Browsing Away Track Presets and so on are accessed using the Sound Frame browser, which has three main areas. At the top left is a Windows Explorer-style folder tree showing all the locations where relevant presets are stored.
A Text Search field separates this from the Filter, which consists of a series of columns displaying the various metadata Tags that are appropriate to the sound you’re browsing. The supplied Track Presets and patches for the bundled VST Instruments are heavily Tagged using attributes such as instrument Category bass, drums, percussion and so on and Sub Category acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar and so on , musical Style and Character.
Clicking on an entry in a column adds that entry to the Filter settings, and the Browser to the right shows all the patches that match. HALion One. As an example, if you wanted to choose a keyboard sound with a soft bell-like quality, you could highlight the Chromatic Perc, Keyboard and Piano Categories, the Bell Sub Category, and the Soft and Dark Character entries.
Assuming the presets have been properly Tagged, this would give you a more comprehensive result than doing a Text Search on the word ‘bell’, which only brings up those presets that actually have ‘bell’ in the name. The Text Search and the Filter interact, so you can search within a particular Category, for example.
Conversely, if you hit upon a good sound, you can enter your own Tags when you save it, and if the default attributes such as Category and Character don’t do it justice, you can create additional ones. The relationship between Categories and Sub Categories can get complicated, though, and it’s easy to end up in situations where nothing appears in the Viewer, but you can’t see where it’s all being Filtered out. A button to cancel all Filtering would be handy.
With minor variations, this browser appears in lots of different places in Cubase 4. In VST3 plug-ins, it also replaces the old preset menu, where it comes in two slightly different forms, depending on whether you click the preset name or the Sound Frame icon next to it.
I’m not quite sure why this is the case, especially as the two behave just differently enough to be confusing. The new system does make it really easy to audition different sounds and effects while your song is actually playing, which is great, but I found its behaviour could be inconsistent.
With some presets, double-clicking the name would load that preset and close the browser; with other presets for the same instrument, it would just select the preset; and just for good measure, sometimes it closed the browser without loading the preset. One thing that really confused me is the way the various Sound Frame browsers decide where to pick up when you close and then re-open them.
As far as I can work out, each of these related browsers retains its own record of last-used Filter settings, but in a global sense rather than a track-by-track sense. For example, let’s suppose you’re working with two instances of the new Halion One synth. You’ve used the browser to search for a drum sound on the first instance, and then you switch to the second and browse for a piano sound.
If you then decide to go back to the first one and change your drum sound, the browser will show you piano sounds, rather than picking up where you left off. And if you’ve used Sound Frame to choose a drum sound in the Create Track dialogue, then decide you want to change that sound from one of the other Sound Frame browsers, you’ll be faced with whatever search focus that browser was last used for, not the Filter settings that found your drum sounds.
This is the highest level of the Sound Frame concept, and it encompasses Projects and pretty much everything in them, from Track and plug-in presets to audio, video and MIDI files. Before it can be much use, you need to let it scan your hard drive to create its database.
This takes a while, but you only need to do it once. Thereafter, you can have it automatically scan for changes or refresh manually at a time that’s convenient for you. The Media Bay brings under the Sound Frame umbrella all the tasks that would once have been carried out in the Pool, although the latter is still available if you prefer. So, as well as Filtering Track Presets by Category and so forth, you can Filter audio files by attributes such as creation date, number of channels, bit depth and so on.
It makes a great librarian tool for sound effects and loops, provided they are properly Tagged. The version of Media Bay in the full Cubase 4 also includes a powerful Details search function, which allows you, for instance, to find all audio files with a creation date after the 12th of July, or all files between four and five minutes long.
Cubase 4 users can also create custom Tags. When you’ve found the audio file you were after, the Scope window at the bottom of the Media Bay lets you audition it.
A nice touch is the ‘audition in Project context’ option, which plays back loops at the Project tempo. If you find something you like, you can usually drag it from the Media Bay directly into an appropriate area of your Project. For instance, dragging a Track Preset into a blank area of the Track List creates a new track, while dropping it on an existing track applies its settings to that track.
Dragging a Project out of the Media Bay opens it up. However, there doesn’t seem to be any way to import elements directly from one Project to another as you can in, say, Pro Tools; you have to create Track Presets first.
