Cubasis (Steinberg Cubase DAW for iPad)

Cubasis is probably the most powerful DAW for iPad. It supports both midi and audio tracks, audiobus and virtual midi to work with external music apps that support  (Magellan, Animoog. iPolysix, iMS-20, DM1 etc.)

Download from the App Store.

Features:

  • Unlimited audio and MIDI tracks (depending on the device used)
  • Over 70 virtual instrument sounds based on HALion Sonic
  • Mixer with over 10 effect processors (insert and send effects)
  • Over 300 MIDI and audio loops
  • Virtual keyboard and virtual drum pads
  • Sample Editor and Key Editor
  • Export to Cubase, Dropbox, SoundCloud, AudioCopy & email
  • Core Audio and Core MIDI compatible hardware supported
  • Sequence other Core MIDI apps (MIDI recording only) and run Cubasis simultaneously via background audio
  • Import audio from your iTunes music library or using iTunes filesharing, use AudioPaste or set up a Wi-Fi server in Cubasis

Steinberg Cubase DAW for desktop has always been one of the best DAWs on the market. And they recently introduced their DAW for iPad which is called Cubasis. Musicians familiar with Steinberg products (or other desktop DAWs like Logic, Sonar or even GarageBand) will instantly feel at home using Cubasis. No need to read a long user manual, everything works intuitively and you can be creative from the moment you start the app.

User interface and workflow

The user interface of Cubasis was meticulously designed by expert user experience designers and tested on a test group at a German university to ensure the best iPad DAW experience. Steinberg did really good job in rethinking on how classical DAW should work on the iPad and adapted interfaces for touch screen. It works very smooth. Cubasis comes with multi-track sequencer, midi and audio regions editors, mixer and keyboard/pads for virtual instrumtents.

I found Cubasis great for composing and arrangement. But it lacks yet several important features like automation, sidechain compression and better effects (most of the effects are good but not on the level of Auria’s VST) to cover all the requirements. Steinberg promised to update Cubasis on a regular basis and they mentioned on the forum that they are currently working on new plugins and new virtual instruments which will be available as in-app purchases.

Integration

Cubasis projects can be imported to Cubase (PC/Mac DAW) to work with them on a fully fledged DAW or you can share your mixdown via Email, Dropbox, AudioCopy, Soundcloud. Thanks to the “Split by track” mixdown you can continue working with your project in other DAWs. To import audio data into Cubasis you can use iTunes share, AudioPaste and iPod import (import DRM free files files from iPod library).

UPDATE: Audiobus was supported in 1.1 in January 2013.

Pros:

  • Great intuitive user interface and workflow
  • Virtual midi and Audiobus to work with external synths
  • Unlimited audio and midi tracks and good selection of easy to use effects

Cons:

  • No automation
  • Non customizable built-in instruments, no built-in synths (only sample based instruments) but the app can work with third party synth apps via virtual midi
  • Limited EQ (with HighShelf and LowShelf only)
  • No sidechain compression

See also

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