Want proof that you can’t keep on top of which DAW is best? Updates are now nearly round-the-clock, and point-one updates can bring serious features. Hot on the heels of MOTU’s free 4.6 upgrade to DP, Steinberg has over 50 new features in Cubase SL/SX 3.1, coming as a free download in August. Some of what’s new:

External hardware integration: Updated Studio Connections technology lets you monitor external hardware’s audio as if it were an internal VST. One caveat: this comes out of Steinberg’s ongoing partnership with its now-parent-company Yamaha, so your hardware manufacturer must rhyme with Lamaha.

Freeze; you’re surrounded! Dolby Digital and DTS Encoder support

Processor optimization for the latest multiprocessor Macs and PCs, plus optimization for new AMD and Intel DualCore processors and Hyperthreading (that last feature means you can now make the Kessel Run in . . . oh, never mind.)

“Equal Power” panner

MIDI delay compensation (more hardware integration, remember?), plus “freezing” of MIDI track playback

Got all that? This will have decidedly less mainstream appeal than some of the other updates announced this week, but for some Cubase hardcores and pros, it should come as good news. Of course, this update runs on Mac and PC only — sorry, Atari ST users.