1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Cubase or DP ?

Discussion in 'Your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)' started by Leandro Marcos, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Leandro Marcos

    Leandro Marcos Senior Member

    Sep 30, 2017
    Hi! I'm one of the people that is lost and astray after the Sonar development cease.
    I mainly do orchestral trailer music. I don't compose for films (but might in the future). So, in a way I need good sync to pic but it's not a must since most production music for trailers you just do it on the fly without a specific video to score to, except you might use a random video as inspiration.

    I've read that most composers working for film, use DP (maybe it's a generational thing). Since I compose orchestral stuff, MIDI editing possibilities need to be the best, and afaik Cubase is the king in that subject.

    I need to move to a new DAW and want to make a wise decision.

    By the way, I use PC and most of the orchestral libraries I use are EastWest's and Orchestral Tools.

    So how do Cubase and DP compare regarding MIDI capabilities, sync to picture, music sheet (staff scoring), stability, audio dropouts, vst compatibilities.

    thanks a lot!
  2. Heroix

    Heroix Senior Member

    Dec 15, 2014
    cubase and dp both offer trials. though for cubase pro you will need a steinberg dongle to run it. cubase elements runs without but misses quite a few important functions from the pro version.

    i guess you should try out the demos and see how you like em yourself. maybe you also wanna try out studio one.

    in the end, cubase is by far king when it comes to midi editing and they are listening to the community to include even more.
    Leandro Marcos likes this.
  3. clisma

    clisma Senior Member

    Apr 13, 2015
    With the parameters you specify, I would choose Cubase. MIDI is handled better as you know and permits a faster workflow. While DP, which I still happily use today on occasion, has some nifty features like Chunks, V-Racks and Tempo-finding tools, I find the CC editing tedious and stuck in a different era. Plus, DP was Mac-only for a long time, so it may be worth checking in with some DP/PC users to see about stability and bugs. Cubase has worked on both platforms for a lot longer.

    So if MIDI is your bread and butter, it’s hard to do better than Cubase. This is coming from a happy Logic user.
    Leandro Marcos likes this.
  4. Wolfie2112

    Wolfie2112 Senior Member

    +1 to what Clisma suggested. DP is pretty cool, but has a very steep learning curve IMO. I think you're right about the generation thing, a lot of the "old school" composers still run DP. Try the trial and see what you think. But ultimately, Cubase is simply wonderful for scoring to picture. I'm also a happy Logic user, but have been using Cubase as well for many years.
    Leandro Marcos likes this.
  5. MatFluor

    MatFluor Senior Member

    Jan 11, 2017
    I was a Sonar user and switched to DP. Mostly because I got my hands on a cheap copy, but after demoing I loved it. Some stuff reminded me to Sonar, and although the learning curve is there, I was able to set up my template and start fiddling around with tracks in two days. The film scoring features are the best there is in my opinion, the church is are simply awesome.

    I'm on PC and have no problems using DP, in fact it seems to handle template based work better than Sonar did (YMMV).

    As the others said, demo it and Cubase and decide what fits your workflow best - for me it was DP, the workflow reminds me of Sonar. And CC editing isn't that bad - you can draw, move etc, and separate out CCs (up until DP9 I saw that it was somehow cramped in one lane, but not anymore).
    Lawson. likes this.
  6. Jdiggity1

    Jdiggity1 Member Of The Month

    Jan 31, 2012
    La La Land
    I am a Cubase User that has used DP on the odd project.
    If notation and writing to staff is important to you, then DP might be the better choice. Cubase has never had a fantastic notation system, and while we all hoped to see a "Dorico Lite" sneak in, it hasn't happened yet.
    Both are used extensively for film scoring, though I believe the adoption rate of Cubase has been huge in the last few years, and thus there is an enormous pool of resources and tutorials available for Cubase, not to mention the wealth of knowledge on this forum.
    I honestly believe I could be happy in either one, though I do choose to use Cubase for now. It's particularly popular among Windows users.

    And yes, there does seem to be somewhat of a generational influence. Seems to me that Digital Performer is to Cubase what Finale is to Sibelius.
  7. JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

    Nov 13, 2007
    I have used DP forever. It's great, especially if you like to play freely and then move bar lines around. That's how I do a lot of draft composing.

