Advantages to using the mixer?

I just upgraded to C7, and the new mixer looks real nice and it looks like with some time invested there are some cool new features, but for me, I’m not sure if it fits into my workflow.

I tend to mix as I go, and it makes sense to me to mix in the arrange window. that’s where the automation sub tracks are, and I’m only ever focusing on one instrument at a time when mixing. I make lots of moves on the subtracks, both with volume and with effects, and when in the arrange window it’s quicker to jump around to different parts of the song. If there’s a track where I’m not using automation, the mixer/fader for the selected track is on the left side of the screen anyway, as is the edit button to call up inserts and sends.

Does anyone else work this way? Can anyone explain what advantages I’d get by utilizing the mixer more?

Howdy Lenny,

Like you, I mostly work in the arrange window. That’s where I insert effects, handle routing, edit audio and midi, work up the automation tracks, and do rough mixes.

I rarely use stock-onboard EQ or FX, preferring UAD-2 plugs.

But when it comes to the final mix, I usually open up Mixer 3, fully expanded. That’s where I do the fine tuning of the mix, tweak insert FX, and handle inserts on the Stereo Buss out. I have a dual-monitor setup, with the mixer on one monitor and the plugs on the other for final mix down.


Stupid question, but is Mixer 3 different than 1 or 2? I usually put the input bus, all audio and MIDI tracks on Mixer 1 and all Group, FX, and the output bus on Mixer 2. (I also have a dual monitor setup.)

For me, it is stages. Record and edit in the arrange. Plugins, routings in the mixer. Then the monitor view goes to desktop then I mix with my 24 faders on my mackie setup. I will return to the mixer and arrange in cubase for certain things like plugin or vsti riding. If the new mixer views cascaded to midi mixers (hiding channels) like in v6, it would be great. I don’t think I ever actually mixed in the arrange window. Just fine tuning automation.

I generally don’t use the mixer all that much until after the creative aspects are done. For all sound generation, sound design, music composing, 90% of inserts and general volume settings are all done from the arrange page.
Once everything seems good, I will focus on the mixer for final processing and automation.
I also have a dual monitor setup, with the mixer always open on the right, but while creating it is usually filled with plugin windows. After that, close them all and mix.

+1 Same here.

All three mixers are the same, it’s just a matter of how you set them up for your preferred workflow. Very flexible.

My Mixer 3 has everything in it.

Whilst perhaps not the most efficient, I flip back and forth between the arranger and the mixer, just to get rough mix/insert stuff the way I want it. Input is usually in its own mixer if I am working outside the box much (for my own stuff is largely instrumental, and virtual).

But, when it comes to final mix, its all in the mixer(s)… sometimes I will put FX returns in their own mixer. Automation is usally the last thing I do, so little tweaks will send me back to the Arranger page.

I am just getting my head around the “scene” function in the C7 mixer, I like it. :sunglasses:

A total blast from the past :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for your replies.

I guess I must be missing something, then. Since I mix/automate as I go, and the automation subtracks certainly seem like the most elegant way to to automate (as opposed to riding the faders in realtime with the ‘write’ button on), if I then go to the mixer near the end of the mixing process, I’m unable to
move the volume faders there because I’ve got the ‘R’ read automation button activated.

If I’m unable to make volume adjustments in the mixer (since most of my tracks are automated in the arrange window)
then the only thing I can do in the mixer is tweak my inserts/sends, which I can just as quickly and easily do in the arrange window, (plus, once I’ve tweaked inserts, etc, usually an adjustment to the volume automation is necessary) why work in the mixer?

I guess what I’m saying is - you guys have told me what -you- do, but haven’t answered the original question.
Why do you do it that way - and what advantage would I gain by doing it that way, rather than what I’m doing now?


Can’t suggest much here, because I do the same as you… as soon as you use the automation lanes, that’s it for the mixer. I can’t imagine not using them for volume, but also effect send levels, etc. But I don’t have C7 yet.

Good question. My work style is similar to yours. I occasionally make a quick fader/EQ/FX automation adjustment in the mixer itself but I never really mix with the mixer itself! ironic I guess given its called a ‘mixer’. :slight_smile:

AND on a related topic, I never really got into external controllers either. I had one for a while but I just couldn’t make it useful or see how it could enhance my workflow in anyway. My hand was already on my mouse so it always seemed much easier to keep it there and make necessary adjustments/selections etc onscreen rather than take my hand off to tweak some knob or fader on my controller. What I’d be really interested in is watching someone else work… doing a mix with the mixer, and in particular, mixing with an external controller. I just don’t know how it can be done without your hand constantly moving between mouse and controller?


