Why I dont use Cubase stock plugins; a message to Steinberg

Cubase comes with some pretty neat plugins and I wholeheartedly congratulate Steiny on them…
I have been a Cubase user since v1.0 Atari; during that time there have been some absolute gems…one of the being the multiband compressor (old one) where you could draw the transfer curve…its was seriously one of the best ever…once you learnt it. eg you could do upward compression with a user curve, or upward compression at threshold and compression or even upward expansion…there was not limit and its immediate and fluid feedback beat Squasher hands down.
AND therein lays the problem…in a professional music environment…you dedicate time and knowledge to know your tools well. In fact it takes a LOT of time to really know it and not just be a tweaker.
This was the case…but then it was removed from the program; no recourse, I simply cannot use one of my favourite tools any longer!

This has burnt me…so even though they are some of the best tools…I will not risk that vulnerability again and so it goes with the rest of some of the great fx. Its far easier to invest in eg Unfiltered Audio Triad and learn that than risk the stock…which I also cant use in any other host and I use Live as the entry point often for my own compositions…this lack of portability is a real issue and doesnt coerce me to use it, it forces me not to use them.

Sidenote: Why cant the plugs just use the elicenser as in the other plugins? This would value add right? Same as the ur plugins eg Revx

An example is waves C1 which I first started using…wow early 2000s, I cant still easily go back to that very familiar interface and use it…not the Steinberg compressor. Why is that? Because you can do neat stuff like negative compression etc and I can still use it after 20 years. Just because its software doesnt meant that hardware rules shouldnt apply…we are still straining for the familiarity of an 1176, right?? Muscle memory is important as it lets you focus and that is an underlying psychology that is either ignored or misunderstood.



I’m am using Elements 11 but have never been wowed by the guitar amp sim or bass plug ins. I’m tending to use now my old Line 6 Gearbox plug-ins now for guitar and bass. Even the Halion Sonic plug-ins seem to lack a realistic sound.
On a brighter note I enjoy groove agent which has some realistic sounding drums.

Cheers…but its not really what Im talking about; there are 100s of amp sims etc and I would never use them in the DAW…Im old school…just record it as is…else you never finish anything because of the ridiculous amount of options; if the artists cant record the song from start to finish then its more collage. Its bread and butter stuff dynamics stuff that you use on most tracks. I record people playing real instruments etc and those dynamics tools are really ie the issue, drums, cellos, violins, piano, guitar amps etc…Cubase had some really good items for that type of thing.
I stopped using midi about 25 years ago for actual music…its a great control language for fx though.

These tools pay my wages…and taking them away after all that time…thats the issue

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I can understand you. I felt the same way with the Steinberg Mastering Edition. I bought it at that time for a lot of money (I think about 500 euros) and got used to it. After some time I had a set of plugins from it, which I used by default for mastering. I knew every plugin very well and knew how to use it so that a good master comes out in the end. Suddenly the support from Steinberg was stopped. Not only was my invested money gone, I also had to build a new master chain from new plugins. It annoyed me a lot at the time, because I thought this wouldn’t have happened with a hardware device. If it breaks, you fix it. If a software developer discontinues support, you’re out of luck and the money is gone, at least if the operating system no longer supports installation. The same thing happened to me with the WizzooVerb (not from Steinberg). Avid bought the developer and discontinued development. I loved this reverb and knew it inside and out. But that’s how it is.
In the meantime I only use plugins from providers that have been on the market for years … but you can’t be sure of that either :wink:


What was the old multiband compressor like then? I don’t know if I can remember what the old one looked like?

I guess it was 32 bit and no longer being maintained is why it fell by the wayside? That applied to many third party plugins so I don’t know if this is a Steinberg/Cubase ‘thing’ as such(?).

That said, I’ve got the Rev-x and guitar amp packs - but never use them as they just seem like something that will become obsolete overnight. I don’t know why, but they just give me that feeling of insecurity. I do like how they sound though.

