Are you an aspiring producer who wants to make music with the best Digital Audio Workstation? Are you looking for a way to convert your ideas into pure aural bliss?
Whether an expert in the field or an aspiring music producer, you’d want a digital audio workstation (DAW) that matches your level of expertise, regardless of the steep learning curve.
Two choices have dominated the market, fighting their way into every music studio. I put them head to head in this Cubase vs Logic Pro article to see which is the better DAW for your needs.
- Cubase is a widely used DAW for professionals in the music industry. It’s compatible with both Windows and Apple/Mac OS and has three variants: Elements, Artist, and Pro.
- Logic Pro X is a DAW that is more suitable for beginners. It has a very user-friendly interface, but it is exclusive to Apple/Mac OS users.
- Between Cubase vs. Logic, the former is ideal for experienced producers who need more firepower, while the latter is best for Apple users and beginners who are learning the ropes of producing music.
Cubase is a DAW designed and developed by Steinberg. It was released in April of 1989 and has since been known for its great MIDI sequencing and arranging.
Before it claimed its glory, it started out as a sequencer running on an Atari ST computer. It did the same job, but not at the level we see today.
Nowadays, it is known as the music production software for professionals, thanks to its excellent MIDI recording, which can be used in various music production projects.
What I find so interesting about it is that it is a true cross-platform DAW. You can use it on your Mac OS and Windows. It supports VST2 and VST-3 plugins on Windows while sporting additional AU plugins on Mac OS.
You can also choose to work with either an advanced channel strip or a basic channel strip. Audio engineers designed both to complete your audio experience.
It even has a MIDI remote to give music producers like yourself ease of control while on your audio editing journey. If you have audio tracks in video files, you can import them into Cubase.
Lastly, the VariAudio 3 feature of the Cubase helps you edit the pitch and tone of audio recordings. It offers the same quick and easy fine-tuning as the MIDI Note Editing Overlay.
Different Versions of Cubase
Here are a few Cubase variants on the market that can meet your needs or your budget:
This one’s a good starter for beginners who’d like to dabble in music production. It is the most affordable version of this DAW, but it manages to offer users 64 MIDI tracks, 48 audio tracks, and 24 instrument tracks.
It offers plenty of features listed on the Artist and Pro versions. The only exceptions are Comping, Audio Warp Quantize, and VariAudio 3.
You will also not have the luxury of using tempo, signature, and global transpose tracks when composing. This may limit users looking for a more comprehensive DAW.
That being said, you’ll still have all the other essentials you need when composing, such as the chord pad, tracks, assistant, hermode tuning, and even a scale assistant.
This version is higher-end compared to Elements. It’s good enough for professionals who’ve been exposed to audio editing features for quite some time.
What sets Cubase Artist apart from Cubase Elements is its unlimited MIDI, audio tracks, and instrument tracks.
It also offers features that aren’t available on the Elements, such as the Audio Warp Quantize, Comping, and VariAudio 3 highlights.
The downside of this version is that it doesn’t feature audio export advancements found on the Cubase Pro.
Chord assistant, expression maps, MusicXML import and export, and time warp are still off-limits to you.
And what else is left? The top-of-the-line variant, of course. The Cubase Pro version is the DAW for the pros looking to do top-tier audio editing.
It comes equipped with unlimited MIDI tracks, audio tracks, and instrument tracks. However, it comes with the addition of state-of-the-art audio editing features and a whopping 79 effect plugins.
This version also has a Logical Editor, allowing you to customize your MIDI data. It can even combine with VST Connect SE 5 for MIDI effects.
It has all the features lacking from the Elements and Artist versions, and in terms of video production, this one has a VR production suite and Video Follows Edit mode.
In addition to having all of the features lacking from the Elements and Artist versions, it also offers a VR Production Suite and Video Follows Edit mode for video production.
