I'm dumping FL for a new girl :)

Well, the time has come for me to start playing league with the big guys and move on up to a new DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). I first began using FL Studio after I bought it in 2016 and it has been a great little tool for me to put down some ideas and do a bit of MIDI recording using some free VSTs (virtual instruments to those unfamiliar with what a VST is). I got it for around $300. Although FL Studio was well priced, easy to use (for me for simple projects), intuitive, and had a great user interface, I have become very frustrated with it. It's been causing me a few problems. FL Studio works differently to other mainstream DAWs. Don't get me wrong: FL Studio is a very powerful DAW and can do much of what other DAWs can do, but I want a DAW that's mainstream and not a black sheep, per se'.

I bought Studio One when it was on sale at a great price too good to miss. Tried it out a few times but I wasn't happy with it. So now I'm looking around for a regular vanilla mainstream DAW. And while I've had a few days of being near WiFi, I have been reading a lot of reviews and watching a lot of Youtube reviews, and have just about settled on Steinberg's Cubase -- latest version. The full Pro version is almost $872 via the Steinberg website (ouch!), but I would buy it as a competitive cross-grade for around $542. -- cross-grade being that I already own two of the other DAWs that they accept as a cross-grade.

The thing I'm NOT happy with is that in order to use Cubase, it now requires a dongle containing an e-License.  And that dongle costs extra: about $40 -- $60. To me, that dongle should already be part and parcel of the actual product. I will download a 30-day trial of Cubase and give it a run. I know it has a steep learning curve.

If anyone here is using Cubase as their DAW, could you please drop by and let me know what you like and what you don't like about it.  Thanks.



  • There is also a "Light Edition" - Cubase LE that comes free with some external audio interfaces, and as I understand it it is based on the same core technology.

    I am not sure if it is available as a separate product of if it only comes together with some other products but it might worth checking out.

    I haven't had time to check mine out yet, but the initial impression of the user interface is that it seems to be much cleaner and easier than Reaper.

    Looking at some lessons at YT it seems to be able to do all the things that I normally use my DAW for in a cleaner and simpler way than Reaper. But as mentioned I have not had time to test it out yet.

    (It came with my ZOOM UAC-2 audio interface. an USB 3.0 audio interface with very low latency. I am very happy with this one once I got it to work. I got it to work with USB 3.0 but no backwards USB versions, one needs to very careful and check out that the right version USB connection is available on the PC. It says it it backwards compatible with USB 2.0 but I have only got it to work with USB 3.0 and looking in various forums users seem to have some problems with the USB versions to work)
  • I know Guy Michelmore uses Cubase and his cinematic composing skills are incredible. He's a world famous composer and has lots of really helpful videos online.

    Best of luck to you, Scott in deciding what to do. :)
  • I tried it out a couple years ago Scott, and now I can't even remember all the issues I had with it.  The e-license was a deal breaker for me.  It is kind of the tip of the iceberg of their obsession with control over the product.  It's a very different mentality over there.  As I remember the company had no in-person support and you couldn't really contact support over the web or by e-mail.  You are left to whatever manuals, etc. is out there.  Some of that could have changed by now, I don't know.  You may end up really being on your own with it...
  • Hi Hakan, Fred, and Rodger. Many thanks for your replies. The problem that has caused me to consider another DAW is because FL Studio will no longer play some of my files. If I have created those files in say version 20.2 and try to play those files within the same version (20.2), I get a window telling me that the file was created in an earlier version and won't play. Tells me to update to the latest version. I have contacted their forum, told them the problem, and all they tell me is to update to the latest version, knowing full well that the latest version won't play files that were created in an earlier version. I give up.

    <strong>Hakan</strong>, I couldn't find Cubase LE for sale on their website, but I found Cubase Elements for $149 plus 10% VAT for European purchasers. Non-European purchasers should technically pay zero VAT.  Their site doesn't say if you need an e-License dongle to use the Elements version. I will investigate further.

    <strong>Fred</strong>, I'm very familiar with  Guy Michelmore. Funny guy.  I have watched a number of his videos on various topics.  Great musician. I recently watched him giving a tutorial on using one of the Cubase editions (not Cubase 11 pro) and the user interface appeared very similar.  I have also seen on a number of his videos that he often uses Apple's Logic Pro X.  A lot of pros use Logic Pro. My MacBook has Logic Pro X installed on it, and I have begun downloading lots of tutorial videos for it. Logic is a pretty powerful tool, so I hear, and many professional use it for professional scores.  That said, I really wanted something that was cross-platform that I could use on both PC and Mac -- for traveling purposes.

    <strong>Rodger</strong>, I remember you posted a year or two ago that you had bought Cubase. And I recall then that you mentioned something about their dongle.  I have read a few recent posts from Cubase users about Steingberg's (Cubase developers) lack of after-sales support and people being left high and dry trying to fathom out problems with the product. And yes, you are right about their obsession with having control over their product: that hideous little dongle being just one of their inane obsessions.  Lose that stupid dongle and you might as well say goodbye to what you've purchased. Yep, they sure do things differnt in the Eurozone. The other being that you can only install Cubase on ONE computer. How utterly ridiculous is that?  Some companies allow you to install their product on up to three devices. I am now having serious thoughts about purchasing Cubase.  I'm just not sure if I want to support a totalitarian company with such irrational obsessions.  I might just play around with Logic Pro and get used to that seeing that I already have it, and by training myself on Logic, it should be reasonably easy to get used to using other mainstream DAWs.

    Thanks again, guys, for helping me with your replies.  Much appreciated.  :)
  • I forgot about the 'only one device' law.  I actually wanted it on my laptop, but initially installed it on my desktop...then I couldn't use it for what I got it for!
  • Below is a sample of the bad reviews that Cubase has had. Well, not exactly Cubase itself but of Steinberg, the company who created it.  Most of the bad reviews seem to be focused around that stupid dongle with their e-License on it. That said, the actual product appears to be pretty good but with a steep learning curve. Plenty of online videos to get a beginner of Cubase up and running. No thanks to the Steinberg company for their quite noticeable lack of interest in their customer base after they've (Steinberg) got their money.

    Part of what makes a particular product a GREAT product is its design, intent, ease of use (including the installation and registration process) and the after sales service and customer support offered by the company. Alas, it seems that Steinberg is so totally blinded by their product licensing paranoia and their draconian 'ONE computer only' mindset that they have basically flipped the bird to their customer base and demonstrated quite clearly that they couldn't care less about music composers . . . just as long as the money keeps rolling in. Their attitude is just one of the reasons why many music composers look for alternative DAWs and other products that you CAN install on more than one computer, and whose creators (Steinberg, in this case) actually care about their customer base.

    Oh, and I have heard many loyal Cubase users say that the new upgrade from Cubase 10.5 Pro to Cubase 11 Pro is not worth the money. But try and get your hands on a new copy of Cubase 10.5. Impossible.


    <img src="https://bluegrassdaddy.com/wp-content/uploads/hm_bbpui/88774/d6thqmfd1z6eo9bvq924wq4tkhfggjrj.png" alt="" />
  • Wow! I'm glad I went with Studio One. Other than the hassles I had with latency (due 100% to my own inattention to instructions) I've had no problems with S1.

    The VST instruments are nice. Of course I would much prefer the more expensive Vienna String Library and Spitfire Chamber Strings, but all in due time.
Sign In or Register to comment.