How do we feel about Cubasis lately?

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Jim Hanks
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Joined: 06/14/2011

I just upgraded from my trusty old 16GB iPad 2 to a 64GB iPad Air 2 and wondering what I've been missing. Cubasis is on sale for another week and freshly updated so I'm thinking about picking it up while I wait for NS2. Worth it?

tom_tm
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Joined: 06/29/2011

Completely. I actually want to use it now.

syrupcore
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Joined: 09/26/2010

I just bought it last week. It's a good app. Good MIDI support, decent built in instruments, good AudioBus interaction. The piano roll is much better than it used to be (having tried a buddy's version) but it still not nearly as fluid as NS'. All of these apps that do all of the piano roll editing by touching the note have completely overloaded the interaction. How long do I hold it? if I hold it here (and can no longer see it, bonus) and slide am I moving it or extending it? Wait, how do I delete it? MEH. NS handles forever.

Lee B
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Joined: 09/23/2011

Agree with syrupcore re handles. Strange how they don't see the benefits of them.
Also, I'm still struggling with timing issues when only a handful of tracks are running. The other thing that kills it for me is the lack of groups on the mixer, a strange omission from a supposed big player.
One other thing I still don't understand is when you add another layer to a midi track it overlays the bar with another, with the new midi information in, so when you copy and paste, it only copies the top layer. Maybe I'm missing some way of consolidating the parts, but it shouldn't be necessary.
Anyhow its been deleted again to free up valuable space.

Jim Hanks
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Joined: 06/14/2011

Well, I got it. Not sure what I'm going to with it yet, but I got it.

syrupcore
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Joined: 09/26/2010

Particularly at $25, I reckon Cubasis is currently the best app on the store for *linear* multi-track midi sequencing where MIDI out is a requirement. Think it's the only one of its breed that will also host AUs which is neato, no doubt. If you don't need linear sequencing (and need MIDI out) modStep is probably the app to beat—if you're willing to deal with its bordering-on-absurd learning curve and equally fiddly piano roll. I don't want to see people ripping Matt off (again) but FFS, the "How to do piano rolls on iOS" question was solved 6 years ago. Why are people still putting out crap piano rolls? Not that I could code a better one, or any sort of one, really, but obviously the teams that put together Cubasis or ModStep could sort out how to do it and do it well! Nope. Auxy and to a lesser extent Gadget have fairly well realized and fluid versions of the no-handle piano roll paradigm. They still suffer from no-no #1 of touch interactions—I can no longer see what I'm editing syndrome—but the bits around that are fluid enough that they work pretty well.

Anyway Cubasis... Nanologue is a nice enough built-in synth but it's easy to miss Eden when using it*. AU synths are definitely on the rise though. As far as I'm concerned, iSem is reason enough to own an iPad. Being able to sequence several at once is dreamy, no doubt. Somewhat ironic in name, the "NS1" va synth is quite nice too and Blamsoft's Viking, though mono only, spits out amazing sounds. Total gem.

* My last Cubasis session involved several Eden tracks. Easy to forget that while NS1 (the REAL NS1!) is a great all in one app, it's also happy to be a badass 15-part multi-timbral synth+sampler. Imagine having a huge rack of s-950s! With effects! For less than a dollar each. And no cabling. :)

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

Jim: are you just curious about Cubasis only? Does your sporty new iPad already have Auria Pro?
It is more expensive, but I think worth it. Depends on what you are looking for in Cubasis.

Jim Hanks
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Joined: 06/14/2011

I don't have Auria Pro. I had the original Auria soon after it came out but I never really got on with it on the iPad 2. It worked with a few tracks, but it wasn't enough for me to want to use it for a full project and it was overkill for a plain "recorder". I turned to Meteor and then to Multitrack DAW for that. I have heard the Pro version is better for some things, so I may pick it up at some point, but I dunno. I am starting to get into Cubasis, and it does have enough for me to want to use it for a full project. I'm getting close to completion on the first, and I know I've barely scratched the surface - haven't even touched IAA or Audio Units yet for example. For combining MIDI and audio, it's the most intuitive iOS DAW I've used so far.

syrupcore
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Joined: 09/26/2010

I haven't upgraded Auria either. Good plugins for sure and the new mixer looks like the business, for sure, but I'm not sure I've ever had a fully fluid experience with Auria. Either CPU overloads or "where the @#%! did they put _____?" or fiddly zooming or.... kvetch kvetch kvetch. From what I understand, a lot of my gripes about v1 were addressed in v2 (which is a free upgrade, the MIDI stuff being the paid upgrade) but to be honest, I haven't even loaded it since it was released.

