Away since Cubase SX 2 - which route to go with DAW?

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kurt.zweil
KVRer
5 posts since 20 Mar, 2005

Post Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:29 am

Dear KVR Community

I have been abstinent from my hobby since Cubase SX 2 times and just re-discovered the fun of screaming synth sounds :D

I am at the moment trying to get my equipment properly setup and have already spent some unreasonable money on new VSTIs such as The Legend and Dune 3 (couldn't resist!!). I also upgraded my old Komplete to Komplete 11 and bought Maschine Studio.

I am wondering now what I should do in regards to the DAW. I have always used Cubase but understand there is plenty of alternatives nowadays for PC users. I have Cubase AI 7 from my Steinberg UR 22 interface and could update this to Elements 10 for 49 € or Artist 10 for ca. 130 €.

I assume that this would be lowest effort to get used to it if the Cubase concept didn't change too much since SX 2.

For electronic / trance / EDM kind of productions I hear people love Ableton a lot. So I am wondering if this might also be an alternative.

Anyone out there that could give me any kind of recommendation / advice?

Thanks for any thought.
Sascha

andypryce
KVRist
82 posts since 2 Nov, 2014

Re: Away since Cubase SX 2 - which route to go with DAW?

Post Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:43 am

I would go for Cubase 10 since you are used to it and 10 is a great update. For the alternative I would suggest Studio One 4 which is in my opinion also very good.
If you want to go the Ableton Live route, then also consider Bitwig Studio as an alternative to that which is new but gets constant and great updates every 3-4 months.

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
16478 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Away since Cubase SX 2 - which route to go with DAW?

Post Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:05 am

Artist > Elements, easily, for that price difference. Elements is way cut down.

Ableton vs Cubase, Ableton is clips arranging, Cubase is linear. Both do both but that's your basic orientation.

EnGee
KVRAF
5085 posts since 7 Oct, 2005

Re: Away since Cubase SX 2 - which route to go with DAW?

Post Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:18 pm

Nothing! Just use Maschine (or upgrade to the latest version!). What are you missing with Maschine? This is the question IMO.

Maschine is my main DAW now, but when I want to spend good time the old way, I use Studio One v4. I sold Cubase Pro license and I don't miss it really! Anyway bear in mind that Artist or Pro (of Cubase) needs a dongle but Elements doesn't need a dongle. Also, only in the Pro version you have a full version of the score editor (which by the way, I use Notion 6 now instead).

There is also Bitwig, but it is either Bitwig or Live IMO (although I have the two). I have nektar P4 which works great with Bitwig and Reaper, but not integrated as good with Live or Studio One. So, this is another aspect to consider! What hardware you will use/buy int he future? Cubase integrates great with Yamaha synths and keyboards (it also integrates great with nektar P4/P6).

If you plan to use Push/Push2 then of course invest in Live, but with Maschine, I don't see the point really. Anyway, I prefer using my Mikro Maschine with Maschine 2.7 and I don't feel I'm missing something! Great workflow :D
Let's donate to help the kids and save our planet.
--------------------------------------------------------
Windows 10, Studio One v4 & Maschine v2

acYm
KVRian
882 posts since 11 Sep, 2015

Re: Away since Cubase SX 2 - which route to go with DAW?

Post Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:26 pm

I feel you'll get the most out of your maschine studio if you try using it standalone for a while and focus on it... if you think it's not suitable, then you can demo the various daw's. Ableton with a push or launchpad works great in parallel with maschine as a plugin.

felis
KVRist
406 posts since 25 Jul, 2009

Re: Away since Cubase SX 2 - which route to go with DAW?

Post Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:17 pm

Here's the Cubase comparison chart: https://new.steinberg.net/cubase/compare-editions/

The midi fx are the main draw for Artist over Elements for me.
Elements is a very capable program for very little money though.

EnGee
KVRAF
5085 posts since 7 Oct, 2005

Re: Away since Cubase SX 2 - which route to go with DAW?

Post Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:42 pm

Yes Elements has important limitations:
- no midi FX
- no sidechain
- 24 vst tracks

For me though, Elements is the best value because I don't use sidechain (my music is not crowded). I also don't need midi FX inside the DAW as there are better 3rd party alternatives. Finally, 24 tracks are plenty for me :D

So, if your requirements are limited (like me), maybe it's better to save the difference in money otherwise, either jump into Artist version or go Studio One Pro (Cubase users usually feels at home with Studio One). You can find good bargains in the 2nd market here for Studio One Pro and Cubase Artist ;)
Let's donate to help the kids and save our planet.
--------------------------------------------------------
Windows 10, Studio One v4 & Maschine v2

kurt.zweil
KVRer
5 posts since 20 Mar, 2005

Re: Away since Cubase SX 2 - which route to go with DAW?

Post Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:18 am

Hi all, thanks for all the replies! I cannot really say what I am missing from machine, as I haven't yet setup my new DAW PC :-)
I was just wondering if Maschine is enough to arrange a track or I need to go back to what I know from a decade ago which was Cubase SX... Know lots of things have changed and I guess I'll try to get used to Machine first...

chk071
KVRAF
18136 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Away since Cubase SX 2 - which route to go with DAW?

