Friday, November 17, 2006

The $250 solution

We'd been saving our cash for about two years to upgrade our studio from 4-track cassette to DAW, and, about a month ago, bought a laptop computer, MOTU Traveler and Cubase SE 3 audio software. Although initially successful (the first session with the set-up-- and only one thusfar-- yielded tracks for an upcoming 10" by The Tender & Vulnerable), things started going wrong: the software refused to record during overdubs, it would crash sporadically and, eventually, Cubase failed to recognize The Traveler altogether. After a handful of email exchanges with both MOTU and Steinberg, we'd determined the root cause to be the software version-- Cubase SE 3 "is not optimized for Intel Macs" was the claim of the tech support, "and is prone to experience a host of problems." The solution: Cubase Studio 4, which is available as an upgrade from the Steinberg site ($249). Obviously, this is unfortunate, as we had not expected to upgrade for some time and now have to come up with even more bread.

The point of all of this is a warning: IF YOU HAVE AN INTEL MAC, DO NOT BUY/DOWNLOAD/USE CUBASE SE 3. They don't say anything about it on their website, and the store I bought it from didn't warn me, but it will not work to its full capacity on your new computer. Instead, pick up CUBASE 4 / CUBASE STUDIO 4.

We like Cubase and recommend it as newcomers to computer audio, but having to upgrade unexpectedly is a drag.

On the plus side, the upgrades provided with Cubase 4 look great.



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