We get tons of requests asking “is Cubase 12 good for beginners?” and the answer is yes, with a few caveats. Today we go over why Cubase might be great for total newcomer to DAW programs. There is a learning curve, and today we go over everything that makes Cubase the perfect home studio solution.
Is Cubase 12 Good For Beginners?
Is Cubase 12 Good For Beginners? We Think So…
Look, I am going to give it to you straight-learning a DAW from scratch is not easy. It is almost like learning a brand new instrument, and I think a DAW can almost be considered an instrument since it operates like one to create sound.
While it can be daunting at first glance, learning a DAW like Cubase can be an easy experience. Focusing on how to do simple functions like pull up your plugins, and creating a new track are simple and rewarding. You should absolutely approach something like Cubase as an instrument, one that will take time and practice.
Building a home studio has never been easier or more affordable, artists can make entire albums without leaving their house. So is Cubase 12 good for beginners that are trying to start their own home studio, and begin sharing their music? Absolutely!
Aspiring musicians and producers often find themselves at the crossroads of choosing the perfect digital audio workstation (DAW) to kickstart their musical journey. Among the myriad of options, Cubase stands as a powerhouse DAW that has been empowering artists for decades. In this article, we will explore why learning a DAW like Cubase 12 is an excellent idea for beginners, especially for those setting up their home studios.
Cubase has been around for a long time, and is one of the first DAW programs to ever exist. Over the last 30 years, Steinberg’s Cubase DAW has been updated according to the user’s needs. It can be as simple as recording a few tracks for a demo, or as complex as mixing/mastering an entire professional album.
We will dive into the user-friendly interface, explore the features, and delve into the included plugins that allow users to produce professional-sounding songs. Let’s uncover the reasons that make Cubase the perfect choice for beginners, while also understanding its appeal in professional studios.
Let’s discover the reasons that make Cubase 12 the perfect choice for beginners, while also understanding its appeal in professional studios and how it can grow with users as their skills improve.
The User-Friendly Interface
One of the main reasons artists choose one DAW over another is the user interface. By far, the UI is going to be the “make or break” feature of any DAW, especially when it comes to beginners. If the interface is too complicated, crowded, or hard to understand? It can be too overwhelming for a beginner.
Cubase 12 has an easy-to-use interface, but it doesn’t lack any advanced features that you will need later on, as your skills improve. This makes the DAW easy to jump in to in the beginning, with most advanced features initially out of the way.
As a beginner, the learning curve of a new DAW can seem difficult. However, Cubase 12 excels in providing a user-friendly interface that eases the transition into music production:
- Project Setup: Cubase 12’s project setup is straightforward, allowing beginners to create new projects with ease. Users can choose from various project templates tailored for different music styles, making it easier to get started.
- Track Creation: Adding tracks in Cubase 12 is a breeze, with a simple drag-and-drop functionality. Whether it’s audio, MIDI, or instrument tracks, beginners can swiftly arrange and manage their projects.
- Transport Controls: The transport controls, such as play, stop, and record, are conveniently placed at the top of the interface, ensuring seamless control during recording and playback. This includes tempo control as well.
- Inspector and MixConsole: The Inspector and MixConsole provide a wealth of information and control over individual tracks and the overall mix, ensuring an intuitive mixing and editing experience.
One of the most valuable tools that Cubase 12 features is the Project Templates. You can make your own templates, or choose from any of the presets. This allows the user to custom-tailor a template for your needs, whether it is a single track or full MIDI project.
If you have another DAW or freeware option that you have been making demos with, you can easily drag and drop those files into Cubase. Here, you can fine-tune scratch tracks and even phone recordings! This is a great way to get down your music/riff ideas quickly, before you forget them.
The basic features of Cubase 12 are easy to grasp, and there are many tutorials on YouTube that can get you started on your journey. As you get more familiar with the program, the more advanced features will become important, especially MIDI editing.
Once you get settled in with the basic functions of Cubase 12, you will eventually start to delve into the more advanced features. These are features that many DAWs share, and Cubase 12 makes it very easy and accessible for beginners and intermediate users alike.
