Steinberg Cubase is an industry standard DAW with a long and solid reputation for quality. Now compatible on both Windows and Mac devices, Cubase is favoured by professionals, students and hobbyists for music creation and production. Steinberg offer extensive versions of the software, with a total of five differentiated Cubase programmes depending on user needs and budget. All versions include distinctive high-quality instrument sounds, plus chord pads, a mix console and Groove Agent SE 5.
Cubase for studio professionals and artists
Cubase Pro and Cubase Artist are the biggest versions and have a number of similarities – both offer an unlimited number of MIDI, audio and VST Instrument tracks, however the main differences occur when large recording sessions with numerous tracks are needed; Pro offers 256 physical inputs & outputs, 256 group channels and 64 rack instruments, while Artist offers 32 inputs & outputs, 32 group channels and 32 rack instruments. Cubase Pro suits users who need vast amounts of recording and production power, whereas Cubase Artist is perfect for composers, creators and producers working on a smaller scale.
Cubase Elements is a great DAW for beginners or those with more minimal requirements. This version offers 16 audio tracks, 8 VST Instrument tracks, but still with a very usable number of plugin options, inputs & outputs, group channels, send and returns for live recording and production on a smaller scale.
Cubase LE and Cubase AI are similar compact versions that come free with other products such as audio interfaces, DAW controllers, mixing consoles, electric drum kits, and guitar amplifiers. Both LE and AI offer the same features and instrument sounds as the bigger versions of Cubase.
Desktop users can purchase Cubase Pro for £499, Cubase Artist for £284, and Cubase Elements for £85, while those who are unsure which version to buy can take advantage of a free 30 day trial.
Cubasis App for phones and tablets
For music creators on the go, Steinberg have also created the Cubasis App, compatible with iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones and tablets. The app has a virtual keyboard as well as options to plug in external instruments and microphones. Priced at £48.99, musicians can trial the app for free, and as with the desktop versions of Cubase, Steinberg offers Cubasis LE and Cubasis AI as part of bundle packages with other products.
Whether you’re a composer, producer or a music student, one of the most useful music apps you can get is PlayScore 2. With PlayScore 2 you can play any music straight from a photo, a PDF or an image. If you don’t read music, it’s easy to hear what it sounds like, and not only that, PlayScore 2 can export your music MIDI or MusicXML to DAWs like Cubase easily in a few clicks.