Using Cubase as a hobby

Hi :slight_smile:
I have been using Cubase for a little over a year now,as a hobby and was wondering if there are fellow hobbyists out there making music with Cubase?

Just for fun, I would like to hear from other hobbyists on topics such as how you are using Cubase ?What type of music your making?How your managing your time away from work etc

For me,I have used other DAWs before,but I chose Cubase as it has a lot of tools and features that helps me as a non musician.I like to make cinematic and ambient styles of music.

The learning process is great,still got a lot to discover and learn of course,Coupled with this I’m learning to play the keyboard properly so I can sound good,and not as in the past :laughing:

Thanks :smiley:

Hah, depends what you class as a hobby. I’ve made money with music before and done some stuff for local schools/events. But it’s always been a hobby for me as it’s never reached the point of it ever paying for hardware/software that i’ve purchased - only my time. Even ‘pros’ that i know have secondary jobs to keep an income for themselves

With that in mind, i think the vast majority of users here (80+%) will class their music as a labour of love (i.e. a financial cost to them longterm). I think if you fall into that bracket it’s a hobby/passion no matter what you think or dream of being.

I use Cubase for song writing/compositions for anything around the Rock/Electro/Trance/80s genres as i have an equal passion for guitars and amps as i do key/synths and modulars - and Cubase is great if you’re cross genre like that, it has excellent both Audio and MIDI features plus support for legacy hardware which i use.

Also, as i’m a software developer i have multiple machines and configurations for testing so some of these double up as great audio workstations - it also means i’m lucky enough to have built my own studio area in the garden as i need this space for my day job.

As for time away from work, i would never compromise that - it’s time away from family which i find harder to manage, 3-4 hours at the beach with my family and dogs is far rewarding mentally than sat in a cave recording. :slight_smile:

With that in mind is part of why i love Cubase so much, running it from a laptop with a small controller and utilising the chord track/chord pad functions and the pattern/arp styles - if songwriting is your passion you can do so much with such a small array of equipmemt.

And that’s what i really love, i dont have to spend hours in the man-cave coming up with ideas, instead i use that isolated/focused time only on ideas that i’ve come up with elsewhere on the laptop where i can be around the house still. But most of the time when i’m in my studio area, i just descend into hours of playing with amps and synths and losing myself in hardware - which also doesn’t bother me - if i’m not putting out content/recording songs, then as long as i’m getting a positive mental vibe from the hours i put in i consider it value for money (Currency being my time). :slight_smile:

Oh, and variaudio is a godsend for any hobbyist recording at home too, for vocals it’s brilliant - both as a learning tool (i.e. review vocal takes vs the chord track scales) and a correction tool for out of tune vox. I use it a lot for reviewing and establishing vocal tunings that i wouldn’t naturally move to when singing - pipe that back through my headphones and then sing those phases as per my changes so it’s a ‘legit’ vocal take.

There’s just so much creative options in Cubase - in fact, i’d argue that most of the creative/song writing tools are aimed at the hobbyist/home recordist - the audio and mixing side of things is where the ‘pro’ factor comes into play.

Like every other DAW including PT, I think Cubase is used by 95% hobbyists.

Keep in mind that even expensive boutique gear is underwritten by hobbyists as opposed to professional users… meaning audio is their full time job. (However I have never liked that definition of professional.) It’s mostly all prosumer driven.

For example, I dont think EveAnna Manley could still manufacture her line if it wasn’t for the support of hobbyists and tieing in with UAD. I could be wrong, it’s just my perception over the years.

I’ll add that Chuck Suracks empire is just 1 guy whos quite happy that its prosumer driven.

Thanks for the comments so far :slight_smile:
I recently discovered " Retrospective recording" thats another handy feature,while I am doodling with ideas.Just reading up on that and how I can turn my ideas as a basis to some new work.

Hi you, nice thread!

