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TOP 9 Problems with Cubase 9 from a Logic X User

Breitenbach

kaganbreitenbach.com
Only 9 actually because I'm actually loving Cubase so far. Also be forewarned some of these are kinda superficial and subjective, and some might simply be beginner's mistakes. I'd still be extremely grateful for any suggestions from Cubase 9 pros.

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1.) The video player window closes whenever you click outside of Cubase




I know a lot of composers are like me, and have a TV that’s dedicated 100% to displaying video from a session. However, I run my slave via the Mac OS X screen sharing app, so whenever I click over to my slave computer the video window in Cubase closes. That means my video is closing A LOT. It’s extremely annoying. In Logic X, a full screen video gets its own designated space, so it doesn’t close when you click outside of Logic. I’ve read everything in the Cubase manual that pertains to this, and found nothing helpful. The option of not doing screen sharing and having a specific keyboard, mouse, and monitor seems like a last resort to me.


2. No vertical mouse scroll zooming

Here's an example of vertical scroll zooming in Logic



As a user of both Logic X for composing and Adobe Premiere for video editing, I’ve gotten extremely accustomed to scroll zooming. However, vertical scroll zooming doesn’t seem to be a possibility in Cubase at all even though horizontal scroll zooming is. Any ideas?


3. Playback disruptions when opening the key editor




If I open the key editor in the lower zone during playback, there is brief but consistent playback interruption. A friend of mine suggested it might be a lack of processing power, but I’m running cubase on a 6 core mac pro and have all my samples running on a 4 core mac pro. Not to mention, this session only has about 40 instruments in it. The last film I did, I was only using one computer, had hundreds of instruments loaded in logic, and I don’t remember having playback disruptions.


4. The top and bottom panels have odd limitations in their options for customization


The amount of tools a person wants visible on the top and bottom panels is purely preference, but the limitations in how you can arrange them is a bit frustrating. I’m a person that does 90% of operations through key commands, so I don’t want a lot of buttons on the panels. My main issue is that some items like: main transport, primary and secondary time display, tempo & time signature, as well as click & recount- are available exclusively on the bottom. And other items like: state buttons, snap, grid, quantize, and color menu are exclusive to the top. If I want all these tools accessible, I have to have both panels open resulting in a pretty significant waste of space.


I’ve highlighted the wasted space in this picture:



Does anyone know a way to have more control over this? Also, to be fair, these tool bars a much better than Logic in this regard. There are hardly any customization options in Logic for this, and only there is only a tool panel on top.


5. No ability to make controlled tempo curves


Here’s how increase and decreasing tempo works in Logic:



Cubase’s option to draw really specific tempos is great, but it comes at the sacrifice of Logic’s super clean tempo curve adjusting nodes. Is this something that exists in Cubase and I just don’t know about it yet?


6. Cubases messy filing system


Logic Filing:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzXAILxxGRKJZlpJZENIc09HaU0


Cubase Filing:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzXAILxxGRKJM0twaXJQQUFDWjQ


The pictures shows very similar sessions and how Logic and Cubase handle them. Logic has everything packaged. It’s clean and simple, yet you can still right click to reveal package contents and search through back ups. However, if you click on the Logic session itself it opens in the most intuitive place, which is your last save or most recent back up. If you want to go back to a previous backup or version, you simply right click to show package contents. Cubase’s back-up file vomit is horrifying to my obsessive compulsiveness. Is there a better way to set up Cubase’s filing system?


7. No faders on tracks

Logic faders on tracks:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzXAILxxGRKJUHJNN2Nfd2tUMG8


Maybe this is preference I haven’t discovered yet. In Logic, it’s really great to have this quick cheater faders on each track in case you want to make a quick small mix change without moving over to, or opening, your mixer. Admittedly, this is definitely a personal preference, and not necessarily a problem with Cubase.


8. No end markers?

Here is an example of an end marker in Logic:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzXAILxxGRKJVFhkWVkzWHB4N0E


In Logic you can put on an end marker. The idea behind this is that if you zoom all the way out you won’t end up hundreds of measures past the end of your video and music in the wastelands of your session. Maybe/hopefully an end marker exists in Cubase that I don’t know about?


9. Can’t change key signature with Global tracks

I hope this is a beginners mistake, and that this is an option.


In Logic, I can set the key signature the same way as the time signature. This may seem useless, but it comes in very useful when exporting MIDI to open in a notation software.


https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzXAILxxGRKJSU5NUVNZT2xELWs


It saves time when going to Sibelius so I don’t have to worry about fixing lots of incorrect enharmonic equivalences and chord misspellings. Changing key signatures has to be possible right? I am planning on moving over to Dorico soon too, so for the best integration it seems like Cubase should have a key signature global track.




