On the market, there are many publications on Cubase, the Digital Audio Workstation developed by Steinberg Media Technologies. This DAW generated a lot of interest thanks to its fascinating history and the number of customers who chose to adopt it - over 1.5 million users worldwide.

Cubase was born in 1983, when keyboardist Manfred Rürup and audio engineer Karl "Charlie" Steinberg met for a recording session of a German rock band. From that meeting, an idea came to life: creating a software application that would completely change the way music is produced around the world. In 1984, with the Commodore 64 and a self-produced MIDI interface, Charlie Steinberg developed a revolutionary software: the first multitrack MIDI sequencer. In the same year, the company presented Pro-16, the first product under the Steinberg brand.

In 1989, after several years of intense research and development, Steinberg launched a new software: Cubase 1.0. The DAW is significantly more powerful than its predecessors, with new technologies that allow for dramatically improved visualization of musical information and a new, very simplified and intuitive way to use the software features. Since then, several releases were made with increasingly advanced and intuitive functions. The last one, released at the end of 2019, is Cubase 10.5 and includes three versions: Elements, Artist and Pro.

Music Production with Cubase 10 and 10.5 – A Practical Journey from the Basics to the Finished Track, written by Pierluigi Bontempi, Steinberg Certified Trainer and technical officer of the Department of Musicology and Cultural Heritage of the University of Pavia, is an essential tool to learn Cubase 10 and 10.5.

The book consists of fourteen Chapters, for a total of about 220 pages, and it offers a practical, step by step approach to learning the software, from the essential functions to the most advanced ones.

Sections include the following topics: general introduction to music production, software configuration, basic operations, MixConsole, audio recording, MIDI tracks, metronome tempo management, effects, group channels and routing, editing, automation, mixing and mastering elements.

 In each Chapter, topics are presented gradually, guiding the reader through the different parts that make up the sections of the volume.

"Useful Tips" and "Philosophy Tips" help readers to explore Cubase and music production further clearly and effectively. Music production with Cubase 10 and 10.5 includes a lot of images and screenshots which are useful to clarify the topics addressed in the book.

There are five appendices concerning digital audio, MIDI, eLCC, effects installation, additional virtual instruments, and keyboard commands. These provide further support that allows delving deeply into potential issues that could arise during the production of music in digital environments.

Extra downloadable content such as projects and tracks are useful tools to learn and practice. The manual analyses all the Cubase tools that are necessary for audio production and emphasizes how to use the DAW to create and develop musical ideas.

During these years, I worked in the development and implementation of an accreditation system for Steinberg Certified Centres and Teachers in Italy, to offer reliable and professional training paths to those wishing to study Steinberg's technologies or learn specific topics (post-production, mastering, mixing, immersive sound, etc.) related to different software. Statistics indicate that first level training courses are the most popular among students. These do not require any specific competence, and they start by teaching DAW's basic functions, to conclude with more advanced features.

Music production with Cubase 10 and 10.5 takes this kind of approach and can, therefore, be used as a relevant tool for all teachers and centers that provide music training with Cubase. Moreover, the volume can offer fundamental support to musicians, songwriters, producers, aspiring world-beaters who want to deepen some specific functions of the software to improve their productions and speed up the workflow.

Franco Fraccastoro
Steinberg Product Specialist and Education Development