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ProTools MBox vs. Steinberg Cubase

Blue Cheese

Looking for simple, home- recording-to-CD software. Currently have a low end ($20.) Cakewalk program that just doesn't cut it. Recommended to go with Steinberg Cubase or ProTools MBox, but don't know anyone who has used both. Any other suggestions welcome. I want to record keyboards and guitar, simple arrangements, to CD.
Thanks for comments.
January 4, 2003 @11:25am
otterfarm

This isn't a response so much as an add on to the question...
I'm unclear. ProTools LE (which comes with mbox) doesn't have any effects included (reverb, delay, etc). Correct? I have to purchase these separately as plug-ins. Correct? Will this cost a lot?
Do other packages (Cubase, etc) come packaged with effects?
Thanks (and sorry for poaching your post, BC).
January 7, 2003 @06:30pm
smileywiley

I would go with the MBox because it allows you to plug your instruments in more easily and takes the stress off your computer's CPU. Also Protools is great software. If you want to check it out go to www.protools.com where you can download the free version (search for "pro tools free"). Pro Tools Free is fully functional and you could even use that for the time being but it is limited to 8 tracks. It came with several effects when I downloaded it so I'm assuming the Mbox would as well. I have never tried Cubase so I'm not an expert or anything.
February 9, 2003 @08:43pm
xstatic

You will get some effects with Pro Tools, but PT has huge issues on PC's besides the obvious limitaions (8 tracks etc...) Cubase will also come with a ton of processing features, and there is a wide selection of soundcards that will match up with it. From cheap to expensive ones. I am a firm believer that Pro Tools is not Pro tools until you invest $15k plus. PT was designed to run TDM and a lot of outboard units. PT is about much more than just the software. Thats where other programs become so nice. They are designed to run on very minimal outboard gear and add on stuff, but technology has advanced so fast that there are also becoming a lot of options to add to these programs as well. Basically, a program like cubase will offer all the features PT free does, plus a bunch more stuff. In the long run as your system grows, it will be FAR cheaper to continue with Cubase than with Pro Tools.
February 9, 2003 @10:10pm
smileywiley

xtatic has a point. I recently did a session in a studio here in NC. It was full Pro tools plus multi-format. I'm pretty sure the studio cost over 200k. The engineer (who is very experienced, the manager of Music Loft for several years and toured with YES, Jeff Beck and others) told me to buy an mbox, 001 or 002. But you probably would end up spending more money in the long run with pt.
February 10, 2003 @01:07am
smartazz

it's true that protools has a lot more to it so there is a lot more that go wrong... so if you or your computer can't handle it cubase or cake walk or acid or nuendo(which is better than most) are fine programs with no proprietary hardware issues. BUT PROTOOLS blows them all away no matter where in the game you start. also if you are using Reason, the new PT le 6.0 comes with the rewire plugin to link reason and protools
(so i hear, i've yet to see it in action, and i think it's only out for mac now but PC is usually right behind). I run an MBox on a 1.8ghz PC and everything works great. it comes with a pretty good plugin bundle and you can always buy more. i've also worked with just about every other harddisk recording software or device and i've used large PT HD systems. and no matter how you look at it Protools is the industry standard for a reason and their quality filters down through the reigns of all their products.
June 16, 2003 @09:09pm
smartazz

and I hev to through this in for xstatic...not to sound nasty.... but only protools free is limited to 8 tracks because it's free. Protools LE has just as many features and plugin options on PC as it does on MAC. true it'll run more STable on a MAC but so Will Anything else. Plus to while cubase does come with some cool processing features it doesn't come close to offering what protools does. and yes there is proprietary hardware with protools so you can't go shopping for some other cheap sound card that won't perform you have to go with the tested and reliable digi hardware.
June 17, 2003 @11:32pm
xstatic

I really have to disagree. yes I mispoke in mentioning 8 tracks. But stock Cubase sounds much better to me than stock PT LE. I have used both. And things do not run more stable on a mac. They run just as well on a well tuned PC. Pro Tools may run better on a mac, but a suspect this is not do to windows or anything, but more likely due to the fact that PT support for PC's is kind of an afterthought. So what is it that Pro Tools does that Cubase SX does not? As far as outboard goes, you can buy much better converters for something like an RME Hammerfall interface with the same amount of money it takes to get the Digidesign hardware that does not sound near as good. Yes the digi will sound better than a MOTU, but not than Benchmark, Mytek etc.... If I could afford a full blown HD system, maybe then I would switch to Pro Tools. But until then, I can get far better quality for far less money and be using it now:)
June 19, 2003 @07:26am
mpcpro

Originally posted by Blue Cheese
Looking for simple, home- recording-to-CD software. Currently have a low end ($20.) Cakewalk program that just doesn't cut it. Recommended to go with Steinberg Cubase or ProTools MBox, but don't know anyone who has used both. Any other suggestions welcome. I want to record keyboards and guitar, simple arrangements, to CD.
Thanks for comments.

Do you want a midi sequencer or a DAW is what you need to ask your self. Both programs have their ups and downs. Cubase is better at sequencing than ProTools cuz that is what it was designed for from the start. ProTools is better at audio editing and mixing because this is what it was designed for from the start.
Cubase is good sequencer but you can'nt just burn a cd of your session and take it to 99% of other studios and load it right up like you can with ProTools LE. For some people this is a great way to not only save money by starting their projects at home and then being able to work on/finish/mix it at better studio but also get their feet wet with the industry standard DAW.
But if you are going to do mostly midi work and don't plan on taking your tracks to another studio than Cubase may be just the thing for you. But make sure that if you do get Cubase you get an audio interface that will play nice with it. With ProTools this is not a issue just make shure your computer is on the Digidesign list of compatible systems. I have the Digi 001 on a 1.4 TBird and get 24trks and all the Waves plug-ins I need without a single crash in 2 years.
One more thing, make shure all the plug-ins you want to use are compatible with the software you choose.
Good Luck
June 19, 2003 @11:51pm
xstatic

Actually, I have transfered many tracks form Cubase to PT.
June 20, 2003 @05:31pm
mpcpro

Originally posted by xstatic
Actually, I have transfered many tracks form Cubase to PT.

