Why is Cubase so hard to use

Why is Cubase so hard to use ,I bought Cubase software to be amused and to create , but what I got is one big frustration ,nothing works the way I would expect ,constant VST connection issues also integration with MOXF is a very questionable and non-existing , so far I can’t record anything without spending tons of time on creating new buses ,checking and chasing lost VST connections , looking on the web for solutions - where is a joy ?
Do I have to know how interior combustion engine work in order to use my car – NO , I push the button and I go , in the case of Cubase software one has to have great knowledge about how the software works - every time I start new project I face never ending battle to get all connections and set up right – there is nothing intuitive how Cubase interface with the end user , nothing automated in the regards to set up parameters and connections including connection to Yamaha MOXF or UR22
I’m disappointed and frustrated, in my opinion the learning curve is unquestionably too steep for weekend musician , at this point I’m not sure if I should continue with Cubase or spend money on different recording software , please advise .

Cubase works as it is designed to work, not as you expect it to work (as probably almost any other program). So if you’re not willing to learn Cubase - spend your money on something else, If you find something more intuitive. Maybe use the trials first…

Using Cubase with the MOXF and UR22 is supposed to be plug and play basically, so it sounds like there’s something wrong going on. Make sure that you have the latest drivers installed, and check if there’s any updates for your version of Cubase.

Cubase is very powerful. It’s not super intuitive at first, but once you get past that initial barrier it’s not too hard to figure out, even if you’re not using it professionally. The Steinberg Hub (the thing that shows up when you run Cubase or try to create a new project) links to some short tutorial videos that may be useful.

You don’t have to know how the internal combustion engine works, but you did have to pass a driving test and a theory test and work out where all the controls are and set the seat and the steering wheel where you require. That is the analogy.

I’m disappointed and frustrated, in my opinion the learning curve is unquestionably too steep for weekend musician , at this point I’m not sure if I should continue with Cubase or spend money on different recording software , please advise .

They are all the same, pro tools, Reaper etc.
There is a bit of work involed in the initial set up - save that, then you can use it again.

Reading between the lines of the OP I suspect you should learn how to make a customized template. You say you need to keep setting things up over & over. Templates let you do it once & reuse that setup.

And yes Cubase and all the other top DAWs are complex (because it can do a ton of amazing stuff) and the initial learning curve can get frustrating. Then again the initial learning curve for a musical instrument is often frustrating too.

I can REALLY understand your viewpoint as a weekend musician but I have to advise that a little time invested climbing over the tough spots will prove valuable to you. It is Only now that I am able to spend an hour or so a day retracing my steps and rebuilding my own knowledge base, I have actually successfully recorded several tracks of my own guitar playing that have received many great compliments from other players and friends.

As for the versatility, I have developed an amazing respect for good talent. Cubase can change more mistakes and goof-ups to camouflage them into a fantastic mix. Small steps that you repeat over and over again will help you retain those movements so you can develop further and start to create as Raino has mentioned.

I have saved many tracks of poorly recorded, poorly played and horribly setup material…over 10 years worth. I like you car driving analogy but like so many things there are the basics and the detailed elements. If you can put 2-3 tracks in a folder and keep them for experimentation, you may just find that lightbulb moment. I’ll bet I have 50 different compilations saved a ver 1, ver 2, only to isolate them for my “progress bar”.

I’d say don’t give up.

Thank you guys for words of encouragement, I’m hoping that with the Steinberg .Net community help
I will get over the initial hump and in few months I will be sailing …
Thanks again –Misiek

Complex things can’t be simple. Cubase is very serious, so it’s difficult. But when you will learn it, you will love it.


Welcome to Camp Frustration! :slight_smile:

We’ve all spent some time there, but, when you look back on those days, you’ll remember that even while it had difficult moments, all in all, it was actually a good time.

Cubase does ask a lot of a new user, but, it is a real DAW, even the intro versions of it are very powerful.

Learn to do one thing at a time and don’t try to take in the entire circus at once. Put up a good drum loop and jam with it, record your first take. Add a vocal track, use a Track Preset for that. It’s going to take you weeks to months to start to feel comfortable with Cubase, so, settle in for the adventure. Youtube is actually good for videos at all levels. For the very basics of operating Cubase, check out Mike Smith at ADSR Pro and Greg Ondo’s videos on the Cubase channel might also help. Greg’s a good demonstrator and explainer. Good luck and have fun with it.

