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Cubase SX 2.0 Shipping; What's New In Depth

Tuesday September 9, 2003. 11:49 PM, by peterkirn Music Software > Steinberg
Music Software : Cubase SX 2.0 Shipping; What's New In Depth - macmusicSomeone must have been anxious to get Cubase SX 2.0, the latest upgrade to the only remaining cross-platform MIDI/audio workstation, because Steinberg's website was dead in the water yesterday. The site is back up today, and the news is official: Cubase SX 2.0 is shipping. Here's a look at what's new.

Virtual signal routing capabilities make up some of the most interesting improvements to Cubase. Under the hood, version 2.0 has "true multi-channel" surround capabilities throughout, so that the entire signal path can hold six channels, not only in audio tracks but sends and inserts, as well. "Full latency" compensation promises to finally resolve timing issues introduced by effects and instruments. FX return channels now provide full rturn channels for each send effect, automatically, with EQ, inserts, and automation. That means you can automate and EQ your reverb, for example -- cool. The new VST Connections window allows you to define input and output bus objects, so that any source connected to the audio hardware can be defined as an "input object." This should be a boon to users with complex multi-channel setups.

As expected, Steinberg is rolling out a "freeze" feature, as introduced in DP4 and Logic. True to form, Steinberg is tying this capability to VSTi's, so you can freeze (or unfreeze) your VST instruments to free up CPU power directly with one click in the VST instrument rack.

The Cubase user interface has gotten an overhaul, too, with a redesigned mixer with additional beefier surround support a la Nuendo, enlarged displays, and panning modes, phase reverse, and gain trim per channel. Stacked Recording mode lets you make multiple-pass recordings with a single-click compilation into a final edit, a feature we've seen elsewhere but in what sounds like an elegant implementation. The UI has a redesigned transport bar, as well, a big improvement over the basic design in SX 1.0.

Readers of German may be interested in a preview from German site 2sound.de, the apparent online scoop on the new software.

All in all, an evolutionary but compelling upgrade. Steinberg has been the company with perhaps the weakest relationship to the Mac community of the big four (Digidesign, MOTU, and Emagic being its rivals). However, Steinberg has stayed committed to Mac OS X and Cubase is looking stronger all the time. Stay tuned for more in-depth coverage, reviews, and tips on the new Cubase, and some examinations of how Steinberg stacks up to its DAW rivals. In the meantime, check out Steinberg's site for more info and video demos.
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