4.75 (2 Reviews) Cubase 7 has lots of new features and improved work flow. There is no reason not to update if you are on Cubase 6, 5, etc. Customers that left, might want to check out this new version
I was able to download the upgrade from Cubase 5 (PC) to Cubase 7 on line. Thankfully the install went very well. Here are some of my observations.
1. I like the way you can customize the screens, and I really do like the way the mixer looks a lot better. Different colored faders for audio, midi, and group is something I like as you can find things a little faster. It also has a smoother look, and appears more modern. They have not updated the Cubase mixer for a very long time, and this new look seems fresh and up to date. Now you can also put a photo of a instrument above the faders. I know Logic gave this option a long time ago. It seems that it allows you to find the particular fader faster than looking at the words below on the scribble strips. Partially since you recogzine the photo faster than it is to read the names below.
2. I was initially happy about the channel strip being shown on the mixer screen. However after working with plug ins for so many years with a visual box showing up with additional visual information in front of you, I still prefer that work flow over just knobs. Also just the display of the controls and not being able to see everything big enough and at once I was not as keen on. However when you click the channel edit button, the whole channel strip for that channel shows up along with your inserts on the left and Aux's on the right like the previous versions. I found this a lot easier to work with (compared to the mixer page) the knobs alone. I found this display and it's work flow to be actually quite nice. Also you can click the EQ (next to the channel strip) and a new EQ display shows up which again looks fresher than the old display on the previous versions. . If you use the Studio EQ as an insert, the extra graph showing more information on the screen is quite nice. as well.
I like the vintage comp (which looks like a 1176 with more features), and I compared it to the Waves 1176. They sound similar though different. I would not say one is better than the other. Depending on the source, one may be better than another. The tube compressor adds some distortion, and does not really seem to warm up things. The tape effect I was not impressed with and it does not even come close to the one in Samplitude, not to mention the UAD Studer. Many of the bread and butter effects visually do not seem to be any different than the ones in Cubase 5.
Some things that were a little confusing initially like when you wanted to bypass an effect on a channel. Just by clicking on an insert on the mixer page does not disable it like the older version. You have to click on the left hand side of the insert where there is a small circle to bypass the effect. Also though I like seeing photos of the instruments, it makes the faders shorter and a little more difficult to read the fine details on the fader. I prefer to have the larger faders that are easier to read.
3. I think I will keep my visual work flow on the mixer similar to what I had in Cubase 5. Just showing the inserts and Aux on top. Perhaps the metering when mixing as well. I don't like the work flow of seeing your EQ in the channel strip as it is so big that it takes other things off the screen. You then have to scroll down to see the other sections with you mouse. I much prefer the way Samplitude has the layout of the inserts, effects, and EQ on their mixer. However I like the fader, and navigation screen on the left better in Cubase. I also like the improved way it lays out the plug ins in the mixer. It makes finding things a lot easier as it combines many plug ins together under the same title. I wish this is something Samplitude would do with their work flow.
4. In the older versions of Cubase you could save your mixer setting view. For instance a view that you would see the mixer starting with the first fader on the left. Another saved view you could click to open would start the mixer view on the drums, or group tracks. Samplitude was better in this area as they had numbers you just have to click on to see the different views. In Cubase you had to click, open,and move your mouse to the view you wanted. They seemed to have removed their old work flow. Now there is a visual column on the left that lists all your channels. So you just click on the track you want to see on the mixer. The mixer notes that you have on your project page on the far bottom, you can now also include on the mixer if you want. I typically use the note page for information like what mic, pre and certain settings I used for a track. Personally the information on the project page is enough for me, but the added flexiblity of adding it on the mixer page is nice.
5. I was glad with my install that all my Waves, UAD, Focusrite, and other plug ins all showed up and work well. The CPU performance seems to be similar to Cubase 5. I was a little worried since my computer is a couple years old. It seems this older computer will still be able to be used with Cubase 7. The Mackie Controller and Expander also work very well with the new version. Cubase 7 seemed to have taken the info from my Cubase 5 and transport them into Cubase 7.
This is just a scratch of the surface with all the new features of Cubase 7. I hope to work with musicans in the future who will have Cubase 7 in their studio. I would then be able to record tracks in my studio that will show up on their project on their Cubase 7. Also I know I will be working with the midi track to obtain new chord assistant change ideas for songs. The additional metering and putting the control room all on one screen is also very nice. Overall this version is a huge improvement and really puts Cubase/Nuendo back as one of the of the DAW's out there. It sill though lacks some features of Samplitude like burning CD;s, multipe mastering metering and powerful object editing. With Steinberg owning Wavelab, it seems many of these features will be for Wavelab only though. Though Samplitude is a powerful program which I really like, it's integration with third party plug ins and hardware is not a smooth and thought out as Cubase. Both are great programs in their own way.
