Take It SE
For those who mainly use third-party plugins or content, it’s easy to overlook what actually comes bundled with your DAW. Under Apple’s ownership, Logic began to be bundled with a huge selection of loops, presets and instruments. Cubase was slightly later to the game, but now has a solid line-up that includes HALion Sonic SE and Groove Agent SE alongside various synths, effects and audio loops. HALion Sonic began as a sample playback instrument, but has since evolved to include synthesis elements, which have been handed down to its cut-down ‘SE’ sibling bundled with Cubase. Similarly, Groove Agent SE has seen its feature set grow over the years, and with an ever-expanding library of bundled content straddling both electronic and acoustic styles. Cubase 10, and the arrival of GA SE 5, brings more content (including the Laser Beam set), but also adds some features. The number of velocity layers has increased, alongside more individual outputs and an improved file browser, that makes preset and content selection easier. The big winner here though, is a resizeable plugin window.