Steinberg released a significant update to Cubasis – v.1.8 – just a few weeks ago and I reviewed that in some detail on the blog. Cubasis v.1.8 delivered a host of minor fixes and improvements and with the headline addition of a well-implemented automation system.
However, today has seen a further, if smaller, incremental update released taking the app to v.1.8.1. While you might expect this to be just a series of minor fixes given the significance of the previous update, that’s not actually the case and, although this new update doesn’t feature anything on quite the scale of the automation system, there are some very useful additions.
For example, if you need to, you can now send audio out from Cubasis via AirPlay, Bluetooth or HDMI. All these options are useful if you just want to audition your project on a different speaker/monitoring system. Having installed the update, I tried the AirPlay route and was easily able to stream Cubasis playback to my iMac via AirServer. Do note, however, that you can’t use either AirPlay or Bluetooth playback while actually recording within Cubasis given the latency involved.
The other very useful feature is a new plugin; the Noise Gate. It’s kind of surprising that a gate plugin wasn’t included in the Cubasis specification from the off and, while it is not an essential effect to have given how easy it is to edit digital audio, it is very useful and can save having to edit out ‘gaps’ in an audio recording just to silence any background noise.
The Noise Gate follows the styling of the other Cubasis plugins and, as well as Attack and Release settings that control how fast and gate opens/closes respectively, the combination of the Threshold and Range settings allow you to specify just how tightly the gate operates. Having tried this with a number of different audio tracks (drums, guitars, vocals) it does a very good job. The controls can, of course, all be automated if you want to create some gate-based effects. It would, of course, be nice to see a side-chain option at some point…. :-)
The Setup options – which used to be displayed in a single full screen – have now been redesigned into a tabbed display that, consistent with other windows you can open within the app, appears as a tabbed area at the base of the display. The settings available are now split across seven tabs. This all works fine and will, I suspect, also allow Steinberg to accommodate further global app settings as the functionality of the app continues to develop.
Amongst some other fixes and improvements are things like the ability to select a channel in the Mixer and the track associated with it is automatically selected and scrolled to appear in the Project window in the upper portion of the screen. Equally, things like the response of the Tempo dialog has been improved and there are minor tweaks to some of the automation tools. There are also better transport controls displayed as part of the Audio Editor window.
While v.1.8.1 might only be a modest update, it really is great to see Steinberg gradually improving and developing Cubasis. As an audio + MIDI recording, arranging and mixing environment, Cubasis now offers a very polished and well-designed set of tools. While I’m sure there will be more to come, this is already a very capable recording platform with a suite of tools I’d have absolutely loved to have had available when I first started exploring multitrack recording back in the days of hardware and tape.
Cubasis is a top-notch app and, with Steinberg showing every sign of keeping the development moving forwards, it can only get better. Highly recommended.