Designed for anyone, from professional engineers to home recording artists, Steinberg 11 is a complete music-production environment that combines sophisticated audio and MIDI tools with pristine audio quality. Offering a fast, flexible, and intuitive workflow, this powerful software can be used for composing, sequencing, beat making, recording, editing, mixing, and mastering—making it ideal for producing and scoring tracks from start to finish, in all genres.
Now Cubase has been around for a while, but it has never offered so many intuitive and useful tools as it does now. A new Scale Assistant, for example, can be a superb addition to any songwriter's toolkit. Simply set the song's scale in the Key Editor, and you can follow its lead, allowing it to "quantize" your MIDI to the right notes for the scale. Other elements, such as Global Tracks, are quite helpful on the production side, as they ensure that every track will follow any tempo changes or markers laid out by the producer. Also on hand are new compressors, equalizers, metering options, and a brand-new sampling engine for slicing and dicing your homemade loops.
Cubase comes in three tiers, in a variety of versions suitable for a stand-alone purchase, as an upgrade from a previous version, or even a cross-grade from a different DAW. For the beginner looking to get their beak wet in the world of editing, production, or mixing, Cubase Elements is the way to go. It will give you up to 48 tracks of audio to play around with in any one session, along with 64 MIDI tracks and 24 instrument tracks to get started producing. You can utilize up to 24 physical I/Os at once, and you get 8 auxiliary sends, 8 fx inserts, and 8 returns, which are enough to learn and implement the basics of processing and routing in a mix. On hand are 45 audio effects to sculpt your sound, and more than 1,000 instrument sounds are provided. Cubase Elements also provides a chord assistant to help you with chord progressions, which is based around the Circle of 5ths, one of the fundamental building blocks of Western music theory.
The next tier of Cubase is the Artist edition, which ups the number of tracks available to, well, unlimited. This is wonderful for those who really want to dive into music creation and production. If you're recording, you'll be happy to know that your I/O count goes up to 32 channels simultaneously in and out with this edition. You get more FX inserts and FX returns, as well, to compound your ability to add processing and to route sounds to whichever submix you desire. Provided are 58 audio effects and 18 MIDI effects, with more than 2,600 instrument sounds. It also gives you advanced comping to sound more musical, and you now get the ability to implement Track Versions, so you can choose among different parts or takes in an individual track.
For the consummate professional who wants no limitations, there's Cubase Pro. You can integrate up to 256 physical inputs and outputs here, which makes it excel for anything from huge gospel ensembles to orchestras. The software is jam-packed with more effects and MIDI instruments, adding professional score layouts to the mix if you need to show parts to musicians, as well as a full Chord Assistant, audio alignment (super handy for editing uniform audio), and VCA faders for the mix. Oh, it also provides full 5.1 surround support and virtual reality tools for the immersive user.
Which one of these versions of Cubase commands your attention? Tell us about it in the Comments section, below!