Any Word On Direct Routing?

Over a year ago, I am -sure- I read that Cubase was going to get the ability to ‘mult’ as Nuendo can–I believe they call it ‘direct routing’.

Any word through der rebstock as to when this will happen?


+1 for this feature

What’s it do?

A ‘mult’? Back in the ancient world, on a real desk… even a real cheap desk, you could take your microphone and a ‘y-jack’ and route a single signal generator (mic, guitar, etc.) to MULT-iple input channels… AND you could (heavens!) route a single input channel to MULTiple busses. So… for example, an input channel on my Mackie 24x8 mixer could be routed to any of 8 submixes. And I could instantly -solo- any one or several of those submixes to hear how my stems sounded.

This is where my age starts to make me cranky… for several reasons:

  1. I can’t seem to stop myself from mentioning that, if the search on this here thing worked better, one would find how many promises get made by SB… and then are forgotten… this is one of them that was =promised= for ‘sometime during the C6 cycle.’ Given how long it’s taking to go from 6.05 to 6.07? Oy.

  2. This is the ONE missing piece in making ‘ITB’ work like a ‘real’ desk. There is no substitute—there are ‘workarounds’ but they don’t give the same visual/mental workflow as -really- routing a track to multiple busses AT ONCE… or a single input to multiple strips AT ONCE. All the ‘workarounds’ are only good during MIXING. But people more and more don’t ‘track’, ‘mix’, ‘master’… they do ALL OF THE ABOVE AT ONCE. And that’s where the workflow of a real desk becomes so much better… which is why they added it to Nuendo!

  3. Since the death of Steve Jobs I’ve heard no end of sound bites from competitors who had NO IDEA why anyone would want an iPhone. I can’t explain why this is so important because you won’t know what yer missing until you get the chance to use it… but when you can LOOK at the screen and -see- each channel and how the signal is flowing towards the output (to the various busses…er. ‘groups’… and then to the master) you mix -better- than fiddling with ‘sends’ and duplicating tracks to accomplish the same thing.

The closest analogy I can give that most younguns could relate to is this:

I’'ve been recently been demoing Arturia’s Arp 2600 clone. I never purchased it because, like you, I’ve already got 4,000 ‘softsynths’. And besides, I used an Arp back in the day and it frankly was nothing special in terms of ‘features’ compared with today’s softsynths. But the moment I opened it, I was like WOW. I GET IT!

I’d been wondering more and more why so many synth sounds from 30 years ago seemed so much cooler. The first preset that opened was Edgar Winter’s ‘Frankenstein’… a totally -dynamic- patch that’s laughably simple–except that it’s almost impossible to do on ‘modern’ softsynths because they either don’t allow the patching—OR the softsynth has so many frickin’ pages you wouldn’t stumble on it in a million years.

But when you can -see- all of it on one page–where the signals and controls are -flowing-, you instantly start coming up with more creative sounds than with say, Kontakt or Reaktor which, while MUCH more powerful require so many pages and options to get anything done you need a pen/paper just to keep track of where you are. So you end up just flipping through presets most of the time. That’s how Cubase currently -feels- to me—TONS of routing power, but it’s so convoluted compared with a real desk that it’s almost more of a pain than it’s worth.

Again: when you can -see- it all in one go moving from left to right? It’s freeing. Ultimately, that’s what multing is. By letting you route a single source to multiple inputs, or a a single input strip to multiple outputs the whole deal becomes a lot more -direct-.


+1 , what a brilliant post. Thanks!


I find ability to Send a channel to groups quite a perfect substitute. Post-fader send @ unity gain works just like assigning channel to group in real desk. Only problem is: we have limited number of sends / channel and you may run out of sends.

Then you are a far better visualiser than me.

For most people, I dare say a ‘Send’ is like the ‘Aux’ on a ‘real’ desk… a Send to an effect with a -return-. It doesn’t follow the -analogy- of a desk.

And the ‘output’ of a Cubase channel goes to a ‘Group’… which is a ‘Buss’ or ‘Submix’ on a real desk.

I just want Cubase to follow the analogy of a real desk. I just want what Nuendo has. I just want what was promised would ‘trickle down’ to Cubase:

The ability to assign the OUTPUT of each channel strip to multiple GROUPS.

Again: that’s why Nuendo has Direct Routing. Except that in the Nuendo marketing lit, they tout it as useful for movie Post: something like ‘a real time saver for comparing snapshots of complex mixes’. As if this is only useful for your next Hollywood movie.


I don’ t think it was ever “promised” (you can prove me wrong though). IIRC if at all, the official reply was a " it might happen"…

That’s why I still use a real desk - plus, it has EQ, gate and compression on every input, effects, and hardware connections with my outboard and synths. Not to mention the great ergonomic advantage of having physical faders and knobs, and machine control.

But I do agree, Cubase could be much less complex in how routing takes place.

