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Can there really be anything new to add to a DAW after some 23 years? That's how long Cubase has been around, albeit originally only as a MIDI sequencer for the Atari platform.
In that time, we've watched Cubase sprout audio tracks, create a plug-in standard adopted across the industry, change colour, name, and hands. We've seen new versions both excite and enrage dedicated users with new features and unfulfilled wishes.
At times, Steinberg seemed to blaze ahead of its competitors in some areas, while simultaneously lagging behind in others. Lately, the development of the platform has been decidedly evolutionary, with improvements and refinements coming in with some regularity (if not predictability).
Cubase doesn't so much leap ahead as mature gracefully, so it's understandable that we expected Cubase 7 to bring another set of nips and tucks along with a few new plug-ins. Perhaps some workflow enhancements and almost certainly some more sample content.
Imagine our surprise, then, when we discovered not only the expected roster of improvements but some pretty serious re-workings of some familiar features along with entirely new ideas that promise to provide fresh inspiration. More than a mere whitewash, this is a bold new version of Cubase, and one that reinforces its position as an industry heavyweight.
Needless to say, we grabbed Cubase 7 as soon as it became available. These are our first impressions.