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Cubase 5...compared to Cubase SX3, and Samplitude

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Cubase 5...compared to Cubase SX3, and Samplitude

Postby Glenn Bucci » Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:57 pm

I worked with Cubase 5.1 when it came out so many years ago, and stayed with Cubase through SX3. However due to failed promises on Steinberg's part..like discontinued support on their own hardware and software, I went to Samplitude 9 and then the much improved Samplitude 10. For me the work flow (including object editing, and the mixer screen offering much improved layout), and quality of plug ins in Samplitude was better for my needs compared to Cubase SX3.

However I found myself needing to work on several projects in Cubase with clients, and I found myself frustrated with working in Cubase SX3. I was happy on some of the improvements I heard about 4, but I was not swayed to go back. Now that Cubase 5 was out, and I still needed to work in Cubase now and then, I decided to upgrade to version 5.

My impressions on Cubase 5 vrs Cubase SX3 are the following;

1. The effects in Cubase 4-5 have been nicely improved. First they look clearer, less cluttered and neat. Second they really improved the quality of the plug ins. I really like the Multi band compressor. Though it went down from 5 to 4 bands, it is easier to work with and it offers you very clean results. Having a solo button on each band is a nice feature. Studio Chorus and Studio Compressor are other worthy plug ins to mention as well. Even the basic chorus has been updated, and it sounds better than the third party chorus I had been using. The studio chorus has more of a wider sound, but similar. I can see use for both chorus effects in Cubase 5. The delay has been much improved as well. I never cared for the delay on SX3, and they have finally come up with a decent sounding delay plug in. The standard EQ is a nice clean open EQ, while the Studio EQ has a slight smoother sound. Perhaps it is very similar to the EQ II that is on the Yamaha digital mixers? The Reverence convolution reverb is also another great reverb which was way overdo. I have yet to do a A/B against the Waves IR1.

2. Cubase 5 is the first fully supported 64 bit relasse of Vista. I am sure it will support Windows 7 in the near future as well. I am on XP Pro, so it won't matter until I get a new computer down the road.

3. Automation has been greatly improved. Previously if you automated a track, it would effect everything, so if you went over the track again with automation to fix or change something, everything would change. With the new Automation Panel, you can control what you want automated or remove in automation.

4. Vst Expression allowing you to control articulation is another step of additional control. Vari Audio of course is very nice in helping vocals stay in tune.

5. Group tracks can now be routed to a master group track.

6. Side chain capabilities are also available. This is useful if you want for instance a kick drum to affect the compression on a bass guitar track for instance.

7. Track Quick Controls allows you to improve your control on routing. The project page looks a little less cluttered and the darker screen is easier on your eyes after hours on a session.

8. I am not a big fan of the sythn's in Cubase 5 for my rock/jazz music.

In comparing it against Samplitude;

1. Steinberg offers very in depth manual which Magix doesn't. I found this very refreshing, and enjoyed the clear manuals from Steinberg. Samplitude though has many great tutorials on their web site that explains in detail how to do things.

2. Cubase 5 effects are on par with Samp's effects thought a little different. I am sure there are some better in Cubase and others better in Samp. Chorus and delays I prefer in in Cubase, and compressors I prefer in Samplitude.

3. All the effects in Cubase look like a software dark box with some knobs. Samplitude's plug ins look like analog gear and are more pleasing to look at, and work with.

4. Mixer screen: Samplitude's looks like an analog mixer with left and right faders for the master fader, which is attached to the main mixer on the far right like a Mackie mixer. Cubase just throws an output fader...and multiple ones to the right that you can't get rid of, so I have to hide them off the screen. I like that when creating a group channel, in Samp the fader turns blue making it easier to find. I also like that I can see inserts, aux's, EQ and in and out's on the screen at the same time in Samp. I am surprised that Steinberg did not yet offer only 4 inserts to view (instead of the 8) so you could also see your inputs and outputs at the same time.

5. Samplitude offers object editing which can be very powerful tool. You can obtain similar results in Cubase, but the way to get there is not the same.

Overall, you can obtain equal results with both in tracking and mixing, though Samplitude offers a lot of the Wavelab features as well. Now Samplitude 11 is out with very good amp simulators, and new skins, and a feature that Cubase SX 3 had...being able to color your track from the project page.

