10 Most Common Questions About Cubase - For Beginners
1. Is Cubase Better Than Logic/Ableton Live/Pro Tools etc?
There was a time loooong ago when each DAW (that's techspeak for Digital Audio Workstation) used to do one thing well and sucked at everything else. But today that distinction is blurry. You can do almost any audio production task with almost any major DAW. That includes Cubase as well. Having said that, Cubase would not be my first choice for live/stage use, just as I wouldn't be caught dead using Pro Tools for anything MIDI, and it's probably not a good idea to do film scoring with Ableton Live.
Cubase is expensive compared to most of its competitors, but offers a solid, stable performance with decent quality stock plug-ins and virtual instruments right out of the box.
2. Which Version of Cubase Is Right for Me?
Cubase comes in three flavors: Pro, Artist and Elements. The main difference is the number of audio and MIDI tracks you can use in each. With Pro you can add as many tracks as your computer can handle. With Artist and Elements your track count is limited.
The same goes for the number of plug-ins and virtual instruments that come with them. And the number of plug-ins that you can initiate on each track.
Pro is pricey, Elements is too limiting. Artist is a good compromise in price/performance terms. It ships with all the virtual instruments that come with Pro, and the track count is more than enough for typical home and project studios.
If you plan to work heavily with vocals, though, you might consider upgrading to Pro because it offers some very cool and powerful vocal editing features such as VariAudio and Audio Alignment.
for a full comparison of different versions of Cubase (link to Steinberg's website).
3. The Plug-Ins That Come with Cubase - Are They Any Good?
Yup. All the basic plug-ins you'll need are covered, with good quality. There are some "character" plug-ins as well, which you'll either love or hate, but that's just the nature of the beast.
4. How 'bout Virtual Instruments?
Virtual instruments depend very much on taste, style, and what you're trying to achieve, but I'd say there's a good selection of sounds available right out of the box. I wouldn't score a film with them, but the same goes for instruments that ship with any other DAW (yes, that includes Logic as well). All in all, you'll find great sounds to work on a demo, and some of those sounds could even make it to the final mix.
5. Does Cubase Sound BetteWorse Than Logic/FL/Pro Tools etc?
There's endless debate on the internet about which DAW sounds better. If you take an audio file and play it through different DAW's without any effects and plug-ins, you'll find that they don't really sound different (on a level that we can perceive anyway). What makes them sound different are the plug-ins. And that's a very subjective comparison that has too many parameters. Does the stock compressor in Cubase sound better than the one in Pro Tools? This is kind of like asking "is the interior of a BMW better than the interior of a Mercedes?" To each his own.
6. Is Cubase Easy to Learn?
It's getting better. I'm a Steinberg Certified Cubase Trainer
and I've been teaching Cubase in classrooms for more than 10 years. I can say with certainty, based on my years of Cubase training, that it's becoming much more user friendly.
If I had to rank it, I'd say it's easier to learn than Pro Tools, harder than Logic and Studio One.
7. What's with this USB-eLicenser Thingy?
That's a hardware dongle to protect Cubase from piracy, and it's been doing its job very well. You'll need to get one if you plan to buy Cubase Pro or Artist.
Advantage: Traveling? No problem! As long as you have your eLicenser with you, you can install Cubase on any computer, plug it in and start working right away.
Downside: Take very, very good care of your eLicenser. If it's lost, broken, stolen or eaten by your dog, Steinberg will offer a Zero Downtime backup license that will cover your assets for a mere 25 operating hours.
8. What ComputeHardware Do I Need to Run Cubase?
Cubase will work on any recent/decent Mac or PC. I know that recent/decent is highly subjective, but then so are your needs and goals. Click here
and scroll down to the bottom of the page for an official list of minimum and recommended computer configurations.
You'll need an audio interface, commonly referred to as a sound card. A dedicated sound card is essential if you want to hook up microphones or instruments, but you can get away with your computer's built-in sound card if you want to stay completely "in-the-box". Sound cards in Mac's will work fine, but those in PC's will probably not get recognized by Cubase as they do not come with ASIO drivers (bits of software that allow hardware to talk with software). If that happens you may try installing ASIO4ALL
, a free, albeit dated, universal driver.