The Media Bay is one of those features that will be very, very useful, but perhaps only to a minority of Cubase users. Anyone doing sound design or loop-based composition will appreciate the worth of a powerful librarian for effects and samples, though its usefulness is heavily dependent on files being Tagged with the necessary metadata. With other material, the only real benefit compared with using the Pool or Windows Explorer is the ability to audition at Project tempo, and those with more basic requirements may find it simpler to use the existing approach.
Also, it would be nice to be able to tell Media Bay which folders to look at before it begins to compile its database. As it is, it seems to default to cataloguing everything it can find, so my Media Bay now displays thousands of fade files from Pro Tools Sessions, which I’m never going to need to import into Cubase. Second Opinion I happily use Pro Tools and Sonar when working with some musical collaborators, but in my own project studio, Cubase SX often with Acid Pro Rewired in has been my sequencing weapon of choice ever since the demise of Logic on the PC platform.
Like most other regular SX users I was, of course, keen to see how some of the intriguing new features listed in v4 appeared in action.
Like Sam, I installed my Cubase 4 upgrade alongside SX3 but, in my case, this was on my ‘reviews’ partition of a relatively new dual-core Athlon desktop system rather than a laptop.
In whizzing through the headline new features — the new VST effects and instruments, for example — my initial impressions were very positive. In moving from Logic to SX, my green streak has always glowed a bit brighter whenever Logic ‘s built-in effects are discussed. Steinberg’s overhaul of the effects plug-ins bundled within Cubase is long overdue and what is supplied with version 4 is a considerable improvement.
Though they’re perhaps still not quite up to those currently supplied with Logic, I’d happily use the majority of them in my own work. I regularly use Halion 3 but, even so, Halion One is a welcome addition, and the flip side of its lack of editing potential is a simplicity that makes it more immediate.
The full version of Halion is quite a complex beast, but with Halion One you just load your preset and play without getting too bogged down in the details — and the supplied sound set is very good. Prologue is also excellent, and there are also some fabulous presets within both Spector and Mystic — Spector ‘s Chainsaw Lead preset is wonderful for some keyboard self-indulgence!
I have not yet spent much time exploring Sound Frame or the Media Bay but I can see the potential of both, and for anyone with a substantial collection of sample libraries, the latter certainly ought to repay the initial investment in time getting to grips with it. In contrast, Track Presets and Instrument Tracks are instant time-savers, as is being able to drag and drop copies of effects to other channels in the mixer.
Unlike Sam, on my particular system, I didn’t experience any odd behaviour with this. I’d agree with Sam about the changes made to the user interface. Steinberg have done a good job of streamlining various aspects of the Project Window, for example, but the colour scheme is a little dark and the new VSTis, while sounding great, could perhaps have been wrapped in something rather more eye-catching.
While I didn’t experience some of the particular problems Sam mentions in the main review for example, Cubase found Halion Symphonic Orchestra on my system without any problems , in constructing a couple of trial projects, I did encounter the occasional bit of bad behaviour. However, what I found a more significant issue was simply that the considerable number of new and re-worked features meant that my workflow was somewhat slower than in SX3.
This is, of course, an issue that would disappear with further use but, for any upgraders, I would recommend staying with SX3 for anything that has a short deadline until you can devote time to fully bedding in Cubase 4 and becoming familiar enough with it to make it work for you. That said, I think Steinberg have taken some bold steps with this release and, while some of the new features may still require some fine-tuning, their potential is considerable. John Walden Sound Judgment?
Sound Frame is probably the biggest conceptual leap in Cubase ‘s evolution since the invention of VST Instruments, and in principle I think it’s an excellent, far-sighted idea. To me, it makes lots of sense to have this sort of functionality built into the application, allowing it to work at the track level, rather than having it restricted to a plug-in, as it is if you run NI’s Kore within a host application.
The integration of preset management with Track Presets and the Media Bay has the potential to be a real step forward in ease of use and flexibility. In use, I found that Track Presets quickly showed their worth. In the past, of course, you had the option of creating template Projects, but the flexibility of the new system leaves them in the dust.
Templates are only really useful if you know in advance what you’re going to want. If your projects tend to evolve in unpredictable fashion, or you find yourself working on Projects created by other people, the ability to store and load track settings — and apply them to existing tracks as well as new ones — is a Godsend.
