Cubase 10.5 Update Review – A New Feature Has a Flaw
The new version of Cubase is out, version 10.5 and I was making a review of the Cubase 10.5 Update New Features for YouTube but things did not go well… After just a few minutes of testing I found a few bugs but I thought I’d mention them on here so that people know before they update. Full video below (it’s long but entertaining) or read for the summary.
Issues with the new Cubase 10.5 Update (on release day)
The first issue/bug in Cubase 10.5. Colors/preferences are messed up.
Firstly, Bug 1; Something weird has happened with the colors that causes preferences saved in Cubase 10 that use custom colors for events in the Arrangement window to not work and default to transparent! This makes all the events vanish. How to fix it for now is explained in my video. It doesn’t seem to offer as the same color customization as version 10. Whatever you do, DO NOT use my Cubase 10 dark theme in 10.5. It is not working after the Cubase 10.5 Update and causes the transparency issue. I almost can’t make a new Dark Theme as it does not allow me to select as Dark Shades of Grey anymore 🙁
The second issue (easy fix). Jbridge needs a tweak in Cubase 10.5 to work again.
Secondly, Bug 2; Jbridge does not work in Cubase 10.5 on Windows 10 unless you run Cubase in administrator mode
Import Tracks from Projects, Automation bug and unknown crash bug/stability issue…
Thirdly, Bug 3; I was hoping this one would work properly. I was pleased to see my Steinberg forum feature request appear in Cubase 10.5 as one of the new features! So you can thank me for the idea… but unfortunately, it has a major flaw and some stability issues that need to be ironed out.
The new Import Tracks from Projects feature unfortunately has a major flaw. You can watch the Import Tracks/Settings from projects flaw here. If you try to import the mixer settings from one project to another, if you select not to bring the Automation over from the project, it will still wipe the Automation on the track in your project. Completely wipe it! Unlike when using Save and Load Selected Mixer Channel from by physically opening the new projected and manually saving the channel setting and manually loading it back in. For now, avoid using this feature on any track(s) that have Automation until they fix it.
Also, forcing the Instrument tracks to reload seems like a waste of time if you only want to bring the mixer settings over as you can’t separate the two. This could be a pain for wanting to import only mixer settings from a large orchestral project as it would un-necessarily take a long time.
But that’s not all, Bug 4; The Import Tracks from Projects feature when importing many tracks at once crashed Cubase 10.5 even when importing mixer settings from a previous version of the same project which contains the same plugins. Reason unknown. Crash occurred on camera in the video.
Activate Project button sometimes doesn’t work now…
Bug 5; The activate project window button just refused to activate on a project no matter how many times I clicked on it to activate. Yes I was clicking it!
Warning: Not Officially Supported on Older Versions of Windows Anymore.
Cubase 10.5 is not officially supported on older Windows OSes other than Windows 10. This is the first time Cubase has required Windows 10. Not only that, it requires the 64 bit version of Windows 10. Whether that means it will or won’t work on other versions of 64bit Windows, I don’t know but it’s likely to be buggy so upgrading to Windows 10 is highly recommended.
I didn’t see this warning when purchasing the update but I know about this from the discussions on the Cubase forums prior to release. After checking, I noticed that it’s only in extremely small text under system requirements when you go to buy the update. I feel like there should be a more obvious warning as not everyone is going to read the fine print.
Upgrading to Windows 10?
If upgrading to Windows 10, I’d personally suggest using an image/backup/system clone software like Acronis to clone your system before upgrading to Windows 10 in case it doesn’t go smoothly. That way, you can roll your system back.
I upgraded a system from Window 7 to Windows 10 a few years ago with no problems with Cubase but Steinberg suggest a clean install. I’d say that is more likely due to some plugins needing newer versions to function properly in Windows 10. By doing a clean install, it’s easy to grab the latest version of each plugin. If you try an upgrade within windows rather than a clean install from scratch, just backup everything in Acronis to be safe.
What Will Happen if you try to Use it in Older Version of Windows?