Where your plug-ins intact? It would seem a bit better for one to have the plug-ins they used on a project come up just the way they where at home when you go to another studio. I may be wrong and if I am please correct me but a large % of the VST plug-ins you would use would not show once transfered to PT with the exception of Waves plug-ins.
Both programs are great, you just need to use the one that suits your needs. In a perfect world you would really need both of them. Cubase or Logic to run all midi in the studio and PT to handle all audio task.
June 20, 2003 @05:38pm
xstatic

No the plugins did not show up. Basically all I did was transfer the raw tracks. When someone brings a prerecorded project into my place to mix, I don't want thier mixing. i want the tracks and their ideas. PLus, even in Pro Tools won't that still happen if the destination machine does not have the same plugins? Like if I do some cuts on a PT rig at my place and use Altiverb on an aux, it wouldn't be usable if I took it to a studio that did not have Altiverb would it?
I am not anti Pro Tools, so please don't get me wrong. I just don't like the much higher cost to performance ratio and the hardware stronghold. I also don't believe that Pro Tools is going away whether something better comes out or not. Too many people are familiar and comfortable with it. I also however think that Apps like Cubase SX/Nuendo aren't going away either. More and more of these systems are showing up right next to Pro Tools rigs and are getiing used more and more. AS this catches on more this conversation will be about transfering my Nuendo session to another studio:D
Anyhow, I really am interested to find out just what Pro Tools does that Nuendo or Cubase will not do. With the obvious exception of TDM processing which is already starting to happen via the TC and UAD cards for other apps.
June 21, 2003 @01:23am
mpcpro

Originally posted by xstatic
No the plugins did not show up. Basically all I did was transfer the raw tracks. When someone brings a prerecorded project into my place to mix, I don't want thier mixing. i want the tracks and their ideas. PLus, even in Pro Tools won't that still happen if the destination machine does not have the same plugins? Like if I do some cuts on a PT rig at my place and use Altiverb on an aux, it wouldn't be usable if I took it to a studio that did not have Altiverb would it?
I am not anti Pro Tools, so please don't get me wrong. I just don't like the much higher cost to performance ratio and the hardware stronghold. I also don't believe that Pro Tools is going away whether something better comes out or not. Too many people are familiar and comfortable with it. I also however think that Apps like Cubase SX/Nuendo aren't going away either. More and more of these systems are showing up right next to Pro Tools rigs and are getiing used more and more. AS this catches on more this conversation will be about transfering my Nuendo session to another studio:D
Anyhow, I really am interested to find out just what Pro Tools does that Nuendo or Cubase will not do. With the obvious exception of TDM processing which is already starting to happen via the TC and UAD cards for other apps.

I feel the same way as you about the cost issue with ProTools. I also agree with you that Cubase, DP and Logic are not going anyplace, and they should'nt they are great programs to use. :D With the plug-in issue ProTolls wil load a similar plug-in if your transfering a session from another ProTools system. I'm not at all saying PT is better in operation than any other system it has its flaws just like all the other programs. But I feel that if one where looking for a system that can handle ALL of their midi needs they should take a close look at Cubase/Logic because they have way more tools to handle midi data than PT. But on the other hand if one where looking to do mostly audio recoding/ mixing/editing and dosen't plan on needing a ton of midi control they may want to look closer at PT
June 21, 2003 @02:54pm
xstatic

I understand that, I am just wondering why I should switch from Cubase SX/Nuendo to Pro Tools for recording/mixing/editing? Convince me and maybe I will look at a Prot Tools system. I agree that if I had 15 to 25 k to spend on that part of my system, then that is the way to go. It just seems to me that if you can't afford to get a full blown TDm HD system, then PC alternatives offer you much more for your money. At least as far as flexibility, price and performance are concerned. I am not even convinced that Pro Tools won't handle most peoples midi needs. Especially with more people using soft synths and such. I would bet Pro Tools can handle the majority of most users midi needs.
What I really want to know though, is what Pro Tools does better than a progarm combo of Nuendo and Wavelab. So far no one has been able to tell me just what it does better. They only say it is better, not why.
June 23, 2003 @03:48pm
mpcpro

Originally posted by xstatic
I understand that, I am just wondering why I should switch from Cubase SX/Nuendo to Pro Tools for recording/mixing/editing? Convince me and maybe I will look at a Prot Tools system. I agree that if I had 15 to 25 k to spend on that part of my system, then that is the way to go. It just seems to me that if you can't afford to get a full blown TDm HD system, then PC alternatives offer you much more for your money. At least as far as flexibility, price and performance are concerned. I am not even convinced that Pro Tools won't handle most peoples midi needs. Especially with more people using soft synths and such. I would bet Pro Tools can handle the majority of most users midi needs.
What I really want to know though, is what Pro Tools does better than a progarm combo of Nuendo and Wavelab. So far no one has been able to tell me just what it does better. They only say it is better, not why.

You just answered your own ? in a way. Why run/learn several programs when I can get the same if not better results using one? Why build a system with software/hardware from several companies when I can
June 23, 2003 @06:37pm