Why I love Studio One's workflow and UI decisions - what Steinberg could do better

I wanted to share some of the things I love about Studio One’s work-flow. It makes it so much faster to get stuff done. Hopefully thepictures bring this to life. UI decisions really matter and save time.OK here goes…

This one is simple -no weird floaty bar in windows. I mean why Steinberg, why??!!

In the lower zone you don’t have to mouse over to the left hand side of the lower zone to expose inserts or sends. Just hit the wee button and it expands for that track. Awesome!

When I select an arrange part, Studio One automatically places cycle markers in place. Thank you!! When you move the arranger part everything moves with it. No cutting required.

The buses have a different colour to make them stand out from other tracks. You don’t have to click on panels to access inserts or sends, you can see if anything is routed to the bus and damn - the fonts are consistent, nicely sized and pretty :stuck_out_tongue:

VSTs and VSTis are displayed in a single tabbed window. When I change track the instrument or fx changes too. You can change this if this isn’t to your liking. Less floaty windows and the UI responds intelligently. You can also add new instruments or fx in this window save you having to over to the inspector.

The lower zone is really clear with separators between tracks. You can reorder and colourise tracks too. Routing is exposed and not hidden under a tab, and you can see which VCA is controlling the track - by name! If you shift select tracks it automatically creates a quick group - you always have to enable this in Cubase for some bizarre reason. Oh - and the fonts are nice and track names centre justified!

You can expand inputs, outputs, instruments, groupings, channels and devices with one click in the lower zone. No faffing around with audio input dialogues or menus.

The volme control is exposed n the track header. If I want to change the volume on a track I don’t have to go over to the inspector or down to the lower panel. Ideally pan would be exposed too.

The inspector in Studio One exposes pretty much everything. So few mouse clicks required. Working in Cubase feels prehistoric n comparson!

The purpose of this thread is not to get people to move to Studio One. Cubase is amazing (I absolutely love it) but it really needs a UI overhaul - and not just for prettiness sake. Hopefully you can see what a time saver a good UI design makes when you’re trying to get work done. I think Presonus are nailing this so much better than Steinberg at the moment. I haven’t touched on smart tools etc


Well damn, I didn’t realize Studio One was that well-thought out in the UI department. I have used it at times but not super deeply. This is something Steinberg can definitely refer to, because Cubase requires many more clicks and mucking about to get many of these things done – it’s very old in that way. Speed is so important these days, more than ever. I too very much enjoy so much of Cubase, but it needs to catch up in the efficiency and workflow department. I very much hope it does soon in order to stay competitive.

All good points. The GUI and workflow in Studio One is indeed very good. Personally, I look at Cubase 10 and feel it took a lot of inspiration from Studio One in some key areas. And no shame in that. They all borrow ideas from each other.

Also not trying to get people to move over to Studio One. Many people are already multi-DAW users anyway. I really like Studio One, but also own Cubase and Nuendo (and Pro Tools and others). FYI the person who currently manages Studio One development used to work at Steinberg as a product manager. And I’m not talking about the original devs, which everyone already knows came from Steinberg. I mean the product manager too. So Studio One is benefiting from years and years of serious experience on all levels from Steinberg. And now it shows… since honestly – and no disrespect to Steinberg right now – Steinberg can learn a thing or two from their old veteran employees who are now working on Studio One!

And it’s also interesting that Steinberg and Presonus Studio One offices are not that far from each other in Hamburg. Many of them know each other!

I’ll add another: tabbed Browser. In Studio One, if I use the Browser to insert an Instrument then want to add an effect, I just need to click on the Effects tab to jump straight to effects. In Cubase’s new browser, you have to hit the back button, then the Effects button. One extra click and a drag of the mouse, sure. But an extra click and drag of the mouse, no less.

Little thing, but has a big difference in workflow and perception of the overall GUI.

The tabbed browser indeed!! I.forgot about that. Some of these things are so well implemented you forget they are there. :slight_smile:
Like when you click on a sample in the browser and it immediately plays whereas in Cubase you have to wait til the previous sample finishes.

Changing tempo is dead easy. In Studio One as any audio recorded automatically changes to match, whereas in Cubase you have to go into each sample and adjust it’s timestreth settings…click click click

i never used S1, but i saw videos releases and had discussions with friends in the industry,some of them used to use cubase too.some of them are using both and some don’t look back and use S1 exclusively.
i must to admit that S1 workflow and functionality looks amazing, with modern tools and vision from presonus side to make their software user friendly faster and less clicky’ if its GUI’ ,tools etc… and thinking from user side perspective on how to ease the job, and focus on creativity
many of my personal and others requests for cubase are in S1 for few years,wish steinberg puts cubase in the game with the modern DAWs with their new functionality but in steinberg’s way.

Studio One is great until you decide you want to use “external instruments” (like keyboard workstations, vintage synths, the new breed of modern small synths for example) at which point you discover the program has not created a mixer channel for what you just recorded. This necessitates all sorts of workarounds. Presonus’ unchanging position from Day One has been that workstations are dinosaurs, everyone is moving to small controller keyboards and VSTs, so why bother. I am sick of discussing this as well as hoping for change, which is why I find myself on this forum.