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Hmm, feel your pain, but i guess sometimes things just have to move on and legacy code is hard sometimes to keep current. I have a couple of Accusonus plugs that are now becoming defunct. Not much you can do, but move on i guess. You’ll be ace-ing it on the latest greatest in no time i’m sure…

I honestly don’t think hardware analogies have been used accurately, when discussing software backwards compatibility.

If I’m buying a newer model of the same car, the accessories I had purchased for my older model may or may not work - including accessories that were included in the purchase of the prior model.

Or when I bought a newer integrated music playing system in 1980s North America, it didn’t come come with an 8-track tape deck anymore. In the 1990s the audio cassette player was removed, in the 2000s the CD was removed. And in the 2010s the headphone jack was removed in at least some devices.

Simply speaking, if the new model doesn’t feature something we absolutely want from the older model, we have to refrain from upgrading.

That holds for software, too.

p.s. We may think: But it’s possible to keep older stuff around in software. Yeah - and it would be possible in hardware, too. But a modern piece of hardware that kept all prior capabilities backwards compatible would be an unsightly monstrosity that would also have the tendency to break a lot more often.

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Thats funny…same thing for me…I was using it up until last week (with JBridge). Its still smashed Reverence with its CPU minimal impact, true stereo HDIR and sheer elegant and effective workflow and interface…so fast. I used it in a 3 buss soundstage after getting twigged to the idea by the w5. I actually knew one of the guys who worked at Wizoo in Germany…was the keyboardist in a big Australian band in the 80s…

So so true…

Thats what I was doing…I setup a DAW in 2011…I was still using everything in and way more productive for 9 years (except for a cubase upgrade to 6.5 but I could still use 32 and 64). Closed box…and treated it like hardware, old uad1, powercore etc…only just let go of all that.

More the point that the actual compressor was so unique AND powerful…I havent found even close
Find me anything even close to this;

Then only things I could have asked for was a detail page that flipped open for per band attack/release and LW crossovers that nulled

It didnt need any upgrades etc…was perfect as it was. Just a 64bit wrapper upgrade which is mostly a recompile.

I program for Archicad. They move all their legacy stuff into a ‘Goodies’ folder that is no longer supported/upgraded but they make them available as they truly understand these (needs of customers) things have been in the game since late 80s as well (they simply recompiled for change to 64bit). Those goodies are still highly used by many…its a great compromise and very smart on their behalf…still working well 20 years later


:man_shrugging: :cowboy_hat_face: :point_right: :point_left: :eyes: :duck: :potato:

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What a delightful thing to do!

Very occasionally Steinberg has done something similar: You can still run Neon, vb-1 and Karlette in Cubase 12 on Win10 – even connecting them to the new Focus Quick Controls.

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Your kidding right?
I dont meant to be rude but do you know what a transfer curve actually is?
You completely missed the actual feature that makes it incredible; or you have never used/spent time with it or you dont know what it is.

Not too mention its not fixed band…you can simply drag the band sliders to add/subtract at will blah blah so you can scale the detail you work at; the new MB is fixed and you cant even use it in tandem with Squasher to get the same features because you cant stage upward compression/expansion differently on each band and choose the order etc

The crossovers also dont null on the newer one…the dont seem to be LW or are you saying you tested the crossovers and got perfect null? Well they definitely didnt null last time I checked

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Yeah nice

Wonder why they couldnt do it with ifx

Well that old multiband compressor is a gem. Its probably easy to misunderstand and completely miss its incredibly powerful functions (re oqion) especially if you dont spend the time digging in. Graphically drawing the transfer curve…wow…solved so many issues for me.

Even if they simply added the ID (took out the nuendo id) so it could be 32bit bridged I would be happier

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I wouldn’t have put all those emojis in if I wasn’t being friendly.

I am NOT a professional mix engineer! Just the other day I got confused when someone was talking about phase, when the technical scientific term for what they were talking about was polarity.

I do tend to take things rather literally, and I certainly didn’t mean any offense.

I think we can both agree that your desire for per-band attack/release is an implemented feature.

To my more maths focus, understanding, and use of the term “Transfer curve”, it is the relationship between the input and output of the compressor. With this use of the term, one most certainly can graphically draw the transfer curve in the modern Multiband Compressor.

