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Viewing topic "To Cubase or not to Cubase? :)"

   
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Posted on: July 11, 2011 @ 12:27 AM
mrdelurk
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I bought my XS8 second hand, I never got the Cubase AI disc with it. It never bothered me, because until now my main tool was Ableton Live anyway. Now that I discovered Live’s limits (by slamming into them at 300 mph), the day nears when I must decide whether to switch my composing to the XS8.

I do have an unused Cubase LE4 disc that came with some other gear; are Cubase AI and LE the same? Or does one have more tracks or better Yamaha integration than the other? Maybe I should ask instead, do I need to have Cubase to record / play back 24 tracks of digital audio in the first place. The XS8 manual lists 16 digital audio-capable mixer tracks in Song mode… hmm.

The thing about Cubase is, I try to avoid anything with a dongle. Steinberg’s soft-eLicenser, on the other hand, would limit Cubase to a single CPU, when I move between nearly 16 computers regularly. If the XS8 won’t do 24 tracks alone, maybe I should just get one of those portable digi multitracks… what the experts say?

(Note: I originally wrote 48 digital audio tracks, based on my current Ableton track counts. I reduced this to 24: I can live with 24 and many portable multitracks have 24 tracks.)

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Posted on: July 11, 2011 @ 04:45 AM
Wellie
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AI and LE are similar in spec but are not the same - AI is a version specifically for Yamaha gear to give you a feel for the Advanced Integration features available when linking Cubase with for instance a Motif XS.

It is a freebie as I understand it aimed at getting you interested enough to want to buy into the Cubase family.

Re Dongles - I have been using Cubase with a dongle for years. the only time there is ever a minor issue is when upgrading. Otherwise its use is invisible to the end user.

Cheers

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Posted on: July 11, 2011 @ 11:05 AM
mrdelurk
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Hello Wellie,

Dongles are problem free if you plan to live only 10 more years. But if you plan to have a longer lifetime, in 10 years the hardware dongle’s port or driver or platform will be gone, so with any program requiring it, you got a time bomb.  Even if you’ll still legally own the program, even if your latest computer could still run it, it won’t work. I learned this on none else than Cubase itself (which I grew up on, in my early years.)

An early Steinberg 24 fan, I bought Cubase 1.0 as soon as it came out on the Atari ST. (I also purchased Avalon 1.0, etc.) Then the Atari and its glorious cartridge port went the way of the dodo, so today all I can do to run the Atari software I legally bought is to run a pirate copy in an emulator.

An exception, one might reply. Well, no. I bought the first Cubase Audio on the Mac too when it came out with its glorious ADB dongle. Then Macs with ADB went the way of the dodo too, so today - how’s the song refrain? - all I could do to run this Mac software I legally bought is to run a pirate copy in an emulator. (Fool me once...)

Ah, but today everything is so different. I could buy Cubase 6, protected by a glorious USB-2 dongle! USB-2 is not about to go the way of the dodo, is it? Well, for starters, USB-3 is already a different-shaped port… so how’s that approaching song refrain?… :)

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Posted on: July 11, 2011 @ 05:33 PM
Bad_Mister
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In 10 years!!! you will not be able to run any software you are running now.
Find some software from 2001, go ahead boot it up :-)

Stop worrying about 10 years from now, computers will be so powerful by then, running your free version of Cubase AI, or the full version of Cubase 6, if you still are, you would have gotten your money’s worth, me thinks! :)

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Posted on: July 12, 2011 @ 12:44 AM
mrdelurk
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Hello Bad Mister,

Every time I fire up my Yamaha TX816, I’m booting up software from 1983. It works, as it is expected to. So, you say, if it had a monitor on it, it would be fine if it didn’t work? Why the arbitrary difference?

Can you picture a Steinway rep in 1910, “Mr Gershwin, our piano did fall into pieces when you pushed middle C after 10 years, but it’s OK, you’ve gotten your money’s worth, me thinks.” -? Or Stradivari saying, “Mr. Paganini, your violin fell into two halves from your bowing because there will be better units after a decade. With built in arpeggiator and blinking LEDS.” Not quite convincing.

Heck, let’s see if this cop out phrase can justify *any* failure. “Citizens, Chernobyl did blow up as a normal operating routine because there are so much better reactors every 10 years.” Umm, not quite sold. Let’s try another take: “My fellow Americans. The Titanic sank today as a part of standard operation. Mission accomplished, we have gotten our money’s worth out of it.” Sorry, still nope. I expect things I pay for to keep working after 10 years too.

Carrying the 10-year excuse to its logical extreme, if it’s okay for a computer or program to not work in 10 years, then, thanks to faster operation, even more optimal if it doesn’t work right out of the box. The Onion reported, ”HP Unveils Non-Computer For Those Who Don’t Need A Computer” to cover just that. Perhaps I’m not the only one who thinks this excuse suits The Onion better… :-)

This said, I love your Motif videos. I’m sure they’ll play fine in 10 years, too. See, even you don’t go by this 10 year excuse…

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Posted on: July 12, 2011 @ 02:30 AM
Wellie
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I had Cubase initially in its GS form then upgraded to VST which used a parallel port dongle. However, the switch came after VST5 and onto USB dongles. Note I didn’t upgrade immediately for a couple of reasons - SX when it first came out was a bit buggy but more importantly, what I had was still working well.

Why did I upgrade?

Well, come SX3, Cubase in its new form was mature and stable but in order to run it I needed a more powerful PC so I was happy to upgrade my PC and trade in my VST dongle for a USB one.

That was a good 10 years ago - I still have that dongle and it still works despite upgrading from SX3 through to currently C5.5.

No doubt in a few years, upgrading my PC will result in a need to change - but a the moment, it isn’t broken so I’m not trying to fix it :)

Cheers

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Posted on: July 12, 2011 @ 04:06 AM
Bad_Mister
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Every time I fire up my Yamaha TX816, I’m booting up software from 1983. It works, as it is expected to. So, you say, if it had a monitor on it, it would be fine if it didn’t work? Why the arbitrary difference?

I think most would agree that the Yamaha TX816 falls into the “hardware” category in this discussion… how are you doing with the actual software editor for the TX816? That’s my question? Able to boot that up that are you? It used to run on the CX5M computer, on a pre-Windows OS… called MSX (small start-up company named MicroSoft wrote the OS). Back in Z80 chip days. Remember loading sounds and programs via Radio Shack portable Cassette decks - that’s right digital noise on a cassette was used to load the programs. How you making out with that?

We call the ‘software’ that actually runs hardware: firmware to differentiate it from software that runs on a computer as an application. The reason your TX816 runs is because it is a dedicated piece of hardware with a dedicated firmware. But that first TX816 Editor - can you boot that up? No, not a chance.

You make my point for me, the hardware will most likely last, it’s the software that will go the way of the do-do!!! :-)

A Piano, by the way is hardware. Last I checked.
If you have your piano outfitted with a disk player system and you recorded you music to it - how you doing with those floppy disks? in 2011? Easy to find, are they?

And we’ll see if my DVD can play in 10 years. If it (DVD) is much like previous formats, it will get more and more difficult to find something to play it… in 2021.

Let’s see, since storing software generated data on audio cassettes, quick Discs, then we moved to floppy disks, SCSI drives, Syquest drives, Zip and Jaz drives, digital audio tapes (DAT), then SmartMedia cards, etc., etc., etc. All these forms to which you saved your software generated data have gone the way of the do-do… I don’t see that the DVD will last any longer than any of these. Have you been watching at all?

The Motif XS - ten years… not doubt - it is built to last that long. It’s hardware! Many folks still have an original Motif - works great. The media that supported it are now obsolete. Running the Windows 95 Motif Editor is problematical.

But the Motif XS Editor VST for Macintosh 10.5.8 -10.6.x
“Now supports Cubase 6 series.
- Now Cubase 4 series are NONcompliant.
- Now Mac OS X 10.4 is NONcompliant.
- Now Power PC is NONcompliant.”
(I’m not so sure) Are you?
Software is in too big a hurry to be NEW :(

:^)

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Posted on: July 12, 2011 @ 02:29 PM
Tfis
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Bad_Mister - 11 July 2011 05:33 PM

In 10 years!!! you will not be able to run any software you are running now.
Find some software from 2001, go ahead boot it up :-)

Stop worrying about 10 years from now, computers will be so powerful by then, running your free version of Cubase AI, or the full version of Cubase 6, if you still are, you would have gotten your money’s worth, me thinks! :)

Still using Corel9 on my Win7 64bit Computer…

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Posted on: July 12, 2011 @ 03:10 PM
mrdelurk
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Hello Bad Mister,

The situation with my TX816 editor is the same as with every other software. The dongle-free software I bought (SoundQuest MidiQuest XL) works to this very day. The software I bought with a dongle (C-Lab X-Alyzer) survives only in the bootleg version.

Popular wisdom says, when buying a program, only buy if it has online support. Unpopular wisdom says, when buying a program with a dongle, only buy if it has online bootleg copy support. Seems cruel, but my experience confirms this repeatedly. At this moment the bootlegging dept for Cubase 6 seems to be slacking off so if I were to buy a boxed, dongled full Cubase today, I’d have to stop at version 4, only that has a bootleg twin out. Or I could buy the latest Pro Tools 9 or Reason 5, instead. To Cubase or not to Cubase, that is the question… :)

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Posted on: July 13, 2011 @ 01:48 AM
VikasSharma
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mrdelurk - 12 July 2011 03:10 PM

...To Cubase or not to Cubase, that is the question… :)

Let’s add hardware also to that. To FW16E or not to FW16E?

PS: Although I’m using FW16E (with some occasional unexpected hiccups on my Win7 PC) but I’m not too sure about its 10 years’ horizon.

Conclusion: If you need stuff for 10 years or more, only buy hardware that can work in isolation or at most with its firmware only.

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Posted on: July 13, 2011 @ 04:40 AM
meatballfulton
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I am not a fan of software obsolescence (I too go back to the Atari ST using Master Tracks Pro) but in the end you have to consider the devil’s bargain: will you use your computer for music or not?

I stuck with hardware multitrackers for a long time until I hit a serious MIDI synch bug in my otherwise fine 24-track. Rather than retreat to 8 track hardware I moved over to the software DAW world. I’m not 100% happy but I’m living with it for the sake of the many benefits.

Vote with your pocketbook. I have done some work in Cubase AI but was not impressed enough to upgrade and deal with dongles, so I use Ableton Live instead.  I was thinking about finally upgrading to Reason 6 (I’m still on 2.5) until I read yesterday that it requires a dongle...I might grab the Reason 5 upgrade instead while it’s still available.

Microsoft Office is bootlegged far more than Cubase but does not require a dongle...the user base would never accept it. Can you imagine corporate IT support having to deal with thousands of dongles?

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Posted on: July 13, 2011 @ 01:11 PM
mrdelurk
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meatballfulton - 13 July 2011 04:40 AM

I am not a fan of software obsolescence (I too go back to the Atari ST using Master Tracks Pro) but in the end you have to consider the devil’s bargain: will you use your computer for music or not?

My view of the greater picture is, that any invention through its first 50 years, be it automobiles or grand pianos - totally sucked. Then an entire generation of people spent an inordinate number of hours improving it (instead of talking to their wives) until the product became the dependable item we take for granted today. Well, we are the generation blessed to live in the 50 years of WCSS, “When Computers Still Sucked”. (Perhaps our descendants will call our era thusly.) The improved computer our kids will get to use will be amazing; all copy-protection woes resolved, lifelong app survival, self-healing, smarter than the potted plant next to it. (Unlike today.)

