5.1 Routing

Hi all

I’ve recently started mixing for 5.1 - everything working great but I have some queries. I think I am being dumb here…

  • I route all my tracks to a 5.1 buss, this is so I can quickly place everything in my mix in the 3d. However, this makes any buss processing hard. I don’t want to have to shell out for dedicated 5.1 plugs unless I have to. What I need to do is get access to each 5.1 channel to process separately (front, rear, mid, sub all separate). Is this possible?? I think I must be missing something really obvious.

  • Is there a trick to taking a stereo project and converting to 5.1? I couldn’t find a way to change a stereo or mono track to 5.1 without creating a new track.

Apologies for the dumb questions - there isn’t a great deal of 5.1 advice out there…



Short comments.
All steinberg plugins support 5.1 processing. So as long as you are ok with stock plugs, you are all set.
To have independent processing of front/rear etc it’s a bit more complex than it should be.
You will have to disable processing for the paths that you don’t want processed in the routing editor. Then add extra processors for each path that you want to have control over.

How and when this is done is very different from user to user.
I do post and very rarely do I need totally separate processing on front/rear, and when I do I deal with those sources as stereo mixes before bussing them into a 5.1 path.
Other users want to do it like you describe in your post and then the 8 insert slots quickly become a limiting factor.
But there are many ways to skin a cat.

Make sure you have your monitoring properly set up for 5.1 though. Otherwise it will all just be an exersice in creating a mess :slight_smile:

There is a great deal of misunderstanding of surround audio generally, so it is worth doing a bit of research if you want to get the best out of it.

This document is a very good introduction:

If nothing else, get a grasp of the difference between subwoofer and LFE channel.

Hi guys

Thanks for all the advice here - things are progressing well with C8 and 5.1.

Now I may be able to describe my issue a bit more clearly. I get a lot of clients who have a mastered stereo mix and the label then asks for a 5.1 ‘for the special edition’. As the client already has a mastered 2 track sound they like, I like to match that as best as I can in the 5.1. I know there are opinions on EQ matching, but Fab Filter Pro Q is the best in the business from my experience and a real time saver for me. However, this only supports the LR channels. What I need is for Cubase to allow me to access the front, rears, centre and lfe as separate mix busses so I can apply the matched EQ to the full 5.1 mix.

Nugens SEQ supports 5.1 and EQ matching, but for me it doesn’t sound as good the the Pro Q.

If Cubase supported separate buss inserts for the 5.1 buss then we wouldn’t have to be confined to 5.1 enabled plugins - it would be a massive improvement in my mind.

There is a work around of course - mixing down to separate 5.1 stems and re-importing to a new project, but this isn’t ideal for the mix stage.

Or am I missing something obvious here in my workflow?



Maybe you’re missing ‘Child Busses’? You could create Groups with routing to the Child Busses within your 5.1 Buss and add your inserts to the Groups.

Personally I wouldn’t attach myself too slavishly to the stereo mix for a 5.1 mix.

aha - I knew there was something I was missing! Thanks for the info.

I agree about the stereo mix - this particular project had a very dull sound unmastered - the pro-q match got me on a level playing field.

+1 Child busses in Cubase are awesome. I swear I don’t know how in the world people are able to mix surround without them (looking at you, Logic Pro). Or at least do so without pulling your hair out…

Personally I wouldn’t attach myself too slavishly to the stereo mix for a 5.1 mix.

Another +1. Though I suppose ultimately it depends on the material. There’s a fine line between a cool surround mix and cheesy audio gimmickry. :smiley: