Audacity vs. Cubase

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Audacity
Score 8.6 out of 10
N/A
Audacity is a free and open source audio recording and editing software.N/A
Cubase
Score 9.9 out of 10
N/A
Steinberg Media Technologies headquartered in Hamburg offers Cubase, a digital audio workstation and audio editing application.
$579.90
Pricing
AudacityCubase
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
Starting Price
$579.90
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
AudacityCubase
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
AudacityCubase
Considered Both Products
Audacity
Chose Audacity
All of the DAW's listed above are great for scoring to picture, which is something Audacity doesn't do. But it's an excellent standalone audio editor, which is a vital tool in any studio. It's very easy to transfer the clip, make the changes, and import it back into your session.
Cubase
Chose Cubase
Cubase was our choice based on the cost of the software as well as an easy to user interface, this coupled with the low hardware requirements meant that roll out was easy and cost effective.
We have used Pro Tools in the past and found that training staff to use this software …
Chose Cubase
While Pro Tools is the industry standard when it comes to recording and audio mixing, I've found Cubase to be superior when it comes to writing with MIDI. Also, it comes with a lot of features (MP3 exporting, time code) that Pro Tools charges you extra for. They're both about …
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
AudacityCubase
Small Businesses
Descript
Descript
Score 8.7 out of 10
Descript
Descript
Score 8.7 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
Enterprises
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
AudacityCubase
Likelihood to Recommend
8.3
(25 ratings)
10.0
(5 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Usability
9.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Availability
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Performance
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Support Rating
5.0
(11 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Implementation Rating
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Configurability
7.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Product Scalability
8.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
AudacityCubase
Likelihood to Recommend
Audacity
For just a quick down and dirty audio recording from computer source, Audacity is a no-frills solution that any user can get up and running with quickly without the intimidating functions seen in most standard DAWs. This would be a great tool to start with to record church services, or basic live performances where someone wouldn't want to use a full DAW like Ableton Live or Studio One.
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Steinberg Media Technologies
As Cubase has different levels of product available, there is a starting point for most people in the industry who require this software with the Pro version being the top level. Therefore, it can be built around end user needs rather than paying a fortune for everything and only using 40% as other software products do. It would be less appropriate for beginners, or those who do not wish to use VSTi instruments as there are cheaper products on the market which would allow this (Reaper being one). It is all down to user preference at the end of the day, and there isn't one product that will tick every single box for every user.
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Pros
Audacity
  • Audacity has a wide variety of controls and capabilities for editing, making it a very robust tool for audio editing.
  • Even though it's a robust tool, it is very easy to use to get many basic things done in audio editing. The learning curve is small.
  • Love that audacity is free! What else could you ask for? There really is no reason not to use it.
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Steinberg Media Technologies
  • MIDI: MIDI has been an integral part of Cubase since the very beginning. In Cubase 11, working with and editing MIDI has become a very streamlined process.
  • Advanced Audio Features: One of my favorite audio features is the ability to generate harmony voices in just one click. This speeds up the production process and helps new singers understand different harmony lines. It also gives the ability to add modern harmony sounds to our tracks.
  • Channel Strip: While we use many plugins to emulate famous consoles and outboard equipment, the stock channel strip is outstanding. The included channel strip could easily stand on its own to get a finished sound.
  • Control Room: This is an amazing tool that emulates a monitor controller right in the software. Using this allows me to set up headphone cues, headphone mixes, and different monitor configurations. I am able to insert plugins into these chains that do not affect the master bus.
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Cons
Audacity
  • Although the UI is very simple, it's not great to look at. Making the program more exciting visually would be a great plus.
  • The functionality has never been lacking for what it is, but has also not seen major additions in a long time.
  • The support base of the community is truly impressive, but is also very intimidating to wade through. Having better standardized help avenues would be a benefit to new users.
