UAD Luna vs Cubase?

Anybody looked deeply at UAD Luna yet and have any kind of head-to-head comparison? I’m a heavy UAD user (I tried to quit, but just can’t :wink: but I don’t see moving to Luna, as I work solo, so I don’t have the same kind of “live” recording workflow needs, so I don’t have to switch back and forth between Cubase and UAD Console like I might in tracking a band, which is what Luna is aiming for.

I pretty much use Cubase like I used to use multi-track tape: I set up UAD Console to “monitor mix” all my inputs - synths, Kemper, mics, etc, and just record-enable (but NOT monitor enable) tracks in Cubase to record them. I sometimes have to bop over to Console to tweak the monitor mix for tracking, but for me, anyway, having UAD Console as the monitor mix and tracking preamps (via UAD Unison, e.g., Neve 1073), and Cubase for the playback mixer works great. (FWIW, I’ve also taken to using Superior Drummer 3’s mixer so as to have a separate drum mixer for the 20+ drum mics, mixed down to a small handful of channels into the Cubase mixer)


– jdm

yeah I don’t have a mac so it won’t be anytime soon I can try that out. I am also heavy on the UAD plugins.

I have a stable system at less then 5 ms, I really have no need to move to LUNA to get “latency free recordings” and I will be ages before UA catches up to Cubase on other features.

anyways, did you hear that acoustic piano, Gravel or what it is called? WOW, just WOW!! :slight_smile:

Cubase is so much more mature and loaded with features that it would be a useless comparison. People will use Luna not because they prefer the features compared to their current DAW, but because they rely on the UA mix console so much that they are willing to sacrifice DAW features in order to have a DAW which has the mix console built-in. In other words, if you use the UA mix console a lot and find it painful to constantly switch between that and your DAW, then you might be willing to use a less powerful DAW in order to avoid that constant switching.

Can Luna load non uad vst’s? I’m on PC, but even if was Mac or if UA ports Luna to win, don’t see leaving Cubase with SO many advantages there, especially Groove Agent for one.

no. afaik, luna is all uad.

i agree re cubase being way more mature and feature-full.


Luna support’s AU plugins

Did you mean NON UA plugins?

I’ve looked at Luna, and it does seem to be intriguing as an integrated system. This thinking in integration is something Yamaha-Steinberg could likely exploit with tremendous success.

I was thinking to get an apollo if my RME ever dies so maybe it will be Luna one day on PC too :slight_smile:

You can’t expect any DAW will be ready for every situation in v1, surely it has some ways to go - BUT - if UA goes all-in on this I think it will be a great industry leader in a short time as they have what I think is a trump card in their sleeve which is all their fantastic emulations. Also imo the GUI of the software seems very promising from the videos I see.

Luna supports AU plugins. This is a statement from Universal Audio. I have seen Serum, Kontakt, Soundtoys and many other plugins used in Luna so to the question does it only work with UA stuff this was my answer :slight_smile:

Humm… Yeah that; as a statement from UA, would indicate that supports is for UA plugins only - huh?
I mean OF COURSE UA is going to support UA plugins. :wink:

It’s hard to tell if you’re making a joke or not. But if you’re serious, there is a difference between UA and AU.

That’s exactly how I use my Apollo with Cubase - I gave Luna a shot for about a week and was pretty disappointed by the hype especially the nonsense about it not being a DAW - that tagline got old fast at this year’s NAMM show. I do like the idea of having the UAD console integrated into the program as the back and forth can get a bit tiresome but considering the enormous tradeoff between that and the feature-rich environment within Cubase, I can’t see switching to Luna anytime soon. PT users might feel different as the key commands used in Luna are essentially the same as in PT.

Glad you posted - yeah I miss read that and completely unaware of Mac and hoping to stay that way.

I sure do hope UAD doesn’t do something stupid like Waves with the Waves WUP policy to make me so mad that I will never give them another dime! I bought the Wave’s plugins from Sweetwater and I can’t seem to take those guys seriously anymore either. When I buy something I expect it to be mine and don’t appreciate a corporation extorting more money from me to use was I already paid for. It does make a PC only user worry when a company totally ignores your platform - I have ALOT invested in UAD, my last round of plugin updates did not go with the UAD versions, because I’m already scared by this LUNA-CY. UAD has been really good - up till this LUNA thing. You might have guessed by now that I am not a “subscription” type of buyer, when it comes to subscriptions I am just not interested.

It’s not anywhere near the deep and advanced DAW that Cubase is, but some of the GUI approaches are nice as far as speed of use and workflow. It looks clean and professional. I have an Apollo 8 mkii and never use UAD plugins anymore because of how much they slow down exporting, their latency, and the fact that many other companies do emulations just as good or better and with more modern GUIs and features. No need or desire for UA plugins in my world anymore, so Luna doesn’t fill any need with that. I do use the unison thing when recording, though, which is a nice inclusion in Luna.

Not at all interested here, personally.

You don’t have to buy the WUP to keep using the plugins you bought. All it means is that if you want updates/upgrades after a year you have to purchase a renewal. If not, you can continue using the plugins you purchased.

I’ve been using LUNA extensively since it’s release.