I have not decided which will by my main DAW, though I have to say, but I will make a decision in the near future. I can say that I prefer Samplitude over Wavelab for mastering even though Wavelab is a very impressive product. With both being a complex program the tutorials on Samp's web site showed me how to do everything I need to do to master my projects.
:)
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Re: Cubase 5...compared to Cubase SX3, and Samplitude

Postby Keef R. » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:41 pm

It's good to see that Steinberg continues to improve their DAW's. I think Yamaha may have some influence on the improved plug in's. I wonder if the Studio EQ is based on the Yamaha's digital EQ II found in their digital mixers...as well as their chorus and other effects.

Don't you dare leave Samplitude or I will call you a traitor! :protest:
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Re: Cubase 5...compared to Cubase SX3, and Samplitude

Postby Glenn Bucci » Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:14 pm

There is one more improvement with Cubase 5 over SX3. The ability to have the tempo control on the project page just like Samplitude. This allows you to speed up the chorus of a song and then back down again....very nice and something that I won't miss in using Cubase 5.
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Re: Cubase 5...compared to Cubase SX3, and Samplitude

Postby chew_rocket » Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:10 pm

An improvement on Cubase 5 is the guide rulers that pop up when your drawing in automation.... a small but very nice feature.
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Re: Cubase 5...compared to Cubase SX3, and Samplitude

Postby onesecondglance » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:19 pm

Glenn Bucci wrote:There is one more improvement with Cubase 5 over SX3. The ability to have the tempo control on the project page just like Samplitude. This allows you to speed up the chorus of a song and then back down again....very nice and something that I won't miss in using Cubase 5.

the tempo track is awesome - very powerful and allows for really quite fine control.
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Re: Cubase 5...compared to Cubase SX3, and Samplitude

Postby Glenn Bucci » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:20 am

Not that anyone would care, but I choose Cubase 5 as my main DAW. Studio One is nice, but there are too many features missing that makes Cubase more interesting.
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Re: Cubase 5...compared to Cubase SX3, and Samplitude

Postby Reiknir » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:31 pm

Glenn Bucci wrote:Not that anyone would care, but I choose Cubase 5 as my main DAW. Studio One is nice, but there are too many features missing that makes Cubase more interesting.

Cubase 4/5/6 are gob smackingly good and much underrated, I especially like the integration features that they have been sneaking in little by little that people either do not notice or take for granted, like external effect compensation, media bay and so on.

I think 3SX came out after they were under the control of Pinnacle and by all accounts that was a disaster

But I am interested in samplitude and Sequoia, you never see reviews of it in the the English language press any more but on an occasion meet people that absolutely refuse to use anything else, have you kept up with Samplitude or did you stop using it when you switched to Cubase?
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Re: Cubase 5...compared to Cubase SX3, and Samplitude

Postby Glenn Bucci » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:17 pm

There is one other thing that some Cubase users may be overwhelmed about but is a great feature; The Control Room. I did not use it for a while, but once I did, I was very happy I did. First of all it's not that confusing to use. Being able to create different mixes for people with headphones is such a plus. Plus it offers a mono and dim button which the main Cubase output bus does not. I never understood why it did not have that feature. Samplitude does have it.

Regarding Samplitude, I use it for mastering my projects. I like it better than Wavelab after watching the tutorial videos on the Samplitude web site. Samplitude has gotten a little better with version 11, and version 12 is coming out this summer. All DAW's continue to try to improve their program with the new and improved. Could I mix just as well with Samplitude compared to Cubase? The answer is yes and probably a little better with it's object editing. This makes it one step above other DAW's in my opinion. However I like the work flow better in Cubase and there are a lot more users of Cubase/Nuendo than most DAW's out there. They also have Yamaha backing them up which has helped improve plug ins, and coming out with good products like Halion Sonic.

Cubase also continues to have great manuals that explain the program in detail. With it being such a deep program and many great features, I want to stick with one DAW so I can really make the best out of the program. Just look at the Cubase articles in SOS for the last 2 years and you can really learn a lot on what it offers.
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Re: Cubase 5...compared to Cubase SX3, and Samplitude

Postby The Elf » Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:35 am

Glenn Bucci wrote:There is one other thing that some Cubase users may be overwhelmed about but is a great feature; The Control Room. I did not use it for a while, but once I did, I was very happy I did.
+1!!! :D

It's one of Cubase's best features, and something I can't imagine have to work without.

