Cubase 12 vs. Logic: Unraveling the Battle of the DAW Titans

Cubase 12 vs Logic
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Choosing a DAW is a very personal thing, and when it comes to Cubase 12 vs. Logic, it can also depend on your hardware. Today we look at the advantages of both, as well as some things that each DAW may not do so well.

Cubase 12 vs. Logic: Which One Is For You?

In the realm of digital audio workstations (DAWs), two behemoths stand tall – Cubase 12 and Logic. These powerful software platforms have become staples in the music production industry, catering to both beginners and professionals alike. Cubase 12 vs. Logic…which one is better?

We all know that picking the right DAW for you is a personal matter. Maybe certain details or plugins are what sold you on the DAW in the first place. It can be the topic of many arguments, as most artists have a DAW that has earned their loyalty over the years.

But a much bigger conflict is the topic of Apple products versus PC/Windows. In the beginning, Apple has the upper hand in digital recording, but PC users soon caught up. The “industry standard” of Apple plus Pro Tools has changed in the last decade, and has become archaic with so many other options.

But that doesn’t mean that Apple’s Logic DAW isn’t a great platform for recording audio and producing music. However, Cubase has been dominating the market since so many big-name artists openly state that they use it, perhaps just as many artists that use Logic.

This is because Logic is native only to Apple computers, and it cannot be used with Windows PC. On the other hand, Cubase can be used with both. Logic Pro costs just $200 if you own a recent Apple product, while Cubase 12 Pro is a little more expensive.

So despite which type of machine you use, which one is for you? Unfortunately, if you have a PC then Logic is just not an option since it is for Apple only. We are going to look at both, and break down the good, the bad, and the ugly from two perspectives: Beginners and Professionals.

Aspiring music producers often find themselves facing the dilemma of choosing between Cubase 12 and Logic among the myriad of DAWs, as both offer unique approaches and feature sets. In this article, we will explore the differences between Cubase 12 and Logic from a beginner’s perspective, as well as a professional viewpoint.

So we are going to look at both, from all angles, to give you an unbiased take on the features and design of both DAWs. Let’s dive into the advantages and disadvantages of each and discover why both Cubase 12 and Logic are exceptional choices for music production, starting with Cubase 12 first!

Cubase 12: A Comprehensive Musical Toolkit

Cubase 12 vs logic

We have talked about how easy Cubase can be to use, from a beginner’s standpoint all the way to professional studio use. There is a learning curve to any DAW program, but most use the same basic approach. The fine details, workflow, and plugins are what differentiate DAWS from one another.

Steinberg designed Cubase 12 Pro to be an all-in-one ecosystem that can take you from “scratch” demo tracks, all the way to a polished finished product. You have built-in instruments, a drum machine, and mastering plugins at the ready.

Cubase was designed to be easy to learn for beginners, as well as be complex and diverse enough to fine-tune a professional track. This is done using many different versions of Cubase, starting with the Elements Edition. However, most users eventually upgrade to the more powerful “Pro” version of Cubase.

Cubase 12, the latest iteration of Steinberg’s flagship DAW, is renowned for its comprehensive feature set and versatile tools. As a beginner’s platform, Cubase 12 offers a user-friendly interface that allows aspiring producers to immerse themselves in music creation without feeling overwhelmed. Let’s explore the advantages and unique aspects of Cubase 12:

  • Intuitive User Interface: Cubase 12 boasts an intuitive and visually appealing user interface, making it easy for beginners to navigate the software. The logical layout and organized menu system simplify the learning curve, allowing users to focus on the creative process rather than getting lost in technical complexities.
  • Advanced MIDI Editing: Cubase 12 is celebrated for its robust MIDI editing capabilities. The MIDI editor offers a plethora of tools for precise note manipulation, quantization, and expressive control. Beginners can easily compose intricate melodies, experiment with harmonies, and fine-tune MIDI performances.
  • Extensive Instrument Library: Cubase 12 comes packed with an extensive collection of virtual instruments, catering to various musical genres and styles. From realistic emulations of acoustic instruments to cutting-edge synthesizers, the built-in instrument library empowers users to explore a wide range of sonic possibilities.
  • VST Instrument Rack: The VST Instrument Rack in Cubase 12 simplifies the process of managing multiple virtual instruments within a project. Users can create and organize instrument layers and combinations effortlessly, enhancing creativity and streamlining workflow.

All of this adds up to a complete DAW experience, where you can produce entire songs without using any 3rd party plugins. But in case you have some plugins that you use often in your workflow, Cubase 12 supports almost any 3rd party plugin.

This is especially good if you already have plugins that you use for guitar or drum VSTs. Programs like EZ Drummer or Neural DSP products assemble themselves in Cubase effortlessly. The UI makes a convenient list of all programs and VSTs easy to find in Cubase.