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Steinberg Media Technologies
  • Keyboard shortcuts aren't the best, I find it tedious to zoom in and out of the timeline
  • Multi-track recording of multiple takes can become hard to manage
  • Composing with Midi can be hard, the midi editing is a bit outdated
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Likelihood to Renew
Audacity
With no subscription fees unlike other products on the market, I am very confident I will continue using Audacity for my simple audio editing needs. I'm not an expert in audio editing, I'm sure what works for me as a more general user in a public institution would not suit someone more experienced, but I'm very happy with the quality of work I'm able to produce.
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Steinberg Media Technologies
No answers on this topic
Usability
Audacity
Audacity is decently user friendly, while any questions generally have to be answered by externally searching for tutorials or other users encountering the same issue, it is still straightforward, simple, and easily resolved. It's installable on any type of computer, compact, and easy to install. Beginners may have a harder time, but once you know what you're doing, it's very easy to use.
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Steinberg Media Technologies
No answers on this topic
Reliability and Availability
Audacity
Audacity is great for this, it doesn't require a network connection once downloaded, and previous versions of the software are still functional in my experience. I have never experienced the program crashing, lost work, corrupted files, anything of the sort.
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Steinberg Media Technologies
No answers on this topic
Performance
Audacity
I have never had issues with speed in Audacity, I don't integrate it with other software but the program runs smoothly even with larger jobs. I haven't measured the CPU while using Audacity, but I imagine it's not high compared to other, more professional or specialized programs in the same category.
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Steinberg Media Technologies
No answers on this topic
Support Rating
Audacity
We have not used direct support for Audacity, other than using the information available on their website, which resolved the issues we were experiencing so we had a good experience in that regard. As this is Open Source FREE software, I don't believe there is direct support available. In saying that, it has the following great support options:
  • Online documentation and FAQ
  • Online tutorials covering all functions
  • Online user forums where questions are asked and answered by other users
  • Online wiki with more information
With these options most issues should be able to be resolved to get full use from Audacity.
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Steinberg Media Technologies
Any time I've had to reach out to customer support, they've been fast to respond and answered my questions to the best of their ability. Authorization of the software is easy, and the company is great about emailing you promptly. Overall, they do a great job.
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Implementation Rating
Audacity
Again I found it helpful to write up a step-by-step tutorial for coworkers based on our institution's standard practices. This combined with support from coworkers to answer questions is very effective for simple everyday use of Audacity. The support in-program is minimal but troubleshooting in the internet age is straightforward.
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Steinberg Media Technologies
No answers on this topic
Alternatives Considered
Audacity
All of the DAW's listed above are great for scoring to picture, which is something Audacity doesn't do. But it's an excellent standalone audio editor, which is a vital tool in any studio. It's very easy to transfer the clip, make the changes, and import it back into your session.
Read full review
Steinberg Media Technologies
Pro Tools is an industry standard for a reason, but does come at a cost and with a learning curve. I've found that Cubase is a great place to start, having the ability to do very advanced things, but without the need for it. While my experience has been limited with other DAWs, I think it's been worth the (small) investment.
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Scalability
Audacity
I feel that Audacity is useful, simple, and suited both to casual users and more advanced use cases. There are options for expanding functionality in complex situations, but the option to not mess with it as a beginner is perfectly fine and suited to most everyday uses in my institution.
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Steinberg Media Technologies
No answers on this topic
Return on Investment
Audacity
  • Audacity is completely free, so it has helped us to eliminate the expense of paying for recording software.
  • It is fast and efficient, which helps us save time and generate a great workflow.
  • Even though we have what we need there are some features that cannot be found on Audacity, this affects the quality of our audio in a way.
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Steinberg Media Technologies
  • As a result of having Cubase in my inventory I have received 15-20 large scale projects increasing turnover by around 25%
  • Ability to work in remote areas with no internet and not have to worry about activation / licence renewals
  • The interoperability of Cubase with Nuendo provides increased scope for work with other sound designers / editors / post mixers.
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ScreenShots