While it’s not an easy task to choose a DAW out of so many options, here we are to find out which digital audio workstation meets your needs and preferences. Between the most popular DAWs, you’ll find Cubase and Studio One. Let’s discuss each separately and find similarities, differences as well as pros and cons. Here’s our Cubase vs Studio One battle!
A DAW is a type of software used for recording, editing, and producing audio files. Modern DAWs give you the opportunity to convert and mix several recordings and tracks into a final produced piece.
Before we compare Cubase vs Studio One, let’s take a look at Cubase.
Cubase: A Brief Overview
Made by Steinberg, Cubase is known to be one of the first DAWs that appeared on the market. It has been around for several decades, and it’s considered to be one of the most complete digital audio workstations. The most popular alternatives to Cubase are as follows; FL Studio, Pro Tools, and Logic.
Nowadays, you have the opportunity to choose between a number of versions of software, (from basic to pro) but you should also take into account the fact that Cubase Elements is the option that comes with all the key tools a recording musician needs. It also works on both MAC and PC to produce music. It has the following features:
Cubase was designed to allow musicians to sequence their MIDI hardware. When you choose Cubase for MIDI instruments you work quite easily. This DAW offers thousands of options for MIDI- from different export options to a multitude of MIDI effects.
Another popular feature of Cubase is VariAudio3. What is it? This is an engine that allows you to edit the pitch, correct timing, and edit the intonation of separate notes during monophonic vocal recordings. In other words, Cubase provides you with workflow improvements and new creative possibilities.
Interface and display
It goes without saying that the new generation of Cubase comes with newer features and a more developed interface. However, the older ones also stand out with an awesome interface and display.
Groove Agent ONE
Groove Agent comes with a powerful combination of three different rhythm modules: the Acoustic, Beat, and Percussion Agents. They can be loaded in four slots, giving you the opportunity to pair any agent with others for layering and creating your own unique drum sound.
Audio Alignment is one of the best features of Cubase. Thanks to this feature you can match the timing of similar audio events with the ones that occur simultaneously. This is especially helpful when it comes to vocal recordings. You can quickly match doubles and harmonies to the lead vocal without any waste of time and the necessity of editing each separately.
Studio One: A brief overview
Now, let’s talk a little bit about Studio One. This belongs to a newer generation of DAWs and is considered to be one of the most widely used DAWs today. It is developed by Presonus and offers every necessary tool (including the plugins, virtual instruments, audio, and midi editing tools, etc.) to fully produce high-quality music.
Studio One Features
Studio One has many useful features and they include impact XT, chord track, patterns, sample one XT
We’ll discuss each of these features separately.
Impact XT is a drum module that allows you to combine a classic MPC-style layout with a modern feel. It goes great with both playful experimentation and meticulous loop building. Since the center’s graphical user interface is a 4×4 grid of pads, it allows you to load 16 samples per bank. Every single pad offers its own pitch, amplifier, and filter controls with matching envelopes, as well as multiple mono and stereo outputs, which stand for complex sound design and busing.
Chord Track looks like nothing more than a simple chord detector but it’s actually a more powerful and useful creative assistant than you think. This feature comes to help when you need flexibility and unparalleled ease in experimenting with chord types and progressions such as spanning power chords and triads to sus and augmented chords. With the help of this tool, the dramatic modulation sounds in the bridge of the song without requiring re-recording all of your audio tracks and editing each MIDI line.
Another great feature of Studio One is the contemporary step sequencing ability which is reflected by Patterns. Repeat, step-level automation, and step length customization are all included in this feature. Due to patterns, DAW-style sequencing becomes more flexible and dynamic.
Sample one XT
When you load audio into Sample one XT, it can be auto-sliced, time-stretched, processed, crossfaded, reversed, and much more. This feature communicates with the rest of Studio One’s workflow quite effectively. You can easily record samples anywhere in the DAW and then drag and drop them into and out of Impact XT.
If you want to save time and boost productivity then you should make sure you have a good workflow. While there are many outstanding features of Studio one, we have chosen five of the most prominent advantages and the fifth one is the ability of flawless cohesive workflow. Studio one offers a well-organized and easy-to-use workflow. In a word; it is more than just a professional type of cohesive workflow. It is great both for beginners and pro musicians.
Comparing Cubase and Studio One
When comparing Cubase with Studio One, first of all we can say that they differ in their price tags. In fact, the Professional version of Studio One is cheaper than Cubase Pro. Below, we’ll discuss other advantages and disadvantages of each of these two DAWs.
Pros of Cubase compared to Studio One
Leaving alone the fact that today there are many new versions both of Cubase and Studio One, we’ll discuss some of the most prominent pros of Cubase compared to Studio One.
The number of features
Cubase comes with many more features compared to Studio One. This is perhaps the biggest difference between these two outstanding DAWs. For instance, Cubase has a Soft Clipper plugin and some other cool stuff like Mono to Stereo, while these are not available in Studio One.
The way MIDI is handled
Again, Cubase has more options for MIDI than Studio One. It comes with a sophisticated MIDI system and the reason is obvious; basically, Cubase started its journey as a MIDI sequencing device.
Cons of Cubase Compared to Studio One
Now, let’s see the main disadvantages of Cubase compared to Studio One.
Cubase is actually a bit more complicated to handle than Studio One.
Studio One gives you the opportunity to run the same license on up to 5 different computers, while Cubase can run only on one computer.
The USB dongle that has to be used with Cubase is a pain in the but, especially if you need to travel or have a laptop with limited USB ports.
Pros of Studio One compared to Cubase
When it comes to the main advantages of Studio One, they are as follows; user interface, the use of pop-up windows as well as software licensing. Let’s discuss each separately.
Compared to Cubase, Studio One offers a cleaner and stripped-down look. You can easily find all the functions. There is no need to wander on the project window to find all you need.
Thanks to its minimalist design, Studio One brings pop-up windows to a minimum.
As for the software licensing, Studio One licensing is not complicated. As said above, it allows you to run the same license on up to 5 different computers.
Cons of Studio One Compared to Cubase
Talking about the obvious disadvantages of Studio One, we have secluded the below-mentioned features.
Some series of Studio One come with Atom SQ controller, which may require some time to let you access properly. You may search for some tips if you are a beginner.
In some cases, Studio One doesn’t scale to larger studios as well as Pro Tools.
Studio One doesn’t offer an easy way to save track templates. Again, you need to look for a few tips before using it as a beginner.
Cubase vs Studio One: Conclusion
Summing up, we can say that Cubase and Studio One are quite similar. Of course, each of them has its own issues, but actually, they are the most recommended DAWs for working with large templates. On the other hand, some other DAWs can work with larger templates too. Most people seem to prefer Cubase’s midi implementation, but those who look for other features opt for Studio One. Thus, both have pros and cons and your choice depends on your needs and expectations. Consider every single detail before making the final choice between these two powerful digital audio workstations.
Alternatives to Cubase and Studio One
Here are some other DAWs that we have covered here at Songwriter Nation.
Josh is the founder and main author of Songwriter Nation. He has played music for over twenty years and even studied music at university earning a minor in music.