Cubasis update – Steinberg makes Waves and bring a 50% sale with their brilliant iOS DAW/sequencer

Download from iTunes App Storecubasis logo 3While the blog might currently be in ‘pop up’ mode, as regular readers here will know, my personal iOS DAW/sequencer of choice is Steinberg’s Cubasis, so I’m bound to be interested when Steinberg offer us something new….. hence the post today :-)

Cubasis is undoubtedly a great app – and I think Steinberg have got the balance of features (just about) right for the iOS platform – but as I’m also a Cubase user on the desktop, Cubasis is a very obvious choice for me. As iOS hardware has improved, so Steinberg have moved Cubasis forward, gradually adding now features and capabilities to the app with each update. And today a new update has arrived; v.2.3 is available as a free download to all existing users.

Alongside some routine under-the-hood fine-tuning, v.2.3 features some new features, a new IAP option and, for a limited time at least, SALE pricing; if you don’t currently own a copy of Cubasis you can pick it up at a 50% discount – just UK£23.99/US$24.99 – if you are quick off the mark.

Cubasis 2.3; lots of cool new features including some enhancements to the UI for the effects displays and some excellent effects presets.

What’s new in 2.3?

Despite the .3 dot update, this is actually a pretty significant update to Cubasis on a number of fronts. There is one very obvious highlight – which I’ll get to in a minute – but, even without that, there are some excellent developments in this release that will be welcomed by existing (and new) users.

For example, the support for Audio Unit (AU) plugins has been enhanced. While this includes fine-tuning of the performance to cater for developments/changes introduced by Apple in iOS11, it also adds support for AU parameter automation (Cubasis’ automation system is actually pretty good; this just makes it even better) and the addition of support for AU presets. And taking of presets, the update also includes over 200 new effects presets for the stock Cubasis plugins and some 70 presets for the FX Pack effects (if you already have that IAP). Presets are now very easy to create; one touch of a button….

AU plugins now also get enhanced preset support…..

The Audiobus SDK has been updated to v.3.0.3 while the time/pitch stretching algorithm used within Cubasis – elastique – has also been updated to the latest SDK. There are also some useful UI changes to the effects rack and the insert/send slots to provide the user with more information and an easier workflow.

Making Waves

However, there is no doubting the highlight of this release; the new Waves Audio plugin IAPs. Yep, in a move that is bound to attract some considerable interest, Steinberg have managed to attract Waves Audio – probably one of the top audio plugin developers within the desktop world of music making (I have way too many Waves plugins on my own desktop system and I use their stuff every day in my own work) into the iOS platform. Apparently, this is prompted by Waves celebrating their 25th anniversary. Whatever the reason, this is a pretty significant move and, if it represents the start of something bigger for Waves with iOS, then it is quite a step; Waves Audio as an iOS developer would be a pretty big coup for the platform as a whole.

Oooooh…. Waves Audio plugins come to Cubasis :-)

This first toe in the water provides three plugins; the AudioTrack Channel Strip, Q10 Equalizer and the L1 Ultramaximizer. The latter is incredibly popular on the desktop so I can see that having very broad appeal. You can buy each individually at UK£7.99/US$7.99 or, make a bit of a saving, and buy all three as a bundle for UK£19.99/US$19.99. While you can, on occasions, pick up the desktop version of L1 on sale for around the US$49 mark via the Waves website, its full price is US$149. These iOS prices are, therefore, considerably cheaper but, as far as I can tell, you are getting the same functionality.

The new Channel Strip plugin with EQ, gate and compressor….

Having given all three a bit of a run through this morning on my 1st gen. iPad Pro, they all seem to be working very well indeed. Combined with the effects presets enhancements – and all three ship with a collection of presets – they really do bring a bit of class to the processing options available. I suspect users will particularly like the ease with which the L1 Maximizer can be used on the stereo output buss to add some final compression/limiting/level to you mix….  but it also offers very useful options for dithering and noise shaping.

Surgical EQ is provides by the Q10 plugin.

In summary

This is another very cool update for regular Cubasis users with some welcome new features for free and the option of some brilliant new plugins – with the undoubted Waves Audio pedigree –  if you want to splash out on the new IAP. Yes, you will probably need to be a pretty serious Cubasis user to want to expand your plugin collection via the IAP, but for those serious users, this is a really interesting development. Here’s hoping there is more to come from Waves…..

Take your mix to the max – via the L1 Maximizer plugin.

