The latest software applications resemble nothing like the things they were ten or even fifteen years ago. They’re more than the flimsy MIDI editors they started off as. They’re infinitely more complex, arrive with a ton of features and work in intricate and extraordinary ways, making comparisons rather difficult. In this Cubase vs Reason article, we’ll take a look at two very closely matched digital audio interfaces to see which one you may want to consider spending your hard earned money on. If you have not already read the main page that talks about all the best DAW’s I suggest that you do that as well!
Cubase was first arrived into a miniscule computer-music scene in 1989, originally as a basic MIDI controller for the old Commodore 64 (ask your father). Over the years it has evolved and added feature after feature and grown into one of the finest DAWs available today for audio recording, arranging and mixing. It offers a very clean interface which packs a powerful punch. Some of the best features in the latest version include:
- TrackVersions which gives you the ability to create parallel versions of the same tracks
- Track visibility management that lets you hide tracks you don’t need to see
- The new Re-record which makes recording retakes even faster
- An enhanced Score editor which now features MIDI-related functions mapped straight from the keyboard
- Control Room which offers flexibility for routing, some great metering options, and various mastering-level viewing options
- There are new instruments: HALion Sonic SE 2, Groove Agent SE 4, and Instrument Track 2.0
- New effects – LoopMash FX, REVelation Reverb and Magneto 2
– You can check out the current price of Cubase here on Amazon.
Reason has come a long way since its first appearance in 1994. For six years it offered no audio recording capabilities but that quickly changed with Record, originally a standalone program that has since been integrated into Reason, turning it into a full-featured digital audio workstation. Some of the best features of Reason include:
- Synths – the cornerstones that hold up its giant sound. They include Subtractor Analog Synth, Malström Wavetable Synthesizer, and the Thor Polysonic Synthesizer
- Drum Kits such as the Redrum Drum Computer which let you play around with traditional pattern programming and a great selection of drum kits
- Loopers such as the Dr. Octo Rex Loop Player which give you powerful control over you samples
- The ID-8 Instrument Device which provides a realistic piano and organ sound
- The Combinator device that lets you build a custom instrument using different synths, effects and samplers to get the perfect sound you desire
- Rack extensions which offer you downloadable content from third party sources
– You can check out the current price of Reason here on Amazon.
Recording & Mixing
Cubase 7.5 eases out the recording interface with new features such as the Re-record button makes for a very simple way to record many takes over and over again without having to press Record each time. Instrument Track 2.0 gives you control over multiple outputs and inputs and merges Instrument tracks with the Instrument Rack. The Arm/Disarm All Tracks button eases up the recording process even further. Cubase offers a superb 32-bit mixer engine with surround sound capability, full scalability and a full-screen mode. It even comes with drag and drop functionality.
Reason 7 gives you good recording, editing and mixing capabilities. You can record multiple takes, automate almost everything from knobs to faders, and use features like time stretch to morph and edit your audio clips. The mixer console and its deck feature full dynamics, flexible routing, equalization, groups, parallel channels, and master-bus compression.
Cubase 7.5 runs on both Windows and Mac OS. It offers full support for 32 and 64-bit plugins. It offers support for a large number of external hardware controllers such as hardware mixers and MIDI controllers.
Reason 7 is compatible with both, Mac and Windows. With Remote, you can automatically detect the external controller connected to your setup to use it as your primary keyboard. There is still no support for VST and AU format plugins, and from the look of things, there might never be.
Cubase 7.5 arrives with an interface meant for efficiency. This means new users might take a while to figure things out, but Steinberg eases up that process by providing you with an endless amount of resources through their website. There are also various training centers located all across the world but there is also the option of online training, including some great online video tutorials.
Reason 7 might seem daunting at first, but every feature falls neatly under its distinct category so it does not take too long to figure things out. With the rising popularity of this wonderful DAW, there are numerous online tutorial websites that have emerged, giving users access to an unlimited number of resources. You can even find online courses through the Propellerhead website. If you end up using Reason as your primary digital audio workstation I suggest getting this extremely helpful guide so that you can master the software a lot quicker. This guide helped trendously!
Cubase 7.5 will cost you $500. This includes everything – all the quality virtual instruments, effects and devices along offered by Steinberg. If you’re an older user, however, the upgrade will cost you only $50. Cubase 8 now available for $550.
Reason 8 is now available for only $399. If you have an older version, you can upgrade for $129.
Cubase vs Reason Conclusion
Cubase takes the crown here but it’s only a marginal victory. With every passing year, new versions bring new features and new ways to attract a growing user base. One thing we did like about Reason was how easy it was to try out a demo version. While Cubase 7 cannot be used as a trial without buying an e-licenser USB stick from Steinberg, trying out Reason was a piece of cake. You should not waste any time and check out some other reviews of some top DAW’s such as Ableton live and Pro tools! If you liked this head to head article make sure to read my articles on reason vs fl studio and pro tools vs cubase as well!
Where to Buy
- If you are interested in Cubase, I’d recommend you check out the price here.
- I recommend you check out the current price of Reason 8 here on Amazon. Check out other unbiased user reviews here.