Post Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:21 am

jancivil wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:05 am
Artist > Elements, easily, for that price difference. Elements is way cut down.
It is. No sidechaining, no Midi FX (ok, can give those a miss), only 24 instrument tracks... and, even recording the output of a VST isn't immediately possible with the routing. IMO, it's rather a "lite" version, than really something you can seriously produce music with. Artist is the way to go, IMO.

scalawag
KVRian
583 posts since 3 May, 2004

Re: Away since Cubase SX 2 - which route to go with DAW?

Post Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:58 am

What you'll read here is everyone will say the DAW they use is the best one.
I personally use Tracktion Waveform 9 (10 is coming) and i like it a lot.
To be honest, demo all of them!!!
Waveform
Ableton
Cubase
Reaper
Studio One
Bitwig
Logic (on Mac only)
...
...

Danilo Villanova
KVRist
66 posts since 30 Apr, 2018

Re: Away since Cubase SX 2 - which route to go with DAW?

Post Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:39 am

Cakewalk is now free, definitely worth checking

Mushy Mushy
KVRAF
10370 posts since 7 Sep, 2008

Re: Away since Cubase SX 2 - which route to go with DAW?

Post Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:47 am

chk071 wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:21 am
jancivil wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:05 am
Artist > Elements, easily, for that price difference. Elements is way cut down.
It is. No sidechaining, no Midi FX (ok, can give those a miss), only 24 instrument tracks... and, even recording the output of a VST isn't immediately possible with the routing. IMO, it's rather a "lite" version, than really something you can seriously produce music with. Artist is the way to go, IMO.
I use Elements on the move and there are a few little tricks. I use MuLab to boost the VST track count and provide sidechaining (plus there are a multitude of sidechaining plugins out there). Multitimbral samplers also help boost the track count. Rendering channels is possible by setting up another buss and temporarily sending to that.
"I was wondering if you'd like to try Magic Mushrooms"
"Oooh I dont know. Sounds a bit scary"
"It's not scary. You just lose a sense of who you are and all that sh!t"

EnGee
KVRAF
5085 posts since 7 Oct, 2005

Re: Away since Cubase SX 2 - which route to go with DAW?

Post Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:53 pm

kurt.zweil wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:18 am
Hi all, thanks for all the replies! I cannot really say what I am missing from machine, as I haven't yet setup my new DAW PC :-)
I was just wondering if Maschine is enough to arrange a track or I need to go back to what I know from a decade ago which was Cubase SX... Know lots of things have changed and I guess I'll try to get used to Machine first...
I will stay focused on what you have and what you know.

I would give Maschine a chance or two first if I were you. The two main reasons are: first you already have Maschine hardware, right? Second, you have already invested in Komplete which has fantastic integration with Maschine software/hardware.

The first step is to read the manual. It's a thick one but there is easier learning curve than Ableton Live because Maschine is less complex and capable than Live. Anyway, at first you might feel confused but later you will be very fast (and practical) in making music.

The general workflow in Maschine is patterns based and scenes based. It has two sections (like in Live) the ideas section and the arrangement section. It also has a mixer view. All are very elegant and well designed.

There are groups that consist of 16 sounds each. The Scenes can be built from many patterns from the groups. Then you build the song arrangement from scenes.

It might be very confusing at first, but with the excellent manual and some videos on NI page on YouTube, you will connect all and be productive in less time than you think.

Now, if you don't want the Maschine way or you want to use it as a plugin inside a DAW, then it makes sense to jump into Cubase. It's just like Windows! If you know how to use Windows 95, then you can figure out how to use Windows 10! The workflow still almost the same, and more so between Cubase SX2 and Cubase 10!

Just bear in mind that you need to buy a Steinberg usb (dongle) before buying/ upgrading to the Artist version online.
Let's donate to help the kids and save our planet.
--------------------------------------------------------
Windows 10, Studio One v4 & Maschine v2

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
16478 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Away since Cubase SX 2 - which route to go with DAW?

Post Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:56 pm

One thing here: SX line is more equivalent to Pro today. The Artist level was called SL.

So a move from SX to Elements is a step way down in functionality. There is an easily accessible comparison chart at Steinberg.

I went from SX2 to Cubase 5, to Cubase 9. The differences do not amount to any real learning curve.
Switching DAW models entirely OTOH...

EnGee
KVRAF
5085 posts since 7 Oct, 2005

Re: Away since Cubase SX 2 - which route to go with DAW?

Post Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:33 pm

jancivil is right. SX is equal to Pro while SL equal to Artist. So, if you use the full score editor in SX then you should go Pro (also surround sound etc).

Now, one thing to consider is whether you are on Mac or PC. I suggested Studio One Pro because I guessed you are on a PC. Studio One is much more stable on Windows and it worth looking into as a substitute of Cubase. Studio One doesn’t have score editor but it doesn’t require a dongle (you can install it up into 5 computers and you can manage that as well), so it’s friendlier in that regard. Try the demo which is one month fully working. It has almost the same shortcuts as Cubase like F3 for mixer etc. It might be even easier than learning new things in Cubase 10! There is a very friendly help bar that tell you which shortcut when you hover your mouse over the different sections of the DAW. Don’t forget the original developers team of S1 were in Steinberg, so expect a lot of similarities.
Let's donate to help the kids and save our planet.
--------------------------------------------------------
Windows 10, Studio One v4 & Maschine v2

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