Steinberg Cubase 7.5 review
A lot of software follows yearly update cycles, but while this might be good for business, it isn’t always enough time for developers to bring about significant changes. Cubase takes a different approach, with major updates every couple of years, interspersed with more modest dot-five releases that cost less.
Many of the new features in Cubase 7.5 are straightforward workflow improvements. It’s now possible to hide tracks in the project window, just as the MixConsole (introduced in version 7) can hide channels. They can be hidden and revealed individually, filtered by type such as Audio, MIDI, Groups, or filtered using more sophisticated criteria, such as showing only the tracks containing events between the locators. Large projects are often tricky to navigate, so this is a feature we can imagine quickly coming to rely on.
We’re big fans of Cubase’s Lanes function, which makes it easy to record multiple takes and compile the best bits together. It’s now joined by Track Versions. This feature also handles multiple takes, but unlike Lanes, only shows one take at a time. As such, it’s better suited to trying out different musical ideas than multiple performances of the same material. A duplicate function makes it easy to create a backup before attempting complex editing.
Management of Track Versions across multiple tracks is neatly implemented, although reading the manual is essential. And it’s disappointing Track Versions don’t include automation data.
Cubase 7.0 offered two ways to use virtual instruments. An Instrument Track was the neater of the two, but only the more cumbersome VST Instruments panel supported multiple MIDI inputs and audio outputs. These two approaches have now been consolidated, with Instrument Tracks supporting multiple ins and outs, and the VST Instruments panel showing all virtual instruments used anywhere in the project.
There’s better management of hitpoints, Steinberg’s name for the markers that are automatically placed at the start of notes. Audio files are analysed for hitpoints as soon as they’re recorded or imported, and there are keyboard commands to jump to the next or previous one. It’s also now easier to tidy up detected hitpoints, prior to converting into a MIDI part or Groove Quantise template.
The buttons for configuring plugins have been redesigned. The look is neater, but that’s partly because they only appear when the cursor is hovering nearby. As such, this step forwards for visual neatness is a step backwards for discoverability. The ability to change plugin presets without launching the plugin editor is a useful timesaver, though.
|Software subcategory||Audio production software|
Operating system support
|Operating system Mac OS X supported?||yes|
|Other operating system support||Windows 8|