The Star Trek Studio: DIY Dragon MIDI Touchscreens Control Cubase

Touchscreens are often compared to the ground-breaking – if imaginary – designs of Star Trek: The Next Generation. But Brazilian Paulo Egidio Silva must be a real Trekker. His elaborate touchscreen panel configuration really looks like the LCARS computer system simulated on the TV show. Of course, that isn’t to say this isn’t a practical system. By making extensive use of the MIDI SDK for Cubase, the Dragon MIDI rig controls every element of a Cubase session, from mixing to routing to adjusting plug-in parameters. It actually has three elements: 1. A multi-screen touchscreen for selecting mix and send settings …

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A New Cubase: V5 Emphasizes Add-ons, Performance, and Steinberg Goes iPhone

Cubase 5 includes under-the-hood improvements to performance, but many of the new features – like the unusual LoopMash loop masher upper instrument – come in the form of instrumental add-ons. LoopMash is interesting, but it’s more a bundled instrument than a truly integrated feature. The big traditional DAW announcement at this NAMM show was Steinberg’s Cubase 5. Cubase as a music software brand is now older than some people who read this blog, but never mind: Cubase 5 certainly doesn’t want for new stuff. And Cubase still claims to be the world’s most popular computer DAW. Computer Music Magazine has …

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News from Steinberg Land: Cubase 4.5, CC121 Hardware Integration

Integration with this hardware is Steinberg’s current pitch, with DSP in a FireWire audio interface and controller integration with point-and-click access to parameters. Cubase 4.5 is here, with CC121 controller and MR816 audio I/O hardware integration, some new sample content, and a mysterious new “media management” format called VST Sound. It is nice to see the hardware/software integration we’ve been clamoring for. But will developers actually start supporting VST Sound and VST3? Will I manage to find a way to get excited about Cubase? We can only wonder… and it’s time for some Steinberg advocates to speak up. Cubase 4.5 …

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One-Fader Control Surfaces: A Cubase-Only Entry, vs. Everything Else

This is the new Steinberg control surface. (See the hands-on video at SonicState.) It’s built to integrate out of the box with Cubase 4, which if you’re a Cubase 4 user should be good. You or I might give it a name like “CubaseControl” or something, but Steinberg has seen fit to call it the CC 121, which sounds like it was lifted off of a MIDI specification. No matter — they can call it Eustice if it’s a good controller. But that’s not the only odd thing about the CC 121. There’s a little light that goes on to …

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Cubase SX4 Screenshots: More Soft Synths Coming

Ever since Apple’s Logic Pro bundled a huge library of synthesizers and effects into a DAW, its competitors have been gradually adding more instruments and sound processors. Even without Logic, the step is a pretty obvious one: there are only so many DAW features you can add from year to year to try to compel people to upgrade, so bundling extra sound toys is the other alternative. Cubase SX4 hasn’t been officially announced, but while I was vacationing this weekend some SX4 screenshots were leaked online. Music thing has the story with convenient links to the images. Tom says the …

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Novation ReMOTE ZeRO SL: Automap Controls, Keep Your Favorite Keyboard

Novation’s SL series seeks to finally liberate us from manually assigning MIDI controllers to software, by automatically assigning its generous set of controls and displaying parameters on a lovely high-contrast onboard display. It could be just the thing for laptop-based performers, but a lot of us already have more keyboards than we need. If it’s just more control you want, the ZeRO SL, announced today, might appeal. It has the LED displays, transport controls, faders, knobs, rotary encoders, and trigger pads from the SL series, but it’s ultra-compact — no keyboard attached. That means it fits nicely by your computer, …

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Steinberg Update: Studio Case II; HALion String Edition; The Grand 2

Okay, I’m behind on Steinberg. But the summer lineup from them is just making me yawn, I’m afraid: Steinberg Studio Case II: Status: just announced. US$299, Windows/Mac September, watered-down versions of everything Steinberg makes. For entry level users, this could be a decent deal: Reason, by comparison, costs $450 and has a lousy sequencer and no audio recording. Ableton Live costs around $400 and doesn’t have as many instruments. But there’s nothing here to write home about: stripped-down versions of everything? Spend the extra couple of hundred bucks and get what you really need. HALion String Edition: Status: just started …

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INXS Reality Show, Rocking Nuendo

Remember when people singing bad covers of rock songs was called karaoke and didn’t involve a national television audience? Oh, for those more innocent times. Now we’re subjected to one musical reality TV show after another. The latest combines The Apprentice and Survivor (same producer), with American Idol; bands compete to be the lead singer of INXS — amusing, because I had no idea that band was still together. (I think they should have gone with Menudo, but what do I know?) And the name, which I can’t say without chuckling: Rock Star:INXS. Two reasons this is CDM-worthy: first, anyone …

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Cubase SX/SL 3.1: Hardware Integration, Dolby, Pro Features

Want proof that you can’t keep on top of which DAW is best? Updates are now nearly round-the-clock, and point-one updates can bring serious features. Hot on the heels of MOTU’s free 4.6 upgrade to DP, Steinberg has over 50 new features in Cubase SL/SX 3.1, coming as a free download in August. Some of what’s new: External hardware integration: Updated Studio Connections technology lets you monitor external hardware’s audio as if it were an internal VST. One caveat: this comes out of Steinberg’s ongoing partnership with its now-parent-company Yamaha, so your hardware manufacturer must rhyme with Lamaha. Freeze; you’re …

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Comparing DAWs: Current Score!

Well, with the release of DP 4.6, it’s time to check in with how our DAWs are doing. These insanely-cool pitch features certainly mean it’s still in the ring. First, see my previous reviews: Digital Performer 4.5 (review for Keyboard) Giant Cubase 3 vs. DP 4.5 vs. Logic 7 Blowout (review for Macworld) Live 4 (review for Macworld) What the upgrades did: Logic 7.1 addressed my complaints about Logic 7 (latency compensation, the screwy UltraBeats presets, and easy drag-and-drop reordering of inserts). DP 4.6 added cool stuff I hadn’t even asked for, though it misses my one major complaint, which …

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