I am a hobbyist. Almost 60 … using cubase / Steinberg software since the stone age of DAWs (and Midi-Sequencers). I used to play in a dancing band,play the piano quite well - did a lot of arranging work for our band back then. Have 4 adult children, so time for music was limited for a decade or so - had a long time as a single parent then - and growing up my handicapped daughter (she is 24 now and living with me). The time for making music tended to be limited, but I never really stopped. I am quite familiar with cubase and since I love technology (especially music technology) the hobby is an ideal combination.
I am working self employed since a couple of years - which is really nice. Starting this business took a lot of energy and finally a cancer diagnosis last year and the following treatment and surgery also took time and energy. Making music never stopped. It was less than before, but it is still key to a happy life. My new wife also loves me for this and so it is not conflicting timewise. For me a “hobby” is something that is NOT connected to targets, it is doing something for the sake of doing it. The results are what they are - noone judges them really and - even more important: nothing depends on the results. This is a huge liberation from pressure and THE big difference between hobby and profession. Noone depends on my results in the hobby area and it is still great fun to do what i do.
I compose, I arrange, I do some recordings - sometimes with my old music fellows and more often alone (easier to organize). The circle of people listening to the results is very limited and I have no intention to increase it. Music is for me myself and some beloved people. It is a great exercise to just do something for the sake of itself without any additional pressure.

Cubase has a lot to offer. It has some flaws, but well (I have been working in software industry for more than 30 years…) we are talking about software, aren’t we? :slight_smile:

Lets have fun with music!

PS.: I can get quite “angry” about illiterate citicism against any software (and cubase especially) - there is a learning curve and reading can help a lot. Videos are ok, but to me more time consuming than reading and doing things with my own hands.
And what I also find very annoying is that people coming from a different DAW tend to search for an identical approach in Cubase instead of trying to learn the concepts of the DAW(s) of their choices.

Just responding quite briefly: yes I do! Music is in general my hobby, eating a lot of my income but I still feel it is worth it. There is no payback anyways (not in the general manner). Cubase is still my DAW since Cubasis Audio and I have tried SO1 but did not dare to go from CB.

So, what I do is just record stuff which is on my mind, mostly guitar stuff, as I can play guitar. I also love orchestral (film score like) music and I am experimenting with it a bit.
I also like to produce other musicians and I think I have a decent hobby studio in my basement :slight_smile:

I feel I could not live without my hobby, so I don’t mind if I sometimes tend to spend a few more bucks on things which I better saved…but for what else?
Whenever it comes to the moment where I have to be in Corona Quarantine I am sure it will be my time for a hit :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:


I also use Cubase as a hobby, for almost 20 years since the VST version. I’m a guitar player, do not read music just play by ear and for that I think Cubase is great, especially the chord track.

I was stuck with version 5 for a while until recently when I had some more time an decided to get the pro version with some sample libraries. I do mainly rock, metal and some pop and orchestral music. I really love it and very happy with the result, you can listen to some of the songs I’ve done recently here:

As part of the hobby I also help others to mix their music, they send their tracks and I edit them, add effects and mix and master. It is lots of fun. Like everything in life when you value something with money it loses it’s sentimental value and I am glad that I never pursued music very professionally, I probably would have hated it by now.

With today’s technology and low hardware prices the possibilities are endless to make a high quality music and Cubase will always be the center of my production.

I like elien’s definition of hobbyist above: no-one judges or depends on you for the results.

It’s interesting to note the variety of musical paths. I come from a classical orchestral and jazz background, and only started using Cubase (Score as it was then) in order to compose sheet music for colleagues. I’ve had a few commissions that depended on the typesetting looking professional, so leant more towards Sibelius for many years.

An orchestral concerto commission I had at the time proved too costly for the soloist to stage, so I was asked to provide a backing track (on DAT, if that dates me!). That lead me to move away from orchestral instruments/voicings/techniques. Decades later I’m writing anything from EDM to prog-rock to ballads and Jazz, without much reliance on the score, for no-one to hear except a patient fiancé, who always judges my music as “nice”, then suggests we go out for dinner to change the subject. I still arrange/compose for my students, which is rewarding.

In my profession, collaboration is the rule, but it’s mostly one way: having to adhere to a conductor’s direction. One exception is my jazz trio: working with the same players for 18 years, we can read each other’s minds. A few compositional collaborations with friends lately have resulted in comments such as “I love this ballad. How about we take it at 140BPM”(proceeds to stick a guitar shred over the sax solo), so kinda happy to have 100% creative control over my music.

Gotta love what you do :slight_smile:

Great to see fellow hobbyists,appreciate your time to comment.Really glad I’m not alone, as a hobbyist ha,ha :laughing:

Really nice to hear from other people.Thanks a lot :smiley:

Currently as well as learning all things Cubase,I’m learning to play the keyboard via Melodics .So eventually I can sound half decent :mrgreen:

Your never too old to start learning!

