What is so difficult about cubase?

1st of all - This is not a rant, but a legitimate question, and one I’ve been pondering for a long time:
What is so difficult about programming cubase updates/patches compared to other DAW’s on the market? How come many DAW’s developers make huge updates to their software in a very short amount of time, manage to beta test them, and release them virtually bug free, while at the same time being a much smaller company?
What is it that makes cubase such a “nightmare” to develop? Or is it something else I’m missing?
Perhaps there is a programmer here that can shed some light on this…

P.S. Don’t get me wrong, I love cubase, but I’m also very familiar with most other DAW’s on the market, and follow their development closely. Hence why I’ve always wondered where this discrepancy comes from. It almost appears as if the bigger the company, the slower the development times, which makes no sense whatsoever.

Hi,

Is there a particular “much smaller company” you are referring to?

One thing that while you were pondering you must have realized, is that being the inventor of many technologies used by other companies, Steinberg is certainly unique in many ways.

They introduced VST3 for example, but that does not mean they can simply discard earlier version support, but has to maintain two sets of plugin formats or have a plugin wrapper, etc. whatever their choice of venue is/was. Other companies simply elect not to support some of those technologies, and can cut down time that way.

All hosts out there do not have all the technologies that Steinberg has incorporated into Cubase. Some don’t have scoring, for example. Scoring is a pretty heavy weight, that some companies elect to keep off their shoulders.

As far as nightmare, as you so eloquently put it, or whether you are missing something, one can look at it this way. If you are not a user of these other software’s, you do not experience the bugs that exists in any software. The Steinberg community happens to be a fairly vocal and probably larger than other host makers, which is probably why these things are more visible.

The same scenario exists for Microsoft v.s. Apple. While Apple was a puny company, you didn’t see many viruses, or for that matter too many malicious ones, whereas Windows had their fair share. Now that Apple has risen in size, one can easily see the trend changing, simply due to its populous screaming about it, because there are just more users experiencing it, and it’s more fun for developers creating them. However, in all this time Microsoft has experience in dealing with these things on a scale that few have, so one would hope that this knowledge is and has been beneficial for all (including Apple), since it has been documented and made available to anyone, over the years.

Lastly, I would be surprised if most Cubase customers use or even know about half of the features in Cubase, ever.

One would think that with you having these concerns, you would look around and try to find a software that fits your needs better than Cubase. It almost seems as if there is already one that tickles your interest, but I suppose that would be presumptuous of me to propose, just a hunch really. I meant no offense in saying that.

Anyways, just some observations of mine in this regard. :slight_smile:

I asked this very same question recently at another forum and got pretty good replies. You can check 'em out here:

http://www.soundsonline-forums.com/showthread.php?t=42734

It’s something I’ve been wondering about for a long time. Unfortunately, the reality is that bigger companies do have longer turn-around for updates and bug fixes than smaller ones. Doesn’t seem logical from a non-programmer’s point of view, I know. But there are reasons why, which you will read about in there. Anyway, I wasn’t able to participate much in the discussion (been busy all week), but hope you get something from it.

Take care!

This is what I was looking for. Although it makes me kind of sad to realize the incompetence of some companies, especially in respect to innovation. Are we really all to suffer because of bureaucracy? :unamused:

That’s the way the world works. Just now I read about a 15 year old who’s found a way to do online tests for cancer for GPs, takes a few minutes. We got a whole cancer charity industry going for decades that failed on that and he only got there through perseverance and luck as NO-ONE wanted to know. (BBC news website, probably others)
An analogy but that’s what you deal with with ANY large company.
It’s not incompetence. Have you ever tried to get a big band to all turn up the same day for rehearsals in any given fortnight? Anything over 6 piece will do.

Right, and since Cancer is a multi-billion dollar industry…

Well… actually that 15 year old cure story, as is so often the case, isn’t quite what it seems… the test had already been published in a paper by the University of Delaware in 2008 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21836232 and futher work done in South Korea in 2009 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19481922 . One might speculate about all sorts of things as a result of that, but back on topic…

You’re allowed to say “Reaper” here, you know! :slight_smile:

Yes, a completely different development strategy. Lots of good features, but not always bolted on in the most useful way. We should all at least have a basic knowledge of it. Download, and try!

Well… actually that 15 year old cure story, as is so often the case, isn’t quite what it seems… the test had already been published in a paper by the University of Delaware in 2008 - > http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21836232 > and futher work done in South Korea in 2009 > http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19481922 > . One might speculate about all sorts of things as a result of that, but back on topic…

Interesting. Thanks. I was trying to illustrate how big companies and organisations can get bogged down and inflexible due to size so I feel we didn’t go too far OT.
Like specialist doctors I expect that larger companies get specialists too so if you ask about the GUI to the guy who designs the VSTs he will send you down the corridor rather than take time explaining himself. So if you need something doing that involves the GUI and the VSTs you spend more time going between the two offices explaining to each what the other is up to and how he could help the process. Multiply that by a score or two and you get a company that just wants a stabilised general product where they don’t want so many changes that start making life too hard for their co-ordinators. They also keep a standard user base that, while progress is desirable, are alarmed if too many changes take place so certain developments will be kept back until the time is right.
There’s nothing really difficult about Cubase.
In fact my question should be “What’s so difficult about Cubase users?” :laughing: Why, considering (they say) they’re all professionals, they don’t understand the basic workings of a company.

