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Logic 9 Switch from Cubase to Logic Express?

Discussion in 'Logic 9' started by starless, May 1, 2011.

  1. starless

    starless New Member

    I'm looking for some advice from other people, especially ones who, despite being Logic users, happen to have some knowledge of other applications.

    I'm currently a hobbyist regarding music production.
    I mostly play keyboards, and I like to play around with virtual instruments (VSTi), creating small recordings, also adding some audio tracks sometimes (voice, guitar, external synths).

    During the years, I always kept using the entry level version of Cubase, first on Windows, then on Mac since some years. The latest I own is Cubase Essential 4, which I should now probably upgrade to Cubase Artist 6 for a price of 100 euros (seems like an upgrade to the upcoming cheaper Cubase Elements 6 will not be possible).
    But... I actually used it so little in recent years (essentially didn't use it at all for 3 years, and used it superficially anyway in previous years), that I feel like I will need to learn it again from scratch.

    So, here comes the question: maybe I should take the opportunity for a jump, if I can find a software which better suits me?

    I already looked at Ableton Live in the past, but I've heard good things about Logic recently. My target would of course be Logic Express 9 (200 euros).

    Is there anyone here who can compare it to an entry level Cubase?

    As far as I can guess and understand, these are some advantages I see in the two choices:

    Logic Express 9:
    • More complete builtin plugins
    • More OSX-friendly
    • No hardware key (I hate it!)

    Cubase Artist 6:
    • Official VST host implementation, maximum external plugin compatibility (I think in the past I encountered some plugin which was not available in both VST and AU formats... I'm talking about free plugins and special cover-CD editions)
    • Even though I should learn it again from scratch, I suppose I will be helped by the fact that I used it in the past
    • Cheaper

    Of course, most important is something I cannot guess now: the ease of use, the speed, the stability...
    As I have very little time to spend on music, I need an application where I can start creating something very fast, and where I never encounter unexpected problems or errors.

    Thanks for any useful info.
  3. CSeye

    CSeye Senior member

    Cubase is a very deep DAW, as is any major, mature DAW at this point in time.

    Being a hobbyist means that you're having much fun making your recordings and exploring sounds in VSTi.

    I used Cubase VST back in the day, and found my way to Logic a few years ago while using DP. It didn't take long for me to realize that I was crazy about Logic. Logic is designed to let the user focus on making music without being distracted by how to use the program. However, it's also a very powerful music production environment with a deep feature set for those that need it.

    Given that you haven't used your version of Cubase in a while, I think you might find Logic Express a refreshing change.

    At this point, I primarily use Logic Studio 2 for my mostly MIDI productions. However I have Cubase 6 which has many cool new features.

    Ultimately, one's choice of DAW comes down to personal preference.
  4. starless

    starless New Member

    Thank you CSeye.

    Do you think that using GarageBand a bit can give me a taste of how Logic works? Or are they very different?

    Also, out of curiosity, what are the unique features in Cubase which make you still keep it?

  5. CSeye

    CSeye Senior member

    I've never used GB. However, given the description of your frequency of use and scope of projects, GB may in fact be the ideal solution for you, especially considering that it comes free with you Mac.

    You can alway pursue Logic Express at some point in the future if GB seems too limiting. However, GB provides quite an impressive set of features coupled with ease of use (per watching a couple of youtube videos).

    Regarding Cubase, features that draw me include:
    1. The built-in GUI customization. Overall, Cubase has a very visually appealing interface, offering the user greater control of color compared to Logic.
    2. The large mixer meters are numbered. Logic users have to add numbered meters manually which is not a big deal.
    3. The built-in Melodyne-like pitch correction is a huge plus. Then again, Logic has Flex Time which is much better than the Cubase alternative.
    4. The multi-lane controller view below the Key Editor. Hyper Editor in Logic is very drab to look at and is a separate window.
    5. The drum editor in Cubase is very nice to work with. However, Logic's Hyper Editor works great as a drum editor.
    6. VST Expressions is a very innovative but essentially proprietary feature.

    For me, Logic is designed for a very smooth work flow. Not so much mousing around to interfere with the creative thought process. Yet the feature set is vast and deep when needed. But Cubase users will also make this type of statement. The point being is that it's a matter of personal preference.

    Happy decision making.:)
  6. starless

    starless New Member

    Well, although currently being a hobbyist, I'm rather picky regarding the sounds which I'll play with, due to my prog-rock-jazz-fusion background ;).

    I want to be able to customize my sounds very much, and be able to use free and low-cost VSTi plugins (e.g. the ones you can usually find on the Computer Magazine cover disc) to increase the possibilities.
    GarageBand is a bit limited regarding sound customization, as far as I could tell, and - if I'm not mistaken - it doesn't support external AU plugins.

    So I'm sure GB is not the final solution for me, but if its GUI and workflow are somehow similar to Logic's, then I can give it a try just to see how it feels.

    Thank you for the features you pointed out. I got the point ;), but it's useful anyway.
  7. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    There are also free and low cost Audio Units. Loads of them.

    GB most certainly does support Audio Units. As I write this, I am looking at the pull down list in GB 9 of the Waves Mercury and SSL Bundles.

    HTH, kind regards

  8. starless

    starless New Member

    Yes, I know. Sorry for the misunderstanding, I did not express myself clearly, but in my sentence I used "VSTi" as a short for "virtual instruments", in a generic way, also meaning AU instruments.
    It was not a "VST vs AU" argument.

    Oh my God... yes it does!
    I swear: before writing my previous answer I searched in the GB description on the Apple web site, then also fired it up for a moment and I thought I could not see my installed AU plugins anywhere inside it. Maybe I just had to search in the inline help ;), like I did now that your words made me look again.

    Now I should really give it a serious try (maybe after upgrading my '09 to '11). Thank you very much!
  9. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    Oops, for the sake of clarification, that should be GB 11

    kind regards

  10. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Senior member

    All of the instruments in GB are simplified versions of the ones found in Logic.

    The synths are totally programable, some instruments are sample based with some programmable parameters.

    The online help IS the manual, refer to it on how to reveal the plug interface.


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