Despite its beginner-friendly interface, Cubase 12 is packed with advanced features that cater to all skill levels. Let’s explore some of its standout functionalities:
- MIDI Editing: Cubase 12’s MIDI editing tools are intuitive and powerful. The Key Editor allows for easy manipulation of MIDI notes, including adjusting velocity and creating complex musical arrangements.
- Audio Editing: Editing audio is made simple in Cubase 12 with the Sample Editor. Users can perform precise cutting, copying, and time-stretching of audio clips to achieve seamless audio edits.
- MixConsole: The MixConsole provides a comprehensive mixing environment, with flexible routing, advanced automation, and a wide range of audio effects. Beginners can achieve polished and professional-sounding mixes with ease.
- : Cubase 12 offers an impressive collection of virtual instruments and effects that cater to various musical genres. From realistic emulations of acoustic instruments to cutting-edge synthesizers, users can explore a world of sonic possibilities.
These features are where the magic of Cubase 12 really takes off, and they are tools that professional producers use all the time. These are all very important features to learn how to utilize, and the simple UI makes it a breeze to start using these features on your tracks.
MIDI Editing is a very important tool these days, since so many artists use MIDI-based instruments to create songs. A good example is programming drums, which has become a huge tool for home studios that cannot be loud in a domestic environment with a “real” drum set. But MIDI can also control synths, and other instruments.
When it comes to Audio Editing, Cubase 12 makes this very easy to grasp as well. Learning to cut, copy, and paste your tracks will save you time. Especially when it comes to parts that repeat in a song, or samples that you have chosen to place in the mix.
VST Instruments and Effects are a staple of Cubase 12, and every version of Cubase since the very beginning has virtual instruments. The original “Cubit” program was a MIDI editor, and it has always been a staple of Cubase. However, the 12th edition has more instruments and plugins than ever!
Let’s take a look at these plugins and programs built-in to Cubase 12 that make the DAW such a powerful studio ecosystem. These are powerful tools for a beginner, but with a little practice, you can unleash your creativity in a multitude of applications.
Included Plugins for Professional Sounds
This is exactly what separates Cubase from other DAWs, and these plugins offer a full ecosystem that can take beginners from simple demos to fully-realized songs with professional results. The included Cubase plugins actually rival many expensive 3rd party products.
This is a great example of how Cubase can grow with you from beginner, intermediate, and eventually professional skill sets. So while these features may not seem important for the beginner user, they will eventually be very important to your final product, and overall mixes.
Cubase 12 comes equipped with high-quality plugins that empower users to create professional-sounding songs without the need for additional purchases:
- HALion Sonic SE: This powerful virtual instrument offers a wide range of sounds and instruments, providing a solid foundation for music production. Modeled after analog synths, with tons of expansions.
- Groove Agent SE: Ideal for beat making and rhythm creation, Groove Agent SE offers a plethora of drum kits and grooves that inspire creativity.
- Voxengo CurveEQ: This versatile EQ plugin allows users to shape the tonal balance of their tracks, achieving a polished and balanced mix.
These are just a few of the advanced tools at your disposal, and each one is included in Cubase. The HALion Sonic synth is a virtual analog synth at heart, but also works as a sequencer, sample organizer, and it has a vast library of sounds to choose from.
Groove Agent is a fully functional drum machine with a ton of different sounds and samples to choose from that spans many genres. The plugin also has tons of expansion packs that range from Metal to Trap music. You can program each beat, or use the loops included.
The Cubase 12 ecosystem allows you to create all kinds of different types of music projects, without any need for 3rd party plugins from other companies. However, you have the option to use most 3rd party plugins if you wish, and most work seamlessly with Cubase.
Cubase 12: Perfect for Beginners
Cubase 12’s appeal to beginners lies in its balance of accessibility and professional-grade features. Aspiring musicians can start with the basics and gradually explore more advanced techniques as they grow in their skills.
- Extensive Documentation and Tutorials: Steinberg, the developer of Cubase, provides comprehensive documentation and tutorials to support beginners on their musical journey. The Cubase community is also active, sharing valuable insights and tips.
- Smooth Learning Curve: The user-friendly interface and detailed feature set enable beginners to focus on their creative process without being overwhelmed by technical complexities.
- In-DAW Help: Cubase 12 offers in-DAW help and tool-tips, ensuring that beginners can quickly find answers to their questions and access information on various features.