    I've heard great music written in all the programs. I don't know that it matters that much.
    Lawson. and sazema like this.
  8. JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

    Nov 13, 2007
    I don't think that's really fair, since Finale really makes me want to commit murder, whereas DP is easy to use.
  9. JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

    Nov 13, 2007
    I think it's not even a preference, but merely because we started on it and it does basically everything you need, so why change? A lot of great music is written in all the programs.
    Lawson., heisenberg, dcoscina and 2 others like this.
  10. zolhof

    zolhof Senior Member

    Jun 27, 2014
    Silent Hill
    Someone made quite an extensive list of who uses what, wish I could remember who to properly credit him/her, but there you go:

    Digital Performer
    - Thomas Newman
    - Randy Newman
    - Danny Elfman
    - Marco Beltrami
    - Elliot Goldenthal
    - Theodore Shapiro
    - Michael Giacchino
    - Howard Shore
    - John Debney
    - Ed Shearmur
    - Trevor Rabin
    - Elia Cmiral
    - John Corigliano
    - Jerry Goldsmith (RIP)
    - Basil Poledoris (RIP)
    - Don Davis
    - Alan Menkin
    - John Ottman
    - Austin Wintory
    - Bear McCreary
    - Mark Watters
    - Gordy Haab
    - Conrad Pope
    - Joey Newman
    - Penka Kouneva
    - Brian Ralston
    - Kevin Kliesch
    - Alexandre Desplat
    - Dario Marinelli
    - Roque Banos
    - Paul Leonard-Morgan
    - Robert Fok
    - Michael Patti
    - Kubilay Uner
    - Miriam Cutler

    Logic (*In conjunction with PT for audio / video)
    - Alan Silvestri (former DP)
    - John Powell*
    - John Frizzell
    - Jeff Rona
    - Mark Mothersbaugh
    - Mychael Danna
    - Jeff Danna
    - Neal Acree
    - Frederik Wiedmann
    - Jim Dooley*
    - Klaus Badelt*
    - Michael Wandmacher*
    - Ryan Shore*
    - A.R. Ramen
    - Adam Barber
    - Michael Levine*
    - Jeff Cardoni
    - Charlie Clouser
    - David Newman
    - Danny Lux
    - Nathan Barr
    - Scott Starrett
    - Abel Korzienowski
    - Gregg Lehrman
    - Reinhold Heil
    - Henry Jackman*
    - David Arnold
    - Blake Neely
    - Daniel Licht
    - Alex Wurman
    - Jeff Beal
    - Heitor Pereira*
    - Paul Christo
    - Christophe Beck
    - Bill Brown
    - Clint Mansell
    - Jeremy Soule
    - Ramin Djawadi
    - Christopher Tin*

    Cubase (*In conjunction with PT for audio / video)
    - Hans Zimmer*
    - James Newton Howard*
    - Harry Gregson Williams*
    - Rupert Gregson Williams*
    - Steve Jablonsky*
    - Benjamine Wallfisch*
    - Paul Haslinger*
    - Lorne Balfe*
    - Junky XL*
    - Trevor Morris*
    - Christopher Lennertz*
    - Jack Wall
    - Gerard Marino
    - Edwin Wedler
    - Rob Bennett (former DP)
    - Jason Graves (former DP)
    - Pinar Toprak
    - Abel Korzeniowski
    - Christopher Young (former DP)

    ProTools (with midi sequencing)
    - Brain Tyler (no midi)
    - Fil Eisler
    - Jeff Cardoni
    - Tyler Bates
    - Kyle Newmaster
    - Deborah Laurie
    - Nathan Johnson
    - Joe Trapenese
    Andrew_m, Pier Bover and BL like this.
  11. sazema

    sazema Senior Member

    May 23, 2015
    Wow, what a waste of time... But really, who cares?
    It should be added to list:

    * W.A.Mozart - Piano + billiard table + imagination
    * L.V.Beethoven - Piano + imagination + hearing loss at some age
    * F.Chopin - Piano + imagination
    * J.S.Bach - Piano/Organ, imagination + church
    * etc, etc