Update: Some people have tried to run it on earlier versions of Windows (64 bit ones) and found it installed but the new Export to Video function did not work. Others had graphical issues and most people said they could not close Cubase properly without having to force close it. Since force closing Cubase usually wipes your settings and preferences, this is not a good idea. Try to update to Windows 10.
Some plugins are not working in 10.5
My plugins seemed to work in 10.5 with just the admin mode fix. You can watch my video from here to see how to run Cubase 10.5 in admin mode automatically every time in Windows 10. I’d recommend doing this if you’re having issues with any plugins or just for possible extra stability in general.
Some people were complaining on the Steinberg forums that some of their plugins that worked in version 10 were not working in Cubase 10.5
Then user Tatsava on the forums did a bunch of things to get his plugins working. After finding and doing my admin mode fix on this blog or on my video he was able to get everything working… However, he had to do an extra step because some of his plugins crashed Cubase 10.5 first and Cubase 10.5 blacklisted them. This is good to do if you’re plugins become blacklisted in Cubase 10.5. I’d suggest doing his suggestions if the admin mode fix does not work. You can read his original post here which shows all the extra steps he took. Some or all may or may not be necessary. For me only the admin fix was needed.
Plugin issue from version Cubase 10 on Windows 10 not fixed in Cubase 10.5
Lots of users on the forums found an issue with certain plugins crashing Cubase 10 when it first came out. A fix was discovered to put Soundtoys Microshift on one of the Control Room inserts and bypass it. Then the crashing plugins started working.
The only comment from Steinberg on the issue was that Cubase 10 uses different Windows dependencies than prior versions. Perhaps the Soundtoys plugin forces them to be loaded. Simply opening the plugin first would make all the other plugins work. Some genius on the German Steinberg forums discovered the work around. People joked that version 10.5 should have the plugin built into Cubase lol.
It is not built into Cubase 10.5 lol. Surprising the fix is still needed from what I’ve been told. I guess they never worked out the cause or reason.
Other than bugs and Crashes lol… What’s New in Cubase 10.5? – New Features List.
Export to Video
Now finally, we have export to video directly from Cubase! Tested and working in my YouTube Cubase 10.5 Update Review/Testing video here at 41:40 This is a good time saver when working to video and seems logical to have in Cubase since so many people use it for film scoring.
This is a little like Waves SuperTap except built into Cubase 10.5
Nice pad synth but as I discovered, has some cool lead sounds also. Here is the Padshop 2 section of my Cubase 10.5 review. Personally I think you probably won’t use it if you have a pad synth like Omnisphere but if you don’t have Omnisphere (which is very expensive) it’s great value for money.
Colorized Mixer Channels
Do you like organizing by colors? Colors on the channels can now correspond to full mixer color strips like in Pro Tools.
Import Tracks/Settings from Projects
My favorite feature (and literally my feature) finally appears in the Cubase 10.5 Update! You can now import tracks and mixer settings and even instrument tracks from projects. This was my feature request on the Steinberg forum a while back… that they didn’t give me to test prior to release day. So I’m testing it on release day with the general public only to find a issues. It has a the issues and flaw mentioned above. Fingers crossed that it will be fixed in a maintenance update.
This is a bit like the Pro Tools smart tool. They are calling it ‘Combined Select Tools’ but it was being called the Smart Tool on the forums prior to release. You can see me test out the Cubase 10.5 Smart Tool here in my Cubase 10.5 Update Review video.
Spectral Comparison EQ
The Cubase Channel EQ has a spectral analyzer and you can also overlay a spectral analyzer from another track over it to see them at the same time to help with cutting out frequencies of one track/instrument or vocal to fit with another. I do this by ear but some people might find it useful to see a visual representation.
Score Editor Improvements
Various improvements to the score editor. I didn’t test this in the video as I don’t do much scoring but for those that do, this will be handy.
Macro creation is improved
Makes it easier to make macros in Cubase. You can move commands around and it’s a little better.
Normalize by loudness instead of peak option
You can set LUFS loudness levels for normalizing audio files instead of just peak volume.