I had a Mackie controller for awhile, it was really just a glorified scrubwheel for me

I don’t have C7 yet. But it never occurred to me to mix in the Arrange/Project Window. I did know that some of you did it this way, including Jet, I believe. To be honest, I don’t know ho to do it that way.

But I use the mixer because of years of being used to using a mixer to, um, mix. Having said that, one thing I always hated about Cubase is that the mixer by default doesn’t look like a typical mixer, with FX Sends EQ knobs displayed (and tweakable from a controller). From what I gather, the new C7 mixer IS configured in this way? Recently, I bought the Harrison MixBus and mixed a song for which I had rendered all the tracks, and it was cool, but kinda buggy

I agree with the OP: I think the usefulness of the mixer, in general, is quite overrated.
Maybe this comes from habits by old-school people that got used to work on analog gear (and maybe by their “pupils” too…).
For me, the mixer is just an “overview” of what goes on in the Project View. Think of a two-dimensions analogy: the mixer will be the Y-axis, while the Project View is the X-axis. I also have it permanently opened on the second (at the right side) monitor though.
I’m quite disapponted by the amount of development resources committed by Steinberg for the new mixer, i.e. something for me totally useless (IMHO of course).

I think I won’t buy C7, I’ll wait for C8, hoping for something more useful for my own needs.


I tend to use the mixer for those channels/tracks that are not automated.

I found this discussion in the C7 forum, and Subpantaliss made a good post about his use of the zones feature
in C7 and how he sets up submixes.

I suppose the mixer is a good place to do the routing in a complex mix as he lays out here.
Otherwise, to me it seems like the mixer is something I’d be fine without, since automating a lot of tracks
renders the mixer useless for balancing levels.

As an aside, I learned while doing a collab that even the master bus can be added to the arrange window.
I recieved an entire Cubase project from a collaborator, and the master out was in the arrange window.
You can’t add it by right clicking in the track section of the arrange window and selecting the type of track - so I asked him how he did it.
you simply need to hit the (W) write button on the stereo out in the mixer, then turn it off - now the stereo out
appears in the arrange window. Great for fade ins and fade outs.

This thread is wild. Never would I have thought never to use the mixer. Mixing in the arrange window with a mouse writing automation would be so time consuming. But again, I have 24 external hardware faders that I use. I set up the mixer too so that sends are routed faders then to their effect channels.

I don’t really gather the benefits of mixing primarily in the arrange when I can just push buttons to reveal whatever feedback I want to see on the screen. If you don’t have control surfaces, then I would agree that mousing all the automation in the arrange would be quicker than grabbing individual faders. I would have to live there I suppose.

For me, nothing beats using neither of them to mix. Just a blank screen with everything I need on my control surfaces. I’d rather mix with my ears and faders.

So, you guys that mix in the arrange… How many of you have motorized fader packs?

I’m with you. I shudder at the idea of doing automation one parameter at a time with a mouse in the arrange page. I think my hands would fall off.

For me, nothing beats using neither of them to mix.

Wish I had the money, seems no matter which manufacturer is in question all seem to promise the ultimate in tactile operation but rarely deliver.

At least SB was able to support the old gear such as the Huston in a meaningful way.

Hi, Tom,
No, I don’t have motorized fader packs. After getting used to doing it the way I do, I can’t envision a good reason to want to use them, either - but as you said - I’d have to live there to understand where you’re coming from.

Since you run a commercial studio, I can see why you’d do it that way, since you can automate several tracks ‘on the fly’ at once, then go back and adjust any moves that you didn’t nail the first time. You want a good result - but you also want to make the most efficient use of your time and get the client ‘finished’ and move on to the next project.

I’m in no hurry. I enjoy the process of mixing the way I do - and I don’t think you could argue that there is a more
precise way of controlling the fader moves (and fx moves) than in the automation subtracks. I have pinpoint control over not just the track volume and fades - but I like to experiment with the length and intensity of delay tails at the end of vocal phrases and on solos. Compared to working on the subtracks, IMO moving the faders with your fingers is a more clumsy way of doing it.

And mixing in the arrange window doesn’t mean that somehow I’m not using my ears. What else would I use?
It’s just that I have no problem -really- taking my time with a mix. Especially when it’s near completion.
At the end of a session I may think it’s done. After saving and coming back the next day with fresh ears, I realize that there’s more tweaking to be done. So I fix the things that aren’t quite right - then come back again the next day.
I like this process of seeing a mix ripen over several days or even a couple of weeks.

Maybe one day it’d be fun to stop by your place and see you in action, Tom.
I’ve helped a few local friends who got into digital recording, and they learned a lot in a short time by
being in the room with me and sometimes one can learn more by seeing it done rather than reading about it.
I’ve never had the opportunity to sit side by side with a power user who was willing to explain what he was doing.