“Cubase” is the name of the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) that I’ll be talking’ here about.
It’s one of the big names in the music scene. It appeared in the very late 80s and got very popular in the middle of the 90s because of VST (Virtual Studio Technology).
Who got me to Cubase was Amon Tobin to be honest. I heard probably 99% of all his tracks.
Here’s a list though of other artists that are quite happy with Cubase: Cubase – Artists List
“So what can you do with that thing?”
That totally depends on what you plan to do with it. For simple recordings Audacity should be enough.
You want to edit, chop, tune and play around more? Overdub, distort and add some effects on there
with automation? Then Cubase might be more your style. Here are some basics on the subject.
“Steinberg” is the name of the company that programmed, released and sold copies of Cubase.
They have various hardware and software products. They offer seminars and look out for programmers.
Cubase Elements 9.5 costs 82,00,-€.
Cubase Artist 9.5 costs 259,00,-€. <— Needs a USB-eLicenser
Cubase Pro 9.5 costs 458,00,-€. <— Needs also a USB-eLicenser
USB-eLicenser: A lot of software gets cracked, because it only has software protection. Steinberg avoided going bankrupt or loosing a lot of money by cracker kids out there who would offer a lot of software cracked out there for free.
You need to possess a USB-eLicenser to try out a demo of a Steinberg product or to run the bought version that you own.
Cubase Artist & Cubase Pro NEED the eLicenser to start. So you need to add 30,00,-€ more to the equation.
If you tried out all the software from Steinberg you would come up to 1TB I suppose and you could try all that stuff out for free for 30 days as full versions. You could also just buy the eLicenser, try out the first demo for 30 days, try out the next demo for 30 days and so on and so on. This could go on for years or even decades. At that point of time there is already newer software out there that you could try out if you wanted.
The last cracked version of Cubase out there is version 5.0, after that nobody in the cracker scene managed to release a cracked Cubase. Legend has it a lot of cracker teams worked for version 5.0 to crack it after months and months of trying out.
To be honest… I tried out the cracked 5.0 version for 2 or 3 years. I did the same with NATIVE INSTRUMENTS KOMPLETE 7 ULTIMATE. I used both a lot so I bought my first full pro version of Cubase. It was version 6.0.
In Audacity you can theoretically add a couple of plugins but that is pure hell to work with that interface.
In Cubase you can add in the Pro version 64 VST instruments. I never hit a limit to be honest.
What I also like about other DAWs and this one: You can insert them into each other.
Let’s say you start out with FL Studio. You add Cubase as an “instrument”. Your second instrument is Ableton
and your third one is Pro Tools. You need to route the stuff correctly then and you can work with all of them at once. The hard part is the routing though. Haven’t quite figured out yet how that works. Normally nobody does this. As your knowledge progresses and you try out programs that you want to get into you might discover yourself some functions that define your sound and editing character. You can add those audio effects and the programs even into video editing programs like Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere Pro. Sometimes I edit a video and I don’t like the reverb effects from Adobe, Sony, FL Studio or NATIVE INSTRUMENTS. No problem. I just choose the path of Cubase effects that I like and add a reverb from their list.
Not only mic recordings and VST instruments are compatible with it.
You can record only MIDI data from your MIDI keyboard without an instrument you selected.
You can find yourself a free modular synthesizer plugin like VCV rack and add it as a sequencer and just record the sound from the program.
Expand furthermore as soon as you’re ready.
At some point you will hit a wall. That is what happened to me at least. When you have a low resolution screen a lot of windows are packed over each other and you have to click and click and click to get around. That wouldn’t happen with a high resolution screen and especially not if you had 3 high resolution screens. I edit nowadays ONLY with 3 screens.
The left one shows the faders and the main mixing console therefore.
The middle one shows the bars, scenes and track arrangements.
The right one shows the last piano roll I edited or the VST I had open before.
I even got a sticker set for PC keyboards. You put the stickers on certain buttons. Like the button “#8” shows you what you use when you press that key. You’ll select the pen tool in Cubase. This tool allows you to draw automation by hand or edit velocity. Stuff like that. You can also try to memorize the key shortcuts. Maybe you’re highly skilled in regard to remembering a lot of shortcuts. Who knows, right?
Shameless self promotion of a track of mine. Here you can see all 3 screens of mine. Paint combines all the screens.
Cubase is good for people who are in the middle segment of knowing something and the pro segment of knowing a lot in the audio editing and engineering niche. FL Studio is definitely better for beginners. But as the years have passed, I can’t work with anything else than Cubase. I might change some DAWs in the next years, but Cubase will stay my second true love that has last the longest of them all. FL Studio is the first-love-at-sight, but after some years the interface feels of. If you get Cubase you can get into Pro Tools. If you know those two you can get into other DAWs. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Buy the eLicenser, try out the demo. Take your time. Realize how much you’ll need this DAW or not.
A lot of people know about this kind of business models, but a lot also don’t know about it. So here’s my short explanation.
If you buy something from let’s say Adobe, then you have to pay monthly. Like 15,00,-€ per month to use Adobe After Effects. After 2 years you bought the whole version of the product. You can unsubscribe from your payment and got yourself a full version of the product. To get the newest version of it you have to pay monthly again though.
You don’t have that kind of trouble with NI, Steinberg, FL Studio, Pro Tools. Either you buy their software once (FL Studio, Pro Tools) and you got yourself the full pro version a lifetime long or you have to upgrade every 1 or 2 years (NI & Cubase).
You don’t have to pay if you don’t want, but then you got an older version. Some say that doesn’t matter and some say it does matter. I always realize the big changes of every update. I bought my Cubase Pro 6 back then as a full version for 500,00,-€ from ebay or so. The upgrade from Cubase Pro 6 to Cubase Pro 7 cost me 250,00,-€. That doesn’t hurt a lot when you see the tutorials and changes and what has happened over the time span of 1 – 2 years.
In a lot of cases money corrupts products, artists and companies. In the case of Steinberg I would disagree. I am happy that I bought their software and that I stopped using the pirated and free and veeeery old version of their DAW.
Help and support shall come for those who need it the most.