Safe start mode.
Most likely implemented after lots of users had crashes from certain plugins on load. You can load Cubase with 3rd party plugins disabled. Seems like a smart idea.
Improved graphical performance
This might have caused the color issues I mentioned though.
Retrospective Midi Recording is improved
I test out the new improved Retrospective midi recording feature here
Listening to Their Customers is Great
It’s good that they are actually listening to their customers. However, when they decide to do one of their customers suggestions, they should give it to them (in this case me) to test before releasing it to the public with issues. It’s not the first time they have done my ideas and suggestions. So far I’ve invented Snapshots (which I called Mix Versions on the forums). Suggested this Import Tracks/Settings from Projects feature and been pushing the idea of a Mixer Undo button. They did all of them… but each time, I have had an idea on how to implement it better but I never even knew they were doing it until it’s actually in the public release.
I Hope Innovative People Still Work There?
I don’t work for the company or get paid by them and I’m coming up with great ideas. What are the people there doing in terms of innovation? All of the features in the 10.5 Update are user requests from the forums. Yes, listen to your customers but also have innovative people working there to come up with stuff that people didn’t even know they needed until they had it. ARA is a great example of something that people didn’t know they needed or wanted it until it existed but unfortunately… it was not invented by the guys at Steinberg.
I love that they’ve done a bunch of my ideas and requests but considering that I have come up with one of the major features for the last 3 versions of Cubase without working for or any payment from the company, you would think they would get me to test the damn thing first lol. It only took a few minutes to find bugs and flaws. Are they really testing the updates thoroughly? They seem to come out on November 15 each year and the Cubase 10.5 Update was not exception. Maybe it was a little rushed?
In summary, everything else seems to be working as far as I can tell and I had fun testing them out in the video but I’d still hold off on updating for a little while. For more on my thoughts, full review and experience and bugs with the new Cubase 10.5 update, checkout my Cubase 10.5 Update Review of the New Features Video above. It’s very in depth and goes for a full hour.
I feel like I’m stressing the system more than the folks at Steinberg as it only took a few minutes to notice issues. The update has some nice features that weren’t executed as well as they could have been. Hopefully they fix the issues and bugs in the next maintenance update.
Is it worth it?
I use Cubase in my studio for composing instrumentals, recording, editing, mixing and mastering. In fact every song on this website has had all the parts physically played (on the keyboard) by myself and I also recorded, edited, mixed and mastered every song. It can definitely give professional results as you can hear on the main page of this site and I’ve been using it since the late 90s as my DAW of choice. I do love Cubase as I can do everything in there from start to finish and I believe it is the most powerful DAW out there.
However, in terms of their updates… It just seems that with every update, you usually get new features plus a bunch of bugs that didn’t exist before, often even unrelated to the new features. Then they usually fix the bugs a few months later.
What they don’t usually do, is fix the way that a ‘feature’ has been implemented even if users suggest ways to improve it. At least, not for a long time. For example, it took a very long time to get a better version of Variaudio. Almost 10 years.
I hope they see the automation clearing issue as a bug, not part of the feature. If it is a ‘feature’ to wipe existing automation data on importing mixer settings, it would sure be one dumbass feature that no one in the world will want lol.
I’m sure it’s just a bug and that it gets fixed because that is probably the most disappointing part of the update along with the crash when trying to mass import lots of mixer settings which may take longer for them to work out what went wrong. I’ve given them my crashlogs on this forum post so hopefully everything gets fixed soon.
Should you update to Cubase 10.5 right now?
If the mentioned issues don’t affect you, then sure. If you’re running a pro studio like me though, give it a little while to become more stable and to have some bugs ironed out unless you badly need one of the new features right now.
For those of you that have been using a version older than version 10… Version 10 is pretty stable now and if you pay for the 10.5 update from whatever version you’ve been using, you’ll get a lot of cool features from 10 and you can run version 10 with a 10.5 license so you might wanna do that until they fix a few things in 10.5
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