Main Features of this DAW & MIDI Sequencer:
- Audio warp quantize
- Advanced channel strip
- Chord pads
- Colorized mixer channels
- Advanced score editor
- ARA support
- Scale assistant
- Groove Agent SE
- Audio Separation Engine
- For both Mac Systems and Windows
- Offers VST2-VST3 and AU plugins for both Operating Systems
- It comes in three versions: Elements, Artist and Pro
- Diverse hardware
- Excellent scoring and notation capabilities
- It does not have capable stock plugins compared to Logic Pro
- Not user-friendly for beginners
Logic Pro Overview
The Logic Pro is a powerful DAW system that is intuitive and user-friendly, allowing beginners in the field of music production to pick it up and get going.
Being tailored around an Apple computer, I’m not surprised by how user-friendly it is.
The Logic Pro X acts as a cross-platform DAW across the range of Apple products. You can synchronize the Logic Pro Remote with your iPhone or iPad while using all the available visual instruments.
You can also export your projects in Logic Pro X as a Dolby Atmos file. This exported file is also compatible with Apple Music.
The Logic Pro X DAW contains Dolby Atmos tools to elevate your music production. It also has a 3D object panner that allows you to navigate an audio track for a fuller sound experience.
Logic Pro has live loops and multi-touch mixing functions that help you easily manipulate and control your project. All you have to do is press and tweak the Logic Pro to have exceptional arrangements.
Its loop libraries are also consistently updated for you to keep up with fads and trends on the market.
Logic Pro also supports 24-bit/192kHz audio for flawlessly recording audio. It comes with a smart quantizer that helps you control the MIDI sequencing and MIDI instruments without messing up other essential details of your project.
Logic Pro Sound Library
Unlike the Cubase line of products, the Logic Pro doesn’t have different versions for different markets and price ranges.
It is a single product line that is good for beginners and professional music producers who are Mac users. Nevertheless, these are what Logic Pro X’s extensive sound library has to offer:
- 104 plug-ins
- 1060 reverb spaces and warped effects
- 110 Quick Sampler instruments
- 1250 Sampler instruments
- 13,552 Apple Loops
- 161 patterns and templates
- 26 Live Loops grids
- 3066 individual kit piece patches
- 3556 Alchemy presets
- 4529 plug-in settings
- 5953 total patches
Main Features of this DAW & MIDI Sequencer:
- 3D Object panner
- Live looping function
- Huge sound library
- Score editor
- 25 software instruments, seven instruments, 14 effects
- Export as a Dolby Atmos file
- Flex time and flex pitch
- Smart tempo
- Track stacks, alternatives, and groups
- Quick swipe comping
- Offers great stock plugins
- Has a user-friendly interface
- Super easy for beginners to use
- With fast and excellent virtual instruments
- With a 90-day trial for new users
- Exclusively for Mac OS and Apple users
- Only supports AU format plugins
Cubase vs Logic Pro X: Performance Breakdown
What better way to know which choice is better between Steinberg’s Cubase and Apple’s Logic Pro X than a performance breakdown?
This section will weigh Cubase vs. Logic based on their interface, ease of use, compatibility, and pricing plans.
What DAW do you think will stand out the most?
Logic Pro X
The Logic Pro X offers producers a fair share of a professional studio and a user-friendly interface.
You don’t need to Google “where to find record music button” because everything’s within reach!
You can easily see where to record, where the instruments are, where to manipulate the primary arrangements, the editor control, and the control bar.
You can also easily arrange notes, cut and mix audio, put effects, use comping, track progress, adjust tone, and more because of how convenient and efficient it is.
On the other hand, Steinberg’s Cubase offers a professional-looking DAW interface that can prove more enticing for full-time producers.
The Cubase Elements, Cubase Artist, and Cubase Pro versions all have the same vibe. Yet, what sets the Pro version apart is its comprehensiveness as a high-end music production software.
Cubase is very particular when it comes to editing, making it a little bit difficult to course through.
However, it offers much more freedom and control once you adapt to its dynamics, editing, and mixing.
Ease of Use
Logic Pro X
The Logic Pro X has features that contribute to its ease of use. In most of Logic Pro X’s features, tweaks and edits are attainable with just one tap or click.
It is a handy tool that makes it easier to work on your projects!
Beginners will have no problems looking for the utilities of the Logic Pro X because everything is right where you, as an editor, need it to be.