I am glad to see the the vast majority of the responses were supportive. I have to say I am in a very similar boat as stephen 57. I expected there would be a learning curve to learning about how to use compressors, EQ, and other aspects of recording and mixing. What I did not expect was all the confusion about VST connections, buses, Input and routing. However I understand this is part of it. I have to say I am having similar frustrations. Is there any good references out there that explain this aspect of Cubase. Whatever the reference is it needs to be complete and explain things educationally. I read the PDF operating manual for this section and it is written in a way that assumes the reader has a very good understanding of this terminology. My guess is if you understand all this lingo then you don’t need the PDF manual. I need to get this behind me so I can begin to learn the aspects of recording. Thank you.

Well the videos mentioned above are a good start. I’m also a big fan of the courses at Groove3. FYI remember that the I/O stuff is generally the same in the more recent versions of Cubase. So just because a video uses Cubase 7 doesn’t mean it’s obsolete.

Coursera offers a course on music technology you can audit for free that might be useful - see week 2 for the current topic. Can’t vouch for the quality, but most stuff I’ve taken at Coursera has been decent.

Also dealing with I/O in Cubase can be a bit tricky since part of it is controlled by Cubase and part by the manufacturer of your audio interface. So the description in the manual is by necessity generic and can’t address the specifics of your audio interface. Plus the 2 different parties might not use exactly the same jargon. The bad news is that this is one of the harder bits to understand & you have to deal with it at the very start. But the good news is once you get it setup you can save the configuration - so you only have to deal with it once.

On the bright side most of this is much easier now than in the old days (there’s a reason it’s called audio engineering) when you had to do fun stuff like calibrating recorders and splicing audio tape with a razor blade.

thanks for the tip Raino. I will try it out.

How about forgetting to punch out on the fly and erasing the beginning of the next measure. :unamused: :blush: :laughing:

How did we even exist without ctrl+Z?

As has been mentioned the key is templates, set an empty project up how you like it and save it as a template. Job done - no more setting up every project.

My template has a glue reverb group, a delay group. Group buses for drums, bass, guitar, other, vocals and backing vocals. I also have templates for particular artists with things such as the reverbs that suits them most loaded.

One tip on maintaining Template(s) is to save it as a regular Cubase Project cpr file in addition to a Template within Cubase. Then if any thing happens you will have the Project file as a backup. I find that even after I’ve created a well thought through Template I keep finding small changes & additions I want to make. I keep a running list of these modifications and when I get a page or two go in and revise the Template. I always make the changes to the Template’s Project file & then save that as a Template.

Ah ok, in your opinion it’s the designer who’s in charge, not the user? In my humble opinion, a product is made for the customer.

I don´t know if I understand correctly, but in my humble opinion there is not “the customer”. There are different customers and there are different products. And unless you can custom built your own product, or pay someone to do that for you, you have to make compromises and check for what works best for you.

I agree, cubase and its manual are so hard to understand. I feel i need another manual explaining what the first manual means… ive had it 8 months now and have spent most of my time simply going through all the many sounds. I have a note book and pen and list things i like. Ive put a few weird tracks down that dont last much more than a minute and seem to have 500 copies of everything. I will not give up but i think i will go to my grave before i manage to complete anything like i used to on my Yamaha SY99… I guess you either give up or just battle on. It could be worse, i am a tech dinosaur, my phone is 14yr old flip top with no internet. I learnt how to use a computer 2 yrs ago, and only 3 months ago learnt how to copy and paste… You think cubase is hard… Imagine how i feel. I do however just love sitting and discovering little bits at a time. Until it goes wrong. The term user friendly should come with a hammer. I will not give in and cubase is clearly very powerful and designed for people in the know.

I used Cubase on the Atari and then SX - Loved it but got busy with life and just now taking time to get back into my music. Version 10 is nothing like the easy to learn early versions … Granted 10 is far more powerful than those earlier versions, but it is all ass backwards for me, it’s like wading through quick sand -sucked the joy out of making music completely. Coming from an analog background the Cubase Mixer makes zero sense, it could be so much simpler. Very frustrating!

While this will likely not be well received, I recently bought S***** O** and am no longer pulling my hair out. Sorry Cubase, I tried to love you again but I’m moving on.