Upgraded from Studio 5 to Artist 8.5: some considerations


I just upgraded my license cause price with the summer deal was good and I was afraid Steinberg would cancel the upgrade path from Cubase Studio in future. I would have appreciated an option for the boxed version very much; a single 10gb file to download all at once can be a problem and I’d rather having physical media at least for my main software.
Anyway, I’m gonna share some considerations about the difference, since there’s a lot of people who usually go for the “middle” Cubase edition and might be in my same situation.
Coming from 6 years of Studio 5 I was very used to it, so now I feel a bit disoriented; environment, colours, style of the panels… the mixing console also is totally new but fully integrates with my UR44 now. I have to reset my workflow and get used, but that’s normal.
What I find mostly disappointing is that Artist also has some heavy limitations that make it a downgrade compared to the old Studio 5. Aaaaand, they are:

  • 64 audio tracks only (Studio 5 had unlimited)
  • 128 midi tracks (Studio 5 had unlimited)
  • 32 instrument tracks (Studio 5 had unlimited)
  • 32 group tracks (Studio 5 had 256)
  • 32 physical in/outs (Studio 5 had 128)
  • the worst: No Batch Export… (Studio 5 had it)

Now, I can understand most of these; I just think it can happen for a Project Studio to work with large projects with 100 audio tracks and, most of all, I can’t see the Batch Export as a Pro feature only… a product marketed towards Project Studios should have such features. I also remember Studio 5 had more Expression Control features, but I’m not sure.

These were my first impressions, I’m still totally new to the new layout though. I’d be glad if you could share your experience on the subject or talk me about the upgraded features in the Artist version.


I’ve been exploring Artist 8.5 the last few weeks and I’m enjoying it very much. Despite all the limitations I reported in my other post, I can also see the pros of upgrading now.
The Mix Console, the SSL-like Channel Strip, the new effect plugins and beautiful VST instruments like Padshop and Loopmash are my favourite new features. I see lots of advancements in such department: I could totally see myself mixing with Cubase’s only console+plugins today with probably no need for 3rd party processors.
Chord track has been a nice one also! I guess there’s a lot to find out yet.
The only thing I’m missing from Studio 5 is the batch export function actually, which, together with Variaudio 2.0, is something I’d really want.

I think in your case it would be a good idea to upgrade to Pro the next chance you get. If Steinberg has a sale on upgrades again next year you’ll be able to upgrade to Cubase Pro 9 for barely anything.

Cubase Pro also comes with some features and plugins that you should find useful if you do your own mastering, such as loudness metering, CurveEQ and the multiband processors (maybe someday we’ll get a multiband limiter).

I’m still undecided about the upgrade to Pro. Most of the time I won’t need many of it’s features and could justify it only if Variaudio can replace Melodyne (Single Track), for vocals and mono instruments corrections. Otherwise, I’d be using the batch export only.