Steinberg Cubase Pro 11£499
Future Music|February 2021
Bruce Aisher takes a look at the latest iteration of Steinberg’s popular DAW to see if it is still up there with the best
Bruce Aisher

Like a Christmas card from a reliable friend, Steinberg announced Cubase 11 at the tail end of 2020. I normally suggest waiting for at least one or two interim updates before taking the plunge with a new version of any DAW software but Cubase 11 appears to be quite robust. However, the online side of the eLicenser system employed by Cubase did suffer some serious issues just after release, but this was resolved in a matter of days.

One of the headline new features is ‘Job Queue Management’ in the Export Audio Mixdown window. On the face of it this appears to be an unglamorous administrative tweak. However, it adds some much-needed functionality to the audio export process, and facilitates creating multiple unattended track bounces. In essence you select the tracks to bounce, add them to the queue, add some more, and then run the process while you make a cup of coffee. However, much like Render In Place it is now possible to choose whether tracks are exported dry or processed (with or without Inserts, Groups, Send or Master effects). Export selection can be synced to project window track selection, and file presets make for less configuration adjustments when switching between commonly used formats. Although I welcome Steinberg’s real advances here, not all common scenarios are quite covered yet. For example, the channel syncing only works for single channel Instrument Tracks. MIDI tracks assigned to multichannel Instrument Tracks, or Rack Instruments, require you to select their associated audio output channel. This is also the case with Folders, and means that creating stems for grouped sets of tracks in Folders (drums, bass etc) requires some extra (and quite fiddly) work. Despite this, there is a lot to like here, and this addition alone has the potential to save quite a bit of time.

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