Cubase 11 Pro


I purchased Cubase 11 Artist a few months ago (when I discovered orchestral libraries) and would still class myself as a bit of a novice.

I have just had an offer from Steinberg to upgrade to Pro for £128. (Normal upgrade price £214).

What would you more experienced users advise? What feature or features of Pro am I really missing in Artist? I can see the list of differences but what makes Pro worth the upgrade cost?




  • The big things I use in Pro that aren't available in Artist are Expression Maps (Basically a simplified way to change articulations instead of using keyswitches) and Automation Reduction Level (gives you control over the level of automatic smoothing Cubase does to your automation), but neither of these things are particularly vital. Honestly the biggest reason I upgraded to Pro (from Cubase Elements) was for the unlimited MIDI tracks, which they added to Artist for v11. If I had that option back when I upgraded, I probably would've just gone with Artist.

  • Jack
    Jack mod
    25 Likes 5 Answers 10 Comments First Anniversary
    edited April 2021

    The reason for me to be working with Pro, alongside expression maps, is the advanced project handling options. Particularly if the objective would be to work more within the film world:

    Features such as: Import Tracks from Projects is a huge time saver when working across multiple cues / reels when you've spent a little time refining sound scapes or themes you want to have readily available in a new session.

    Also the below features are really handy in the film world when working with different production houses as sometimes you can receive different deliverables, or are required to send different formats too:

    AAF support

    Advanced Audio Export

  • Thanks for the replies.

    Richard: Yes, my prime reason for buying Artist was unlimited midi and audio tracks. I dabbled with Cakewalk Sonar previously, mainly for audio recording. However I found it very unreliable and opted for Cubase to replace it.

    I may have the wrong approach but I don't use keyswitches. I just use separate tracks for different articulations.

    So, expression maps would be unused unless someone convinced me otherwise.

    Jack: I guess that is why it is called Pro. I'm unlikely to use those features as I'm in this purely as a hobby and to keep my brain busy 😁

    I think that I will stick with Artist, "save" the money and buy another library instead. 😉

    Thanks again

  • Steve, i don't think it's necessarily a wrong approach....i've definitely watched some pro composers just use separate tracks for articulations.

    It may just be about conserving processing and RAM.

    By your specs though, it wouldn't be a problem!

  • Thanks Ken. As I've said before, I'm pretty new to orchestral libraries but was drawn into them big style when I first saw one being used. I think I blame Guy Michelmore 😉 (only kidding Guy). I couldn't even play a keyboard, guitar was my only instrument.

    I've got lots to learn.....but I'm slowly getting there.

  • Other than the differences already mentioned, there is quite a bit of difference in the ability to route audio within the mixing console of the non Pro versions of Cubase. For example you can't make a group track and then route that group track to the input of an audio track and record the audio. That is useful for processing and stem creation and editing, particularly for picture. I'm sure you can work around that in the lighter versions of Cubase but it's going to take a lot more time. But that's true of a lot of lite versions of software. It's mostly about saving time. Guess it depends on how much your time is worth to you. I do professional audio work for a living, so for me the answer is pretty obvious. Time is money.

  • Hi Richard

    Thanks for the additional info on Pro. I'm just a hobbyist and I've got plenty of time on my hands 😀



  • gregoryd
    edited May 2021

    You can see the specs lined up side by side really neatly. I got the Pro version because I wanted everything they had to offer, no limitations, especially in regards to audio editing and exporting. I went through and am listing here the notable reasons I'm glad I got pro over artist:

    More instruments and VSTs: just in case 'cause you never know when there's a gem in the rubble

    Advanced Audio Export: not sure what the "non" advanced audio menu looks like, but I can select individual tracks and cycle areas. Saves time.

    Direct Routing: very important for sending STEMs to a mixing engineer. Not super important for solo work, but definitely still useful for making effect tracks.

    Spectral EQ: not sure which one this is, but there is a basic EQ loaded into every track that is a great reference tool (I still use the plugin for most of my EQing)

    Advanced Score Editor: Not sure what the differences are between this and the "basic", but again, I want all the options to make it look as good as possible.