Having said all that, the Sound Frame system is frustratingly incomplete at the moment. I could hardly believe my eyes when I discovered that the Track Preset system doesn’t apply to FX or Group tracks, because, to my mind, that’s where it would be most useful.
If there’s one thing most of us probably recycle across different Projects, it’s global effects such as reverb and delay. A related issue is that Track Presets don’t store sends. I can see that this would be tricky to implement, because obviously it would be up to the user to ensure that the destinations for any sends were available in a Project where you loaded a Track Preset, but it does mean that a Track Preset won’t capture a complete picture of any track that relies on auxiliary effects.
Most vocal sounds, for example, involve reverbs or delays as well as compression and EQ. Unless you’re willing to allocate a separate reverb to every vocal track by using it as an insert, there’s no way that a Track Preset can store all that’s important about the vocal sound.
One solution would have been to save a Multi Track Preset consisting of audio tracks plus the FX tracks they send to, but this isn’t an option, because Track Presets can’t include FX or Group tracks.
Meanwhile, the implementation of Sound Frame through the program is still quite inconsistent. If the idea is to let you choose sounds, rather than plug-ins, how come you can’t browse presets just by clicking on an insert slot? As it is, the principle of choosing sounds only applies to Track Presets, and not to individual plug-in slots; and applying a Track Preset to an existing track wipes out any plug-ins that are already inserted on that track.
I’d like to be able to simply hit an insert slot and choose, say, a delay sound, without caring which delay plug-in makes that sound. Hopefully this will be developed in future releases of the program. Finally, when it comes to choosing sounds, Sound Frame suffers from the same problem as Kore: Naturally, Steinberg have done a good job of Tagging the presets that come with their new plug-ins, but at the time of writing, they hadn’t yet released the Sound Frame SDK to other developers, and there are no third-party effects and instruments that come with the necessary metadata to support the whole ‘choosing sounds rather than plug-ins’ concept.
Except, that is, for those made by Native Instruments, who have spent thousands of man-hours creating such metadata for their own products — but in a different format. Are they going to open up this metadata so that it can be accessed through Sound Frame, and risk making their own Kore system redundant? Or are we going to end up with two incompatible systems, which would completely undermine the whole idea of both?
Native Instruments told me that Steinberg had not consulted them during the development of Sound Frame, and that they haven’t yet decided whether to make Kore Sound’s metadata compatible. Let’s hope for everyone’s sake that a universal standard can be established. There are certainly some obstacles to be overcome first, not least the fact that many third-party plug-ins with large preset libraries are multitimbral and use their own internal preset-handling systems. It’s not clear how, say, Sampletank or Kontakt could be made to work well with Sound Frame without fairly radical changes.
There are new VST Instruments, which I’ll come to in a minute, but more important to many users will be the selection of bread-and-butter effects and processors. Many of the old plug-ins supplied with SX3 have now been superseded by better equivalents, and not before time.
Studio EQ — confusingly, not available in Cubase Studio — is, as the name suggests, intended as a premium-quality equaliser. It’s included as a plug-in, but also replaces the old channel EQ in the full Cubase.
Two of the four bands are conventional parametric EQs, and those at either end can be switched to shelving, filter or peaking response. Sonically, it’s an improvement on what went before. The sound is smooth and I’d happily use it in a real project, though I have third-party EQs that I still prefer. You have to hit a button to switch each band on individually before you can use it, which gets old fast. I had one Project where the Studio EQ plug-in refused to load and save presets correctly, which was odd.
Also limited to the full Cubase is Mod Machine, which uses modulated delay lines to create everything from short, ambience-style reverb patches, through conventional filtered delays and tape delay sounds, to chorus, flanging and all sorts of wibbly weirdness. Three other delays — Mono, Stereo and Ping-Pong — are included in both versions of the program, and seem versatile enough to take care of all everyday delay requirements.
I never got on with the older Double Delay plug-in, so these are very welcome. The stock of delay-based effects is further boosted with a new surround-capable, dual-stage Studio Chorus, which is a definite highlight.
This is a very simple but quite nice-sounding little plug-in that can add thickness and warmth to a sound. New, too, are a basic Loudness Maximiser and a simple Transient Designer-style Envelope Shaper, while Steinberg’s Multiband Compressor has been updated to offer independent control over time constants for each band; none of these is available in Cubase Studio.