And…. if I were to do a #10, it would be that Cubase is pretty pricey, and that would be justifiable except for the fact that it is only a single license. Logic X is done through your Apple ID, which means that if you purchase it once for $200 you can put it on every computer you own. My current Logic X purchase is on 2 Mac Pros, my laptop, and my Mac Mini, and I don’t have to have an licensing dongle for any of them. That’s a differences of about $2,100 and the small added issue of convenience of having to carry around an elisencer.

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Anyway, thanks for reading, and I hope I didn’t come across as ragging on cubase. To be honestly, I see more positives in Cubase than negatives. I feel comfortable already about doing my next feature using it, but I would be extremely grateful if anyone offers help on the issues I listed above.
 
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Vik

Scandi Member
10) The lack of dual faders in the Track Area inspector, where the right fader dynamically shows what I click on in the left one, also bothers me in Cubase. And 11) also that Cubase always show 8 inserts even if I only need to see 1. And 12) that the Cycle area looks the same in active and non-active mode. 13) The Key Command window is also better in Logic. 14) And if you transpose a note up an octave with a key command, you don't hear anything. 15) There's no voice separation tool either. 16) The zoom-out command doesn't seem to work in score. 17) And if you repeat using the command to open the tool palette, you'll see it isn't toggling, it keeps opening op several palettes. 18) I don't think there's a toggle command for hiding/showing automation either, two key commands are needed. 19) There also seems to me more in depth control over stop/start functions in Logic.

But then again, Cubase has a list of goodies (longer than what I just mentioned) which Logic never seem to get, so... not easy!
 
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OP
Breitenbach

Breitenbach

kaganbreitenbach.com
Agreed on a lot of this! I do miss the sound when transposing up an octave.

A huge one you mentioned here that I didn't list above is that opening and closing automation requires 2 key commands, which is definitely a waste. Currently mine is "a" to open and "shift a" to close. In Logic it's just "a" to open and close. An action and its inverse do not require 2 commands!

There are many instances where one key command would be sufficient and 2 are required. Automation is one, but another is opening and closing the lower zone key editor or mixer. In logic, e and x respectively open and close lower zones for the key editor/piano roll and mixer. In Cubase you need 2 commands for each. Huge pain.

And agreed, I want to post later about things that I think are better in Cubase because there are a lot.
 

Vik

Scandi Member
Yes, there's a lot. How Cubase deals with Kontakt and CC automation + the ability to freeze a track and unload Kontakt samples are major for me, and of course expression maps - but Logic can make something better if they start to develop their own Articulation ID function, because they are assigned on a per note basis. So you could easily take a four part piano piece and add unique articulations to each of the notes occurring on the same spot, *if* only those IDs would talk to Kontakt directly.
 

ChristopherDoucet

Follow on Twitter @DoucetComposer
3. Should not be happening. Thats weird.

4. Im willing to be Steinberg will add this as a feature in future cubase versions. The abiliy to hide the bar etc.

5. I'd be interested to see what other people saw about this. Id like to know how to do this as well.

6. I actually prefer this!!! Many times, I have to look at the time of the update and delve back into very specific times. The difference between the backup at 1:10pm and 2:15pm is huge and sometimes I need recall to get back to that exact moment. So I would actually say this is a must feature for me.

7. See image 0513

8. you can actually make zoom presets like zoom to locators, or I even think you can tell it to only zoom to tracks in the project, which would lock it off, so you're not in the boonies. I think you could even do zoom to cycle marker which has a definitive ending.
 

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novaburst

Senior Member
Wonder if it would have been better off posting this on a Cubase forum, the developers are more likely to see it there,
and may be grateful for the pointers.

Are you going to say you already did..........
 

R. Soul

Senior Member
8. While not bar based you can set the project time in 'Project setup'. So, if you have no need for 200 bars, you can just set it to 2 min. - or whatever.

14. 'Acoustic feedback' - it's an icon at the top with a speaker on it.
 

jonathanwright

Senior Member
2 & 3: I've been having so much trouble with glitching audio, a severe slowdown in UI while editing in the piano roll and hard crashes if I ever make the mistake of trying to move a plugin while the project is playing, that I've had to move back to Logic for now.

I use a Magic Trackpad, so like being able to use basic gestures - such as pinch to zoom - and Cubase doesn't even do that yet. Its UI really needs to be updated, as it's quite clunky these days compare to Logic and S1.

