For the moment i can dig the direction the package is going.
I've not been able to use it to the full extent yet, but... fwiw my opinion:
1/ If you look at the package in full, as is delivered, let's say a new buyer, and thus not upgrading...
Cubase has evolved into an impressive package. The workflow is nice, the added features makes the standard package more complete, even if it was very good already, and the addition of several very good new expansion packs straight into the standard package is very welcome although not yet full spectrum. Combine this with the already offered extensions, it becomes an impressive, almost "complete" package (the least youcansay is it is HQ) for a reasonable price with top of the line workflow. Ok, you have a simple sampler, sampler player, some very nice synth engines, a very good drumcomputer, and quite a bunch of quality sounds presets and samples to start with. The integration within the zones is fluent and very fast to work with.
So as is, as a new package i would give it a quick 9/10, without the need to feel myself in a position to defend myself on any given rating.
2/ The upgraders/crossgraders
This is probably the majority of the guys here.
Well, they are facing some challenges and have some benefits.
As an upgrader i feel a bit of mixed emotions.
- workflow: yes, nice for a lot of or most of them and with the focus on laptop guys. Probably a good choice, but for guys like me with multiple screens the zones are handy but not essential. It is mostly a redesign of older functionality except the lower zoning wich is much appreciated.
- sampler: thank you for listening to the forum, except for me probably, because i did put the message several times on the forum that a sampler has an AUDIO INPUT within the program. (not something like "drop sample here". Creating your own sample is really an art but a way to differentiate yourself in a scene, and that is where you use a sampler for, not a sample player (where the latter is only a preset play device).
I was baffled that the new version of cubase offers audio input on VSTI, which is a very good added functionality that already exists in packages from the competition, but it was not offered for the sampler track. Weird.
So:The sampler track is NOT a sampler, but a sample player track. That's a missed opportunity imo.
Also lacking (but that can be my fault in perception) is the integration of the audio material of a sampler track with the audio processing functions that are available on the audio track part. (f.e. such as normalizing a sample)
So i tried to find a workaround and record audio on an audio track, process it, and drag and drop it from within cubase. This results in some very weird sample analysis and what the sampler track is displaying as being dragged and dropped is not what i just dragged and dropped (from the main audio track processed) audio. So i guess this is V1.0 version software if we look at the sampler track with still a lot of things not being thougth trough completely. The integration of the sampler track with halion ans drums is excellent anyway.
- Audio ins on VSTI. Glad this has been introduced. A lot of people will like this.
- no more 32 bit: i've lost some old plugs but nothing dramatic. I can understand the decision to move on and leave behind those who can't follow to let the evolution in technology and programming develop to it's next level. But i'm someone without an extensive library of albums of songs; I'm the type of guy who gets rented when needed and i mostly perform on other peoples work. What i have as songs is recorded and i will not often return to the old plugs, who by the way were on older computers and so the sourcedata is lost anyway. On the other hand i see that musicians with library's are in fact quite attached to their gear, and are very keen to preserve their work. (i am too, but i use hardware (even from the 90's... it is performing as new up to this day, (which is more then 25 years old now... And yes, i am also attached to that gear)
So the message to the client base to say goodbye to the older work (which is very very often made on older plugs or older gear, is a very very radical approach. OK, you CAN still use them by loading up anolder version,which in fact i do when i have to perform based on material that is some years old. I indeed never use the new versions to play back older software or songs, but such an approach has a potential to let people who still are attached to their old plugs feel left behind. It isn't in fact, but version 9 suggest a breaking point in terms of backward compability. No more old plugs on our new software. It is in fact a breaking point, as normal usage of the beloved plugs is not possible (unless you use third party software) in the new version. For the upgraders this is probably a big "hmmmm".
- revamped plugs and new plugs: keep on developing. I like them.
- added content: even if i have most of the type of sounds more then 50 times, still this is quite an impressive addition. New content is always welcome, and the quality is very good. Also the new drum content is very impressive. Will make a new song with this.
- performance and stability: for a 1.0 version ... very nice. Probably this is related to the simplified programming structure but this feels rock-solid.
- finally: some of the functions that were present in the older versions are still under development. For me, the ability to switch tracks on/off is the key improvement of the past years, but it is still buggy. That's sad. But i'm not someone who goes weeping around it, but i would like to get it up to the full working condition it needs to be in.
A quick customer feedback.
Within some days i will fill in the feedback survey with a more comprehensive feedback.