An Amp Simulator is now included in both versions of the program. It doesn’t rival any of the third-party alternatives, but its simplicity makes it handy for getting a mix quickly when your brain is paralysed by the thousands of parameters in Guitar Rig. Meanwhile, Cubase and Cubase Studio users envious of Logic ‘s Sub Bass plug-in can now employ a simple Octaver, and there are a couple of oddities, such as Tone Booster, Wah-Wah and two graphic equalisers, plus a handy guitar tuner.
However, there are no new reverbs. Overall, the quality of the new effects and processors is a marked improvement, though there are no show-stoppers like Space Designer in Logic Pro. I’d be happy to mix with these, for the most part, but I suspect they still won’t see that much use if you have a good set of third-party alternatives like one of the Waves, TC or Universal Audio bundles. Also, though it’s good that the new plug-ins share a common look, I wish it was less sombre — they look as though they’re permanently switched off!
New Instruments Steinberg do seem to be making a serious attempt to rival Logic Pro in the synth stakes, with no fewer than four new VST Instruments making an appearance.
The full Cubase also comes with the Monologue and Embracer plug-ins that were part of the SX3 package though these won’t be available to Intel Mac users , plus two rather unusual new synths called Mystic and Spector.
All of them are, if anything, even gloomier in appearance than the new effects, but I suppose it’s the sound that counts. Halion One, for me, is the highlight of the Cubase 4 upgrade.
It combines sample-playback technology derived from Steinberg’s Halion with a MB sound set sourced from Yamaha’s Motif range of keyboard workstations, and it sounds great. Like the other new synths, Halion One is clearly designed to show off the benefits of the Sound Frame architecture. It’s monotimbral, so it fits into the one-track-per-instrument model, and its preset library has been lovingly Tagged to enable you to find those Percussive Dark Sound FX patches at the click of a mouse.
The sound set covers exactly the ground you’d expect from a workstation synth, including a General MIDI set, and covers it well. The emphasis is on emulations of real instruments, and there are usable sounds in every department.
I particularly like some of the acoustic drum kits, which are a huge improvement over the old LM7, and the standard seems solid throughout. Clearly, the idea behind Halion One is to provide a good basic set of bread-and-butter sounds; as such, it’s comparable to the Xpand! I also found myself using it in preference to Steinberg’s own Hypersonic 2 on a number of occasions. Playing a two-handed chord would use 10 percent or so of my computer’s processor resources, and when I did some test songs using Halion One to generate most of the parts, I invariably had to freeze some of them.
I also found its almost complete lack of editability frustrating. The interface presents you with eight knobs, and these are pre-configured to modify whatever parameters Steinberg deem most important in a given preset. In practice, this means that most of them control effects parameters, leaving you with virtually no ability to shape the raw sound. For example, the drum kits present no way of changing the balance between kick, snare and hi-hats. Halion One won’t import user samples, and will only be expandable at all if Steinberg make additional material available in its proprietary format.
Nevertheless, it’s a seriously useful thing to get for free! Keeping Score SX3 offered pretty respectable facilities for producing notation — not, perhaps, in the same class as a dedicated scoring package, but certainly usable.
In Cubase 4, the Score Editor has received a fairly substantial overhaul, retaining all its previous functionality but, hopefully, resulting in more efficient workflow, as well as offering some new features. These new features include a reorganisation of the Score menu and two new high-quality fonts Jazz and Classical , in addition to the original Cubase font.
However, perhaps the two most significant changes are the reworking of the Score Settings dialogue and the inclusion of an Inspector-like panel within the main Score window, which makes access to the various symbol palettes much easier.
This is achieved through four tabs called Project, Layout, Staff and Text: For initial configuration of you score, this new approach is undoubtedly an improvement and certainly more efficient.
Within the Score window itself, the new Inspector button on the toolbar looks and functions just like the equivalent button in the Project window. Any of these palettes can be expanded within the Inspector panel simply by clicking on it just as you would moving between the Inserts, EQ or Sends panels for the currently selected audio track within the Project window Inspector. Again, this brings considerable workflow improvements when you’re constructing and editing notation.
I’ve never had the pleasure! My own use is dominated by the need to score the occasional part for a solo string, brass or woodwind player to replace a sample-based part, or for creating guitar tablature, but even for these sorts of simple tasks, the improvements to the Score window are very welcome. Steinberg should get a pat on the back for keeping this section of the software — which is probably of interest to only a minority of the user base — moving forward in a positive direction.
