Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

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jmgotsoul
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Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by jmgotsoul » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:35 pm

I am a Pro Tools 12 HD user who is contemplating switching to Cubase. I am currently evaluating Cubase Pro 9.5 and I have compiled a list of things that I think are disadvantages of Cubase compared to Pro Tools. I wanted to put this list out here to see if I can get others to comment. Since I am new to Cubase I might be missing something, maybe there's just a completely different approach that is not jumping out at me. I'm trying to seriously evaluate Cubase so that I make an educated decision.

Here is the list in no particular order:
  1. I don't seem to be able to add different kinds of tracks at once.
  2. The metering doesn't seem to be as advanced. In PT not only can I choose between many different kinds of metering, On each track I can also visually see the impact of all the compression on that track.
  3. There are no "solo" modes. In PT I can chose between different modes of soloing. For example, one mode is the "typical" mode where if you solo track 1 and then solo track 2, they will both be soloed. There is another mode where only one track an be soloed. So, soloing track 2 would cancel the solo on track 1. There are two or three other modes.
  4. In PT I can see how the load from my session is being spread across all of my CPU nodes as well as how much audio is being cached and other performance parameters. In Cubase I seem to mainly only be able to see audio performance.
  5. In PT I can configure it to display VSTs by category, manufacturer or both. In Cubase by default they are displayed by Category. I seem to have to create a view by Vendor. What's nice is that I have the ability to create different kinds of views but displaying by manufacturer is not something that is automatically available.
  6. PT has the ability to automate "Volume Trim". This is different than automating volume. Volume trim doesn't change the actual volume bur rather it adjusts the volume. So, for example, if volume trim is set to -3 db for 3 measures and your volume is set to -5db, for those 3 measures it will lower the volume to -8db.
  7. Fader changes in the MixConsole don't seem to register as historical events and as a result you can't use undo to go back to a previous fader setting.
  8. It doesn't seem like you can disable FX tracks. I have a large template and in my template I like to have of my default auxiliary tracks (in PT they are called Auxiliary tracks). I put the reverbs and other insert effects on them configured how I like them. I have those kind of tracks disabled so that they don't consume any resources. Once I start mixing then I enable them. I don't seem to be able to do this in Cubase.
  9. Some tracks I like to pan dead center. In PT if I hold Command and click the left and right panning knobs they will go diectly to the center. I don't seem to be able to do this in Cubase.
  10. Clicking a MIDI track brings up the Key Editor, however, it doesn't seem to allow me to bring up the Key Editor right where I clicked. So, if my intention is to go to the place where I clicked I either have to first put the cursor there and then click or after I click I need to scroll to the location in which I am interested.
  11. Drgging the end of events in the Key Editor is not "smart". If I have snap and I drag the ends of multiple MIDI notes they don't automatically snap to the measure where I stop dragging.
I am hoping that I can get some comments from other users helping me understand if these observations are accurate and if they aren't accurate, what might I be missing.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by planarchist » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:54 pm

I don't know PT at all so not sure I understand some of these but for a start:

2. You can change the metering mode, this will determine whether you'll see the effect of Dynamics plugins or not.
3. Click the Solo button on the track (for your typical solo mode)? Control/Command click the same button for only one track soloed. there are other modes in Cubase too.

8. You can either mute FX tracks (like others). Not sure why they can't be disabled, I agree it would be useful.
Nic

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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by ColinPark » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:31 am

5. I've added a lot of plugins lately, and I think that sorting by manufacturer is helpful. However, I've noticed that Cubase seems to bump VST2 plugins out of the category lists. This is helpful when a plugin is listed twice; once as VST3, and then as VST2. You know which version you're getting. I suppose they could do that .

Anyway, you can sort by vendor if you like. Studio > VST PLugin Manager > upper right corner under the X is a down pointing triangle. Click to open menu. > Sort by Vendor > close. Now when you go to load a plugin, it will be sorted by vendor.
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by jmgotsoul » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:12 am

planarchist wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:54 pm
I don't know PT at all so not sure I understand some of these but for a start:

2. You can change the metering mode, this will determine whether you'll see the effect of Dynamics plugins or not.
3. Click the Solo button on the track (for your typical solo mode)? Control/Command click the same button for only one track soloed. there are other modes in Cubase too.

8. You can either mute FX tracks (like others). Not sure why they can't be disabled, I agree it would be useful.
Thanks so much for your response!

I've been searching for how to change the metering mode to see the effects of dynamics plugins but for some reason I'm not finding what i'm looking for. Could you provide more info on how to do this?

Also, I searched and found the help page on Using Solo and Mute. I saw you can activate Solo Defeat. At first I couldn't get it to work but then I realized it only works when clicked in the MixConsole.

I found out from another user that I can deactivate/turn off an inserted plugin. By doing that I was able to reduce the CPU usage. The unfortunate thing is I have to do it one by one to all the inserted plugins that I want to turn off. However, at the end of the day it achieves what I'm looking for.
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by jmgotsoul » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:19 am

ColinPark wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:31 am
5. I've added a lot of plugins lately, and I think that sorting by manufacturer is helpful. However, I've noticed that Cubase seems to bump VST2 plugins out of the category lists. This is helpful when a plugin is listed twice; once as VST3, and then as VST2. You know which version you're getting. I suppose they could do that .

Anyway, you can sort by vendor if you like. Studio > VST PLugin Manager > upper right corner under the X is a down pointing triangle. Click to open menu. > Sort by Vendor > close. Now when you go to load a plugin, it will be sorted by vendor.
Thanks for the response!

Having a lot of plugins is where this is helpful. I have TONS of plugins and sometimes I know who made the plugin but I don't know exactly how it is being categorized. So, it would by much easier to just look for it by Vendor/Manufacturer. Prior to doing this post, I had already gone ahead and created a "Vendor" collection for both VST Effects and VST Instruments. I just wish it was done by default. I'm nervous that since I created it myself, when I add my next plugin I'll have to add it to my Vendor collection manually. I've only been using Cubase for about a week so I haven't yet added any new plugins. We'll see!
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by planarchist » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:30 am

jmgotsoul wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:12 am
planarchist wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:54 pm
I don't know PT at all so not sure I understand some of these but for a start:

2. You can change the metering mode, this will determine whether you'll see the effect of Dynamics plugins or not.
3. Click the Solo button on the track (for your typical solo mode)? Control/Command click the same button for only one track soloed. there are other modes in Cubase too.

8. You can either mute FX tracks (like others). Not sure why they can't be disabled, I agree it would be useful.
Thanks so much for your response!

I've been searching for how to change the metering mode to see the effects of dynamics plugins but for some reason I'm not finding what i'm looking for. Could you provide more info on how to do this?
See here:

https://steinberg.help/cubase_pro_artis ... ons_r.html

Select Meter Position- Post Fader.
Nic

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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by mbira » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:54 pm

#6 I think you are talking about what is called the "pre" in cubase. If you are talking about what is the "trim" gain that happens before any inserts, etc. You can see it in the mixer section under the "pre" section (the lp and hp filters are there too) and you can see it when you open the window for a channel.
#7 there is a separate mixer history.
#9 if I remember right you just alt click on the pan? Or maybe double click? I can't remember off the top of my head.
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by Martin.Jirsak » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:08 pm

3. Use Ctrl/Cmd + click to Solo to make it exclusive.
5. You can do this (and much more) in the Plug-in Manager.
7. There dedicated Mix History since Cubase 9 (if I'm not wrong).
9. Ctrl/Cmd 1 click to any slider moves it to the default value. With Combined Panner, this is L-R, no 0.
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by jmgotsoul » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:28 pm

mbira wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:54 pm
#6 I think you are talking about what is called the "pre" in cubase. If you are talking about what is the "trim" gain that happens before any inserts, etc. You can see it in the mixer section under the "pre" section (the lp and hp filters are there too) and you can see it when you open the window for a channel.
I came across some Cubase help documentation on Trim Automation. i think this is what I'm talking about but I haven't figured out exactly how it works yet.
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by mbira » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:29 pm

jmgotsoul wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:28 pm
mbira wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:54 pm
#6 I think you are talking about what is called the "pre" in cubase. If you are talking about what is the "trim" gain that happens before any inserts, etc. You can see it in the mixer section under the "pre" section (the lp and hp filters are there too) and you can see it when you open the window for a channel.
I came across some Cubase help documentation on Trim Automation. i think this is what I'm talking about but I haven't figured out exactly how it works yet.
trim automation is a different method of writing automation-it is not about automating the trim. If you are referring to "trim" in the sense that a large mixing console does-the initial gain setting stage before the fader and inserts, then that is in the "pre" section and can be manually adjusted or adjusted in an automation lane. Hope that helps! There are certainly a few things that PT does better than Cubase (playlists!!!) but it looks like most of the things you mentioned above are just things that you need to learn how to do in Cubase.
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by mbira » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:38 pm

