Cubase Brings Gestural Control To The DAW

Steinberg has introduced Cubase iC Air – a free system that brings gestural control to Cubase.

Cubase iC Air works with the Leap Motion controller or depth cameras developed using the Intel perceptual technology SDK 2013. It gives you the ability to control Cubase 7 and Cubase Artist 7 with the movement of your hands: adjust faders and EQ, navigate through arrangements, use transport controls.

You can use pre-defined gesture commands for transport control, navigation and more. You can also control virtually any parameter through Advanced Integration. 

Steinberg’s support of gestural control in Cubase shows that this technology is ready for mainstream use. But it also raises the question of whether this is really useful to mainstream users.

Check out the video demo and let us know what you think. Is there potential for gestural control of DAWs?

22 thoughts on “Cubase Brings Gestural Control To The DAW

  1. Besides the “play”, “stop” and “zoom” there’s no real practicality yet. And getting over the physical barrier is going to be tough. Touch interfaces suffer this problem still – reaching out and touching a screen for hours on end is much more difficult than it sounds when compared to working a mouse.

    Also, leap motion f*cking sucks. I bought one and it’s sat in my bag since the 2nd day. Definitely not a finished product.

        1. It actually is. Just like any technology you have to use it within its bounds. With really bad lighting, imprecise vision of your hands, sub-standard USB throughput and other things, your signal will be bad the detection also. This is like with a mouse, if you move your optical mouse in the air or against a wall or even a glass table, you’ll get very bad results.

          Check out the GECO showcase section to see that the Leap Motion controller really is very expressive and reactive:

          … and if you’re talking about application and OS control, take a look at these user demos with GameWAVE:

  2. Has anyone tried using the iPad app for logic X – haven’t got round to it yet – would be interested to hear if it’s worthwhile.

    1. I use it, it works really great and the most amazing thing is when playing instruments or the drum pads over Wi-Fi there is virtually no latency! It’s really cool, you should check it out.

  3. I think it’d be useful in conjunction with a keyboard if you used it like more intuitive shortcuts, like swapping work space views, but using two hands? Unless it does everything, it’s more work switching back n forth.

    This could be really good for mixing if it can tell how man fingers you’re holding up. Use the fingers on one hand for mixer groups and the other finger to adjust the levels. Or use the fingers on one hand to choose the mixer channel. Count the fingers on one hand as 5 and the fingers on the other individually. So for example, two fingers on the 5 hand would be the 10th channel and another 2 fingers on the other hand would be the 12th.

    I think things like thumbs up for okay would be fun. Or slapping things from side to side. It’s important to have the gestures grounded in realistic motions. Middle finger to undo?

  4. I’m totally all for motion controls, but this looks like bull shit.

    I would have loved if they flipped a bird @ 0:23 though.

    Using DAW this way is just the kind of thing, that needs to be advertised with exuberant Apple like background music and self-congratulating boasting making it sound like an “innovation” instead of self evident gimmick. The things demonstrated here makes simple things harder, than what they are without this “innovation”.

    “You can play, you can stop, you can rewind”
    Sounds like a joke, that people make about Apple ads.

    I would concentrate on finding use for gestures like these in performance. Even if they are impractical, they look cool, but you just need too much marketing efforts into making this look like practical in studio.

    You might be able to make some very interesting synth presets with this…although, I am not too hopeful about the input latency though.

  5. The only really outstanding thing cubase could do, would be to produce a midi only sequencer based on the early non audio versions/Atari cubase.
    The bloatware and gimmiks are of no use to those into hardware midi sequencing. To use cubase now seems ten times slower , than when it first started on the Atari. Steinberg are missing a market .
    Give us a stripped down midi only cubase please.
    The only gesture my version gets is me sticking two fingers at it , as it is so fiddly to use and open to up pages etc , when all I want is grid edit /piano roll to write midi for my synthesizers (actual synths ,not soft synths)

  6. Hahaha, haha, ha … No !

    People want precision, not another wiimote clone. Leap motion is as good as roland’s d-beam, and it’ll be as useful, the only difference is that it can have multiple input where the d-beam only had one (the distance from the hand to the light). Controlling expression with a d-beam/leap motion, fine by me. Playing “just dance” or “wii tennis” in front of my computer to zoom in my project … no way.

    Cubase and Fl Studio are heading the absolute wrong way with their multitouch and leap motion support. These things are presented like a major workflow breakthrough and they make it feel like it is, but at the end of the day, you’re better off with your mouse/trackpad/trackball. NI and Ableton seems to be the only one who understood that musicians would like to do music with a musical instrument on their computer (with the Push and Maschine Studio), and that’s it’s the only viable alternative to the mouse. Go hardware and create things damn it.

  7. Seems like a cool idea – but the negative guy in me says D-Beam on steroids. But maybe it’s a good thing. With this we won’t be seeing the hunchback laptop DJs occasionally pumping their hands in the air, but gesticulating as well!

    Obviously Steinberg finds it more fun to develop new techniques than making Cubase a bug-free software.

    Yeah. I think it’s stupid.


  8. If I saw someone using their DAW like this I would definetly think they are a wizard or a sorcerer.

    Anyway, I highly doubt this will speed up ones work flow what so ever.

  9. Even with this, your hands are still tied to the mouse and keyboard (or control surface) 95 % of the time.

    This looks more like something you would use for browsing photos or something like that

  10. I would like to use it as a conductor real conductor I mean setting tempo and dynamics in real time not to play or rewind that is quite useless

  11. actually, this could be great for drawing automation. The motions required for detailed mouse (or even track pad ) work generally aren’t good long term.

    Haters don’t like the d-beam, but it’s good at this, because it only senses up and down.If you start having to get 3d it ends up like playing the theremin, which hardly anyone is good at.

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