Steinberg invented most of the software music technology that we all take for granted — MIDI and audio synchronization, the VST effects and instruments plug-in format and the ASIO audio engine — all of which make DAWs possible.
In recent versions, Cubase has become more fluid, refined and focused. Reducing the clutter of windows and seamlessly moving from audio editing to mixing, to loading instruments, to browsing samples, to creating sample instruments. Version 10.5 consolidates the workflow while pushing the professional production facilities to the max.
The strength of Cubase is that it doesn’t specialize, it gives you all the tools you need regardless of what sort of music you’re doing. And far from being a Jack-Of-All-Trades, it’s really good at everything. For audio multi-tracking, you’ve got detailed on-track editing, a fabulous mixing console with undo history, channel strips, and colorization to keep things organized.
On the MIDI side, there’s key and drum editing seamlessly moving to score editing and then MPE expression editing. You can create chord tracks and chord pads. It even has the ability to retrospectively record MIDI by always having recording enabled in the background. So if you played something amazing and forget to set Cubase recording — that’s no longer a problem.
It comes with a range of fantastic virtual instruments covering drums, synths, workstation sounds and a sampler where you can drop in audio from anywhere, any track and just start getting creative. The included effects are top quality and include multi-tap delays, spectral EQs, channel strips and everything you need to process your audio.
If you are doing sound-to-picture you can now export your music directly mixed with the video. Or you can work in projects intended for Virtual Reality with a complete suite of environmental and spatial tools.
Cubase is one of the oldest DAWs on the block and has a maturity and self-assurance that others can lack. They’ve made some bold choices in the last couple of versions and remain the leader in this field.
Street Price: $552