To be more specific:
Create an audio track.
Click the little "e" button on the track to bring up the channel settings.
Below the EQ on the left there is a "gain" slider. That is the trim.
If you want to automate it, the easiest way is to push the "w" (write) button and push play and just wiggle that gain slider. Now that automation lane shows up under your track.
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by jmgotsoul » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:48 pm

mbira wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:29 pm
trim automation is a different method of writing automation-it is not about automating the trim. If you are referring to "trim" in the sense that a large mixing console does-the initial gain setting stage before the fader and inserts, then that is in the "pre" section and can be manually adjusted or adjusted in an automation lane. Hope that helps!
It took me awhile but I finally figured out what you were talking about. Someone else referred me to PreGain which I found as one of the Input Filters that can be automated. This is pretty much what I was looking for with one major difference, the PreGain in Cubase is pre-inserts while the Volume Trim in Pro Tools is post-inserts. I would guess you need to be careful using PreGain because it could affect how your Dynamics plugins resoond as well as the amount of signal sent to a send FX. In PT Volume Trim is really just a relative adjustment to the volume coming out of that track. In both cases it doesn't actually automate the volume so the fader can still be used. I think PreGain is the closest I'll get to what I"m looking for. Thanks for the help!
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by mbira » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:13 am

jmgotsoul wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:48 pm
mbira wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:29 pm
trim automation is a different method of writing automation-it is not about automating the trim. If you are referring to "trim" in the sense that a large mixing console does-the initial gain setting stage before the fader and inserts, then that is in the "pre" section and can be manually adjusted or adjusted in an automation lane. Hope that helps!
It took me awhile but I finally figured out what you were talking about. Someone else referred me to PreGain which I found as one of the Input Filters that can be automated. This is pretty much what I was looking for with one major difference, the PreGain in Cubase is pre-inserts while the Volume Trim in Pro Tools is post-inserts. I would guess you need to be careful using PreGain because it could affect how your Dynamics plugins resoond as well as the amount of signal sent to a send FX. In PT Volume Trim is really just a relative adjustment to the volume coming out of that track. In both cases it doesn't actually automate the volume so the fader can still be used. I think PreGain is the closest I'll get to what I"m looking for. Thanks for the help!
How is what you are talking about any different than just automating the fader?
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by mbira » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:23 am

I just read a bit more about that feature in PT. There may be others here that have a better way, but I'd probably use a VCA for this since you could do your trim on the VCA and enable it or disable it as needed....
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by jmgotsoul » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:32 am

mbira wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:23 am
I just read a bit more about that feature in PT. There may be others here that have a better way, but I'd probably use a VCA for this since you could do your trim on the VCA and enable it or disable it as needed....
Someone on Reddit also suggested that to me as well. The only problem with that is just for one track you would have to setup a link group (of one channel), assign the link group to the vca fader and then you could automate the vca fader. That's a lot of work just to achieve this simple thing. But I think you're right, if I wanted to do this (which I actually did a lot in PT) that would probably be my best option. Someone else also pointed me to Blue Cat's Gain Suite. This might be an option, however, it looks like that plugin is no longer being updated. I suppose I could also insert a compressor, turn the compression off and just automate the output gain. As long as I inserted it in a post-fader slot it might work as expected.

Anyways, I have some options. The vca option is probably the best option at this point in time. I really appreciate the dialogue back and forth. It has forced me to think this one through and has helped me get deeper into Cubase during my trial period.
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by Accel0001 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:13 pm

How about this?

Automation>Automation Panel (Cubase Pro only)>Trim
https://steinberg.help/cubase_pro_artis ... rim_c.html
Automation Trim Mode
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR6rh_300Os
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by jmgotsoul » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:44 pm

If you look higher up in this post you will see at one point I thought Trim Automation was what I was looking for. However, after trying it out more I found it wasn't quite the same functionality as Volume Trim in PT. It definitely provides trim automation which is great. The big difference though is that if you apply it to a track on which you haven't automated the volume it seems to set the Volume automation. As a result, you can no longer control the volume with the fader. In PT I literally never automated the volume. I just automated the volume trim and it would be relative to wherever I had my fader. That was just kind of my approach in PT and I am hoping to have that same approach as I switch to Cubase.
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by Accel0001 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:34 am

Trim mode has three options for freezing trim. I always use 'Manually'.