The DAW itself has a help window, where you can search for any issues or FAQs you may be having. While the Steinberg Forums also has active users ready to share their own anecdotes. The reddit forums are also very diverse, keeping up with new builds, sample packs, and software updates.
So if you ever get lost there are many sources of information on Cubase online, available to help you. But once you move out of the beginner phase, and start diving into the Cubase ecosystem, you will find that the DAW has more tools than you probably imagined.
Growth with the User
As you get acclimated to using a DAW, you will notice that you need more tools to fine-tune your projects. This is particularly true when you start mixing and mastering your tracks to share on streaming platforms.
One of the most significant advantages of Cubase 12 is its adaptability to users’ growing skills. As beginners become more proficient, Cubase 12 offers a wide range of features and functionalities to cater to their evolving needs:
- Advanced MIDI and Audio Editing: As users progress in their musical journey, they can explore Cubase 12’s advanced MIDI and audio editing capabilities, enabling more intricate compositions and precise audio manipulations.
- VST Instruments and Effects: Cubase 12’s extensive library of virtual instruments and effects opens doors to various creative possibilities. As users develop their style and sound, they can utilize these tools to experiment and refine their productions.
- Mixing and Mastering: With its comprehensive mixing and mastering capabilities, Cubase 12 allows users to fine-tune their mixes and achieve a polished, professional sound. As skills grow, users can take advantage of advanced mixing techniques and plugins to elevate their productions.
In Professional Studios…
Your home studio may eventually turn into some more than a hobby, and if it does, Cubase is ready from day one. While Cubase is great for beginners due to an easy to use UI, the DAW is also used in professional studios all the time. Professional studios often build their studio around the Cubase ecosystem.
While Cubase 12 excels as an ideal DAW for beginners, it is not limited to home studios. Cubase has a long-standing reputation in the professional music industry, being trusted and used by world-renowned producers and recording studios worldwide.
- Scalability: Cubase 12’s scalability allows it to handle demanding projects in professional studios, from recording bands to film scoring and post-production.
- Audio Processing: Cubase 12’s advanced audio processing and editing tools cater to the needs of audio engineers and producers working on high-profile projects
- Industry Standard: Cubase has established itself as an industry standard in the music production world, making it a reliable choice for professionals seeking stability and efficiency in their workflow.
What may start with simple home use, could easily lead to professional situations. Cubase is one of the main industry standard DAW programs used in studios everywhere. Many musicians get familiar with a DAW before going into the studio to record music, so they can contribute to production.
Cubase 12 is a great platform to learn on, but it is also a powerful professional tool with studio-grade plugins and VSTs. Steinberg has been focusing on home studio tools lately, as well as continuing professional support.
In conclusion, Cubase 12 is undoubtedly an excellent choice for beginners embarking on their musical journey in home studios. With its user-friendly interface, powerful features, and included plugins, Cubase 12 empowers beginners to produce professional-sounding songs without feeling overwhelmed.
Getting started with recording at home has never been easier, or more affordable. So much of what you hear on Spotify or other music streaming services these days are often home productions. More musicians are embracing the DIY ethos, doing everything themselves to great effect.
This is where something like Cubase 12 can come in handy, since it comes with so many plugins and instruments. You may start out producing simple tracks, but as you get more comfortable with the features of Cubase, you can expand your soundscape.
As users grow in their skills, Cubase 12 offers a plethora of advanced features that cater to their evolving needs, making it a DAW that can grow with them throughout their musical journey. Furthermore, Cubase’s reputation in professional studios attests to its adaptability and industry relevance, solidifying its position as a leading DAW in the music production world.
Whether you are a beginner seeking to unleash your creativity or a professional looking for a reliable and powerful DAW, Cubase 12 has the tools and capabilities to take your music to new heights. Embrace the journey, explore the possibilities, and let Cubase 12 be your musical partner in the pursuit of sonic excellence.
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.
Is Cubase 12 Good for Beginners?
Cubase 12 is undoubtedly an excellent choice for beginners embarking on their musical journey in home studios. With its user-friendly interface, powerful features, and included plugins, Cubase 12 empowers beginners to produce professional-sounding songs without feeling overwhelmed.