Never mind. I misunderstood. Yeah… routing to multiple busses at once.

The direct routing thing is pretty cool.

Been using analog desks in the past, so I totally see Suntowers point - I wouldn’t complain if this Nuendo feature would swap over to Cubase :sunglasses:

Yep. All they have to do is mention it. It’s a promise right? :mrgreen:


I may be misunderstanding what you’re asking for here, but there are ‘only’ 7 direct routing slots in Nuendo. Each Channel can be routed to up to 7 extra destinations (Groups or Outputs) in addition to the main routing.

Whether it’s easier to visualize, possibly it is, as you can see the Direct Routings at a glance in the appropriate extended mixer view. And it is possible to switch these routings in and out in groups with automation (select the channels and Alt+Shift click, as with all the multi routing routines in Cubase) but then you can do that with Sends too.

I agree that it’s debatable whether this feature would be less useful for music production than audio post. Probably equally useful in both. There are some odd differences between Cubase and Nuendo - I believe the excellent little Pitch Driver plug-in would be welcomed by many Cubase users (that’s if Steinberg haven’t moved it over yet).

Globally, over and over SB has -promised-… yes -promised- that all ‘music production’ features would be ported from Nuendo to Cubase as part of the ongoing development. I think SB has struggled to distinguish what Nuendo -is- so a lot of the feature differences seem quite arbitrary.

But -specifically- SB did -promise- this. The problem with ‘the web’ is that it’s not as easy as it might seem to -find- that piece of data. SB changes their site all the time. Searching is hard. But they -did- state that feature would happen. I just remember it so well because it’s absence has been bugging me for so long.

That said, I would happily pay a premium (Cubase +) to get Direct Routing. I don’t -need- all the other stuff in Nuendo but that’s one thing that -would- be great. In fact, I’d much rather pay $100 to get Direct Routing than yet another softsynth or guitar amp.

I was playing around in NI’s Massive last night, trying to convince myself I don’t -need- to buy the Arturia Arp 2600—I already have every softsynth one could want. I kept thinking how much more ‘complex’ the sounds in Massive are. But just the visual simplicity of the patch cables kept making it so much more -fun- and -quick- to experiment… every time I play with it, I invariably come up with something more interesting than Massive with it’s 300 ‘pages’ of options. Every time I play with Massive it ends up sounding like Massive because it’s so frickin’ time-consuming to build things.

That’s how I feel about Cubase. You can do a TON of things, but a lot of them take too frickin’ long to achieve—and once the mix reaches a level of complexity, it gets unwieldy. Direct Routing simply cuts the clutter.
Like a real desk. I don’t -need- more than 7 or 8 subs. I hate using ‘Sends’ for subs because they’re Auxes. They’re not -Subs-. It looks -wrong-. If one needs more than a desk can do? Patch bay. If I were to need more ‘Sends’ in Cubase, I could always add on in the old-fashioned way. But D/R would save me time/sanity on 99% of my projects.

Again, it’s like microwave ovens—very few people were interested in them until they -tried- them. No, they don’t work for -everything-, but everyone uses them.

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It may look wrong, but AUXes and BUSSes/Subgroups are basically very similar: they are signal busses where you can send the signal of channels. I can bet, if the cost of hardware wasn’t an issue we would have seen an analog desk with unified AUX/BUSS system. But because of hardware cost they were different:

  • BUSS/Subgroub does not need an expensive potentiometer on every channel, just a switch
  • AUX does not need routing (wires+switches) coming from it’s output to main mix buss.
    In software domain I see no reason, why these should be different things.

Since we’re on the topic of real mixer style features I’d like to take this opportunity to request that we get a proper EFFECTS RACK back! (And real effects returns)
Rather than this convoluted “insert on a group” technique that we’ve been forced to adopt.

+1 for multing too.

Unfortunately, I think it’s more likely that propelLerheads will offer this sort of functionality before steinberg does.

Sorry…I fail to see the real world use for more than 8 sends. I mean, you can “mult” a channel 8 or 9 ways…prefader or post…what’s the real world use case?

This mult feature is really useful in Pro Tools. I use it all the time. What I use it for is to set up all kinds of submixes to print different stem mixes out. This is super useful if you have a complex template file you are working with. For example you can have a 2mix that every channel is assigned to and then all strings to a strings bus etc with submixes that are dry and submixes that are wet, the list goes on.

the real desk feature I want is to be able to assign a send of a track to the input of the same track to create a feedback loop. I used that technique all the time in Pro Tools to create cool delay effects and its really annoying that Cubase doesn’t let you do this. If its trying to protect me, I think its pointless in a piece of software this complicated to pick this one place to hold my hand.

Fool-proof-limitation that I’d also like to get rid of. A warning message (…this connection can cause DANGER…) would be absolutely enough.

What is a ‘proper’ FX rack/what’s wrong with the current style for you?