    Expression Maps: great tool for switching articulations as previously mentioned by (almost) everyone

    MusicXML: I use Finale for my score editing; MusicXML can save a lot of time (as opposed to MIDI). Not always, but I definitely want that option

    Time Warp: One of the best tools for composing to picture. Used to line up tracks with frames, tempos with cues, etc. You might think it's not necessary for film scoring, but for lining up hits, there's no better tool (semi-equivalent to Logic's beat mapping)

    Up to 10 Marker tracks: Again, just another layer of useful tools for composing to picture. I can have separate marker tracks for director's notes, my notes, music supervisor's notes, producer's notes, mixer's notes, and more! Not necessary, but a useful organizational tool.

    Loudness monitor: super useful for quick mixing and balancing levels before the mixing process

    Multiple EQ monitors: GEQ30 is so lovely. My new favorite tool for helping clear up headroom in my mix.

    SEMPTE Generator: Absolutely necessary for film use

  • Sorry to double post.

    TLDR: I think Pro is great for a full-time "unlimited" workflow and collaboration in the film scoring side of things. I don't think it's necessary for you as a hobbyist, and that's my opinion :)

  • Hi


    Thank you for the detailed list of Pro advantages. I'm sure that these are big plus points for the more experienced users. I'll stick with Artist for now and as I said previously I may put the money to additional libraries.

    Thanks again.

  • Hi. I started using Artist 11 recently in part because of the unlimited instrument tracks. I used a lot of tracks in my first project with Abbey Road One and Discover because I started out with every articulation whether used or not. Later I removed many because the project was taking a while to load. I notice above that key switches have been mentioned and I wonder if this is a bit like programme change in midi? So instead of say having long strings on one track and pizzicato on another you could switch from one to the other on the same track. Is that how it works?

  • Hi Ralph

    Yes exactly. Each articulation can be switched in using "out of range" keys on your keyboard.

    However, if you disable every track in your template and save as a new template, no samples are loaded in when you open it. If you want to use e.g. violins longs, just enable the track and the samples will load. Only enable the instrument articulations that you are using in your project. Instruments and articulations that you don't use are not loaded.

    I think that there are pros and cons for both methods.



  • Hi Steve.

    Sorry I don't understand what you mean re "out of range" apart from on some instruments only a few octaves are available and the remaining keys do nothing. How does switching in actually work? I know that on templates you can download for various DAWs have all the instruments / articulations showing ready for use so I probably wont use those.

  • Steve Shaw
    edited May 2021

    Hi Ralph

    Check this out

    I use a template for BBCSO that is available on the Spitfire website. It has every instrument and every articulation on separate tracks. However, as I tried to explain, the tracks are all disabled. When you load the template to start a project there are no samples loaded and therefore it loads more or less instantly. It isn't ready for use as such. You have to enable the instrument articulations that you wish to use.

    You only load what is needed in your project so you are not wasting memory on unused instruments and articulations.



  • Hi, I am using Cubase Pro for many years, mostly for recording and mixing audio.

    Definitely the best reason to have the Pro-version is the control-room! Once you worked with it, you never will miss it...cue sends, monitor mixes, talkback, headphone-mixes using sonarworks reference4.

    • For big projects I often have to use multiple marker tracks (in Artist you just have 1 marker track including only 9 marks)
    • The track import from other projects is very useful and massively speeds up my workflow
    • 3 possible mixer views (for me 2 on different monitors - one for audio tracke, one for FX and Buss channels) and mixer snapshots are very practible
    • last but not least audio alignment, listen modus (to hear only the fx-signal) , direct routing and VCA-Faders are indispensable for me.

    I hardly work with MIDI and virtual instruments, but for the audio aspects these are the benefits of the Pro version.

    I apologize for my English

    Cheers from Munich

    Jay F.

  • Thanks Steve - I'm beginning to understand this better. I have decided to get BBCSO Core and try it with 16GB RAM and see how it goes before getting a further 16 GB.

    Thanks for this Jay.