Steinberg has released Cubase SX3 (Mac/Win; $799.99), which includes numerous feature and workflow enhancements. The new features include Audio Warp, a real-time time-stretching and pitch-shifting tool; support for Acid files; the ability to edit MIDI data within the Project window with audio and video data; and a new tool for pattern-style composition called Play Order Track.
Cubase SX3 offers user-definable workspaces to create virtual desktops. You can create a separate work area for each step of the production process (tracking, mixing, etc) and switch between them using a key command. The Freeze function has been extended to include audio tracks and insert effects, and it is now faster and more effective, according to Steinberg.
Cubase SX3 sports new MIDI Device Maps and panels that allow direct, user-customizable access to outboard MIDI hardware. The External FX Plug-ins allow direct integration of external effect processors into the VST mixing environment. In addition, Cubase SX3 supports a 64-bit operating system and up to 4 GB of RAM when used with Microsoft Windows XP 64-bit Edition and 64-bit processors such as the AMD Opteron. According to Steinberg, the doubling of maximum available RAM resources yields a significant performance boost when used with the latest generation of 64-bit processors.
Cubase SX3 also implements the first level of Studio Connections, which integrates with Yamaha’s Studio Manager 2 software and serves as a link between the sequencer and hardware editing components. Each editor component can be opened like a plug-in from within Cubase SX3, allowing studio setups to be saved and recalled with the project. Supported hardware includes Yamaha’s DM2000, 01x, and 02R96 mixers; the Motif ES synthesizer; and the SPX2000 signal processor. For more information, visit www.steinberg.net.