- On the left: Main arrangement window
- On the bottom: Editor controllers
- At the top: Main control bar
It would be a different story when comparing Cubase. The Cubase workflow provides more advanced mechanisms that are not easy to navigate for new users.
You must be a seasoned producer to adapt quickly to a professional setup like this.
While ease of use is relative, you must find the DAW that matches your level of expertise and preferences. You should be able to quickly learn and be able to navigate through all the tools your workstation offers.
In terms of compatibility, there is no competition.
Cubase can be used in Mac OS and Windows, while Logic Pro X (like any other Apple program) can only run on a Mac OS.
That said, if you have a Macbook or an iMac and are planning to use Cubase, just remember that this DAW works better on a personal computer (PC) than on a Mac.
While the Logic Pro may not be Windows compatible, the Logic Pro X and the Logic remote app are compatible with other Apple products like the iPad and iPhone.
Here are the system requirements for both Cubase and Logic Pro X digital audio workstations:
Cubase Pro, Cubase Artist, Cubase Elements
- Operating System:
- At least a 64-bit Windows 10 Version 21H2 or a 64-bit Windows 11 Version 21H2
- At least a Mac OS Big Sur or Monterey
- Minimum Random Access Memory (RAM):
- At least 8 GB of RAM for minimum installation
- For complete installation:
- At least 70 GB for Cubase Pro 12 and Artist 12
- At least 50 GB for Cubase Elements 12
- CPU Usage:
- At least mid-2013, Intel® Core™ i5
- At least an Apple silicon
Logic Pro X Elements:
- Operating Systems:
- At least Mac OS 11.5
- For minimum installation:
- At least 6 GB of available storage
- For complete Sound Library Installation:
- At least 72 GB of available storage
- For Logic Remote:
- On iPad: at least an iPadOS 14
- On iPhone: at least an iPhone iOS 14
- On iPod: at least an iPod touch iOS 14
In addition, the following features are only available on Mac computers or iPads for the Logic Pro X:
- Smart Controls
- Sound Library Navigation
- Smart Help
- Full Mixer
- Access to plug-in controls
Aside from the design and technical specifics of Steinberg’s Cubase and Apple’s Logic Pro X, users’ most important factor is the price.
The ultimate DAW is the one that combines exceptional performance with ease of use and the right price.
These are the average prices for each version of the Cubase DAW:
- For Cubase Elements: $101.63
- For Cubase Artist: $334.39
- For Cubase Pro: $588.48
Meanwhile, the Apple Logic Pro X DAW is priced at a very decent $199.99.
Alternatives to Cubase and Logic Pro
If what you’re looking for in a DAW can’t be found in Cubase and Logic Pro X, it may be time to introduce you to some alternatives: Ableton and the Pro Tools.
Ableton has all the basics for a professional DAW. However, what makes it stand out is its linked-track editing.
This allows you to edit multiple tracks from different performers at the same time without the hassle of looking at them one by one.
Thanks to their Live Session View, you no longer have to deal with pesky timeline restrictions.
They also have an Arrangement View where you can mix and match different audio materials in one.
You can also link your MIDI polyphonic expression-capable controller to produce music quickly, edit musical notation, and more.
Just like the Logic Pro X, Live loops are available in this DAW. That said, Ableton has a far more advanced live looping feature.
Similar to the Cubase line, Ableton’s DAW also has three versions: Live 11 Intro, Live 11 Standard, and Live 11 Suite. These are priced at $99, $449, and $749, respectively.
Moreover, they even offer a 90-day free trial for the full version. Ableton will let you experience their DAW environment, including saving and exporting your project.
- Linked-track editing
- Tempo following
- MIDI polyphonic expression
- Ease of use
- Intuitive MIDI editors
- Really expensive digital audio workstation
Similar to Logic Pro X, you can directly render your Avid audio production to Dolby Atmos in this DAW. You do not need other exporting programs, as Dolby exporting is just one click away.
More than that, you can also use a Komplete Kontrol MIDI keyboard to access different stock plugins. Still, you can always use your QWERTY computer keyboard when the inspiration to write songs hits you.
You’ll also have access to multiple instruments (virtual instruments).
