When comparing Cubase vs Ardour, the Slant community recommends Cubase for most people. In the question“What are the best DAWs?” Cubase is ranked 7th while Ardour is ranked 10th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Supports chord tracks
Pro Great MIDI editing options
Pro Great summing engine
The summing engine is responsible for processing tracks and combining them into the correct output. In comparison to other DAWs, Cubase's summing engine is excellent.
Pro All takes can be shown in a single track
When in stacked mode, all of your takes can be shown in a single track side by side. You can then select what parts of which take you need. If you are recording MIDI, the Cubase DAW allows creating a pattern that can overlap and be re-used as many times as needed.
Pro Powerful range of audio editing tools
Pro Large selection of time stretching methods
The Cubase DAW offers 11 different kinds of time stretching methods.
Pro Powerful, time-saving Logical Editor
Logical Editor allows customizing MIDI data according, in order to set rules to save time.
Pro Allows changing a pattern in one place to effect each instance of it
Using Parts, the Cubase DAW allows creating patterns that can be re-used as many times as needed, and can be edited in a single place.
Pro Recent updates have added some great features
Pro Quantize can automatically tighten MIDI inputs
Automatically tightens your MIDI inputs to be on time. Quantize has two modes. Hard Quantize will adjust based on strict settings (precisely on beat by default) and Iterative Quantize will adjust in increments. Excellent for keeping the human element in recordings.
Pro Batch export
You can pick separate tracks to export in one pass. You can even have them open up a new project or drop in the same project automatically. Huge time saver and DSP Saver.
Pro More features than any other DAW
Pro Open source
Ardour is open source, so it can be downloaded and modified without restriction.
Pro Compatible with Linux, Windows 7/8.1/10 and macOS
Ardour is cross-platform and works on Windows & macOS.
Pro Clean linear interface
Pro Free version with minimal limitations
Unlike some other DAW's which often limit saving, exporting, or advanced features, Ardour permits you to try all the features for free, with the only limitation being ten minutes of project length maximum.
Pro Multi-display support
Pro Inline mixing console
You can view and edit plugins directly from the console's mixing channels.
Pro Linux version has JACK support
On Linux, you can use JACK to freely route audio and MIDI to and from other software as hardware.
Pro Excellent support community.
Pro LV2 plugins support
Pro LADSPA plugins support
Con Annoying dongle
Not unlike Pro Tools, you have to have a dongle containing your license plugged into your computer or you can't use the software.
Con Runs poorly
Con Confusing pages
The Cubase DAW displays pages that tend to confuse users.
Con Lack of built-in noise reduction
There's no built-in noise reduction FFT profiler like you might see in some other DAWs. There's noise gate but it's not the same. If you're on Windows, then you can get around this by downloading ReaFir.
Con No sampler
To many producers, sampler is one of the most important tools in a DAW. Cubase does not come with a sampler tool.
Con Not what it used to be
The new updates kind of ruin the old classy feel.
Con Not the DAW for tech savvy users
Con Poor sample editing
The sample editor isn't too great and there's no option to launch external sample editors.
Con Too many plugins
It is hard to find good useful plugins. It looks like every developer's plugin has ended up in the list.
Con Not user friendly
Ardour is very difficult to install and use.
Con No support for VST plugins for OS X
Plugins can be used on OS X only if they are downloaded in AU format, which is supported.
Con No free build for Windows
Con No 'scenes'
Ardour doesn't have 'scenes' like Ableton does (would be very handy for live-preformances).