Find out what's new in Cubase 8.5

Steinberg is the latest manufacturer to give its flagship DAW a point release update this year, with the Cubase Pro and Artist editions both reaching version 8.5. There's also a new version of Steinberg's analogue modelling VST synth, Retrologue 2.

The update comes with a raft of improvements - most notably there's a new cloud collaboration service called VST Transit. The service is designed to make it easier for Cubase users to work with each other around the globe, or you can simply upload your project and pick it up again from another location.

VST Transit comes with up to 500MB free storage space and 1GB free traffic per month. Premium account users can increase their storage capacity up to 5GB and have 20GB traffic per month.

Retrologue 2

Aside from VST Transit, arguably the biggest whizz-bang feature in Cubase 8.5 is the Retrologue 2 update. The classic virtual analogue synth now offers three oscillators and also provides additional oscillator types and adjustable OSC trigger modes. Modulation is another area that has seen an overhaul, with an entirely new 32-step arpeggiator, two additional polyphonic LFOs, a third bipolar envelope and six additional slots in the Modulation Matrix.

Retrologue 2 features at a glance:

  • New oscillator section with 3 oscillators and fixed phases
  • New modulation sources: polyphonic LFOs and custom envelope
  • Arpeggiator with 32 steps and MIDI export to host
  • New FX section with new 3-band resonator, reverb and EQ
  • Over 400 new presets

Steinberg has outlined the ten key new features in Cubase 8.5:

  • VST Transit cloud collaboration service brings together musicians and producers from all over the globe
  • Retrologue 2 provides new oscillator and modulation features and hundreds of new presets
  • More responsive MixConsole environment with refined hover controls
  • Pull tracks from existing projects into your song in only a few clicks, including all settings and content
  • Upgraded Key and Drum Editors for faster, more intuitive MIDI editing
  • Enhanced Chord Pads with new Sections play mode and custom chord symbols
  • Profile Manager stores and recalls program settings and preferences
  • Better Transport infrastructure consolidated for easier access and improved visibility
  • Dedicated punch points, independent from locator positions for even more flexibility when recording audio and MIDI
  • Version 3 of zPlane's élastique time-stretch/pitch-shift algorithm

Cubase Artist users have not been left out - here's what's new for them:

  • More tracks and channels: Unlimited audio, instrument and MIDI tracks, 256 physical inputs at up to 5.1/24-bit/192 kHz
  • More effects: 20 additional audio effects including Voxengo's CurveEQ, Multiband Expander, Multiband Compressor, Multiband Shaper plus full integration of external hardware effects or instruments!
  • More sounds: The pro instrument set gives you a wealth of inspirational instrument sounds and presets
  • VCA faders for complex mixing and automation workflows and Track Edit Groups for advanced multi-track editing.
  • VariAudio for MIDI-style note editing of monophonic vocal lines and harmoniser capabilities
  • Instrument articulation management: VST Expression Maps directly accessible in the Key and Score Editors
  • Intelligent Chord Assistant: Helping inspire you to captivating chord sequences
  • Professional music notation and score printing features
  • Control Room section: Create cue mixes and talkback
  • Steinberg VST Transit cloud collaboration service


Suggested retail prices for the full versions of Cubase Pro 8.5 and Artist 8.5 are €549 and €299 respectively. The upgrade price from from version 8 of both Cubase Pro and Cubase Artist is set at €49.99 in each case. Retrologue 2 is also available separately through the Steinberg store for €99, while Retrologue 1 owners can upgrade for €49.

Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.