I haven't bought yet (going to, but figured I would let the servers slow a bit as I'm in no rush), but I must say this is an excellent update.
Most hosts these days are afraid to release major new versions without trying to create huge new features. I'll admit, there is not much in this release that is anything other than evolutionary. Nothing huge compared to some releases. But there are literally DOZENS of small little improvements that are designed to refine what is there.
I said it above, and I'll say it again. Cubase, while not perfect by any stretch, is very loaded with features already. They have innovated countless times, and the toolset includes things for years now that to this day can't be found in other hosts (not gonna argue if somebody disagrees, but it's true). The list of creativity features alone is super long, which is great for what I do.
But this release takes many features and makes them easier to use. Things like easier sidechaining, drag and drop plugins, contextual menus (finally!)......these aren't anything you won't find in a half dozen other hosts. But they are refinements to a host that already has nearly unmatched features. So Steinberg are seeing that they need to revisit features and improve on them. That seems to be an exception rather than the rule these days. How many hosts (ahem, like Sonar and Reaper.....) never go back to refine features? They keep moving on to appease users with big features. People complain all the time about unfinished features in one host or another, or lack of workflow improvements. The last few Cubase versions have had a boatload of these refinements, and this release is no different. Some might just see a new coat of paint, but to dismiss this release like that would be completely missing how big it really is.
But even then, with ARA support coming, improved Variaudio and audio alignment, etc., there are still some great actual features here. Cubase itself is already a very cohesive program for the most part, and I can see with each release how they are trying to make decisions to keep it that way and make it easier to use.
Yes, I'm gushing a bit about it. No, Cubase isn't perfect and isn't without some missing features. Sure, there are hosts that have things I would like to see in Cubase, or hosts that have a better workflow in some areas (I still absolutely love Studio One) But overall, for me personally, I haven't seen a host lately that is going in the direction Cubase is. And I like that direction. I guess that's why I still use it