If what you desire is a the ability to draw in a softer “Knee”, then I did not take that into consideration. Otherwise, I have no idea what you mean. And admittedly I don’t know what the “LW” stands for. I dish out the acronyms, but I can’t take them. LOL

The multiband compressor does not have a knee control. Many modern digital multi-band compressors do not. The standard compressor in Cubase does have knee control. I seem to remember there being both technical and usability reasons for not including the feature, but I couldn’t tell you what it is with confidence.

As far as Null or “perfect null”, again, I am not sure what you are referring to other than a Ratio of 1, and I’m certain that not only would I not know the difference between what was and was not “perfect”, but if you could explain it, I doubt my ears could tell the difference. Maybe you can enlighten me, I really would like to understand.

Can you also explain how the plugins shown below do not, at least collectively, provide the features you desire?

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The Cowboy…i took that as being me…:-\

The curves in the current MBand all compression only (in your pic)…they have lost the ability to do upward compression completely…you cant mix anything like you could in the old unit…where you could have comp/exp and all of the differing type of treatment in a fluid single unit per band.
Its all fixed 4 bands in each unit…Expander is a separate unit.
Squasher is also fixed at 4

So its not the knee that is the issue either…

Here you ahave 3 bands all with different behaviour on each band
Eg Mixing string quartet on a single MS mic, youc do do this to bring the room up and leave all the peaks untouched


Each band uses a crossover, to have no artifacting/gain/phase issues, the crossovers must have no residue and this is done by measuring, using opposite phase noise where each band should not add/subtract anything…this is commonly done by Linkwitz Riley filters (LW)

IF you really want to learn about transfer curves, you cant do better than watch a tutorial on Photoshop curves and balancing pictures…graphics tell the story pretty easily…its all about fitting HDR (High Dynamic Range) into a lower dynamic range medium and curves are about compression…shadows and highlights

Shrug : Yes I’m making a cowboy statement : bashfully : even more bashfully : ducking : non-sequitur “whatever”

re LW: I normally see that acronym as LR (LR4). And that could be the reason the knee is missing as a control feature if I am not mistaken. Though, I have no idea how this is coded, you seem to have some clue.

I’m still not sure what you mean by “perfect null” .

Also, how was the old MultibandCompressor giving you anything different than what you can still do with the plugins provided, I mean, other than overlaying graphs.

Search Dan Worrall on YT…

Hmm most MBand dont mention what they are doing with crossovers…likely the pole number

Hehe…what takes a couple of mouse clicks on 1 plug turns into a very complex and uncreative outcome with multiple plugs and you still can get what you want plus all the interdependence, setting each plugins crossovers points…useless when spontaneity is key…I want to have fun and flow not an analytics lesson…its music after all and you have to cook quickly lest you loose perspective from endless loops.

Anyway…cant really explain it any more than that but once you have tasted the reality…there is no going back without complaining. I think if you got the old one and played with it a bit eg in SX, you would quickly be on board


I still have SX8 projects…

Lets be like Steve Allen
How about Gary Smith
Maybe even Ӄ၉ᶌỈห Shields

I don’t remember thinking about the compression in that way.

Well, to be fair, software obsolescence is not a thing unique to Steinberg. Happens everywhere else, too, lots of plugin lost in the sea of plugin format or bit width migration. There’s no guarantee it won’t happen with other companies, though there are of course some that have a rather good track record of keeping things alive and compatible, (Waves, Softtube, UAD…), and other’s that don’t (Native Instruments are particularly bad).
I agree though that integrated DAW plugins should be kept up to date, and it is not clear why SB actually does that for a lot of plugins from olden times, but not all.

Regarding software obsolescence, I very much support the idea that software that is abandoned should be made open source. Doesn’t of course guarantee anything, but at least there is a chance that someone takes interest in keeping it updated.

SX8? Only went to 3 I think…I still have Atari v1.0 files ie .arr and vst hehe…but midi is in the distance past now.

I have always thought about it that way…in term of level…and then the actual transient lock into the rules of landscape ie foreground/background that is, contrast and brightness