It’s missing a lot of features at v1.0.2 (compared to any level of Cubase) that I need. I’m sure they’ll be added in time, other workstations have a massive head start :wink:

The Tape on the channels sounds great, no doubt, and having the BIAS and EQ controls right there per channel is killer.
I haven’t started my demo of NEVE Summing (I don’t want to want it @ 300 euros just at this particular moment in time >< - maybe in a sale at some stage)

But, there’s something about how fast the workflow is.

I, like most in the box UAD users, monitor in Console and record with fader down in Cubase. Committing as little as possible (to keep it tight) in order to process after the fact. This workflow doesn’t get the best out of Console for tracking, but it’s the way that works.

Using LUNA changes the way you commit to the signals you’re recording. Being able to track live through UNISON, and a UAD EQ and Comp (in the INSERTS, not REC FX) gives you unbelievable control over your signals without committing.

If, like me, you work alone recording and playing/singing, being able to drop down a quick take and get the UAD plugins exactly where you want them and still have that tight latency is unreal.

I could never commit to record a chain of 3 or 4 effects with just Console. But LUNA encourages you to do just that. Because you don’t commit to the INSERTS, and you get to fine tune it after the fact.

Still, there’s way too may features missing for me at the moment, Cubase has given me everything I need for a long time now.

But there’s something about it…

I found out after I got a new computer that to put my old waves plugins onto my new computer that would be an “upgrade” - $180 SURPRISE! - I cut my losses.

Paul, you can record Unison pre (in fact, they’re always recorded) and stuff as many UA plugs in Console channels as your Apollo can handle w/o printing them. That’s the MON button on the far right in Console. I do that all the time for vocal tracking. Plugs in Console are “real-time” w/o the latency of round trip to/from Cubase. Of course, you have to have enough cores in your Apollo for that; satellites power only non “real-time” UA plug operation, eg in Cubase. I assume Luna has some way of delineating “real-time” vs non, whether for UA or AU software (CPU) fx?

I have an Apollo x8 with 6 cores, plus 21 more satellite cores. I’ve been meaning to do an experiment to see how many channels I can put Studer and Neve UA plugs in Cubase. The buffer size in Cubase makes a huge difference here - Cubase will make my new Macbook Pro spin up fans with Transport stopped with really low buffers. I’ve seen some posts claiming Cubase on Mac is way less efficient than it is on Windows and compared to other Mac DAWs, but I haven tested that recently. Anybody else?

I was disappointed but nor surprised that Luna kept the same awkward routing as Console. The x8 sounds amazing, but mixer-wise, I immediately missed my RME UFX. TotalMix is amazing, has MIDI and OSC control, even an iPad version, … But the RME doesnt have Unison, and UA’s Unison modeled mic pres, eg Neve 1073 are soooo good I work around the pain of Console, mostly by not changing any routings now that ‘s working.

Hi John,

That’s correct, I can have my chain in Console, but I can’t immediately monitor through it straight after the take, or in-between takes :confused:

And having a chain of 3-4 plugs in Console for 1 channel and maybe just 1 for another channel of the same source is causing a latency that you must compensate for with Console’s fixed set of buffers (Input delay Compensation). Recording drums in Console means you have to have the same processing on every input (an SSL channel for example) to keep them aligned before DAW if you want the tightest latency - I like to keep IDC off

I also find that copying the Console plug in chain settings to inserts in the DAW after the fact is never quite the same as it was when it was tracked. And being able to automate the same record chain for the mix means you’re only doing small amounts of changes instead of starting in DAW with a pre amp treated vocal and whacking processing on it that wasn’t there for the performance - you can’t get the original magic back like that (I find)

If you record enable an input in LUNA (ARM), any AU plug on that channel is disabled, also, any BUS routing needs to have either AUX 1 or AUX 2 assigned to it to keep it tight latency for tracking. You can have as many BUS as you like (I haven’t hit a limit or know of one) in the mix of course, but there’s still only AUX 1 and 2 for the tightest latency while recording. Any input put into ARM without it’s BUS also ARMed gets routed straight to the MON L/R (and can be cued etc).

So even if your cpu is crying that your 99% complete mix is so dense, you can still track through your 1073/1176/LA2A /Capitol Reverb combo you used when you started to track the vocal at the same tight latency you had when the project was empty. It’s also now the perfect chain, because you’ve been tweaking it all the time during the mix, and the exact UNISON you used comes up as soon as you ARM the channel. One Click. Now that is something, right?

The in-track Studer/Oxide and Neve Summing aspects of LUNA run natively from your cpu, (this is why iLok is required). I haven’t had any issue with load as regard Studer Channel feature (and I’ve had it on 20+ channel), I guess this is because my main plugin load is on Satellite and the Apollo DSP. I haven’t cracked open the Neve Summing yet, would be nice to have another Summing model to compare it to maybe (at least SSL and API incoming at some point)

Look, all this is great, BUT at the same time in V1, LUNA can’t side chain (UA or AU), there is no insert routing (Mono/Stereo), hardware inserts not possible yet, there’s an extensive list of features you would want, that just aren’t there.

Only time will tell if UA has the commitment needed to get LUNA up to the standard Cubase (and others) have set. But they sure have an Ace up their sleeve if they do.

Stay safe all