You don't have to have a MIDI keyboard, though it adds immensely to the fun. Cubase has a virtual keyboard, whereby you can use your computer keyboard like a musical keyboard (QWERTY instead of do-re-mi. Or is it the other way?).
9. If I Invest in Cubase, Can I Exchange Projects with Studios/Friends/Colleagues Using Other DAW's?
There's a protocol called OMF to do just that, but half of the DAW's don't support it and those that do don't do a good job of it (OK that was too many "o"s for a single sentence).
Your best bet is to export each track as a separate wav file and transfer that to the other DAW.
10. You seem to know a lot about Cubase and said that you are a Steinberg Certified Trainer. I can't come to Istanbul to study with you, though. Is there another way?
Sure! I have a beginner level online Cubase course
on Udemy, in which I teach how to create awesome music in Cubase even if you don't know anything about music theory. It's fun and a great way of introducing yourself to Cubase. Check it out: Creating Awesome Music with Cubase - Using Composition Tools
submitted by DorukSomunkiran
Tech Wizard needed: Originally Average Laptop Runs Like Trash.
Hi there, I'd appreciate some help...
EDIT - 12/22/2018: I'm considering this a closed thread while I try to back up my data and reinstall Windows. If the problem persists, I'll reopen the topic.
My laptop, when I got it, ran perfectly fine. My only gripes were that it didn't come with Bluetooth support and it only has 500GB of storage (or so they say).
In the beginning, I downloaded too many games from Steam, and used lots of big software (ie. 3DS Max, Unity, trials of FL Studio and the like), and this obviously took a toll on my computer's storage. Keep in mind, this was before
I enrolled in a computer engineering class.
I didn't buy this computer, my dad did (I am still in high school, and I am currently unemployed, so paid options are pretty much out the window). He doesn't know anything about computers, so I imagine he just took what he saw first.
Over the past two years, however, even though I've been clearing out my software and storage, constantly checking for malware, viruses, spyware, junk files, and outdated drivers, updating my computer, my OS, etc., my computer takes minutes to turn on, even longer to load my desktop, over half a minute to register input (ie. clicks, keyboard input, etc.), and I can no longer do anything without my computer's performance crippling my progress.Like, I have an average typing speed of 40WPM. I type faster than my computer can display it.
Here's the list of things I use my computer for:
- 3D Modeling (Not animation, just modeling and rendering stills in Blender)
- Programming (Mainly Python and HTML/JS/CSS in IDLE/Notepad++)
- Video Editing in Sony Vegas and After Effects
- Cutting music together and mastering in Audacity
- I play games like Slime Rancher [~15FPS],Minecraft Bedrock Edition [No longer playable],Fallout 3 [~17FPS],Skyrim [No longer Playable],The Escapists [~25FPS — runs well enough],And random VN games.
- Graphic Design in Photoshop
- Writing in OpenOffice
- Internet Browsing and watching videos (I would blame my ISP, but Spectrum is doing too well on every other device I have | Chrome takes a full minute to open)
I'm much better about optimizing how
I use my computer nowadays (only multitasking when it's absolutely necessary, cleaning/defragging overnight often, and keeping software up to date), but it seems like no matter what I do, the damn thing wants to die. I also don't use it unplugged. I always use it plugged in.
The software I use for optimizing and cleaning my computer is iObit's Advanced Systemcare, Driver Booster, Uninstaller, and Smart Defrag. If you know a better, FREE option, then please enlighten me.
Here're the steps I've tried to take in the past, none of which have worked:
Completely clearing my software, reorganizing my files, Changing visual performance, turning it on and off
, removing user profiles (I am the only actual user of the computer save for when my girlfriend has online work), updating software, and giving up.
Now that even giving up and trying to cope with it has failed, and my laptop continues to deteriorate, I turn to the front page of the internet hoping that somebody out there is able to help.
Computer Specs: (WARNING: I'm listing literally everything I think could be important, this is to make it easier for the geniuses):
I have an HP Notebook 15 laptop running Windows 10 Home Edition.