So should I use my present-day computer/s for music or not? Should I embrace new technology or not? The distinction doesn’t even matter. People who rode a horse instead of Cugnot’s steam car in 1770 ("When Automobiles Still Sucked") got to town faster day after day using the older technology. *That* matters only; the result. Likewise, today, my only concern is what will get me faster (today and in 10 years, repeatably) from inspiration to 24 finished tracks.

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Posted on: July 14, 2011 @ 12:39 AM
Wellie
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Then go with Cubase, Pro-tools, Sonar, DP, Logic (Mac only), Reason or Ableton or whatever.

You have a set of things you need it to be able to do and an anti dongle preference. Select the software that best fits with those.

You haven’t made your case for a non-dongle world. All you seem to be saying is that you are happy to support a black market economy of cracked and illegal software - you seem not to want to pay to support development of software. The Dongles are the software houses’ way of protecting themselves and their copyrights. I have reported in an earlier post that mine works fine - I also rin Pro-tools LE which is hardware dependent (the MBox2 acts as a sort of dongle - if it isn’t present, LE won’t run.)

If sufficient people are unwilling to purchase software, then development ends and I for one like the software that Cubase has become compared to what it used to be.

But at the end of the day you must choose. If you want to work with a legitimate copy of Cubase then its either the bundled AI/LE versions or the upgrade scenario to Cubase Studio or the full version of Cubase and that will cost money and involve a dongle.

Cheers

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Posted on: July 14, 2011 @ 12:25 PM
mrdelurk
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Wellie - 14 July 2011 12:39 AM

Then go with Cubase, Pro-tools, Sonar, DP, Logic (Mac only), Reason or Ableton or whatever.
You have a set of things you need it to be able to do and an anti dongle preference. Select the software that best fits with those.

The more we discuss the subject the less software seems to be the answer. Cubase AI4 offers 48 audio tracks all right, according to this page, but Bad Mister mentioned that the XS editor is not even Cubase 4 compliant any more. So if there is no “special” AI integration with my XS8, Cubase is as separate from my XS8 as a Zoom R24 multitrack would be - and the latter doesn’t even have Cubase’s dongle time bomb issue.

Now, a Zoom R24 would add 4 pounds to an already uggh-heavy XS8, which is not the best for my air travels. But a decent laptop like a Sager NP5160 needed to run Cubase well would add 6 pounds, even if I disregard the cost multiple. Hmm, I think I see the outlines of the answer emerge on the horizon… buy neither, save the hassle, and just work with the 16 audio tracks what the Yamaha can do. We have a winner.

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Posted on: July 14, 2011 @ 02:21 PM
mrdelurk
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P.S. I opened Cubase AI’s five page Quick Setup Guide to see what sort of advanced integration does Cubase do exactly. Let’s give it an extra chance, maybe it does something magic with my XS8. The doc totally blew my mind.

Let me get this straight. From the first step to being able to record the first track, it would take fifty seven operations? ... *This* is “advanced integration” to someone?

Had the original thread question not been settled already, this would settle it on the spot.

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Posted on: July 14, 2011 @ 05:15 PM
DavePolich
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I think you’re just asking rhetorical
questions. Cubase and it’s copy protection
(Syncrosoft) are what they are. Why ask
what they could be? Either use it or don’t
use it. You have other options.

Believing software will never become outdated
is foolish. C’mon, you know that. Would you
really even want to go back to 486 computers
running Windows 95, floppies, SCSI..not me,
that’s for sure.

Computers and software are in a constant
state of flux. That’s the nature if technology.
Speed alone doubles every couple of years.
Storage size keeps increasing and the cost
of storage keeps decreasing. This is all
normal. Waste of time to “fight it”...good
grief.

If Cubase and Syncrosoft bugs you, then
try something else.

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