Cubasis remains, for me at least, the best ‘all round’ conventional DAW/sequencer we currently have under iOS, striking just the right balance between depth of features (given the iPad format) and ease of use. I also like the idea of the big brand and the longevity that perhaps suggests in what is such a core element of my iOS music making…  although I appreciate my view on that might not be shared by everyone.

I’d have no hesitation in recommending Cubasis even at the full price of UK£48.99/US$49.99. However, at the 50% off sale price, it is an absolute bargain. Steinberg have supplied a couple of demo videos to explain what’s new in the v.2.3 update so give those a look….  and, if you are still to take the plunge, hit the download button and grab ‘on sale’ it while you can…..  Top-notch stuff :-)


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    1. Does this update support AU MIDI? As in will Rozeta Sequencer Suite work within Cubasis now?

    2. Thanks! : )

    3. Can Cubasis explode a MIDI track to parts yet? I remember that last time I used Cubasis you couldn’t and that was critical to what I was trying to do, so i’ve never actually fired the app back up since then. Not saying it’s a bad program, just saying that’s the feature it is (or at least was) missing for me.

    4. I see one drawback in your articles. You write for users, who have already experience in this field, who know all these terminologies and purposes of these plugins etc. But for new users, who want to try this first time, there’s almost nothing understandable here. It’s like reading in different language.

      I have digital piano. I want to record myself. Just solo piano sound (I don’t care about mixes etc). I want to bring my piano recording to best possible quality and especially I want to bring it to best maximum sound level possible (loud, when you don’t need to bring your volume button until the end. I see so many digital piano recordings on YouTube, and most of them just too quiet). What I need? Is Cubasis OK for my purpose? Etc.

      • Peter Herridge says:

        Hi Alex, GarageBand that comes free with your iPad would probably suit all your needs. It comes with some decent digital pianos included. You could record your existing instrument if you add a audio/midi interface. Steinberg make one for about $120 and it includes a free 4 track version of Cubasis.

      • Hi Alex, I totally understand this frustration, it took me a long time to wrap my brain around many concepts in music production, theory, timing layering etc. I recomend you print out an online list of music production terminology definitions, here is a nice one…

        Re the loudness issue….

        Regarding getting your piano loud, the output of any instrument coming into a device such as the ipad gets converted from analog to digital , there is an ideal level you need to be at. Same with the output of any software to software or software out to a hardware recorder. The less extra stuff between sound source and recorder the better. I believe a compresser should help, my knowledge is little on this topic but i looked it up on gearsluts, hope this helps. There is a bunch of info provided here that should help you. And yes, cubasis is awesome, keep an eye on korg gadget though, its reallllly intuitive and the workflow of Gadget is the best for keeping it simple and just working well so you can focuss on composing. There is also the Bluetooth keyboard controller the Korg Nanokeystudio, its wirefree and gets about 5 hours on 2 rechargable AA batteries, reallllly nice for busses, trains and parks! the Gadget app was made together with the nanokeystudio so nothing beats it for simple. And output recordings sound real good as is. Both Cubasis and Gadget would be recomended purchases.

      • Alex, Uh , I forgot to agree with the Garage band recomendation, its free and simple to start, many like it and the alchemy synth inside it is an old favorite for many, but garageband is too focussed on non musicians and keeping everything minimal and easy, thats nice for a while but cubasis is a powerful app, its not just simple and powerful but its also complete and capable, fact the majority of electronic music we know and love made prior to around 2000 was made on technology far less powerful and far less user friendly. Sequencing on a touch device is this piano players dream come true, cubasis and gadget are the best for having easy to use sequencer grids , cubasis has powerful routing of signals and fx and works well with audio interfaces such as iconnectivity audio4+ ( i got the 2+ but traded it in for 4+) this lets you run two ipads together or one ipad and one pc, there are complex signal routing of both audio and midi from an app interface and its all done inside the audio interface not the computer, plus 8 midi controllers and 4 audio ins and 4outs, this with a mixing board of 12 channels would be a professional grade setup with newest most powerful most capable options currently available as far as i know. There are lots of other devices from iconnectivity, but you will need that word glossary or a mentor friend with knowledge to help get it setup, its not very simple and rather confusing BUT wow, my system became soooooo flexible and powerful when i got that thing. Two ipads together really make its fun, i will continue to buy new ipads before my old ipads are half used so i will always have multiple devices…..

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