That said, most users have complained that the Pro Tool digital workstation has a very steep learning curve compared to other DAWs.
Avid’s DAW also has three versions to choose from: Pro Artist, Pro Studio, and Pro Flex. Their prices are capped per month. They come in at $9.99, $31.99, and $99.99 per month.
- Dolby Atmos Re-renders
- Timecode overlay
- Custom keyboard shortcuts
- Video Color Space improvements
- You can have a high-quality recording
- Interactive user interface
- Steep learning curve, but not as steep as Cubase
- No DAW live loops like Cubase
It’s always challenging to choose from two exceptional DAWs, and sometimes there are specific answers to your questions that can be a deal breaker.
I hope this section will give you a better grasp of which digital workstation will work best for you, your company, and your music:
What Can Cubase Do that Logic Pro Can’t?
One of the important things Cubase can do that Logic Pro can’t is to run on Windows. Purchasing Cubase allows you to edit music on your Windows and Apple computers simultaneously.
The disparity in terms of operating systems goes beyond the plugins. Cubase can support VST-2, VST-3, and AU plugins. Logic Pro, meanwhile, only supports AU plugins as it runs only on Mac OS.
Cubase also offers plenty of plugins that you can buy separately to improve your precision editing and processing.
The score editor in Cubase also has a note editing overlay, an industry standard that enhances your editing experience.
What Can Logic Pro Do that Cubase Can’t?
Logic Pro has live loops, which help producers like you make music when your records abruptly stop during live shows.
This is where the Cubase is found lacking. Nevertheless, it can still afford live loops but with the aid of third-party applications.
This DAW functions well on a Mac without causing frequent lags on your device. It can work well on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod too.
This is a major contrast with Cubase, which gives users a difficult time if they are using Apple products. If you are an avid Apple ecosystem user, Logic Pro will help you get the job done.
When you use Logic Pro, you can also use Flex Time and Flex Pitch. These features can easily help you adjust pitch, timing, vibrato, notes, and other tuning matters.
What DAWs Do Most Producers Use?
Cubase and Logic Pro are both popular DAWs that most producers in the industry use.
However, Cubase has been in the industry for a longer time, as it was launched in 1989. Logic Pro, on the other hand, was introduced in the early 1990s.
Logic Pro is often used by beginner songwriters, composers, and producers because it is intuitive and understandable.
On the other end of the spectrum, Cubase is frequently used by producers and musicians who have been in the industry for so long. This means that the steep learning curve beginners experience with Cubase is not a problem for the pros.
Does Cubase Have Autotune?
Yes, the Cubase Pro and Artist versions have VariAudio 3, which is known for its autotune abilities. These allow you to fine-tune your project in the appropriate melody.
Does Logic Pro Have Autotune?
Yes, the Logic Pro X has a pitch correction feature that you can use to autotune your audio editing projects.
Final Verdict: Which DAW Is Better?
Which DAW is the better choice for your production venture? Is it Cubase or the Logic Pro X?
As an overview, Logic Pro has more stock plugins, including virtual instruments like the Retro Synth, Sculpture, ES2, Studio String, Studio Brass, Alchemy, AutoSampler, and more.
On the other hand, Cubase DAW systems focus more on a professional setup. It does not entirely rule out virtual instruments but prefers having a better sound library and presets.
On the topic of CPU usage, what keeps Logic Pro X ahead of Cubase is how it smoothly runs on your Mac and rarely crashes. The Cubase, meanwhile, is pretty much CPU-consuming.
Nevertheless, Cubase allows you to edit multiple MIDI parts. You can still do this in Logic Pro, but not to a comparable degree.
- If you are a newbie and want something professional-looking, easy to use, has all the essential features, and is relatively affordable, Logic Pro is the better choice.
- Yet, if you are familiar with the Cubase interface and love how it simulates a professional studio better than other DAWs, thanks to its advanced export features, Cubase is the DAW for you.
In the end, the better DAW will depend on your preferences.
Choosing between Cubase and Logic Pro is easier if you consider where you are most comfortable when writing music and creating audio.It is equally important to consider your thoughts about the interface, OS, CPU, storage capacity, budget, and features.