I don’t love the way either company deals with its customers. Presonus personnel used to be much more engaging when I bought S1 in 2013. Now they love to delete critical forum posts.

I’m a little concerned that avoiding my big gripe with Presonus is going to be replaced with gripes about a dozen things with Steinberg. But it’s an imperfect planet – unless I’m missing something!

The grass isn’t always greener. Studio One was my primary DAW for many years, and I switched to Cubase as my primary DAW last year.

As a Studio One user, I find it’s biggest weaknesses are features missing from Cubase. Particularly on the MIDI/Instrument side. Off the top of my head: no Logical Editor/Input Transformer, no Staff View, no MPE, can’t record more than one MIDI channel on the same track, no built-in tempo detection for MIDI (workarounds exist), no polyphonic aftertouch. They just got a drum editor, which still needs some work, they also added a pattern editor. But then there’s no Control Room type function.

When it comes to workflow, audio editing, ARA, remote controlling plugins (OMG, so much better) things like that: it’s great. My ideal DAW would be Cubase’s instrument feature-set with Studio One’s workflow, editing, and remote control.

This is what Steinberg can pay very strong attention to in order to get Cubase up to the flow and intuitiveness of more modern DAWs, which makes a very significant difference/improvement in our work . There is no lose for any user, and all win. Unfortunately I’m mostly back to C9.5 because of the new Export Window in C10 which costs me large amounts of time when I’m exporting cue after cue all day as I often do, and it’s a big step back in workability instead of forward like Variaudio 3 is. It’s really a drag because I like the new features in C10 aside from the ongoing workflow issues. :frowning:

S1? LOL.
This stupid 2 D Flat GUI is the worst and most confusing GUI of all daws on the market !! :imp:
if you work with very few tracks, its ok. But If you use more than 100 tracks (and work 24/7!) then you lose the overview very quickly!
And the bad washed-out presentation of the waveforms…makes me sick … sorry. :cry:
Abnd it´s onboard effect-plugins are boring and bad.
The sample content in S1? ridiculous, tired and iuninspirierend! this content sounds like ancient samples from the 90s, which they have integrated.

There are so maaaany things I miss in S1. S1 feels like a - yes - toy.

now we have so many things in cubase that were previously in s1 and most-wanted in Cubase:
Event effects! ARA! (coming Q1) , more Inserts! new browser! better automation! more drag/drop stuff!
These are the most-wanted features! Now we have this in Cubase… :sunglasses:

We should thank the s1 developers for doing the preliminary work!
Without this cubase would never be as good as it is today. :slight_smile:

I know people who have switched back to cubase (!) after their dissatisfied S1 odyssey.


The last S1 V4 release was weak as hell. Now with C10 I trust Steinberg more than Presonus. Steinberg listens to their users.

fact, in the last versions you can already see this - these are features that the most useres have wished in this forum. (!)
Thank you Steinberg!


THIS! Absolutely 100% agree.

my neighbors don’t have/use grass, so mine is greener anyway :mrgreen:

yeah sure cubase is great no doubt,and i dont talking about S1 looks or its waveforms look,strictly workflow for less clicks, better new /improved tools and implementations for editing and in many other areas.(smart tool.multi channel warp tool in project,floating tabbed insert window,sketch pad and many more)
yes cubase 10 as many other features S1 does not have,but the things S1 has and cubase not,are very beneficial in overall day to day workflow.
i’m still with cubase for many reasons,but it needs to be improved in lots of workflow editing tools in mind to be efficient as other newer Daws.

and yes i see also improvements toward workflow in cubase updates and user requested features,which is welcome and i’m thankful

When it comes to workflow, audio editing, ARA, remote controlling plugins (OMG, so much better) things like that: it’s great. My ideal DAW would be Cubase’s instrument feature-set with Studio One’s workflow, editing, and remote control.


Presonus is dead serious about workflow. Yes they add nice stuff to the program but the easy workflow is the main reason I prefer.
Drag an insert from the inspector of a track and just drop it to another track on the arrange page to copy it or from the mixer channel to an arrange track. Swipe solo/mute tracks on arrange page or select five tracks and insert a compressor on one of them so it gets inserted on all of them etc. Recent plugins or actions on top of menus…Simple but very useful stuff. It is just fast at everything. I really loved Cubase 10 but Steinberg needs to simplfy the look and workflow. I very much prefer it to 20gb of content.

This isn’t about how S1 or Cubase look as much as how much more efficient S1 is in everyday work with many things as far as its actual functionality – there’s no arguing this, it’s just faster with the things described here. We’re not talking about anything else aside from that – we’re on Cubase for a reason. :wink: Whenever I do use S1 (it’s not nearly advanced enough to use for the kind of scoring work I do as far as actual features) the speed of how the UI works is like a breath of fresh air. That’s the only thing we’re discussing on this particular thread, not how it actually looks (looks are totally personal, not everyone will ever agree on what is best). the samples, onboard effects, etc.

Steinberg has included some requests which is awesome to see, and there is still room to improve significantly in the workflow department.

Also things like the single window for all VST’s doesn’t work when using a large template of hundreds or 1000’s of tracks. Studio One falls apart functionally when you get near 100 tracks, something Cubase handles with ease. It’s design is well thought out for people swinging big rigs and big templates…