It’s a New Year and an especially exciting time for many producers and musicians due to the release of the new versions of Cubase and Cubase Artist, which have now reached version 7.
The good news for Cubase aficionados is that these new versions are packed to the gills with new features and improvements, some of which are going to be serious game changers when it comes to workflow for all dance music producers.
Anyone who has purchased Cubase 6 since 25th October is going to be especially pleased that Steinberg are offering a free upgrade to Cubase 7 when it is released, which is awfully nice of them and will surely keep their healthy fan-base happy.
Interestingly, there is no mention of a new version of the baby of the family, Cubase Elements, getting an upgrade, so users of this version will have to wait and see what is on the horizon.
Mixing is at the very core of music production, and this major component of Cubase has had a major overhaul. Gone is the mixing desk of recent years, replaced with the new MixConsole, which features new levels of transparency, fidelity and function. The MixConsole is very much like a large format mixing desk such as an SSL, and the channel strips are amazing to work with, eliminating the need to open multiple windows to get to grips with the mix, a gripe that many had with the previous versions of Cubase.
Each of the channel strips has a four-band EQ, noise gate, three top-end compressor models, envelope shaper, tube and tape saturation, as well as a limiter/maximizer, all with controls integrated into the channel strip. Another little detail that is designed to make life easier can be found on the master channel, which now has a loudness meter that can be set to momentary or integrated loudness — incredibly useful for adjusting loudness levels and maintaining dynamics in a mix
A new feature that will no doubt delight anyone who works with vocals but is likely to be bad news for Celemony’s Melodyne is the new Chord Track, which will identify harmonic structure and provide chord and scale information. It also has the ability to make harmonic adjustments to any tracks that have been processed using Cubase’s VariAudio feature.
VariAudio also allows multiple part editing in a single editor and harmonizing of vocals. The final weapon to be added to the VariAudio processing arsenal is Chord Assistant, which can be used for bridging chords as well as generating harmonic chord progressions.
Collaboration on music projects is about to get a lot more interesting with the addition of VST Connect ST, which opens up a whole new world of possibilities by making it possible to collaborate with people anywhere on the planet. VST Connect ST has real-time audio and video streams as well as talkback and chat. This means that a producer in London can record a vocalist in New York in real-time with video and audio talkback facilities, something that could be a real game changer.
Steinberg have yet again done an outstanding job of refining existing bits of the original software, adding new features and re-inventing the wheel when it comes to mixing with Cubase. This new version has enough improvements and new tricks up its sleeve to make every existing Cubase user want it in a way that borders on creepy, and will irritate Logic users into feelings of extreme DAW envy (at least for now — look out for Logic 10 sometime soon). There is little, if anything, not to like in Cubase 7, which is a truly world-class DAW. It comes with the added advantage of being Mac or PC compatible, to make it the leader of the pack when it comes to features and sound quality.
|Ease of use||9.0|
|Value for money||9.0|
Completely redesigned mixing console and new collaboration software along with harmonic processing make for a seriously heavyweight DAW.
The new MixConsole is extremely useful, but it is a little ugly compared with previous versions.
Plenty of new features and refinements have made their way into this new version of Cubase, which have made a great product even better.