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Cubase 7 First Impressions

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Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby The Elf » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:47 am

I'm evaluating C7 (I won't be using it in anger for a few weeks yet).

First impressions:

Of the plug-ins I've tried, none seem to be having a problem. I'm running 64 and 32-bit plugs under C7 64-bit and so far, so good. Everything worked straight off without a hitch and C7 picked up all my settings/preferences from C6.5.

Very dark colour scheme. I'm finding it hard to see the EQ on/off button or the EQ selection switch. I think I'll be customising these colours very soon.

I don't much like the new mixer - and I'm liking it less as I use it. It seems as if I have to work harder to find the things I want to see. Maybe familiarity will sort this one out. The channel selection panel is a nice touch, but unless I've missed something I can't just hide/show all the FX or Group channels now? I think that's a backward step.

The scalable mixer... nah. Maybe if you're working on a single screen, or maybe a latop, then this will be a winner. To me it's of no interest.

I'm having to scroll down to see all of the EQ bands in the mixer now - ugh! This is mad! I can size the mixer window, but only the faders re-scale. The EQ/inserts/sends section remains fixed in size, but now gives you a scroll bar to go up/down. Now that is ridiculous!!!

The new saturation is excellent, as are the new dynamics. I think I'll be using the stock processors a lot more from this point.

I'll be doing some parallel work between 6.5 and 7 over the next few weeks, until I'm happy I have something I can trust. More likely I'll be waiting for the first spot release before I implement it in my daily work. I'll post more as I progress.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby OneWorld » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:24 am

Very useful that. I am considering a major shift up - from C5 to C7, but one of the things that attracted me about C7 is all the bluster Steinberg makes about the mixer, seems it's not all it's cracked up to be anyway. With the current mixer, even with a second monitor I find myself sliding left and right all the time. I think the audio and midi part should be placed on top of each other not side by side.

If I had a 42" wide monitor set at high res then yes side by side would be fine, but I have 2 24" monitors and they're just not wide enough, but there's a load of free monitor space above or below the mixer doing nothing
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby jaminem » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:28 am

You got any plugs running on an ilok1 Elf?
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby gazola11 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:53 am

I am running an ilok 1 and no problems with any of my plugins so far.

Also using the mixer on an Apple 30" inch Cinema Display works great but that monitor shows a lot of info.

I like it a lot in general. I work with a lot of people in France so will be interesting to try the VST connect system soon as I can.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby The Elf » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:04 pm

OneWorld wrote:I think the audio and midi part should be placed on top of each other not side by side.
You can achieve that by just using two mixers and placing them one above the other - one set to show audio channels, the other to show MIDI channels.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby The Elf » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:05 pm

jaminem wrote:You got any plugs running on an ilok1 Elf?
No. I refuse to use anything that demands iLok - other than as a necessary evil for Pro Tools.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby The Elf » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:09 pm

The Elf wrote:unless I've missed something I can't just hide/show all the FX or Group channels now?
I was wrong here. You *can* show/hide FX/Group channels in blocks - but not Audio/MIDI channels... which is almost as bad IMO! :crazy:

The way I've found around this is to create separate Folders for Audio/MIDI channels. I tend to hold muted MIDI channels next to their rendered Audio channel - guess I'll have to change that habit...
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby jaminem » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:28 pm

gazola11 wrote:I am running an ilok 1 and no problems with any of my plugins so far.


thanks, can you let me know which?
I have Soundtoys, Line6, east west and celemony...
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby oggyb » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:43 pm

The Elf wrote:
The Elf wrote:unless I've missed something I can't just hide/show all the FX or Group channels now?
I was wrong here. You *can* show/hide FX/Group channels in blocks - but not Audio/MIDI channels... which is almost as bad IMO! :crazy:

The way I've found around this is to create separate Folders for Audio/MIDI channels. I tend to hold muted MIDI channels next to their rendered Audio channel - guess I'll have to change that habit...

The very first thing I do if I have MIDI channels is hide them in the mixer. That's going to be a real pain.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby gazola11 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:37 pm

You still can hide any type of channel, including MIDI, in the mixer.

They are in the Channel types box at the top left.

This allows you to turn on and off any type of channel as a whole in the mixer.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby The Elf » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:44 pm

Yes, you can hide any individual channel, but my point is that you can't instantly hide *all* MIDI channels, or *all* Audio channels with one button, as you used to be able to. Or am I missing something? :crazy:
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby gazola11 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:46 pm

Yes you can.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby The Elf » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:48 pm

OK, next time I'm in front of it I'll take a look. I must have overlooked something.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby gazola11 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:55 pm

Yeah there is a lot of change and I'm with you that I'm starting to go off the mixer slightly the more I use it.

I like the eq using knobs and the tube and gates are great. Simple but effective.

The only problem I have come across is the menu bar disappears when you put the mixer in full screen mode. But this only happens in Snow Leopard not Lion or ML. Probably because the way lion and ML deal with graphics and probably that Lion is the recommended minimum version according to Steinberg. However it runs fine, as far as I can tell, apart from this oddity just don't put the mixer in full screen mode.

All is fine on ML though.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby crofter » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:21 pm

I've only used Cubase 7 for a couple of hours last night but I like it, I like the scalable mixer and once I found the various options for this I can set it up as I want, it's all looking very nice.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby oggyb » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:21 pm

gazola11 wrote:Yes you can.
Oh good.

Looking forward to more thorough opinions on the new stuff as the months go on. I'm not planning to get this until at least a .0.1 update.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby Richie Royale » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:10 pm

gazola11 wrote:But this only happens in Snow Leopard

Other than this minor graphic problem how is it working out on SL? This may tempt me if it is working fine.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby gazola11 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:03 am

Yep all is OK in SL expect the odd graphics glitch. Using the mixer in full screen mode, as I said before, and sometimes switching between screen sets the new screen screen set is just white but only occasionally.

Apart from that the engine is running well. I've got someone in the studio today who has volunteered to be my C7 guinea pig so I will report how it all goes.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby Matt Houghton » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:12 am

The Elf wrote:OK, next time I'm in front of it I'll take a look. I must have overlooked something.

Explore the various menus at the top of the mixer. You'll find that you can show/hide by channel type, show only channels linked to the selected channel etc. It's a very neat system from this point of view IMO.

Also, check out the mixer configuration button at the top left. You can show EQ curves for all tracks at the top of the mixer, and click on them to edit each band's frequency/level in a pop up.

Also look at the 'zoom' function: as well as scaling the mixer, you can zoom in/out channel width via the mouse this way, or using the buttons G and H. Check out what Shift+G/H does too...

Most, though not *quite* all, of my initial frustrations were simply due to things being a bit unfamiliar. On balance, I'm quite liking it so far.

(I'm on Win 7 64 Ultimate, C64, running Jbridge for the various 32-bit plug-ins.)
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby Richie Royale » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:20 am

Thanks Gazola, sounds promising. I'd rather stick with SL, and C7 does look tempting.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby C.LYDE » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:57 am

My previous approach of 2~3 mixers on a one screen and arrangement in another could be at an end, this new mixer has the potential to change my paradigm all together - I like it.

The G& H zoom commands are a clever, useful addition (as well as the shift G&H for vertical resizing) - very nice.

I've disabled all plugins to give myself time to evaluate the raw potential of the channel strip - I'm particularly liking the FFT + EQ (Voxengo) combination - this is something I've wanted from the day that the tool was introduced to Nuendo - could never understand why something so useful was not included per channel earlier - thanks Steinberg!

Did notice that opening and closing of the modules contained with the strip does have issues. One can expand, but not minimise... bug?
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby gazola11 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:13 pm

Ok I think I have found a work around to the missing menu bar when using mixer in full screen mode.

Basically if you're running SL and using spaces I put the Mixer on it's own Spaces page, made it full screen and it seems to behaving fine.

I don't know if this works using a second monitor so others will have to try that one (although I might dig out a 2nd monitor and try later) but I'm guessing it's some kind of re-draw error that once the mixer is opened and overlaps the level of the menu bar, when returning to the arrange page the menu bar is not re-drawn and goes missing. But once the mixer is on another page, or space in my case, then it has no reason to ever lap on top of the main menu bar. Hope that makes sense.

Otherwise my session is going very well. They have even gone to get me lunch and coffee :)

p.s. This all MAC stuff so I'm sorry can't report on PC usage.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby Andi » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:30 pm

I've put in a couple of evenings with C7 and everything seems to work fine. I struggled with the mixer too for an hour or so and actually read the manual at one point. It all seems to work but I find that I have to mouse around the screen more than I used to because some of the control groupings have been spread-out (mute/solo and read/write buttons are no longer together in the mixer and the control room mixer channels are more spread-out). It's too early to tell if I really think this is worse than it used to be or if it's just a result of years of familiarity being broken (been on Cubase since SX). This reminds me a bit of the Win8 thing of putting controls in the active corners of screens - it's all very clever but it does require more remembering of where specific things are. A few things also take additional clicks, I don't necessarily want the pre and routing racks on the screen all the time but it takes 3 clicks to add them, one each rack to expand them, then 3 more to remove them - this was 2 clicks total in the older style mixer.


