Steinberg Cubase 5 Review


One of many oldest sequencers, along together with Common sense (old-timers may remember typically the gold era associated with Pro twenty four and Notator), Cubase has over the particular years, imposed numerous ergonomically designed, technological, and conceptual expectations on the competition. Launching the latest version of Steinberg's range topping software is still a event in by itself, although it must become confessed that today, often the pretenders to the throne of the full regarding sequencers are quite a lot of. As a result, innovation and superiority are simply no longer unique to Cubase and, without even bringing up additional sequencer heavy-weights (Logic, Desear, Pro Tools, Samplitude, Digital Performer and Ableton Live), the last several years has seen many fresh competitors, with running value tags and popularity, nonetheless packed with great features: Fruity Loops, Melodyne, Tracktion, Power XT, Reaper...

In some sort of market simply because competitive because this, it's definitely progressively difficult to stand out there. Cubase 4 had it is authorities even though that launched typically the VST3 ordinary, brought it has the effects together with virtual tools up to date, inaugurated a innovative multimedia management system plus you could last but not least move effects from one trail to another by pull plus drop. But that seemed more like they will were trying to be updated to the rivals alternatively than actually improvising... Actually the more initial inventions, like management involving additional hardware (particularly Yamaha's, due to the fact the Japanese manufacturer had recently bought Steinberg) along with the emergence of control area targeted features were useful, but performed not result all consumers and thus don't actually justify the greater computer software price: all around $879! Fortunately, when the particular impressive Common sense 8 arrived out for around two hundred and fifty dollars it forced Steinberg for you to rethink their rates and marketing technique: you can now come across Cubase 5 various for around $500! Together with relatively exciting updates: some. 1 together with 4. 5 various (side chain management to get their effects, greater running management, extra audio banking institutions for HALionOne, etc .. ), and this 5th variant, Steinberg is doing it is best to seduce us. Why don't go into details...

When I am sixty four

The box will be heavy that is certainly a good excellent sign. Around inclusion to help the USB dongle and serial number that permit you register, this basically contains 2 manuals: a quick start guide, and a new quite large comprehensive guide book that will not, however, cover the particular effects or virtual musical instruments included with the program, but which are included in PDF files. You will find 4 DVDs: the DVD MOVIE to install the plan, a MOVIE with seems and trials, and a couple of DVDs using a good 90-day demo version associated with HALion Symphonic Orchestra. Remember that around addition to the manuals, the setup DVD contains a large number connected with short training videos that are usually very well accomplished and even address all the essential aspects of the sequencer. When you consider that there was a time that will Steinberg was putting out instructions only in PDF formatting, we can only thank typically the German company regarding having altered its methods.

The set up went easily, and after dual pressing on the red star, I was in familiar location: the project windowpane. The very first novelty of this specific version won't jump outside at you, due to the fact it's invisible: Cubase nowadays fully supports 64 touch engineering. Wasn't this by now typically the case? Yes and certainly no, because also even though Cubase 4 was appropriate with 64-bit managing methods, typically the code had not definitely also been rewritten in this. It for that reason remained effectively the 32-bit application, nonetheless effective at functioning on a 64-bit process, whereas Cubase 5 is actually available in full sixty four pieces.

What's the large deal with regards to 64 parts? It's simple and easy: it raises the addressable storage. 32-bit operating systems handle best case scenario 3. 2 GB associated with memory, whilst a 64-bit OS can theoretically get higher to 128 GB (I say theoretically, because right now there presently exists no equipment, accessible to the basic public, that has very much RAM). A very significant depth at a time when virtual ROMplers are available with banks of tens of Gigas for rendering only one instrument (BFD, superiorDRUMMER 3, Vienna, EastWest Symphonic Band, Ivory Piano, etc. ) and simplifying the lives of those who can audio/video and need for you to manage enormous videos within their sequencer.

Poor Technology Propellerhead!

Nevertheless not everything is positive in the property of 64 bits. Possibly even though Steinberg is invested in supporting Mac OS X, Vista 64, and the approaching Windows 7, little assistance for Windows XP OR 7 64 will be officially estimated (it doesn't necessarily mean that will it won't work). Don't forget to check your plug-ins: a few builders already feature 64-bit suitability and Steinberg but, by means of VST Bridge technology, a way to make use of 32 bit plugins found in the 64-bit type of the sequencer, but really still highly likely that you or two of the old effects that you might have had for ages in your VSTplugins directory will wreck or refuse to begin. Using the VST Bridge furthermore eats assets in percentage to the use of a new true 64-bit plug-in... In supplement to these small inconveniences, the major negative aspect of 64-bit may be the incompatibility with Propellerheads systems: in case you use Cubase 5 various 64-bit in a 64-bit OS, you will not be in a position to use REX report formats, nor the ReWire platform: so farewell working with Cubase with Reason, Ableton Live and Melodyne, and others... Of course, the Swedish designer will probably not necessarily leave your situation as the idea stands, but at the moment, simply no statement has been built on this issue... What accomplish we fag that case? Install often the 32-bit version of Cubase 5, which in turn runs smoothly on some sort of 64-bit OS, till Propellerhead makes a move. This is certainly annoying of course, nevertheless it can not be blamed on Steinberg. Why don't take a new look now at attributes that will change typically the way you employ Cubase.

Cognito, Ergonomic Total

There's zero revolution in terms regarding user interface, the German creator seems to have chosen for, with this let go, making often the interface simpler plus growing work flow. Take for example this new Automation panel that will brings together in a new one window the main automation orders. One press now suffices to left arm all the trails around Read or Write modes, while you can choose to display or disguise robotisation data, and engage/disengage play-back or recording functions by way of Type: Volume, Baking pan, FREQUENCY, Sends, Inserts. The particular time saved is extensive!

As for handles, a new host of little improvements have been made, such as the presence of a virtual key pad that allows you to play music via a QWERTY keyboard (useful when you're on a laptop computer on the road, and you don't a keyboard), or a no cost application for iPod/iPhone that may permit your remotely control the transport bar via Wi-fi compatability... nice, you may possibly point out, but not enough to be able to rationalise an upgrade. Apart from that Steinberg has in addition taken this situation for you to fulfill the wishes depicted by many end users, by way of developing, firstly, a foreign trade involving multiple audio data files.

Entire Export, Hallelujah!

Expected age ranges ago, the Complete Export feature now tends to make it possible to export many tracks in 1 shot. Until now in Cubase, when you desired, with regard to example, to make a CD involving 16 audio tracks tracks to give to the pal or a facilities doing work under another sequencer with no OMF format, anyone had to do monitor by track, using the Alone and Mute links: the waste of time! Now, inside the Mixdown window, just simply look into the little boxes with regard to your outputs, audio tracks or even instruments together with results tracks. The only point absent in this window is the capability to enable/disable the effects inserted in tracks, so you may easily produce a dry trail, although it can certainly still become done in the mixing machine or perhaps project view. That would are already nice if Cubase been able lossless audio formats (Monkey Audio amongst others). Anyway, even in the event that Steinberg is finding and catching up with the competition more than finding on that point, this very simple attribute alone is worth often the upgrade from any type of Cubase to that fresh version...

Up to help Tempo

Not so important for a few, but essential for some others, it must be mentioned that there are a couple new types of trails: Speed track and Personal observe which let a person program within tempo plus time signature bank in your current projects. Unquestionably, Cubase by now had a new Beat editor in the past, yet it was just a editor, which was not too ergonomic office. Now, without perhaps making the project windows, you could vary time validations in addition to tempo with a new mouse click. Unfortunately, however, a person can only have a one tempo and signature monitor per project: you may not get hold of a 3/4 track plus a 4/4 track playing all together, or a track in whose tempo would increase while the other individuals remained at a predetermined tempo, even in case such illustrations are quite uncommon... The addition of these a couple of tracks should, in any event, tremendously make ease of work for composers, that will also always be delighted to obtain the new array of MIDI software program.

MIDI Plug-Ins

Let's get started with MIDI plug-ins: they've been completely overhauled, and two new ones have been included: MI-JOURN√ČE Monitor, and Overcome Custom made (which will turn out to be talked about later)

Often the MIDI Monitor plug permits you, as its label indicates, keep an eyes on all messages entering the MIDI sequencer, doing this an extremely important tool when it will come to diagnosing a disappointment as well as connection problem, given that the idea allows you to be able to export the records into some sort of TXT report. Extremely helpful for automating complicated programming.

Less clever nonetheless just as powerful, one other MIDDLE SIZED plugins have had considerable improvements made to all of them, either on the graphical or functional level: much like Chorder, which in turn now has a MIDI Understand mode. Only regret: not having tools designed to simplify the MIDI programming regarding acoustic instruments to generate realistic strumming or other techniques. Nevertheless, in this field of sensible MIDI programming, Steinberg possesses definitely not been idle, as displayed by VST Phrase, one more major innovation connected with edition 5...

VST Reflection: Convey Yourself!

So what will be it? It's an software that lets you without effort manage and control (from the Piano Roll, this Drum Edit or report edit) the many jointures that are found in large symphonic sound banks (Vienna, Garritan, East West Symphonic Orchestra, etc . ).. Comparable to the way a Drum Map streamlines editing batterie, you can now create Expression Routes that will manage continual remotes (especially key switches) dedicated to a good particular playing technique (staccato, glissando, tremolo, etc. ).. When an Expression Map is made, all you want to do is program in the changes within articulation at the bottom of the Cello Roll (in the same room used for continuous controllers), as well as use the suitable symbols inside the score publisher.

That's just about all that can be, but it really simplifies things, as you will still shortly realize with the HALion Symphonic Orchestra demo type (limited to 90 days), or perhaps with the metal, guitars, and bass examples of HALion ONE Appearance Set 01. Such as just about all good ideas, you question why nobody thought regarding that before. In addition to simplifying developing, VST Expression also helps you shift your sequences from a single traditional bank to another, as lengthy as you possess the equivalent expression maps. They have upon this very issue the particular one might have cause in order to object, because even though Cubase delivers Appearance Routes for HALion One and HALion Symphonic Orchestra, the idea offers none to the weighty hitters of Orchestral samples. So you'll have for you to to roll up the sleeves and do it yourself, through a simple editor tool, or even wait until typically the brands themselves or lovers do the job for you, which will possibly take place sooner or in the future. Nonetheless regardless of whether VST Reflection turns into a typical adopted by way of other sequencers is nevertheless to be seen...

Vari Nice!

The Total Move and even VST Expression capabilities could possibly be important add ons in order to Cubase, but the offer that has attained often the most attention in Cubase 5 is undoubtedly VariAudio, which is essentially a good Melodyne-like application integrated right into Cubase. In often the audio editor (accessible by means of double-clicking any data file or maybe audio segment) in which new tab known as VariAudio. When you initialize it, the technology starts a process of recognition for all often the notes in the audio clip that you can certainly then alter like a good simple MIDI series. A person can change the frequency in addition to the placement and length of time of sectors, while a curve shows formants. Comfort and ease speaking, the mixing is perfect: rolling the mouse button over the note signifies its pitch and the change in pitch compared to the nearest half-step, although a good cello roll is definitely superimposed in order to simplify transposition. In comparison to the Melodyne Plug-in, its integration will be seamless: it works in full tv screen plus not in a reduced window, there are simply no more fears about conflicting short cuts in between Melodyne and Cubase, and even above just about all, no more headaches together with bouncing the audio only to be able to hear the result. There is solely one thing that it's absent compared to Melodyne: VariAudio will not handle the amplitude of various segments, which usually means you can't replace the volume of each notice the idea registers. Steinberg makes up for this particular, having said that, by incorporating a great Audio tracks to MIDI change characteristic. You can convert any mono audio cut into a good sequence that will can then be enjoyed by any virtual instrument. Of course, depending about the quality with the music clip and diagnosis limits (with or devoid of consuming into account pitch bend), the actual result will be a great deal more or less faithful for you to the original, but by means of editing a little for you to clean up the sequence a person get results which might be functional...

How does it tone? Even if the good quality of the algorithms utilized by VariAudio hold their particular own as compared with the competitors, could possibly be not properly with Melodyne when managing extreme échange (plus as well as minus one particular octave, for example). It all depends naturally on what you're trying to be able to transpose, some timbres get the job done better as compared to other folks, just like electric striper, even though other folks that are more complicated, similar to vocals, produce artifacts (glitches, flange, etc.. ) if you transpose more as compared to a few half-steps. It all of depends on whatever you employ it for: hidden in this mix, some transpositions will be undetectable, while if really out in front of a new mix as well as all by yourself it will more as opposed to the way likely not have to get usable. On the other hand, it's good to possess a tool like that considering that that come inside handy in many situations and the idea works quite nicely.

In the wake involving VariAudio, which is a good editing instrument, Steinberg comes with likewise delivered pitch fix plug-in which often, as their name suggests, quickly modifies the pitch with the keep track of you put it on (like Auto Tune), using the possibility of restricting the sound to a new certain range or changing its patience, alter formants, and so on.. The change with VariAudio is the plug-in works around real time and does its job well if you use the appropriate settings (shape, speed, tolerance, etc.. ). Pitch correction can as well create some special effects: Mickey Mouse (+ two octaves), Barry White (-2 octaves), or by piloting the particular plug-in via MIDDLE SIZED being a virtual instrument, or even having that 'Cher effect'.

Simply speaking, between Pitch Correct, VariAudio and AudioWarp, anyone can really sculpt your own tracks like they had been made of sonic clay-based. This is a quite good point to get Cubase 5, which at this point holds their own in terms of music editing. Let's look into typically the effects and virtual programmes that come with Cubase 5...


Throughout Cubase 4, Steinberg up to date the included effects, and even now there's no a lot less than 58 audio plug-ins that are included in Cubase 5. The choice of consequences is comprehensive and insures just concerning all needs: spectral control (EQ, filters, wah, enhancer), dynamic (compressors, gates, expander, de-esser, transient designer), spatial (autopan, stereo Widener), presentation ( octaver), modulation consequences (chorus, phaser, flanger, wedding ring modulator), distortions, amp simulator, electric guitar tuner, signal turbine, etc.. etc.. It should be noted that there are some sort of slight redundancy: the same results are sometimes offered both in a mono version and also a stereo version like the particular particularly annoying Wave Influences bundles. Rather than having 4 various delays, it would have been fine to get a sole plugin that was a bit of more sophisticated...

The wonderful effect of Impulse

However, Steinberg should be applauded for having eventually incorporated a real high-quality reverb: Reverence convolution processor, which often takes over for the very underperforming , RoomWorks (which is still available). There is not much to express about Consider, whose capabilities are similar to some other convolution processors (setting distinct reverb parameters, 3 band parametric equalizer, reverse mode, preview... ). It have to be mentioned that the particular plugin works within audio system or surround together with the idea comes with a assortment of impulse responses: reverbs merely, no speaker simulators for guitarists, but given that you can find a lot of impulses on the net and importance files in WAV or AIFF format, this is not the problem.

So, the only criticism that can possibly be made about this innovative reverb is the very same 1 for all convolution processors: Regard is a new real hog in phrases of CPU consumption. To operate in stereo, it's not really to bad this time, although to employ it around surround function, it would be better to have an extremely powerful machine... However, Steinberg genuinely needed a unique convolution reverb. If you already have one main, then you won't health care, but if you act like you don't, you'll be saving yourself some money...

Same exact for all the offered effect plug-ins which -- and this is their very own major strength - let you perform some sort of project from A to Z: nothing is missing and you may effortlessly just work having cubase 5 as will be. As for the excellent of the effects in addition to digesting, let's just point out that absolutely nothing amiss yet they not necessarily up for you to par with other 3 rd party plugins, especially inside the EQ and powerful processor department (you'll get better plugins by Within Flux, Sonnox, Wave, URS, PSP... but for the selling price that often is much greater than that of the particular sequencer! ), or the consequences found in a Samplitude one example is...

Groove Baby Groove!

In Cubase 5, Steinberg features two new exclusive instruments and some sort of MIDI plug-in dedicated to electric rhythms: Groove Agent One particular, LoopMash, plus Beat Custom.

Contrary to favorite notion, Groove Agent One isn't very similar to the outdated Grooved Agent, but will be rather just like the LM4... using a look that will evokes an Akai MPC. It's a Drum Sampler including 16 online pads which can be assigned to an AIFF, WAV, MPC, or several pieces of a cycle. Note that GA1 manages up to 8 tiers per pad, and anyone can have 8 finance institutions of 10 pads. Cushion assignment is performed by simply easy drag and drop through MediaBay, this audio tracks publisher, or job home window but unfortunately not from the desktop of Windows or maybe Mac pc OS. Nevertheless whenever you put more than one report about the same pad, the program automatically makes the matching layers dynamically sending acceleration ranges. As for editing and enhancing, GA1 offers a new lots of controls: tuning/transpose sample, exuberance curve, multimode filter (but not resonant, alas), reverse mode... In short, will be certainly ample to keep anyone busy whether or not it might have been nice if the edit section had recently been a little more produced (I weren't able for you to change the playback start off and stop points of a sample) and right now there are no effects (distortion, delay, etc. ). Even though, you can apply these types of influences in the mixer using distinct audio results, it's significantly less intuitive. Certainly, despite their own resemblance, accomplish not expect to implement, with Groove Agent One, a quarter of this things you can do with FXpansion's Guru, although it is normal after all for a method delivered with a sequencer...

For sequencing, you'll have entertaining using the new MIDI plug known as Beat Designer. Incorporating this ergonomics and reason of your classic step sequencer (up to 64 actions for every pattern with different time period signatures possible), Combat Custom will allow anyone to quickly pilot Grooved Agent One or just about any other synth or drum sampler. It is use can be very simple: one click on to add an function, 1 click to eliminate, together with click and pull to switch velocity, even though the particular sliders effect the "swing" truly feel. It's some sort of great little sequencer although, all over again, it is combination with Groove Agent The first is very significantly from offering the power and the ergonomics of a Legend...

And lastly, this most original of the lot: LoopMash. No sequences or one shot samples, on this occasion we're dealing with roads, having a idea that's not really far from PowerFX's Miraculous or Expert (again). The idea is to merge the groove of a good master trap with typically the sound of 7 different loops, and matches similar elements throughout loops and defeats, generating new "mash-ups" from any rhythmic audio stuff. The software is dependent on a sound recognition protocol, so you are able to dose the level of each trap and you can record up to 8 displays having one click. Presently there usually are many settings, but which OK because this fact enables LoopMash to remain a simple in addition to effective tool for obtaining initial ideas, especially in the event that you test mixing melodic loops together with drum roads. If electro is your own cup of tea, you are going to really like the concept. If however, you tend to Brighten or perhaps Rock, an individual probably will not see a lot interest in this revolutionary product, nor Groove Agent Much more Overcome Designer.

I want to point out what is right now one of the only weak points that Cubase possesses as opposed to quite a few of it has the competitors: often the number of virtual musical instruments. Though Embracer, Monologue, Spector, or Halion One might be very nice in together with of on their own, they're a good very far cry through the power and versatility of the Z3TA plus, Sizing Pro, and Rapture VOTRE trio in Sonar, or perhaps the instruments offered in Reasoning Pro almost eight (no rhodes, no body organ, etc. ).. It would likely probably be less embarrassing if Cubase sent along with a new real software program sampler (why isn't HALion included by way of default). All we all get by default is the Halion One ROMpler with reasonable banks starting from fair to be able to really average.

In this view, the idea would be lovely if Steinberg had a good more attractive offer, through marketing or by certification (including versions of third party plug-ins) or why not necessarily buying, technology or even solutions of small specialized developers.


Cubase 5 is really a success and shows development in several areas. More simple, more powerful together with better equipped, Steinberg's little one is alive plus properly! Sure, we'd constantly much like to have more (especially electronic instruments), but characteristics much like VariAudio, VST Manifestation, Tempo/Signature tracks, or this multitrack foreign trade feature help to make this an essential post on. To the question "Should an individual upgrade from variation five or lower", often the answer is a good a thousand times yes, but retain in mind that the particular Studio type of the particular application doesn't include (and it's an important point) VariAudio, amongst other issues.

If however, you don't include a sequencer or else you want to change, the problem is a great deal more difficult because after a rapid world wide web surf, it was rather surprising to find away that not any brands other than Magix, Cakewalk and Ableton, have trial types associated with their sequencers! And it is a shame that you still cannot try prior to you acquire with a time whenever the variations between sequencers is typically summed upwards by a good few characteristics and distinct work-flows. Although, speaking just as one unconditional Cubase consumer these types of past 15 several years, I can not recommend Cubase 5 plenty of...