So Cubase is very good for beginners that are just now getting used to using a DAW, as well as intermediate users that already have plugins that they prefer. But what about more advanced users that have used DAWs for years?

Cubase 12 from a Professional Perspective

For seasoned music producers, Cubase 12 remains an attractive choice due to its advanced audio editing capabilities, sophisticated mixing tools, and professional-grade features. Let’s explore how Cubase 12 caters to the needs of professionals:

  • Powerful Audio Editing: Cubase 12 offers advanced audio editing features, including audio warping, automatic audio alignment, and direct offline processing. These tools enable professionals to perform precise time and pitch adjustments, align multiple audio tracks seamlessly, and apply complex processing chains with ease.
  • Extensive Mixing Tools: Cubase 12 provides a comprehensive set of mixing tools, including VCA faders, Control Link Groups, and advanced automation options. These features allow professionals to achieve polished and professional-sounding mixes, enhancing the overall sonic quality of their productions.
  • Surround Sound Production: For composers and sound designers, Cubase 12’s comprehensive tools for surround sound production make it an ideal choice. The software supports various surround sound formats, providing artists with the means to create immersive and cinematic audio experiences.

These days, more and more streaming services are pushing for Dolby Atmos support, and Cubase 12 delivers in that aspect. You can mix for Atmos, as well as more complicated mixes for 5.1 Surround. This may or may not be the future of mixing and mastering, but if it ends up being the new “standard” then Cubase has you covered.

You also have multiple options to create different groups to form a bus. This makes mixing drums and other multi-track instruments a breeze. You can also easily pin a reference track if you are going for a particular sound.

Overall, Cubase is a great platform for Windows users, as well a Apple systems. No matter which operating system you use, Cubase is optimized and ready to perform. The same can be said about your skill level, as there is a version of Cubase ready for you. So how does it compare to Apple’s Logic?

Logic Pro: Apple’s Sonic Playground

Cubase 12 vs logic

Logic, developed by Apple, has become a dominant force in the music production industry, known for its feature-rich platform and seamless integration with Apple hardware. Logic is optimized to work flawlessly with your Apple computer iOS without hogging CPU resources.

Logic has a very intuitive interface with a complete collection of production tools that is perfect for all kinds of different applications. Whether it is professional songwriting, beat making, editing, or mixing, Logic is built around a modern interface that’s designed to get results quickly and also deliver more power whenever it’s needed. 

Compared to Cubase Pro, Logic has a considerable amount of production tools in common. Like Cubase, you have tons of virtual instruments, drums, and mixing/mastering plugins. Logic also plays wells with 3rd party plugins.

As a beginner’s DAW, Logic offers an accessible entry point for aspiring producers with a plethora of creative tools. Let’s delve into the advantages and unique features of Logic:

  • Seamless Integration with Apple Ecosystem: One of Logic’s significant advantages is its seamless integration with Apple hardware and software. For users in the Apple ecosystem, Logic offers a cohesive and efficient workflow, allowing for smooth synchronization with other Apple devices and applications.
  • Extensive Loop Library: Logic comes equipped with a vast loop library, featuring a wide variety of pre-recorded loops and samples. This extensive collection enables beginners to jumpstart their music production journey by easily incorporating professional-quality loops into their projects.
  • Alchemy Synthesizer: Logic’s Alchemy synthesizer is a standout feature, offering a powerful and versatile synthesis engine. With a rich array of presets and deep sound sculpting capabilities, Alchemy empowers users to craft unique and expressive sounds.
  • Smart Controls and Patches: Logic’s Smart Controls and Patches feature provides a streamlined approach to instrument and effect manipulation. Beginners can access essential parameters and controls within a single interface, making it easier to shape their sounds and compositions.

These features make Logic slightly easier to learn and utilize versus Cubase for beginners. The “out of the box” experience is much more intuitive, but also has a disadvantage with these sounds and samples being overused and easily recognized.

But there are deeper features within Logic that are made for intermediate and professional users. These “pro” features are what makes Logic a powerful DAW for professional studios. For professional music producers, Logic offers advanced capabilities, including robust automation features, comprehensive scoring tools, and in-depth sound design options. Let’s explore how Logic caters to the needs of professionals:

  • Advanced Flex Time and Pitch Editing: Logic’s Flex Time and Flex Pitch editing tools enable professionals to perform intricate time and pitch adjustments with remarkable accuracy. These features are invaluable for correcting timing and tuning issues in recorded audio.
  • Score Editor and Music Notation: Logic’s Score Editor provides comprehensive music notation capabilities, catering to composers and arrangers. Professionals can write, edit, and print musical scores with ease, making Logic a go-to choice for film scoring, orchestration, and music publishing.
  • Space Designer Reverb: Logic’s Space Designer reverb plugin is renowned for its high-quality and versatile convolution-based reverbs. Professionals can create realistic acoustic spaces or experiment with otherworldly soundscapes, adding depth and dimension to their productions.

