What features do you not use because they are not working well?

Hi,

As I mentioned above, already, VCA in Nuendo is a different story:

The title of this strange topic is asking about “features you do not use because it’s not working well” and not about features people just couldn’t be bothered with. What part of the Drum Editor is not working well for you?

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the Tuner stock plugin hasn’t been working on Silicon Macs for a long time now…

Hi,

The plug-in is available in Cubase 13.0.20 on my side.

Hi Martin,

I missed that it has been fixed meanwhile. Great. It was always available but it maxed out my M1 Max CPUs for quite some time. …Great that it works again.
Thanks for the hint.

I no longer use MIDI Insert arps as you can’t flick through presets/patterns via cursors or preset next/prev, instead you have to manually open the preset list and browse to each one which is a creativity killer.

I love the concept of chord pads but they don’t work correctly when recording ideas into the timeline with pattern mode enabled, notes get missed at the start and times it just spews nonsense into the timeline, so I avoid that too.

I don’t use articulations/key switch system anymore as it’s so cumbersome to setup, and you can’t select them on the fly via the inspector, or convert what’s already there. it’s just easier to run a separate MIDI track and control them that way.

The new vocalchain plugin adds such ridiculous amounts of latency to a project, even if you only have EQ enabled. So I avoid that.

The external instrument plugin doesn’t work well with the vast majority of multi-timbral hardware (Such as Yamaha Motif), this is due to it requiring an audio channel per instance of which most hardware doesn’t have. Again, something I avoid and instead manage manually via MIDI Tracks and separate Audio returns.

These are all features that I wish I could make more use of.

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I think my interpretation of “working well” is different than yours - to me, a feature isn’t “working well” not just if it doesn’t perform according to spec, but also if that spec is missing the mark (use case) in the first place. Let me give you an example:

These days, it’s not uncommon to have sample libraries with thousands of drum sounds, along with many plug-in instruments that make drum sounds. In my project template, for example, I have several pre-configured VST tracks just for kick drums - made from existing Groove Agent kits (as well as GA kits made from scratch from my sample library), along with several tracks of non-GA VSTs that also make kick sounds. Same story for snares, etc.

I don’t know of a way to efficiently manage this menagerie of sound sources within the Drum Editor, so I just use the Key Editor on each of those tracks to edit the MIDI notes, and it works well enough.

I could certainly imagine a modern version of Drum Editor that would help me navigate my sample library and other sources of drum sounds - something like an AI-based system that analyzes drum sounds, groups them into two-dimensional similarity clouds, and allows me to thus visually browse them via selectable sonic characteristics on both axes. The Cosmos Sample Finder by Waves is not a bad example of such a concept - but it’s too generic, and I’d love to have something that’s specifically designed for the use case of picking drum sounds, and that can not only manage samples, but also has intelligent integration into VSTs that make drum sounds:

FWIW, this isn’t about not being bothered to use Drum Editor - I used to use the it routinely in the old days of simple hardware drum machines hooked up to Cubase via MIDI (like, say the Alesis HR16). There weren’t a lot of sounds, and you could make a drum map for it and be good for a while until you bought a different hardware device. Those days are long gone, and we live in different times, as my use case illustrates.

I think it’s worth noting and keeping in mind when discussing features that seem out of date or haven’t been updated in a long time, that any product that has been around for a long time, such as Cubase, will have these sort of things. There are features and functions that are really more legacy than a feature sometimes. I haven’t really been a Cubase/Nuendo user long enough to know what all these are. But I know in Sound Forge, last I looked they still had tools to send samples to a sampler via MIDI. (yes sending audio data to a sampler over MIDI was a thing).
So there may be only a handful of folks using older legacy features but if they went away there might be a bunch of angry users who still use those features.
There is probably quite a few Cubase users out there that don’t know what CC121 is or what the CMC units are, but if that functionality went away I would be ticked off.

For what it’s worth, the VCAs work just fine to me, but then I work in Nuendo now. So does importing tracks from projects.

You may wish to try Sononym instead of Cosmos. It’s not just for drum sounds, but all samples. XLN Audio XO is geared more toward just drum sounds, but for myself I prefer the environment of Sononym as I can find and group sounds faster and definitely don’t need another drum sample player which is part of XO. There is a reason ADSR and Waves Cosmos are free. And there is a reason others charge. Sononym on sale is iirc, $50.

I’m a pretty heavy user of Toontrack EZD and SD3. I too keep drum kits and certain pieces on tracks in disabled state.