Its a shame as its feature set is fantastic.
 

zolhof

Active Member
For #2 I run the following AutoHotKey script at Windows' startup:

#IfWinActive ahk_class SteinbergWindowClass
\::Shift

#IfWinActive ahk_class SteinbergWindowClass
+WheelUp::
Send {h}
return

#IfWinActive ahk_class SteinbergWindowClass
+WheelDown::
Send {g}
return

Shift + mouse wheel = vertical zoom. I also use the key next to the left shift (backslash) as a modifier, so \ + mouse wheel = horizontal scroll.

IfWinActive checks if Cubase is active so you don't have to worry about any modifiers messing with other programs.

Hope it helps because Steinberg has been ignoring this simple request for many years now.
 
OP
Breitenbach

Breitenbach

kaganbreitenbach.com
Hey thanks so much for all the great feedback! It's been really useful. And Vik, I'm planning on posting my favorite things about Cubase very soon!

Wolfie 2112, what I'm talking about is totally different from what the locators do. R. Soul actually offered the best option for this particular problem. Limiting the project length is essentially the exact same as what the end marker in Logic X does. It's just a slightly different way of looking at it.

And zolhof! Man thanks so much for taking the time to put up all that info for getting vertical scroll zooming. Unfortunately, I'm on Mac :( Sorry!I should have specified, but I truly hope others benefit from what you've written.

Oh and Wolfie2112, I mainly switched to Cubase because of the additional features. If I could pick one single feature where Cubase beats Logic for me it's the ability to make multiple levels of folders. The fact that Logic only allows you to do one level of folders plus a summing stack is ridiculous. Once I started building templates that were hundreds and even thousands of tracks, the Logic sessions were becoming unruly. Obviously there are many other reasons that I'll detail in a different thread including ability to manipulate midi, the logical editor, and more.

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Again, I'll post the more positive side of things shortly. But before I do, just a final lament. Be warned that I'm being pretty whiny below. If you work for Steinberg though, please please please read haha.

The filing system is just plain gross. I HATE it. Steinberg, do what Logic does please. Just show me one icon for the most recent version. If I want to dig through nitty gritty back ups, I can right click and say "show contents". There's no use in showing me all the back ups all the time. It just makes for bloated archives.

I honestly have to ask how any of you who host video in Cubase can even tolerate that the video player window disappears when you click outside of Cubase. It is so... damn... irritating. Some days it pushes me to the brink of madness. The new Cubase video player engine is superb, but I still might slave my video to Logic just because this is so obnoxious. It would be fine if I only click out of cubase every now and then. Put I have to click in to finder, or audio midi setup, or MK connect, or Lemur Daemon, or Vienna, or something else. And the video closes every time. Why?!

Surprisingly, I have settled in to the key zooming fairly well. It's intuitive. HOWEVER, the real issue I've discovered is that vertical zooming in Cubase only yields about 30 different levels of zoom increments. You may thank that's plenty, but let me tell you why it's bad. Let's say I want to display exactly, and only, the 35 most useful tracks on my screen at a time, and I want it to use all my available screen space. (real example) If I go to zoom level 3, my screen displays 30 tracks full screen, if I want the other five tracks I have to zoom out a level which then makes all the tracks way smaller and then has a big chunk of wasted space basically making room for about 50 tracks. So basically my choice is to view 30 tracks or 50?

In Logic, you have probably hundreds of different zoom increments. Basically, it's like comparing a 127 increment fader to the 15 increments of volume control you have on an iPhone. Basically Cubase assumes what zoom levels are most useful, and limit you to that. In Logic you can have whatever you want. Whether is 20 tracks you want exactly full screen or 100, or 54, or 32, etc. You have the power to do that. And more importantly, you have the precise control of the mouse scroll wheel. I'd advocate that Steinberg keep G and H as it is with these 30 or so levels of zoom, but then add option-shift-scroll to get exact vertical scroll precision.
 

Vik

Scandi Member
And Vik, I'm planning on posting my favorite things about Cubase very soon!
Thanks. I'm also a Logic user who bought Cubase due to the lack (over many years) of Logic development in area that are important for me. We probably agree about some of the Cubase pros (and cons).

