Cubase 8 Released by Steinberg both Pro and Artist Versions
Cubase 8 has been released by Steinberg and is available in two versions; Cubase Pro 8 and Cubase Artist 8, the cheaper version aimed more at producers whilst the Pro version offers a full suite of recording options for recording studios.
Cubase 8 Engine Rebuild
The big change with Cubase 8 seems to be the completely rebuilt engine. Steinberg claims that Cubase 8 is the fastest and most efficient DAW on the market and as you can see from this graphic, their tests prove it to be more efficient in handling ASIO workload. As you can see Steinberg claim that Cubase 8 will open 4 times faster and the MixConsole twice as fast.
There’s also something known as ASIO Guard 2 which uses lower latencies where it is needed on tracks (as opposed to chewing up valuable CPU resources by globally setting one’s soundcard to a lower latency). With Guard 2 this feature is extended to instrument tracks, where CPU load can be typically heavy, especially when using multi-timbral or disk-streaming sample instruments.
Cubase 8 features to impress
Cubase 8 has a new look. Not a complete overhaul but there are some UI modifications such as redesigned Track List and Inspector, a more flexible window layout for PC, a new plugin manager which is easier to customize and window docking for the VST Instrument Rack and Mediabay.
Here’s the main list of new features for Cubase 8:
- VCA Faders – Replicating an analog mixer’s VCA Fader, where channel gain can be controlled using DC voltage, this allows the single movement of a group of faders via a single master fader. This differs to just grouping channels together as you can use the ‘Combine VCA fader automation feature to merge the curve of a VCA fader with the automation curve of a controlled fader or group of faders.’ This feature is available in Cubase Pro 8 only.
- Virgin Territories – This is probably one of those features that most had not thought off but may prove quite handy. What Virgin Territories allows one to do is remove automation lanes in areas where they are not needed. i.e. static. This allows one to then use this lane for other parameter adjustments. The image shows it quite nicely. Again this is only in the Pro 8 version.
- Render in-Place – Available in both Pro and Artist, Cubase 8 ‘s Render in-place means you can very quickly and easily choose what to render when bouncing MIDI or audio parts. Basically you can define what you want to include and what you don’t include will automatically be taken across to the newly track lane.
- Chord Pads is an extension of the Chord Track feature introduced in Cubase 7. With Chord Pads you can trigger chords and change voicing and tension via MIDI parameters or on on any record-enabled MIDI or instrument track. Chord Assistant offers chord suggestions based on a reference chord by taking into account harmonic rules. So you can pick a Chord or a selection of chords in the Circle of 5ths viewer and the Proximity Assistant will offer suggestions. It also makes use of colours to better indicate how far you are moving from a key relative to your composition.
- Quadrafuzz v2 – What would Cubase be without Quadrafuzz? This superb distortion plugin is back with a new look and features.
- VST Bass Amp – A collection of Bass Amps, cabs and stomp boxes.
- Improved Channel strip EQ – Steinberg’s EQ improved dramatically in version 7 and in Cubase 8 it seems they’ve done some more work on it; there are additional mouse-over value readouts for gain, frequency and the equivalent in note pitch. Enter pitch notes or cent values instead of Hz frequencies for each band. The Pre section now offers selectable slopes of 6, 12 (default), 24, 36 and 48 for high-cut and low-cut.
Top 10 Reasons to update to Cubase 8 (according to Steinberg)
- Performance boost for more instruments, more tracks and shorter loading/saving times
- VCA faders* for complex mixing and automation workflows
- Render in-place: Bounce MIDI and audio parts easily
- Chord pads: A great way to playfully and creatively compose with chords
- Improved windows handling on PC, dockable rack and MediaBay plus a redesigned Track List
- Groove Agent SE 4 Acoustic Agent gives you a world-class virtual acoustic drummer
- Plug-in manager: Arrange, sort and group your effects and instrument
- New Virtual Bass Amp, Quadrafuzz v2, Multiband Expander*, Multiband Envelope Shaper* effects
- Mixing updates*: Virgin territories automation mode, direct routing and Wave Meters
- Allen Morgan Pop-Rock Toolbox: 30 construction kits, each with 25 to 30 audio and MIDI loops
* Cubase Pro 8 exclusive feature. Not included in Cubase Artist 8!