A Musical Journey
In 1989, a group of pioneer programmers from Germany made a revolution in the musical world by creating one of the very first Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) called Cubase. At this time it was only for MIDI sequencing on Atari and after 24 years being the leading developers in musical software, Steinberg's finest work is now in the form of Cubase 7. Alongside with their VST technologies, Steinberg has still more impressive ideas to change the work-flow of its users: musicians and engineers alike. Cubase 7 comes with some new innovative tools that will definitely help to ease the music production process for everyone...
After a rather long installation and downloading process..
Lets see how Cubase latest version 7.0.4 is doing in practice.
Start with the Hub
When I open Cubase, the Steinberg Hub appears giving me everything I need to start making music, from last open projects to session templates. There are links to tutorials that will get you up and running with the latest version and all Steinberg's news are also available meaning no need to check the website to know what they are up to. Nice.
The Mixing Console
Maybe the most obvious changes in Cubase is the new MixConsole.. In Cubase's version 7.0.0 to 7.0.3, the MixConsole was uninviting to use as it was very buggy, but with 7.0.4 its almost as good as they say it is on Steinberg's website.
But how can the new console bring you to a better mix?
For me, less is more! Since I can remove visually everything I don't need on the new MixConsole, the view is softer to the eyes and more inviting to try stuff easily.
And if you are like me using the build in EQ in Cubase, you will see that your mixing experience with significantly enhance since you can see the Spectrum Analyser and edit the EQ curve right in the mixer itself: with a single click, the EQ view pops out letting you edit with ease. Cool...
And you can now see your Routing, Inserts, EQ, Sends and Cue Sends right in a single window. Alongside with a BIG master level meter attach to the screen, you are sure that your levels are definitely right!
The fact that you can customize the mixer completely the way you like it is coolest thing to speed up your mixing experience. You can make it full screen if you wish too!
Noise Gate, Compressors, Envelope Follower, Saturators and Limiter & Maximizers available on all channels, and can easily activate and deactivate inside the MixConsole and Channel View. After a while playing around, I found that the strips can be a very useful tools to enhance my mixing experience as it has all the most important tool for mixing right in front of me. You can also ignore them and use the 8 inserts as if the strips dont exist, just like previous versions of Cubase.
Remember the e button?
The Channel view also got enhance to welcome the Channel Strip. Here you can easily choose the EQ position inside the Channel Strip. The Inserts and Sends got a new look and are more intuitive at selecting VST Plugins and Routing.
The only thing that could have been better is that you can edit the Channel Strips' module inside Cubase's Inspector rather than having to open the Channel or Mixer view.
Composition made Easy!
Chord Track and Chord Assitant... If you dont which chord to play next, just ask Cubase, it couldn't have been easier. True it takes some times to master how to use these new tools, but after watching the tutorials, I was up and running trying some new ways of composing.
VST Expression 2
Can you articulate a single note inside a MIDI chord in your DAW? Sounds important if you want to do some serious Orchestral composition. Since Steinberg is the creator of VST technologies, they know how to go deep inside MIDI note manipulation of VST instruments and give you ways to be more creative while sounding more realistic when playing VST instruments like HALion Sonic's orchestral instruments. Hopefully there will be more VST plugins that will be able to support VST Expression cause its a real game changer.
To me Steinberg Cubase 7 was an obvious choice, as it comes with everything that I need to make a serious tune all in the box. Vari-Audio that does an elegant job for vocal pitch correction, drum quantization is just a breeze, included Voxengo's CurveEQ for mastering, Tube Compressor to add some serious warmth, Retrologue & Padshop to give me all the vintage analog sounds I need with a simple to use interface. The VST Amp rack for some smooth & metal guitar tones.. And one of the best reverb plugins I've heard: REVerence.
As a musician, recording & mixing engineer, I have to use Cubase almost everyday, and I can say that it truly helps to make some task heavy jobs like drums recording feels like recording one simple audio track. But the very first time I have use Cubase (version 5), it was very intimidating, but years after, I realize that Cubase is rock solid for engineers, but for musicians who are new to the recording & mixing world, Cubase isn't the easiest piece of software to learn and use, but sure its worth it.