Lee B
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Joined: 09/23/2011

I loved Auria for mixing, but the pro upgrade was a big dissapointment for me. No midi loop/cycle recording? Come on. That's been around since the dinosaurs. (Well almost!)
And don't get me started on that piano roll.
I was also dissapointment to learn that loop recording was never written into the programme from the start (rather odd), so a rewrite is needed and it doesn't seem to be on the cards either.
So it will remain uninstalled (lack of valuable space), as I'm getting decent enough results using Final Touch for mastering now anyway.
Glad your getting on with cubase Jim.

Cheers

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

I've only done a couple tracks with Auria Pro, so take my comments with a grain of salt. I found it to be the app most like a desktop DAW. I like linear sequencing rather than loop-based, so for me the lack of loop features were not an issue. MIDI out is a big plus, but so far I've just used IAA and not AU. Audio was really easy to use and not too different from MultiTrack DAW. I like NS better for piano roll editor and overall ease of sequencing, but until NS2 comes out I think Auria Pro is a viable option for getting MIDI out features.

I went back to my trusty workflow (synth - AB - NS) to complete a project I was working on, but I want to get back into Auria Pro and see if I can come up with a new workflow that takes advantage of the best features NS and Auria Pro. For some Cubasis might work better - I haven't tried it. I can't imagine Cubasis would have a better mixing environment however. Auria Pro's mixing feels pretty Pro to me. I'd be curious to hear more about your Cubasis workflow Jim, especially if you're using it with NS.

Jim Hanks
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Joined: 06/14/2011

I have not connected Cubasis and NS yet. So far I have used it as a MIDI recorder from Fugue Machine (3 simultaneous tracks!) and using the internal synths. Also audio drum loops. I don't have a lightning audio interface yet so my audio flow for a ukelele track was convoluted- recorded to iPhone and transferred over Dropbox to Cubasis - tedious but it worked. I'm almost done but I'm thinking about swapping out at least one of the internal synths to try MIDI out.

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

I haven't used Fugue Machine, but I've heard good things about it.
If you are making a track completely within Cubasis, it would be interesting to hear your final thoughts on the workflow as compared to NS. MIDI out to other apps should be fun, and opens a great range of sound possibilities, but MIDI out to hardware synths would be an extra level of complexity, i.e. getting the audio back in to the iPad. I would wonder if it's possible to record MIDI and audio at the same time.

Jim Hanks
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Joined: 06/14/2011

Of course, MIDI out is the biggest difference compared to NS. I've now replaced two of my MIDI tracks with IAA synths that have not worked into my flow in the past - Mersenne and iM1. So yeah, this is a whole 'nother level for me in terms of sound design. My crayon box just got a whole lot bigger. :-)

syrupcore
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Joined: 09/26/2010

> I would wonder if it's possible to record MIDI and audio at the same time.

It is. It's a nice feature!

Jim Hanks
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Joined: 06/14/2011

I just discovered a shortcoming in Cubasis and NS helped me overcome it! I can't figure out a way to export a MIDI clip from Cubasis. I wanted to do this so I can import the part into Progression to get a standard notation view of it to play the part on an acoustic instrument. So I set up a MIDI out from Cubasis into NS and recorded into NS. Then saved the clip to .mid file in NS, mailed it to myself from NS, then open the file attachment in Progression. Boom! "Instant" notation. ;-)

Jim Hanks
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Joined: 06/14/2011

This took me a little longer to wrap up than I thought- life getting in the way of art. ;-)

Here's the finished track:
https://soundcloud.com/jim-hanks/sunset-over-susa

And all the production details:
https://jimhanks.wordpress.com/2016/11/03/ntm-apps-cubasis-fugue-machine...

Let me know if I left out anything you want to know more about.

Jim

syrupcore
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Joined: 09/26/2010

Very very interesting sounding tune and wonderful write up Mr. Hanks.