save or most recent back up. If you want to go back to a previous backup or version, you simply right click to show package contents. Cubase’s back-up file vomit is horrifying to my obsessive compulsiveness. Is there a better way to set up Cubase’s filing system?

7. No faders on tracks

Logic faders on tracks:

Maybe this is preference I haven’t discovered yet. In Logic, it’s really great to have this quick cheater faders on each track in case you want to make a quick small mix change without moving over to, or opening, your mixer. Admittedly, this is definitely a personal preference, and not necessarily a problem with Cubase.

8. No end markers?

Here is an example of an end marker in Logic:

In Logic you can put on an end marker. The idea behind this is that if you zoom all the way out you won’t end up hundreds of measures past the end of your video and music in the wastelands of your session. Maybe/hopefully an end marker exists in Cubase that I don’t know about?

9. Can’t change key signature with Global tracks

I hope this is a beginners mistake, and that this is an option.

In Logic, I can set the key signature the same way as the time signature. This may seem useless, but it comes in very useful when exporting MIDI to open in a notation software.

It saves time when going to Sibelius so I don’t have to worry about fixing lots of incorrect enharmonic equivalences and chord misspellings. Changing key signatures has to be possible right? I am planning on moving over to Dorico soon too, so for the best integration it seems like Cubase should have a key signature global track.

And…. if I were to do a #10, it would be that Cubase is pretty pricey, and that would be justifiable except for the fact that it is only a single license. Logic X is done through your Apple ID, which means that if you purchase it once for $200 you can put it on every computer you own. My current Logic X purchase is on 2 Mac Pros, my laptop, and my Mac Mini, and I don’t have to have an licensing dongle for any of them. That’s a differences of about $2,100 and the small added issue of convenience of having to carry around an elisencer.


Anyway, thanks for reading, and I hope I didn’t come across as ragging on cubase. To be honestly, I see more positives in Cubase than negatives. I feel comfortable already about doing my next feature using it, but I would be extremely grateful if anyone offers help on the issues I listed above.

1.) The video player window closes whenever you click outside of Cubase

The video engine is being entirely replaced. To see if this works as you want, you could try the Nuendo 8 demo which has the new engine, ask someone who uses that or wait for the next maintenance update to include it.

  1. No vertical mouse scroll zooming

Vertical zoom scrolling isn’t in, and I would also like it.

  1. Playback disruptions when opening the key editor

There seem to be GUI issues on Mac that can even cause dropouts, seemingly unrelated to system power. Make sure to be on the latest OS version.

  1. The top and bottom panels have odd limitations in their options for customization

Consider replying to my feature request here for support:

  1. No ability to make controlled tempo curves

There’s a curved drawing tool, but automation itself is never actually curved. See my signature.

  1. No end markers?

Honestly, you’ll probably get used to solving this in another way. There should be a way to zoom to the content, and you can also just set the project duration.

  1. Can’t change key signature with Global tracks

I wanna know about this too. I’ve only seen it being recognized automatically.

And…. if I were to do a #10, it would be that Cubase is pretty pricey

Too pricey? Now that’s just silly coming from an Apple user. :slight_smile: You have spent a definite premium on your Apple hardware, so you’d hope that Apple would cut you a break on their software then. This is mostly a serious answer: Steinberg’s source of income is solely the software, so that is the reality of the higher price compared to Apple who has many sources of income.

#8, end marker: Does SHIFT-F help you?

+1 on this topic.

check out Video Slave 3 for hosting and playback of video.

I also just posted in the feature requests section that there should be a key command for entering time signature changes at the cursor location.

AND mixdown with video to a video file (Export Audio to Movie in Logic)