Winter is the season for large Cubase updates and Steinberg has rolled out version 11 which brings new plugins, workflow enhancements, Scales, Sampler modulations and oodles of content.
When talking about these things we’re usually referring to the top Pro version of Cubase but the smaller versions of Artist and Elements also get plenty of their boxes ticked in this update. For instance, Cubase Elements now gets side-chaining and Cubase Artist picks up VariAudio 3, ARA 2 support and unlimited tracks.
Our favourite new thing of recent versions is the Sampler Track and that gets special attention with automatic slicing, two LFOs for modulating the pitch, filter or amp, mono legato glide and a nicely gritty Vintage lo-fi mode.
The Key Editor also gets some improvements with the ability to draw in curves and ramps in the automation lanes for MIDI CC numbers and pitch bend. It will now replicate the Global Track in the Key Editor so you can keep track of markers and tempo changes. And they’ve introduced a Scale Assistant to quantise the pitch of existing notes or live input to a chosen scale.
In the Score Editor there’s a new Properties tab to give better access to notation settings. The Note Editing Overlay makes note editing easier and there’s support for the SMuFL font format opening up Cubase to some of Dorico’s fonts.
The stunning new SuperVision plugin replaces the tired old oscilloscope with every meter and display you could possibly wish for. Spectral, spatial, loudness and phase-related meters are all catered for and you can split up the adaptive GUI to show whatever you want to have on-screen. These tools make mastering within Cubase completely plausible.
Squasher is an in-your-face 3-band compressor designed for EDM production that can fill any track with enough energy to blast through any mix. Frequency 2 is an 8-band dynamic EQ for very precise processing. And both these plugins support the multiple side-chain architecture of VST 3.
The multiband Imager plugin takes your tracks to the stereo field on very adaptive ways. It comes complete with scope and correlation displays.
Under the hood optimizations are in place for super-large projects working with more than 8 processor cores. On macOS Cubase has been optimised for Metal to take advantage of the GPU. Variable DPI is now available on Windows 10.
All sorts of improvements and enhancements have been baked in. It’s now much simpler to export stems. There are new marker lines and improved Pitch Visibility, improvements to the Range Selection tool and ARA workflow.
As for the content, Grammy-winner Beat Butcha contributes a sizzling pack of hip hop heat. Go-to Hollywood sound designer Robert Dudzic brings the Noir pack for cinematic trailers, where every sound tells a story. And Black Octopus Sound contributes four exclusive sets: Lo-fi hip hop, Dancefloor Tech House, Vocal lines and ’80s Synth Wave.
So lots of things to get your teeth into while not being a huge overhaul or bringing too much drama. More of a consolidation than a whole new thing. For more on what we think about the new features check out our review.
Cubase Pro 11 is £499, Artist 11 is £284 and Elements 11 is £85. For upgrade pricing check your My Steinberg account.
- Cubase Sampler Track: Steinberg
- Cubase Pro 11 Frequency 2 and Squasher: Robin Vincent