Still only 8 insert slots - I use Slate tape and console plugs so that's a 1/3 of my pre-fader slots used before I start. Oh, and still no mixer undo.

I also don't like the way the EQ spreads-out but you can remove the EQ rack and use Equalizer Curves instead. I did find that I accidentally adjusted some EQs too on a couple of occasions - still not sure how that happened but glad I saved a safety copy of my project before I started to play.

The colour scheme in the project window is pretty poor out-of-the-box because some automation curves are very hard to see against the standard dark-grey background - lighten this and it all works much better but it's the first time I've ever been moved to customise Cubase. Labelling on inserts in the mixer is also a bit of a triumph of artistry over clarity.

Love the new channel window with the ability to jump to feeds and destinations.

Jury's out on the channel strip because I tend to use 3rd party plugs but I tried a few test tracks and it seems to be very usable, even if the knobs are a bit small.

Overall I'm a cautious supporter, but I do think that some of the workflow changes are a little inelegant.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby gazola11 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:17 pm

Andi wrote:

Oh, and still no mixer undo.



Yes you are right this was one of the things I was really hoping for. What's the point of a Mix "Console" thingy but it has no undo.

However mixer zones are great, could do with a the ability to add more zones but very handy.

And speaking from a purely selfish point of view now being able to use the mixer across the whole area of my 30inch display is bliss.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby The Elf » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:47 pm

Yep, I've found the channel type filter at the top now. It makes no sense to me that they aren't with the other filters in the window on the left. :crazy: Hmmm... Well, at least they're there.

The zoom is pathetic. It really doesn't help much at all - the difference is minimal! I'm still having to do too much scrolling in the top part of the mixer window, which is is really going to slow me down. I may avoid using the Cubase channel EQ now. The dark buttons on a dark background don't help much either. You've really got to know where the EQ type button is now - it's invisible!

I'm impressed with many others of the new/improved features though. VariAudio is even better now - bliss! The chord track will be very useful when thrashing out arrangements with some of my artists. Often I'm rustling up chord patterns on the fly to map a song out and it's now great to see them labelled and mapped out.

It's good to see Control Room being made more accessible. I'm amazed how many people don't even know it exists, yet it is very useful. For me it is switched on permanently.

I've thrown a lot of complex projects at it and so far all is well - no crashes, no nasty messages and nothing unexpected.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby The Elf » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:50 pm

And speaking from a purely selfish point of view now being able to use the mixer across the whole area of my 30inch display is bliss.
I always done the same across a pair of 26 inch displays, but I didn't need a zoom for it! :tongue:
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby Andi » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:05 pm

The Elf wrote:Yep, I've found the channel type filter at the top now. It makes no sense to me that they aren't with the other filters in the window on the left. :crazy: Hmmm... Well, at least they're there.

Exactly - the functionality is all there, but you have to remember far more specific bits of information in contrast to just knowing that if you look at the left edge of the screen you can control what you see.

I'm hoping I missed the point with the mixer zoom and that there's an option that I just haven;t found yet to make all the channels fit the window at whatever width is needed.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby gazola11 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:08 pm

Yeah sorry i meant that mixer takes up the whole page rather than a band across the middle with space at the top or bottom.

And I agree that looking up a channel from the fader to the top, you lose your way by the time your eye gets to the top of the channel as the highlight line disappears with the darkness. I am looking in the preferences to see if that channel highlight can be brightened but can't find it yet.
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby gazola11 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:10 pm

I am also looking for the function that gets these two Magpies off my studio roof!! It's like river dance up there....C'mon Steinberg where is the Undo Magpie function...arghhh! :headbang:
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Re: Cubase 7 First Impressions

Postby gazola11 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:14 pm

Hmmm this is interesting.....

I've opened a C7 project in 6.5 so if you really are struggling and you need to bail out of C7 because the client has run out of patients with your constant head scratching and clicking whilst mumbling "that used to be here I know it did!" Then you can revert back to C6.5 and carry on as if you know what you are doing.
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