Steinberg Cubase 6 has been released and I thought I would do a quick review for anyone thinking of buying this top of the line DAW, or for anyone thinking of upgrading their current version.
Investing what amounts to a fairly large sum of money in Steinberg Cubase 6 is something that the majority of Musicians out there cannot take lightly. Whatever program you decide to use to make your music on, it usually means a long term commitment to the various upgrades and versions over the years of your career. I have used every version of Cubase since the first one on an Atari back in the dark ages, so Steinberg have seen plenty of my hard earned cash over the years.
I come from Europe, so while Pro-Tools, Logic and Sonar and all the rest are very popular, for many of us Cubase was always the number one choice, and as I said, it is a long term commitment, you get used to the way a program works and you tend to grow and develop with it, so why change and start again?
Steinberg Cubase 6 Standard currently goes for around $499.99, none of the top Music programs are particularily cheap to buy, but you are paying for a lot of research and work that goes into a program like this, and as long as it does what it says it does I think it is well worth it if you are serious about your music .
Steinberg Cubase 6 Educational Standard on the other hand is the Student edition of the same thing if you have a current student card or know someone else who has. You save $200.00 and that is well worth it.
The versions are exactly the same but the way!
So what about the new version of Steinberg Cubase 6 as far as making music on, is it worth buying or upgrading to?
The short answer is yes, I upgraded last week and although I have not had time to go really deep into the new additions to the program I have used it enough to get a feel for it and pass the results on to you.
The VST Amp Rack brings Cubase up to a similar level of amp simulation as some of the other big name DAWs, being primarily a guitar player this was the first thing I tried, although I did like it I would not say it is up there with some of the dedicated Guitar Amp simulators, but it is good enough for a decent guitar tone sitting in your mix, but not a world beater.
Some of the plug-ins have had a graphical makeover, but they seem to funtion exactly the same as before but are easier to use.
The interface seems to have had a small makeover and there is a very handy couple of hours of video tutorials that I really liked, so beginners and pros are taken care of.
The drum editing seems to have had the most work done on it, although I have not had a lot of time to go into it all, it has better triggering and multi-track quantisation, you can then generate MIDI note and velocity information and use it to trigger your drum plugin accurately. Using this for converting your audio to MIDI can really help give your drums some real power, and give you fresh ideas to work with.
Note Expression gives MIDI a kick in the pants and gives more articulation than ever before for individual notes rather than the whole MIDI channel. In plain English that means there is a graphic based editor that makes virtual instruments sound more realistic, and it seems really easy to use and get good results quickly.
Pitch shifting now uses the Zplane algorithms for far smoother results, being able to adjust the speed and pitch together helps get rid of any of the nasty bi-products of the process.
If your playing is a bit sloppy, which is often the case with Musicians who have forsaken touring for home recording work, this new update can find the offending note or notes and automatically fix them, it even understands recordings made at the same time from several sources.
I think all in all the upgrade is well worth it, and if you are looking for a recording platform, especially for live instruments, then Steinberg Cubase 6 is worth saving your pennies for.