I still meet Cubase users who aren't using C/R and don't know how much easier it can make your life. :roll:
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Re: Cubase 5...compared to Cubase SX3, and Samplitude

Postby C.LYDE » Fri May 06, 2011 11:36 am

A detailed review of a DAW is by no means a small task - thought about it a few times, started typing and the realised the amount of detail required.. eish.

1. The most significant change as far as hardware interface from SX3 to 4.5/5/6 was drop of support for Yamaha DS2416.

2. This also bring to mind the difference in approach between Samplitude and Cubase - the amount of clicking to configure IO is greater with Samplitude, IMHO.

3. The control room and bussing in general makes more sense to me within Cubase (biased) and the VST link function albeit underused, has no equal in any DAW (correct me if wrong). This configurtaion remains similar in all version following SX3 - in fact it becomes more flexible if anything.

4. My quick summation of the Samplitude 'experience' is that it's a bit like combining the Montage facility from Wavelab and adding Cubase mixing facility. I agree their approach has serious DSP power and powerful editing, but I think in doing so end users spend more time right-clicking and wondering about which option to choose. Definitely not my go-to program for an intense record session or even a quick an easy one.
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Re: Cubase 5...compared to Cubase SX3, and Samplitude

Postby C.LYDE » Fri May 06, 2011 11:49 am

Glenn Bucci wrote:

4. Mixer screen: Samplitude's looks like an analog mixer with left and right faders for the master fader, which is attached to the main mixer on the far right like a Mackie mixer. Cubase just throws an output fader...and multiple ones to the right that you can't get rid of, so I have to hide them off the screen. I like that when creating a group channel, in Samp the fader turns blue making it easier to find. I also like that I can see inserts, aux's, EQ and in and out's on the screen at the same time in Samp. I am surprised that Steinberg did not yet offer only 4 inserts to view (instead of the 8) so you could also see your inputs and outputs at the same time.
:)

Cubase allows channel mixing to be linked/shown via the inspector, and the ability to hide certain groups/channels/functions - dual mixers assigned to e.g. submixes and channels or just instruments and the other audio - in fact the combinations are endless (I'm getting excited now) ; Samplitude on the other hand, and my dabling was done on version 7 awhile back - allowed one to shrink the mixer window? :frown:
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Re: Cubase 5...compared to Cubase SX3, and Samplitude

Postby midisequencer » Mon May 21, 2012 8:55 pm

I agree, i cant live without the Control Room feature now i've discovered it, im astonished at how much easier it makes my job.
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Re: Cubase 5...compared to Samplitude Pro X

Postby Glenn Bucci » Tue May 29, 2012 10:11 pm

I generally skip one version update and grab the next one. With Samplitude I went from version 10 to Pro X. I am waiting for Cubase 7 to come out before switching from Cubase 5. However I have to admit the Cubase 6.5 update have been tempting.

Samplitude Pro X now has several view screens (some hide some features) and depending on your work flow and taste you can view more items on the screen which means less clicking with your mouse. One screen selection has the edit boxes (inserts, EQ, and comments) for tracks now available to always show up on the project page. They now have a great linear EQ which I like better than my Waves mastering linear EQ. They improved plug in bread and butter effects as well. Samplitude clearly has better effects than Cubase now. Cubase effects are about a 6-7 in my book while the effects in Samplitude I give an 7-8 which many are on par with Waves and UAD plug ins. There is even a warmth plug in when used correctly can result in very good results. However you can't put outboard gear as an insert on a channel like Cubase, it still lacks something similar to Control Room.

As Samplitude/Magix is a smaller company than Yamaha/Steinberg, they don't seem to focus on details like making sure their DAW works smoothly with Mackie Control units. It worked fine in Samplitude 10 but not with the Pro X version. I also just prefer the work flow of Cubase for audio and midi over Samplitude which is a very deep program. Cubase 6 and Samp has modeling amps built in which are good for putting down ideas but not for final guitar takes. Both programs are very good and I still enjoy Samplitude for mastering. You really can't go wrong with either program.
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