I am relating to this topic in reverse. I have been a “Cubase” professional ever since the arrival of Pro 24 for Atari and a musician since 1975. I have had a side hobby in mechanical engineering for a long time, but in the last few years that has started to yield significant income. So, now these two loves of mine share my professional life and I have never been happier.

It’s probable that my music work will drop away with increasing age (I am a young 62) and eventually both will become hobbies.

If amateur means “taking part in an activity for pleasure”, then I am both amateur and professional. Either way, enthusiasm is key!

Thanks a lot everyone! Great to read all of your comments about your journey ,music making etc :smiley:

Just been listening to the feature here on Cubase about Hans Zimmer using Cubase.
Really interesting ,he is also one of my hero’s in the film score world too :slight_smile:

I really do think Cubase has a lot going for it for sure,what with the excellent range of tools,features and much more.

The retrospective recording I discovered recently is a great help. Each time I open up Cubase there is something new to discover,alongside the great help system available :smiley:

Great thread, great stories, great people, even with a philosophic touch - I love it - especially since there are many more freaks like me.

What stroke me in my young days quite some time ago were cover photos of Jean-Michel Jarre or Richard Wright (Pink Floyd) sitting in front of of myriads of synths. “Wanna be like them …” was my thinking. Also one of Pink Floyd’s concerts stroke me (Animals tour) as it was my first encounter with 5.0 sound. Then I read on the cover of DSOTM “… Sound Engineer: Alan Parsons …”

My dream job had become that of a sound engineer. Didn’t quite work out. Drifted away into software and electronics.

Then got a 90 year old piano from my wife’s grandma. Taught myself playing the piano over (now) more than 20 years. During that, the kids grew up. My skills these days are OK to play stuff so that other people can recognize, what it is. :wink:

Tried to digitize my vinyl with CUbasis AV (or so) in the late nineties. All the recording, de-popping, de-noising de-everything was too much work for good results. Then old(er) music started appearing as remasters on CD and also MP3 started popping in.

These days, I got addicted to Immersive Audio (3D). Then Cubase came on board last year. Wanted to re-produce sound of the Floyds, Jarres, Kraftwerks, Zimmers, Parsons and transpose it into 3D-Audio space (decompose, re-mix and re-remaster).

Pulled a couple of old speakers, some old amps and an old midi keyboard together, shot some at Ebay, and connected them to the PC. “Damn, just a PC with soft-synths and Cubase plus some amps and speakers can make such monstrous sound”. During the 80s, this required rooms or stages full of expensive, sensitive and hard to use stuff.

On the side, I started to dive into the world of soft-synths. My advantage was, that I knew, what an oscillator, a filter, an envelope or FFT means to sound. But the overwhelming features and instrument styles and presets is tremendous these days. Endless.

However, while diving into all this digital stuff, I learned also what “analog” means to me. I feel more and more, that a good analog synth DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE over all digital equipment.

And I have a lot of respect for people capable to make great sound on such analog synth stuff in a live setup, especially on Doepfer kind of modular synth racks. There is no “Save As Preset” other than a plan scribbled down or taking a photo. Every gig is about some experimenting and finding new sound variants. It is an art by itself, which makes this world so interesting.

So long - and keep writing more such stuff. Makes these days a bit more colorful.

LG, Juergi

Glad your enjoying the comments as much as me LG, great comments too :smiley:

What a great thread! Really interesting to find I am not alone!!!

Yes, being the wrong side of 70 means I now take my own time to come up with material that I like and I don’t care what other people think of it or whether it gets a wide audience. I used to be a pro-muso (among other things) and everything then was so rushed with deadlines to meet. And if I never hear another cover version in all my life I will die happy. :laughing:

Cubase (first version I used was SX3) enables me - all of us - to do all this without too much frustration when things occasionally go wrong - usually because of me.

The one thing I miss being in a band is not being able to collaborate so readily with fellow musicians. I wonder if there would be any mileage in having a collaboration section here…just musings.

I’m no musician but really enjoy the learning process.Currently learning to play the keyboard so i can sound half decent, :laughing: with Melodics.
for the record I am a young 54 but my freind called me an old fossil,ha,ha :mrgreen:
I tell em " I’m old but not obsolete" my favourite line from The terminator,in Terminator Gensys :laughing:

… a usefull reference for using Cubase that works for both beginners and more experienced users.

Thanks a lot for that :smiley: