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Cubase 9
Last post Thu, Jan 12 2017 by Talino, 5 replies.
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Posted on Sat, Dec 10 2016 09:43
by Talino
Joined on Sat, Jul 17 2010, Posts 260

Hi all,

I switched from Logic to Cubase six years ago because of Expression Maps and Instrument Tracks. It has served me well, I was very comfortable with using it with a slave running VEP and a very large template. Workflow was good, I lived with the inevitable quirks, upgraded regularly, gone through many TV/Film scores and was quite happy with my investment.

With the Cubase 9 "update", however, I'm starting to feel more and more like a Steinberg cash cow. None of the suggestions proposed by serious professionals were integrated, modifications normally associated with a point-upgrade are being hailed as major new features and the general feel is an aimless and tone-deaf project. For the first time in years I will not upgrade my DAW.

I kept looking over the years at other products, of course, but none seemed to fit the bill, for me at least (mostly orchestral MIDI with a bit of audio recordings for soloists). I'm now looking again at DP, which is probably wonderful for those who've grown up on it. As much as I'd like to have a "chunks" feature for composing different versions of the same arrangement, I still can't get around the interface.

I could get back to Logic but I don't know how it's evolved. Moreover, with Apple looking more and more like they're neglecting the professional user base, I'm not sure I can trust Logic for the coming years, especially in the light of the years-long confusion they've caused for professional editors with Final Cut Pro.

I can't use a notation program to compose, for several reasons.

Because of their excellent attention to detail and dialogue with their users, I've asked VSL in the past to create a sequencer for the serious linear composer (by that I mean something with no loop-based gadgets, chord tracks or sample-mangling features). They kindly replied that they had other things on their mind...

Pro Tools might be an option but last time I checked its MIDI features were pretty basic. Reaper 5 has Lua scripting which could help immensely with repetitive handling of MIDI data but it's a whole new program to learn and I'm not sure it's worth the effort.

So I'm asking those who work for TV or film in a similar configuration to mine — master with a large VEP slave, complex keyswitches and remote control needs, composing mainly to picture — if their DAW is up to the task, which one they're using, and how is real-world support and feedback. Also, if you've been thinking about switching to Cubase, it might be interested to mention it, because it would be a classic case of grass being greener. Maybe there aren't that many options after all.

Thanks.

MASTER: Cubase Pro 10.0.20, iMac 27 2015 i7 4.0 (17,1) 24gb RAM, OS X 10.14.4, RME Fireface UC. SLAVE: Mac Pro 2009 Quad 2.66 (4,1), 28gb RAM, OS X 10.11.6, Vienna Ensemble Pro 7, samples on OWC Accelsior SSD.
Posted on Thu, Jan 05 2017 20:33
by Synetos
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, USA, Posts 120

I would think the $99 upgrade is much simpler than swapping out your entire workflow. I tried Logic, but i could never get my head around it. I started years ago with Cubase 4. I have wandered around looking at other DAW's, but concluded they all have strengths and weaknesses. My advice would be to pony up the scratch, upgrade, and just get back to making music. 

Regarding Cubase 9...I am happy that it wasnt a massive change with 50 buggy new features. While it may not seem like an upgrade to warrant a version increase, it's hard to say what all went on under the hood to prepare for new things to come. Killing off 32bit support is likely paving the way, and required a major code cleanup for the development team...hence not a ton of enhancements to the end user in the window of releases (gotta keep teh cash flow going). They could have waited, but I am glad they didnt. I like the Sample tool and the Zone concept makes running on my macbook for live gigging much easier.

Anyway, good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Nuendo 11, Waves SoundGrid

DAW:i7 10700K/64gb VEP:i9 7980XE OC at 3.6ghz/128gb

Waves eMotion LV1/64 - Digigrid IOX's - Waves Soundgrid Extreme Server
Posted on Fri, Jan 06 2017 07:22
by Talino
Joined on Sat, Jul 17 2010, Posts 260

Thanks. Indeed, I've made a quick tour again of the available options and none seem to fit the bill. 

Just to be clear, I don't wish for new features in each new release. In my post I wrote about the many, many *current* issues which haven't been fixed for years, and intelligent suggestions from many users which are repeatedly ignored. I wrote several times in the Steinberg forums about the need to create a "no new features" release for Cubase, as Apple did with Snow Leopard.

Anyway, thank you for your comments.

MASTER: Cubase Pro 10.0.20, iMac 27 2015 i7 4.0 (17,1) 24gb RAM, OS X 10.14.4, RME Fireface UC. SLAVE: Mac Pro 2009 Quad 2.66 (4,1), 28gb RAM, OS X 10.11.6, Vienna Ensemble Pro 7, samples on OWC Accelsior SSD.
Posted on Wed, Jan 11 2017 12:44
by Synetos
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, USA, Posts 120

I totally agree that it seems so many bugs that need fixing are ignored and new features are introduced instead. However, that is not limited to Cubase, or Steinberg.

I feel like the testing fails. Partly because there are just so many ways to use the products that testing broadly seems impractical. The trend appears to be release on a narrow "standard" testing regimen and let the user community find the bugs that should be found by QA team. If that is not he case, then QA is failing. It wouldn't be so bad if they actually fixed the bugs. Often seems like they are "doing the user a favor" by fixing bugs. It seems twisted logic to me.

Frankly, VEP 6 was obviously buggy on it's release. I think it was not tested broadly and caused much frustration on the launch. That said, VSL has been responsive to fixing things and making regular patch releases. I sense a desire to actually have a functional product and not just flashy vaporware.

It seems there was a time when QA was really valued in the software development industry, and releasing buggy software was an embarrassment...heads would roll! Now, it seems more like a "blame the user". If you run it like this or that, then your issues goes away. The testing appears to be a very narrow set of use cases, and not following good software development process. Hitting release deadlines and revenue targets are more important than quality, and there is no way to properly test without the time to do it. That is a global problem, and not limited to software industry.

Oh well...I sense melancholy or angry compositions brewing in me today. ;)

Nuendo 11, Waves SoundGrid

DAW:i7 10700K/64gb VEP:i9 7980XE OC at 3.6ghz/128gb

Waves eMotion LV1/64 - Digigrid IOX's - Waves Soundgrid Extreme Server
Posted on Thu, Jan 12 2017 10:03
by Talino
Joined on Sat, Jul 17 2010, Posts 260

Originally Posted by: Synetos Go to Quoted Post

It wouldn't be so bad if they actually fixed the bugs.

You seem to confirm my point here... :)

Originally Posted by: Synetos Go to Quoted Post

Frankly, VEP 6 was obviously buggy on it's release.

Yes, on its release. VSL has done some amazing work in order to make VEP a rock-solid piece of software, probably the most dependable application I use (maybe along some stuff from u-he...) No bloat, no new features nobody will use, none of that useless junk. They've also been very reactive to mails, comments and suggestions (on a personal note, Paul Kopf's handling of one of my VIP issues, the day following the probably hectic VEP 6 product launch, is an example of how a software company who cares about their users is supposed to look like). You might argue that VEP is a niche product compared to Cubase, and you would be right. But Cubase is at version 9, for heaven's sake. Plenty of time to do good, if someone at Steinberg actually paid attention to users.

Originally Posted by: Synetos Go to Quoted Post

Hitting release deadlines and revenue targets are more important than quality, and there is no way to properly test without the time to do it. That is a global problem, and not limited to software industry.

True. And it isn't getting any better, unfortunately.

MASTER: Cubase Pro 10.0.20, iMac 27 2015 i7 4.0 (17,1) 24gb RAM, OS X 10.14.4, RME Fireface UC. SLAVE: Mac Pro 2009 Quad 2.66 (4,1), 28gb RAM, OS X 10.11.6, Vienna Ensemble Pro 7, samples on OWC Accelsior SSD.
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