Steinberg Cubase Pro 8.5 DAW Recording Software (boxed)

Audio/MIDI DAW Software with Unlimited Audio and MIDI Tracks, Notation and Scoring Functions, 73 Plug-ins, 8 Virtual Instruments, and Over 3,000 Instrument Sounds - Mac/PC VST (for activation in the US only)
Steinberg Cubase Pro 8.5 DAW Recording Software (boxed) image 1
Steinberg Cubase Pro 8.5 DAW Recording Software (boxed) image 1
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Compatible with:


Software Compatibility

Most software is compatible with both Mac and Windows computers, but check to make sure.

If you're using Pro Tools, AAX plug-ins (or RTAS for older versions) are what you need. Most other Mac DAWs support AU plug-ins. VST is compatible with a number of Mac and Windows programs. Be sure you choose plug-ins that work with your DAW!

To learn more about software compatibility, check out our buying guide.

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Steinberg Cubase Pro 8.5 DAW Recording Software (boxed)
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Inspiration Meets Production Power

NOTE: There are known issues with Cubase Pro 8.5 when working with video on Windows systems. Steinberg is currently working on a solution to this problem that they hope to provide in a maintenance update.

Steinberg Cubase Pro 8.5 DAW software balances creative inspiration and technical prowess. Whether you're recording audio or sequencing virtual instruments, Cubase Pro 8.5's workflow makes it easier to maintain your creative edge while building your project. Updated Key and Drum editors allow for faster, more intuitive MIDI editing. Store and recall program settings and preferences with the Profile Manager. You can even collaborate with musicians around the world with VST Transit cloud collaboration. Steinberg Cubase Pro 8.5 makes one of the world's most-used DAWs even better.

Steinberg Cubase Pro 8.5 DAW Software at a Glance:
  • What's been updated in Cubase Pro 8.5
  • Cloud collaboration with VST Transit
  • Retrologue 2 - a formidable synth just became more powerful
  • Import tracks from existing projects
  • Customize your Cubase Pro experience with Profile Manager
What's been updated in Cubase Pro 8.5

With Cubase Pro 8.5, Steinberg aims to make advanced music creation easier than ever. Many Cubase fans we talk to at Sweetwater rate the MixConsole as one of their most-used tools, and its dynamic hover mode has been improved to make it even better. Both the Key and Drum editors have been updated to make it faster and simpler to create and edit MIDI data. Cubase 8.5 also provides more ways for you to set up sessions and share data between them: the Profile Manager allows you to store and recall program settings and preferences, and you can pull tracks from existing projects with just a few clicks. Version 8.5 also adds the Retrologue 2 synthesizer plug-in, as well as zPlane Elastique v3 time-stretch/pitch-shift tool.

Cloud collaboration with VST Transit

Aiming to help musicians create together, Steinberg Cubase Pro 8.5 includes access to the VST Transit cloud collaboration service. Upload your project to cloud storage, and it can be downloaded anywhere in the world. Built-in messaging makes it easier for musicians to communicate about the project. Out of the box, VST Transit gives you 500MB of free storage space on secure Amazon AWS servers and 1GB of free traffic per month, with more available with a VST Transit Premium account.

Retrologue 2 - a formidable synth just became more powerful

Many electronic musicians using Cubase have made Retrologue one of their go-to software synthesizers, and Retrologue 2 is even better. A third oscillator has been added for fatter, more complex sounds. Polyphonic LFOs and an additional envelope give you more creative modulation options. Factor in five new effects, and you'll see that Retrologue 2 packs incredible sound design potential. Over 400 new presets are included to show you what Retrologue 2 can do.

Import tracks from existing projects

Once you've got a track dialed in just the way you want, Cubase Pro 8.5 makes it easy to import that track into a different project. Import all of that track's settings and content either as new tracks or to replace existing tracks. Cubase Pro 8.5 will create new TrackVersions automatically, so you can quickly revert the track to its previous state if you wish. Track importing makes it simple to borrow elements from existing projects and can save you a lot of time in both production and mixdown.

Customize your Cubase Pro experience with Profile Manager

Cubase Pro 8.5's Profile Manager makes it easier than ever to recall your preferred program settings. You can store and recall keyboard shortcuts, color sets, and much more, allowing you to load your preferred settings into any Cubase Pro 8.5 workstation.

Steinberg Cubase Pro 8.5 DAW Software Features:
  • 32-bit floating-point Steinberg audio engine records at sample rates up to 192kHz
  • Professional tools such as 5.1 surround capabilities, flexible routing, and full automatic delay compensation
  • Unlimited track count no matter what you're recording - audio, instrument, or MIDI
  • MixConsole integrated EQ/dynamics channel strip modules for sound and workflow
  • Make music with 8 stellar virtual instruments with over 3,000 sounds
  • 73 high-end audio and 18 MIDI VST effect processors for professional project editing
  • VCA faders clean up your workflow with single-fader control of complex group mixing and automation
  • VariAudio gives you MIDI-like editing control of audio tracks, audio-to-MIDI functions, and vocal tuning
  • Chord track and chord pads make composing easy and flexible
  • Integrated professional music notation and score printing
  • Included audio and MIDI VST effects processors:
    • Quadrafuzz v2 distortion
    • VST Amp Rack
    • VST Bass Amp
    • REVerence convolution reverb
    • Voxengo CurveEQ
    • and many more
  • Included instruments:
    • HALion Sonic SE 2
    • Padshop granular synth
    • Retrologue 2 virtual analog synth
    • LoopMash 2
    • Groove Agent SE 4 drum machine
    • and others for over 3,000 sounds
  • NOTE: This product requires a Steinberg eLicenser Key to operate (included).
Put the power of professional tools to work for your music with Steinberg's Cubase Pro 8.5!