Automation>Automation Panel (Cubase Pro only)>Automation Settings
https://steinberg.help/cubase_pro_artis ... ces_r.html
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by jmgotsoul » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:39 am

Accel0001 wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:34 am
Trim mode has three options for freezing trim. I always use 'Manually'.
That's actually how I experimented with it. I took a track that had no automation on it. Manually trimmed the volume. While stopped, tried to move the fader and it kept going back to position. This is what led me to believe it must have set the volume automation.
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by mbira » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:45 pm

jmgotsoul wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:39 am
Accel0001 wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:34 am
Trim mode has three options for freezing trim. I always use 'Manually'.
That's actually how I experimented with it. I took a track that had no automation on it. Manually trimmed the volume. While stopped, tried to move the fader and it kept going back to position. This is what led me to believe it must have set the volume automation.
Again-"trim automation" is just a method of handling any sort of automation-it does not have anything to do with volume trim unless you are specifically automating volume.
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by cubace » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:10 am

One big differences is hardware controllers. AVID makes a lot of different units and it seems to be a very very important area for protools where steinberg/yamaha is not that good at it, it is not part of their concept, more of something that the cat brought home. It makes protools a better mixing tool than cubase, but cubase strong hold is creativity with focus more musical areas like chords and scores. I think cubase cover more bases than protools, but protools has more focus on what it is supposed to do a does that better.

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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by KHS » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:05 pm

What about we turn this around.

1. No folder track in ProTools for organizing your session and keeping you focused at what you are doing.
2. Proprietary plugin format
3. No slip editing
4. No auto fades/crossfades

..And probably many more. I just don't know ProTools that well.
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by jmgotsoul » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:53 pm

KHS wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:05 pm
What about we turn this around.

1. No folder track in ProTools for organizing your session and keeping you focused at what you are doing.
2. Proprietary plugin format
3. No slip editing
4. No auto fades/crossfades

..And probably many more. I just don't know ProTools that well.
Some time after writing this post I actually created a whole video explaining why I switched from PT to Cubase and some of the advantages and disadvantages of both DAWs that I see as a new Cubase user. One of the things I mention is folders. It's a huge thing missing from PT.

As for the proprietary plugin format, you're right, it is PT only, but is it better than VST? IMHO I think it is. VST3 has some things that developers can take advantage of that are already in AAX but not all vendors have upgraded their plugins to VST3 and you can still write a VST3 plugin w/o leveraging these advantages. All AAX plugins have efficiencies built-in so given a session with the exact tracks and exact plugins, the session will run more efficiently in PT than in Cubase. To get sessions in Cubase to run as efficiently I have had to do a lot more tweaking.

As for clip editing, PT actually does have clip editing and in fact in some ways it's more powerful than Cubase. When I was using PT I would some use the clip line to make volume adjustments to parts of clips or to strio breaths among many other things. I used PT HD so maybe some of these features aren't available in lesser versions of PT. I'm not sure about that.

Cubase has a lot of features so I was already considering switching because of what I was gaining but I was trying to understand what I would be losing. Hence the reason for the post.
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by KHS » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:00 pm

jmgotsoul wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:53 pm

As for clip editing, PT actually does have clip editing and in fact in some ways it's more powerful than Cubase. When I was using PT I would some use the clip line to make volume adjustments to parts of clips or to strio breaths among many other things. I used PT HD so maybe some of these features aren't available in lesser versions of PT. I'm not sure about that.
I didn't say clip editing but SLIP editing. Very powerful and fast way of editing audio.
Cubase 9.5 Pro - Presonus Audiobox 44VSL - I7-7700K - Gigabyte GTX1070 Xtreme Gaming - 16GB RAM - Gigabyte Gaming 5 Z270 mobo.

jmgotsoul
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Re: Cubase Disadvantages Compared to Pro Tools

Post by jmgotsoul » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:05 pm

KHS wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:00 pm
I didn't say clip editing but SLIP editing. Very powerful and fast way of editing audio.
My bad, I totally read "clip" editing. I don't even know what that is. I guess I'll have to look that one up.
Composer / Music Producer | https://www.julianmusicprod.com | @julianmusicprod | Cubase Pro 9.5.10 | Mac Pro, 2 x 3.33 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon, 128 GB RAM, 3 x 2 TB SSD SATA, OS 10.12 | Avid HD I/O

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