John Walden A Subtractive Addition Prologue is a subtractive synth that can do virtual analogue, but also has a few other tricks up its sleeve.
It seems that Steinberg intend it to supersede the old Waldorf A1 synth bundled with earlier versions of Cubase — I always thought A1 was rather an under-rated instrument, but that’s progress. Anyway, Prologue is quite an impressive piece of kit. In addition to the usual sines and triangles, its three oscillators offer an interesting range of other waveforms including resonant pulses, vowel tones, formants and combinations of partials at different levels.
These can be sync’ed, frequency-, wave- and ring-modulated, detuned and combined with white or pink noise, before passing through Prologue ‘s filter. There’s only one of these, but it’s a good ‘un. A selector that seems to have fallen off a washing machine switches it between various low, high, notch and band-pass modes, with an internal dial adjusting cutoff frequency. Resonance is available, as is a Drive control that distorts the filter in pleasing fashion.
There are two LFOs and four envelopes, each of which can be routed to more destinations than you would ever want to, as can velocity, modulation, aftertouch and keytracking. Apart from being free, Prologue is quite reminiscent of Digidesign’s newish Hybrid soft synth.
It’s not quite as versatile partly because the envelopes are simple ADSR designs or as convincingly analogue-sounding, but I’ve already found it a very valuable instrument. It’ll take you a long time to exhaust the possibilities of Prologue, and for many people, its inclusion will make buying a third-party virtual analogue synth unnecessary.
Fly Into The Mystery The two new Cubase-only synths, Mystic and Spector, recycle many of Prologue ‘s interface elements, including the four panels at the bottom that handle modulation and effects. In synthesis terms, however, they’re quite different, and in fact quite unlike any other soft synths I’ve seen. Although it’s not described as a physical modelling synth, that might be the best way to understand how Mystic works.
In essence, it creates sound by firing short impulses into a network of resonant comb filters. This technique has been used to model the behaviour of physical systems like guitars, where the impulse from a plucked string triggers resonances in the body of the instrument, but here it’s targeted more at abstract sound design. A trawl through the presets reveals some nice basses and leads, and lots of clangorous metallic pads and washes.
Cubase VST 24 4. Downloadable as a free upgrade to owners of VST24 4. Introduced VST 2. Several VST elements could also now be controlled remotely by external devices such as the Yamaha V. Cubase VST 32 5. The last version still compatible with windows Applying the update to 5. Primarily was introduced to run on the new Windows XP operating system. Cubase SX 1. It used the engine of a contemporary sister program as a base, Nuendo V1.
Although bringing vast improvements in stability and feature quality, some features from Cubase VST initially didn’t make it into the new version. Cubase SX 2. One of the most innovative features was called Timewarp. The Timewarp tool allowed users to move gridlines. Cubase SX2. Many plug-ins, particularly those which run on DSP Cards such as UAD-1 or Powercore, cannot process their audio within a 1-sample time period and thus introduce extra latency into the system.
Unchecked, this will cause some audio channels to end up out of sync with others. PDC checks all the various latencies introduced by such plug-ins and creates audio delay buffers to ensure that audio from all channels is correctly synchronized. Cubase SX 3. It allowed Audio to remain in sync with the project even after changing its tempo. It also allowed users to apply ‘tempo anchors’ to an imported audio file so it would sync to the tempo of the project regardless of the original tempo.
Audiowarp was largely successful, but had a major flaw in that it didn’t work with variable tempo projects. This was because the tempo map it copied to the Audio file when musical mode was enabled was derived from the fixed tempo setting of the project rather than from the tempo track. Nonetheless Audiowarp was an important addition to the musical features of Cubase.
Buy Steinberg Cubase 4
The suite supports various tools such as a drum machine along with a wide range of effects. You can download Steinberg Cubase Studio 5. The following versions: Cubase 5. This PC tool can process the following extensions: The program lies within Multimedia Tools, more precisely General.
Cheapest Price Steinberg Cubase 4
Cubase Score for Windows 3. Cubase 2. Cubase Audio 1. Cubase Audio 3. Cubase Audio XT 3. Recording multiple tracks at once was possible. One of the last versions of Cubase that is still compatible with windows 3. This version was upgradeable to Cubase Audio XT.