Cubase 6

Its funny you know. A couple of days ago I was having a rummage through my old archives from the Super Frets days and my first aborted attempt to do a load of songs on my own, they were all recorded in Magix Music Studio. You had to start the project knowing you were going to need either 8 or 16 tracks (you had to reimport into a larger project if you needed to change), the only built in effect on every track was delay and the EQ was a very harsh, very simple 3 band Hi, Med and Low affair. Listening to this stuff reminds me of how much the home recording scene has changed over the years.

After completing 1 EP and 1 album for the Super Frets on Magix Music Studio, I started looking around for a slightly more upmarket solution. My english teacher at the time (Phil Kirby) provided me with a demo copy of Cubase AV which I installed and immediately fell out with. I carried on using Music Studio to flesh out some ideas that I'd had while doing my GCSEs but the school work had to take a front seat back then so I took a break from music making.

After my GCSEs, on my 16th birthday (I think, I've been juggling dates for ages now) I received a brand new Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! Platinum soundcard. This new soundcard came with a copy of Steinberg's Cubasis VST DAW. I installed it soon after getting the card and was making music "more properly" than I ever had with Magix Music Maker. Cubasis had good EQ on each channel, effect sends for the small amount of free plugins supplied, channel inserts and a full dynamics section for each track. That was the first time I'd used compression for drums, guitars and vocals, added reverb and other effects to a track "non-destructively" using sends and used channel automation. I also used the SoundFont capabilities in the Live! Platinum to create decent drum tracks and bass parts using the wide range of freebies available on the internet at that time. The concept of mixing MIDI and audio together in the same timeline always seemed alien to me at first, but I got used to it and started writing more and more.

Now its nearly 11 years later (you can do the math on my age) and I'm still using Steinberg products, namely Cubase 4. I never upgraded to Cubase 5 because I didn't think there were enough improvements to make me upgrade, Cubase 6 however has opened my wallet. A quick trip to and a couple of days later I had a fresh version of my favourite DAW.

There are some things I like about this thing straight away:

  • Its all been re-built in Cocoa
  • Its 64bit compatible
  • It looks nicer!!

I know that last one probably isn't the most important thing but I've always felt better using a DAW that looks nice, thats why I didn't use Pro-Tools for years.

I've already written and recorded the first song with it (Calling all my Heroes), which took an afternoon into the evening and it didn't even wobble.

Steinberg software has always been solid in my experience and C6 is no exception. I've done sessions on Logic in the past and it's always seemed on the verge of collapse when the plugins are piled on and the track count is rising.  Also, when you're working with kids, easy edits are essential, this is not so with Logic.  The few Pro Tools sessions I've done went without a hitch but seeing as I find it rather complicated and didn't mess around much that's probably not a surprise.

So I'll be running Cubase 6 on my PC and my Mac (Steinberg put out both versions in one copy) for the foreseable future, which will be nice...