Like Cubase pro, Logic can also mix for Dolby Atmos and surround sound platforms. Logic can also be used with Final Cut seamlessly for video/audio editing. When it comes to mixing and mastering, Logic has EQ and compressors built-in along with thousands of other effects. You can also import Garage Band files.

Also like Cubase, 3rd party plugins and effects are usually compatible with Logic. There are a few plugins that may not work well with Logic, but all of the mainstream VSTs usually work well in the Logic ecosystem, and more plugin companies are adding Apple support every day .

The Score Editor works a lot like the Cubase Chord plugin, allowing you to see and edit notation in real-time. This is a valuable tool for artists that make commercial music, or perform professional audio scores. Logic has a vast library of sounds that are MIDI controlled, as well as “one shot” samples.

The only downside, is that Logic only works with Apple hardware. I have seen some shady advice as to how you can possibly “hack” Logic to be used with a Windows machine, and I cannot advise trying something like this at all. It could possibly ruin your computer, and any songs/stems could be lost.

Cubase 12 vs. Logic: Wrapping Up…

There are many advantages when it comes to both of these DAW programs. Both are fully-functional systems with a ton of power under the hood. Both have all of the tools you would need to make a fully produced project, mixed and mastered professionally. Likewise, both have tons of instruments and samples to help with creativity.

The choice is going to come down to which DAW works for you, and if you have hardware tailored to Apple products. I understand the appeal of the Apple ecosystem of products, and why Logic might be the right choice for artists that enjoy Apple hardware.

The battle of DAW titans, Cubase 12 versus Logic, highlights the strengths and unique features of each platform. Cubase 12’s user-friendly interface, advanced MIDI editing, and extensive instrument library make it a compelling choice for both beginners and professionals. However, it can be overwhelming to new users.

On the other hand, Logic’s seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem, extensive loop library, and powerful Alchemy synthesizer offer an appealing creative playground. These are extremely beginner friendly, but can come off as slightly generic and pedestrian if you are familiar with certain MIDI sounds.

In the end, Cubase 12 vs. Logic depends on individual preferences, creative needs, and hardware preferences. Both DAWs excel in different areas, making them valuable assets in the toolkit of any music producer.

Logic does have more instruments and sounds on tap, and many are loops that are drag and drop. Cubase needs more manual intervention with MIDI editing for sound samples, but offers more creative sounds from instruments. Both offer plenty of sounds to fuel your creativity.

So it honestly boils down to preference. PC users felt left in the dark for many years in the audio production world. We were constantly told that Apple is the king, and that Windows was inferior for production. But times have changed, and now it depends on what a DAW has to offer the user.

Whether you are a beginner seeking an accessible entry point or a seasoned professional exploring advanced features, Cubase 12 and Logic promise a world of boundless creativity and musical expression. Embrace your musical journey and discover the magic of these exceptional DAW platforms.

Steinberg Cubase Pro 12

Used by everything from Hans Zimmer to Meshuggah, Cubase is an industry stalwart and a leading pioneer in the field of DAWs. Ideal for creating, recording, mixing, and mastering, Cubase has all the tools you need to create professional-sounding music at home. We love this software.

  • Control Room: Unmatched recording and monitoring control for a superior mix.
  • Sound Quality: A 64-bit audio engine that delivers professional-level audio.
  • Plug-Ins: A wealth of high-quality plug-ins for any genre.
  • Score Editor: Ideal for composers with its sophisticated notation feature.
  • Customizable Interface: Adaptable to your workflow for optimal productivity.

Cubase 12 vs. Logic: Which One Is Easier?

Both DAW programs are beginner friendly, and have tutorials. Logic will be easier for Apple users, while Cubase may be easier for PC users. Both offer beginner-friendly features and a similar learning curve.

Cubase 12 Vs. Logic: Which Come With Instruments?

Both of these popular DAW systems come with a ton of drums, synths, and guitar plugins that are easy to use and program with MIDI. Logic comes with many loops and samples, where Cubase is more free-form.

Cubase 12 Vs. Logic: Which DAW is Professional?

Both Cubase and Logic are used by professionals, with Cubase being a little more popular with professional studios. However, both have all of the tools you need to produce pro-quality tracks.

Cubase 12 Vs. Logic: Which Is More Powerful?

I think this depends on your system. Logic is optimized to work well with Apple computers. While Cubase works with both Apple and PC, and your system build will dictate the power and DSP.

Cubase 12 Vs. Logic: Can Logic Be Used On PC?

Logic is compatible with Apple products only.


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