Sticker next to the touch pad:
- Processor: Intel Celeron N3050 -- 1.6GHz
- 4GB system memory -- 500GB hard drive
This PC's properties:
- RAM: 4GB (3.86 usable)
- 64-bit OS, x64-based processor
- Enabled Visual Effects (I am most comfortable with these settings | No others are enabled)...
- Enable Peek
- Show shadows under windows
- Show thumbnails instead of icons
- Show window contents while dragging
- Smooth edges of screen fonts
- Virtual Memory: 1390MB (Initial -- Recommended) | 1536MB (Maximum) [CUSTOM SET VALUES]
- Processor scheduling: Adjust for best performance of Programs
- I haven't adjusted DEP; it is set to, "Turn on DEP for essential Windows programs and services only" (My computer's processor supports hardware-based DEP)
Info listed in iObit Driver Booster:
- Video Adapter: Intel(R) HD Graphics
- Video Memory: 1.0GB
- Storage: 3.9GB
- Free Memory: 1.9GB
- Total Hard Disk: 464.5GB
- Free Hard Disk: 34.1GB (I am going to be clearing this up soon. I initially planned on buying a Seagate external drive for more storage, but that has to wait.)
- Microsoft DirectX Version: DirectX 12
- OpenGL Version: 10.0.17134.1 (WinBuild.160101.0800)
CPU and Motherboard Info:
- Maximum Size: 4095MB
- Current Size: 261MB
- Status: OK
- Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU N3050 @ 1.60GHz
- Number of logical processors: 2
- Current Clock Speed: 1601Mhz
- Maximum Clock Speed: 1601Mhz
- Voltage: 4V
- External Clock: 83Mhz
- Model: 8175
- BIOS Name: F.28
- BIOS Vendor: Insyde
- SMBIOS Version: F.28
- BIOS Date: 6/14/2016
- BIOS Features
Supports PCI, Upgradable (Flash), BIOS shadowing is allowed, Boot from CD is supported, Selectable Boot is supported, EDD Specification is supported, Int 9h 8042 Keyboard services are supported, Int 14h Serial services are supported, Int 17h printer services are supported, Int 10h CGA/Mono video services are supported, ACPI is supported, USB Legacy is supported, ATAPI ZIP Drive boot is supported. Memory Device Info:
- Total Memory: 3.9GB
- Used Memory: 2.0GB
- Free Memory: 1.9GB
- Memory Usage: 51%
- Memory Bank: BANK 0
- Description: Physical Memory 0
- Device Locator: Bottom- Slot1(Left)
- Capacity: 4.0GB
- Speed: 1600Mhz
- Manufacturer: Samsung
- Data Width: 8 bit
- Memory Type: EISA
- Form Factor: SODIMM
At the moment:
Memory Usage: 56%
|Physical Memory ||Commit Charge ||Kernel Memory |
|Total: 3.9GB ||Total: 3.1GB ||Total: 330.5MB (roughly) |
|Available: 1.7GB ||Limit: 5.2GB ||Paged: 142.6 MB |
|System Cache: 1.5GB ||Peak: 3.8GB ||Nonpaged: 187.3MB (roughly) |
- Video Architecture: VGA
- DAC Type: Internal
- Memory Size: 1.0GB
- Memory Type: Unknown
- Current Refresh Rate: 60Hz
- Driver Version: 18.104.22.16835 (I scanned my drivers today - 12/22/2018)
- Driver Date: 10/16/2017
- Name: TOSHIBA MQ01ABF050
- Media Type: Fixed hard disk media
- Capability: 465.8GB
- Interface Type: IDEPartitions: 4
- Total Cylinders: 60801
- Total Heads: 255
- Total Sectors: 976768065
- Total Tracks: 15504255
- Tracks per Cylinder: 255
- Bytes per Sector: 512
- Sectors per track: 63
- S.M.A.R.T. Support: Yes
- Current Temperature: 0C (32F)
- IDE Controller Name/ManufactureStatus: Standard SATA AHCI Controller | OK
submitted by Endvisible