    They had piano even without midi, but they composed such a eternal master pieces.
    Now, ask yourself why they succeeded? Because these guys was concentrated on music itself and not to type and manufacturer of piano.
    As time goes I definitively see this modern age today kills imagination, ideas and everything. People masturbate on software skins, VU meters, and plugins - especially compressors... But where is music?
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
    JEPA likes this.
  12. zolhof

    zolhof Senior Member

    Jun 27, 2014
    Silent Hill

    You do realize it's 2017 and you are in a forum about writing music with virtual instruments and digital audio workstations, right? I'm sorry you feel you are wasting your time, here's an image of Mozart buck naked for your pleasure.
    maxime77, enyawg, JohnG and 1 other person like this.
  13. Guillermo Navarrete

    Guillermo Navarrete Senior Member

    Oct 9, 2013
    Hamburg - Germany

    Besides everything that has been mentioned, we are also offering a very attractive Crossgrade for Sonar users: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/CubaseP95CG and yes, Cubase MIDI is quite unique considering we have Expression Maps and individual note expression which is quite handy.

    You should also check our the Hangout about migrating from sonar:

    Best regards,
    jamwerks likes this.
  14. sazema

    sazema Senior Member

    May 23, 2015
    I'm really sorry that you didn't understand my comment or you did, but you're just want to be provocative... However.
  15. Origin8tor

    Origin8tor Member

    Mar 29, 2016
    I have struggled to use DP 8 on PC since its release I even purchased a MOTU interface to "compliment" the software. The software is good with one very big caveat, and I've banged on to support and the forums about this for years, the fonts are simply too small on Windows to be comfortable. All the technology in the world doesn't make up for not being able to read the words on the screen.
    I have trialled DP9 which didn't make any difference and tried the various skins.
    I so wanted to use DP, it makes so much sense and Im sure on mac is great.
    I went for the recent Cubase 9.5 crossgrade and even though Cubase doesnt "feel" quite as nice and clean to me, I can at least read the information its presenting me.
    Just my 2p's
    dcoscina likes this.
  16. holywilly

    holywilly Senior Member

    Apr 7, 2012
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Cubase user here, no complain whatsoever on both audio and midi workflow. However, I really wish one day Cubase can bounce video file instead of “replace audio from video”.

    DP and PT can bounce video and Cubase should really catch it up.
  17. Wolfie2112

    Wolfie2112 Senior Member

    @zolhof that is a cool list you posted, just interesting to see what the big dogs are using. Just goes to show that great music can be made in any of the DAW's out there.

    One thing I love about DP is the streamers, I really wish Cubase and Logic would add this feature.
  18. ceemusic

    ceemusic Senior Member

    Dec 14, 2008
    New York area
    This reminds me of the Fender Vs Gibson debates.

    My suggestion would be to try the demos, better yet get both if you can afford it.!
    JohnG and MatFluor like this.
  19. DS_Joost

    DS_Joost Senior Member

    Nov 19, 2015
    One thing, and it's a very important one regarding DP, is that on Windows, it gets very flaky and buggy the more tracks you add to a project. This happens around the 400 track mark, and it gets seriously unstable (as in, random shutdowns without notice) after the 700 track mark (doesn't matter what type of tracks, even empty midi tracks do this). This is only on Windows, and is an acknowledged (but as of yet unsolved) bug. If you don't use that many tracks, say in a template, I'd say go for it, but for me, DP is too buggy to really rely on (I work with big templates, so yeah). Damn shame, because I like the rest of the program very much, and would easily move over it these issues were fixed.

    Cubase for me has been rock solid. For, me, it isn't the most inspiring piece of software, but it works, and that is important. Although I hear many people saying that 9.5 hasn't been the most solid on the stability side. I don't have those problems, but you might have.

    I'd say demo them first, and (most importantly) stress test these programs on your setup the way you would do your day-to-day work. You don't want to spend 400 or 500 dollars on something that can't handle what you want it to. Some programs on some setups do better than others, but you should always test yourself.
  20. LFO

    LFO Senior Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    I am a long time Cubase user who thought that moving to DP when I moved from a PC to a Mac would make sense. There were features I really like in DP and I really like the UI. However, when I started using DP I found I could not get my head to work well with the workflow. I gave it a few months, but in the end it didn't work out.

    My point is, how you think workflow-wise will be a huge factor in which is better for you. You should demo both and find out as then you can't go wrong.

    [EDIT] I will add that for me, Cubase is rock solid. I haven't had a freeze or crash in years, except a few times when for when scanning VSTis at startup after having upgraded. Not everyone has this experience, but for me Cubase is highly reliable. (Knock on wood!)

Share This Page