Here are some of the things Logic users like in Cubase:

Multiple CC lanes (Logic doesn't have that in score/piano roll, which is where we want them)

CC lanes in Arrange regions

Piano Roll in each Arrange region

Always nondestructive audio editing

VST Note Expression

Expression Maps

Better time stretching algo (Elastique)

Piano Roll in general

ASIO Direct Monitoring. Logic also has that now, but only with (some?) Apogee interfaces

“Control Room” feature

VST Rack

Audio to MIDI which translates pitch bends /vibrato/volume

Custom "tags" for all samples, loops, synth & effects presets

Planned integration with Dorico (Steinbergs new scoring app, which is developing towards becoming very good (in a year or two)

Audio Pool

Fast & easy scaling/fading of velocities and CCs.

Better Freeze (unloads samples, partial freeze)

Compatibility with PC users

Works better with large templates

More buses/tracks (for large templates)

Everything related to articulations/CCs/Kontakt/ VI automation

Gain handle on each audio region in Arrange

Chord track

Chord assistant (Chord Pad)

Harmony / Variaudio can automatically create harmonies for you. With Variaudio you can also edit multiple vocal tracks simultaneously in the same window.

Can disarm tracks from record mode without pressing stop

Uncluttered automation view (nodes are only shown when you need them)

“CC automation setup”

Auto Track Color mode

Tool modifiers are user assignable

Can switch/load/save preference files from the Preferences area

A lot more key commands

Drag a clip (w/ Shift) from the Media Bay on to a clip on the arrange window and Cubase will ask you if you want to replace just that clip or all instances of that clip.

Interlink Cubase and Wavelab

Global preset banks for external MIDI gear

Built in tube emulation

Built in tape emulation

Automation can use mixed methods

Icons and key commands for Dot and Triplet

Easier to edit off-velocity (in piano roll)

Randomize MIDI in the Inspector

Small Note pad, in Logic it's too tall/covers full screen height

Kontakt Automation works as expected.

QuickControl presets

70 parameters for controlling colours

Quick Control look

Quick control default for all songs

Chord functions (invert, drop etc)

A drop-down menu for MIDI channels, where the MIDI port can be chosen. This way, you can easily separate your MIDI controllers for either playing or recording, and they will only play virtual instruments on tracks which are selected to their specific channel.

Please comment that list, anyone, if something is missing or something has been implemented in Logic which adresses these shortcomings.
 

Tatu

Lannister
I've been using Cubase 8.5 for a year now and have come to the conclusion, that only things that I value more in Cubase, compared to LP X, is its piano roll and mixer view (which is way more customizable than what we have in LP X). If I had the money, I'd get a more recent mac pro, or that upcoming iMac Pro and go back to Logic in a heartbeat.

My few random cultural shocks after switching (very subjective):
- Built in effects in Cubase are awful compared to LP X plugins, mostly the UI's, I'm sure they work under the hood.
- MIDI plugins make no sense after coming from LP X's easy to approach counter parts (which are relatively new).
- Track automation is much better in LP X.
- Mixer view is awesome in Cubase.
- Unloading / disabling a track actually does something in Cubase.
- Zooming functions in Logic work perfectly and intuitively. Cubase.. :shocked: I know there's macros, one can assign key commands to billions of things and whatnot, but this sort of stuff should be easier to set up. Have they changed any of that in C9?
- Piano roll in Cubase is great.. but; I do prefer the look and feel of the automation stuff in Logic more, especially since it shows you numerical values within the curves/dots itself.
- Retina/HDPI stuff in LP X 1 - Cubase's pre 2010 graphics 0.
 

VinRice

... i am a robot ...
MAJOR problem I'm having in Cubase is the way it treats timecode v Logic. In Logic you can lock a Bar and a Time Code number together. You can then lock a hit point or end marker to another specific time code. You can then adjust tempo and tempo curves and the music slides around relative to the Time Code, as it should. In Logic the first bar no. and time code number that you specified REMAIN LOCKED so that you can use tempo, accels, ritards etc to make sure you hit your markers down the line. In Cubase they do not remain locked, so that any change in tempo just fucks up all your hit points...argh...
 

VinRice

... i am a robot ...
Things to like in Cubase v Logic:

Better integration with VEP
Expression Maps (though slightly buggy)
Unlimited Channels with easier routing
Programmability and flexibility
Proper track disabling
MIDI editing functionality

Things not to like in Cubase v Logic

Timecode handling
Video handling
CPU efficiency and stability
Included content, plug-ins and instruments
UI of secondary widows (the main two are fine once you get used to them)
 

VinRice

... i am a robot ...
Of course the track disabling in Cubase is essential because of the way it works v Logic:

iMac 4GHz 4-core 32meg

200 empty instances Kontakt, standard EQ and Comp per channel switched on:
Logic CPU 12%
Cubase CPU 200%
 
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