Oo – boy! I’ve been waiting for this one. I purchased the upgrade from Cubase 10.5 to 11 knowing that it was within the grace period for the free update from Cubase 11 to Cubase 12. Nice – just like killing two birds with one stone. I’ve yet to go through all the new features, but you can read about them here.
I bought Cubase back when Gibson, parent company of Cakewalk Inc. at the time decided to discontinue it and laid off al ofl its employees. The time was around Thanksgiving 2017 and there were questions about Cakewalk’s viability as a DAW going forward. No one wants to use a DAW that isn’t being actively supported – serious music projects can be quite complicated. Things do change; the MIDI standard is now 2.0, VSTi instruments are at version 3.0, and so on. Technology marches on and no one wants to miss the bus.
Poor Cakewalk had been through the mill though – before Gibson owned it, Roland owned it. BandLab, a web-based music making and social website, about a month or so after Gibson closed Cakewalk Inc. down, picked up the Cakewalk software (for a song in price?), made it completely free (as in beer) and is paying some minimal staff to maintain it. They’ve made good on their claims to support it as they have released regular updates and have even added features.
This is great news for Cakewalk owners (me for one). It’s a serious DAW and as it’s free it is a great first choice for those graduating from web-based music creation or a lite-version DAW into something much more capable. Try it if you want to see what DAW software all is about. I might be able to help you as well – I’m a long-time Cakewalk user.
Still, since I bought into the Cubase ecosystem back when Cakewalk’s future was still in doubt, I decided to learn Cubase to see if the grass was greener on the other side. To be honest, it has a big learning curve that takes time – even for an experienced DAW user. That said, the payoff for learning it is well worth it. Cubase has advanced features that Cakewalk does not. It’s an even more powerful DAW.