Yes, I bet bureaucracy and marketing decisions are on the way of some useful improvements for us Cubase users.

DJ Eq, padshop, retrologue, Loopmash, beat designer, groove agent one, and so on, all of this is to compete with Logic, Ableton, FL Studio, Native Instruments…

I’m the average music producer and I already own products from NI, Spectrasonics, waves, PSP, Soundtoys, Rane, and so on, so i’ve been pretty disappointed with the new features Steinberg releases.

I don’t need another EQ or softsynth, and if I do, I can choose one from 30 manufacturers, but I need a decent mixer in Cubase, well thought and with nice features, so I can improve my workflow when I mix my songs, and only Steinberg can provide that to me, that’s what I expect from them, some workflow improvements within Cubase.

Well reaper does come to mind, yes. And although it’s nowhere near Cubase ATM, it’s development speed and the enthusiasm the developer(s) have that makes me look at Steinberg at times and think: What am I paying you for? :smiley:
So to speak…

This is what I’ve been saying forever; In today’s world filled with quality VST/VSTi, many of them even free, what would posses Steinberg to make yet another synth, instead of making core upgrades to their DAW?
Is it really as pathetic and superficial as copying the other guy? I can’t believe that the inventor of VST and one of the greatest visionaries of the digital music era would stoop so low… There must be another reason.

This is what I’ve been saying forever; In today’s world filled with quality VST/VSTi, many of them even free, what would posses Steinberg to make yet another synth, instead of making core upgrades to their DAW?
Is it really as pathetic and superficial as copying the other guy? I can’t believe that the inventor of VST and one of the greatest visionaries of the digital music era would stoop so low… There must be another reason.

Come on now, it really isn’t that bad. What core upgrades can they make? They and users seem quite happy with the present developments which are rock solid for most. And it’s only another synth.
Does the car crash itself or the driver crash it? Mostly the driver trying to overdrive the car and not the car being undriveable. :mrgreen:

Seriously? Have you even tried any other DAW’s? There are literally dozens of essential core functionality/workflow features Cubase users have been asking for what seems like an eternity, many of which were implemented in other DAW’s long ago (the one’s Steinberg allegedly likes to copy so much).


Does the car crash itself or the driver crash it? Mostly the driver trying to overdrive the car and not the car being undriveable. > :mrgreen:

Using passive-aggressive analogies does not get your point across any better. If you assume me being the driver in this scenario, then I would be a formula1 driver instead, and as such I know exactly what I want and need from my car to drive it the best I can. And many others here do as well. People here are not as ignorant as you make them out to be.

There’s an underlying change happening in the industry (at least for daws). Steinberg knows it, Avid knows it, Cakewalk knows it… they all will shift a little bit in response. Reaper wasn’t the first DAW that pointed to this transition, on the contrary, there are a lot of good, smaller, nimble daws. It was just maybe the first to do so well in the market from that position. It’s user base is growing exponentially.

You can see Avid talk directly about this shift in their last public report, how they have to follow this paradigm change and how the historical large overhead common in software companies like that is now becoming detrimental. It doesn’t neccessarily have to do with Reaper, the entire software industry is becoming less expensive and more powerful to consumers so the older business models might not continue to stand up so well.

If 3-4 guys can code a world class DAW, the company with 30 developers doing that will be at a minor disadvantage once the former catches up in the basic feature set, so these companies will have to be smaller and more nimble in the future… or spend lots of money on new tech so they can sustain an obvious gap.

Lots of “small company daws” are making good products but Reaper and Studio One are the only two primed to really compete at the higher levels. By the time they fully get there, the Steiny’s and Cakewalk’s of the world - should - have adjusted by then, trimmed their processes, re-written a good bit of their code, and become much more nimble in general.

Honestly, PreSonus actually beat Steinberg to the draw with implementing some features of VST3, and Steinberg created it… the automation thing that didn’t appear until Cubase 6. They can (and will imo) be more nimble in the future. If that means cutting down some internal beauracracy, so be it.

There’s room for improvement in the mixer area.

Yes, and let’s not forget Ableton Live, a lot of electronic producers use it now.

You’d need a team just to look through and log all the suggestions that this forum generates.

Anyway we know the mixer is getting a major upgrade and it’s been hinted that a fairly major rewrite is on the cards.
But you can bet it wont be during the C6 cycle.

Didn’t knew that…how do you guys know about the mixer upgrade? That’s good news.

The first positive outlook on this, and I thank you for it. Hopefully you are right, and we will see a more proactive Steinberg in the near future.

It was mentioned by one or more of the mods.

Yeah. Live is a more specialized product and in reality, that’s the difference between many smaller company daws and the two I mentioned earlier. Those two have every intent to be capable of being the center of a professional tracking and mixing room, not just personal production.

That’s why (imo) they’re kinda primed to compete with PT, Cubase, Logic, in that regard.

Cubase has a huge feature set to wave around so they have a good bit time to adjust.