Tech Specs

Software Type DAW
Platform Mac, PC
Upgrade/Full Full
Download/Boxed Boxed
Bit Depth 64-bit
Format VST
Hardware Requirements - Mac Intel Core / AMD dual core or above, 8GB RAM recommended
Hardware Requirements - PC Intel Core / AMD dual core or above, 8GB RAM recommended
OS Requirements - Mac OS X 10.10 or later, eLicenser key (included)
OS Requirements - PC Windows 7 SP1 or later, eLicenser key (included)
Manufacturer Part Number 46040

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
Write your review

THE Power DAW!!

I've used many DAW systems over the years, personally and professionally, but Cubase has remained my workhorse for decades. Any DAW will do the basics - record audio and MIDI - but Cubase has such a huge number of productivity-boosting enhancements and ability to customize, I always feel like I'm missing an arm when I have to use something else. But all the streamlined workflow in the world wouldn't matter much if the end result didn't sound great, and here Cubase wins again, hands down. Even with many high-end plug-ins in my arsenal (and I can't live without Waves!) I use the built-in Cubase FX and channel-strip EQ etc on every track. They just sound great. But don't take my word for it; Google around for yourself to see what top producers think. If it's good enough for the likes of Alan Parsons...
Music background: composer, performer, producer

A Mature DAW continues to evolve

There are so many choices in DAW software now. There's the so called "Standard" that claims is used by everyone, yet moves at a snails pace in adding new features on a timely basis. That being said, I am totally loving this latest version of Cubase Pro 8.5. With the ability to edit multiple drum tracks at the same time and VariAudio for vocals, this is an amazing DAW for live band recordings. I really like the ability to customize the mixer layout, and the ChordPad feature is really slick. Overall, I'd recommend Cubase Pro over many other software recording options.
Music background: Rock band recordings

Cubase 8.5 Professional

I have been working with Sweetwater for some time, slowly building the best workstation for my needs, as I had to fully make the transition to being an "in the box" guy. I had purchased Pro Tools 12 from another retailer, and had issues from the get go. Although, I was starting to understand and appreciate the way Pro Tools worked, I spent more time troubleshooting error messages than making music. In fact, I wasn't able to record one full song during my time with Pro Tools, and my computer, which is a Creation Station has pretty robust specs. Considering the price of Pro Tools and the fact that it is "the industry standard," I was beyond frustrated. After experiencing numerous issues, I had kicked myself for not buying Pro Tools from Sweetwater. This is not an endorsement, but because of their level of technical support, mostly everything I have is purchased from Sweetwater. Long story short, I was fortunate enough to obtain a refund for Pro Tools. I had done a good amount of research, and consulted with fellow musicians- some who have switched over from various DAWs, including Pro Tools, to Cubase. At one point after receiving a refund, I was seriously considering repurchasing Pro Tools from Sweetwater because I figured technical support could assist me with any issue I might have. I also wanted to learn and master the "industry standard" of DAWs. However, a nagging voice inside me said, "go with Cubase 8.5 Professional," and that's what I did. It was by far the best decision I could have made. First, let me say that Cubase is very intuitive. Routing is very simple in this DAW and at least for my computer, it has been extremely stable. Being an "in the box" guy, I use a lot of VSTIs/VSTs all with different CPU demands. Knowing that I needed to be able to work with some intensive plug-ins, I was really concerned about investing a sizable amount of money in a DAW that wouldn't be able to handle that kind of thing. However, Cubase 8.5 Professional has been wonderful with its ability to handle the plug-ins I use. Initially, I was concerned about learning yet another DAW. I had songs to record and I was sick of putting all of that on hold, going back and forth with Avid. I didn't want to have to do that again, nor for that amount of money I paid for Pro Tools, did I feel I should have to overcome all of these obstacles just to do basic tracking. As I mentioned earlier, Cubase is very intuitive and it is fairly easy to learn the essentials of the program in a short amount of time. After installation, I started re-recording a song I was trying work on in Pro Tools and everything seems to be running very smoothly. It's funny, because once you get to know the Cubase, you're like, "that's it? That's all I have to do?" Setting up group tracks, FX channels, inserts and sends takes no time at all in this DAW. Everything task seems to be just a couple of clicks away. Cubase 8.5 Professional also comes with several virtual instruments and some pretty decent VST plug-ins. I have not completely utilized all of the virtual instruments or VSTs, because I have my "go to's." However, it's good to have the extra tools in my arsenal. One of the only reasons I didn't give this program five stars (yet) is because I haven't explored the entire program. Let me be more specific. There is obviously a MIDI editor, but I'm not sure how extensively you can edit a single wave. I will find out soon as my MIDI tracks are just about complete, and I'm ready to start recording guitars. I can't imagine though that Cubase 8.5 Professional would neglect such a thing. If you are looking for a reliable, steady and up-to-date DAW that has been around for a good amount of time and progresses with each update, then I believe that Cubase 8.5 Professional is one of the best candidates out there. If you are going to dedicate your life to becoming an audio engineer and work in the industry, then Pro Tools is the direction one should go in. However, if you're doing audio engineering and you're a musician, the basic principles are still the same. Cubase 8.5 Professional is a great DAW and can compete with the best of them. Don't be fooled by the "industry standard" label.

Excellent DAW

I've been using Cubase for years and recently upgraded to 8.5 Pro. Great DAW, lots of features providing superb results. I've used a few other DAWs have not found one that meets the same standards as Cubase Pro 8.5
See also: Recording Software, Steinberg, Steinberg DAW Software