But even with all their libraries I often reach beyond. For example, Sonic Academys Kick 2 for me continually delivers just kicks over the years. IMO, it’s quite under rated considering the library and its flexibility. Initially I will chase after a kit in Toontrack. But if the acoustic kick isn’t cutting in the mix I might substituent a Sonic Academy Kick 2. Generated clicks, sub, compression, limiting…something will always work while remaining relatively true to the Toontrack acoustic kick sound sometimes blended, and no one, other than myself, will hear a difference.

If the drum or percussive sound is more specific, I use NI Battery 3. I could just as easily use Groove Agent, but I started with Battery 3 20 years ago building up specific percussion hits and have developed a good Battery library of specific sounds.

For example, I have a Battery library of 54 cells of slightly different timbale hits. Then create a Battery track and experiment to see what sounds best in your mix. 1 Battery map is all you need. I used the example of timbales, but it could be anything that is not used every day. In this scenario, the Cubase drum editor offers no advantage.

Sononym is very useful to find similar sounds, then create and categorize small libraries of sounds, then drag/drop to Battery or (I’ll assume) Groove Agent and save for future reference building up a personal library.

I think a lot of users use the Key Editor for drum sounds, but I am guessing the reason is ease of use or habit. By manage, I guess you mean mapping? If you use Toontrack, you can often download those maps. Creating your own map, if not available, to me is an investment. Considering the recent features of the Drum Editor over the past 5 years I would never use the Key Editor.

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I admit it is a strange topic and it feels confusing how to address it. I realize that I bring it up because when compared to other productivity/creative software I use, Cubase/Nuendo is so far the only modern software I’ve used where I’ve come across a lot of ambiguous features that look abandoned, don’t seem to work as intended, which often leads me to ask, is this being deprecated?

I’ve never dealt with that before or not to that extent.

Coming from Ableton Live, which is a much younger piece of software, everything works mostly as intended but they have an easier scenario because they also have many fewer features. When I attempted to use Steinberg’s device panel feature out of curiosity I tried to research the documentation. It’s very limited and doesn’t really educate on how to create your own. This led me to scratch my head and consider, “Maybe this feature is no longer supported? Perhaps I should not attempt to use it.”

So that’s part of the purpose of the topic.

What documentation exactly did you research? The link you provide is not that.

In my experience, the Cubase documentation isn’t very useful for “how to do it” needs. But, even in the case of a very old feature, I suspect you’ll find videos and such out there that could be very helpful. For example, if I do a quick Google search on the device panels topic (how to create cubase device panels - Google Search), the first page of search results come up with a number of video tutorials. They’ll be from older versions of Cubase (the top two are from 2017 and 2012), but, if the feature hasn’t been enhanced in newer versions, they’ll likely still be very applicable.

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I love Drum Maps. One of my favorite ones encompasses 8 different VST instruments and all of the 128 keys. No way I would be able to remember where that particular snare is if I were to use the Key Editor. They take a little bit of setup time, but well worth it imho.

PS. I prefer to use my Drum Editor with the “Show Note Length” option turned on.

This is becoming a bit more baffling. I was under the impression that Steinberg.help was their documentation on their software.

If I should not assume that’s the case I have to ask a few more questions:

  • What is Steinberg.help?
  • Should no one consider it as documentation?

I also looked through Youtube and found one video from many years ago.

I had come across the video from 2012 but not 2017. The one from 2017 seems to be better.

Second.

Visibility configurations?
I use them quite a bit, but I agree, there could be better ways of handling newly added tracks to existing. My “workaround” is to have all Group, FX channels and I/O channels already added to my templates and added tracks get put in Folder Tracks that I can show/hide via the PLE.

Second. I don’t use it at all. It’s simply too unreliable.

I love this feature and my experience is that it is a lot faster to use than to open the project the traditional way.

Rack Instruments
Rack Instruments, as far as I understand, has been left in the program mostly because of backwards compatibility after Steinberg introduced the Instrument Track. In my mind, it still makes more sense to me to have instruments with multiple outputs enabled as Rack Instruments. Often times such Instruments are fed by multiple MIDI Tracks and having the separation between MIDI and audio return tracks (or Automation Tracks) makes more sense to me in this case. The fact that the first stereo output channel of an Instrument Track is bound to the track name is an annoyance that also favors Rack Instruments.
But, since there are no options for exporting and importing Rack Instruments, I stopped using them almost entirely.

It is, and the page you linked to tells you what document to read. Why you don’t read it is another question.

image

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Range tool,
ARA,
VCA faders,
Definitions (in Sample Editor),
Play Tool in Sample Editor (because I use CR),
Headphone section in CR (because of pre-listen bus).

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I had originally arrived at a sub section within that non-documentation through a search. What you’re pointing out is a link available at the end of a paragraph on a specific page separate from other pages on the topic. It’s not particularly evident. Seems like Steinberg should work with a UX person to improve their non-documentation (clear links, bold text, etc).