I’m a filmcomposer/producer working in logic for the past 10 years, and I’ve tried switching to Cubase after hearing many good things about the DAW.
I’ve had Cubase for 3-4 weeks now and I find that my workflow is very slow in the software. Partly due to the change of work environment, but I also find Cubase has a tendency to slow me down. I want a piece of software to be transparent and not get in the way of my work. So far I can’t say that, that is my experience with Cubase.
Beware that the following criticism is based on my initial experience with the software and there might be solutions that I’ve missed in my research. I’m hoping that Cubase will listen to this and hopefully help other pro’s transitioning from Logic to Cubase.
Here’s a number of observations.
- I’m missing chord information as I play and improvise on the piano. It’s a nice and simple feature in Logic that helps me a lot when I’m composing. Although I’m highly trained I compose by ear and intuition and spend a lot of time checking out different voicing, spacings, chords etc. The info from the software provides me with an analytical overview as I dive deeper into my harmonies. I miss it in Cubase.
- As I’m sound designing I find it hard to open the plugins I’m working in. It might be kontakt or Omnisphere. If I have to open the software as I’m fiddling with delays and eq’s at the same time, I have to open the arrangement window and click the individual track. Is slows me down a lot and makes me miss working in Logic. I want to acces to the VST within the mixer. Please.
- I want to be able to switch a track from mono to stereo simply fra clicking the within the mixer. As I can in Logic.
- As I’m preparing to write for a tv series, game or movie I spend a lot of time creating a bank of vst’s/plugins that fits the project I’m working on. It can be a very finely tuned combinations of soundtoyz, UAD and a kontakt instrument or vst. In Logic I can save this combination into a folder, whereby I can easily acces the instrument+plugins in another logic project. It’s a huge part of my workflow and when I found out I couldn’t do that I Cubase I started working in Logic again. Please make it possible. I now there is workaround with this, but my generel critique is that something I can do easily and fast in logic by clicking one time takes 3-4 clicks in Cubase. If you work a lot in a piece of software you want it to aide and speed up your proces. Not the other way around.
- As I record musicians in my studio I’ll have dual mic setup of cardiod microphones and ribbon mics. I’ll record a cello or violin with both microphones and add them to a track stack. That way I’ll have acces to the stereo image and can compress and treat the audio individually and as a group. It’s a huge part of my workflow. I miss this feature in Cubase. I do not wan’t a folder track and a group track for each dub of violin or cello. It’s cluttering my mixer and arrangement and making me work slower once again. I’ve noticed some people enjoy this division between folder and group and I understand that, but I miss the combination as a track stack in Logic.
- I’m missing the ability to see the sends channels from the inspector within the arrangement window. When I’m sound designing I want to work swiftly and see the channels I’m working on simultaneously.
Generally I find sends to be unnecessarily complicated. I have to create it, activate it and route it with 3 different gestures. In logic it’s one movement and the bus is created and I can see it from the inspector. It slows me down. Furthermore the sends in the mixer window seems a bit unresponsive. I can’t go from -6 db to +10 in a small movement of the mouse. It’s not musical for me.
- Key commands. I’ve found that I can’t always count in the key commands i’ve changed will actually be changed. For a piece of software at this price level - Cubase is far more expensive than Logic and Ableton - that’s kind of a problem.
- Maybe I’m missing something here - but if I have to delete and object or region (logic lingo) within the arrangement window, I’ll just press delete. In Cubase I have to select the eraser tool and delete. Once again I have to press a button 3 times instead of one. It slows me down. If there is a faster way. Let me know.
- Automation. I have a hard time understanding automation in Cubase. All the points are hard to move in a simple manor. Maybe I’m missing something. I’m missing the ease of use in logic.
- The GUI seems a bit old. I’m sorry but compared to the magic of fabfilter plugins there’s something off with the general feel of the software.
As I said I’ve spent 10 years within logic so a transition from such a lengthy relationship is not always easy. But for now - these are the 10 main reasons I’m gravitating towards working in Logic. I just thought you should know. As I’m using the software I have feeling that the people who are making this stuff aren’t really pro’s themselves and hence are not aware all the small details that make or break your experience. Maybe I’m wrong, but it feels that way.
Why aren’t you implementing the best features from other DAWS and cross-referencing in order to make the best user experience possible?
Cubase seems to be a standard for many accomplished composers, but so far I haven’t really felt the magic of the software. I’m sorry. I would love to. Really.
Some things I love about Cubase:
The Mixer. It’s fantastic. Gain staging is amazing. The separate windows and how customizable it is. (Just add instruments please)
Midi. It’s a level beyond Logic. Without a doubt.
Exporting. One of the main reasons I switched. Creating stems is a breeze compared to Logic. I dread creating stems for a film or tv series in logic. It’s a hassle. Cudos for your work here, Steinberg.
The sound. Logic has a tone in my experience. I wanted to get rid of that. Cubase seems cleaner and wider.