Audio Mixdown is being normalized to -6db

Hey folks,

I’m new to Cubase, but i’ve been working as an audio engineer since 2013. Just came to Cubase from Logic. I have built a mastering chain in Cubase 12 Pro, and every time I do an audio mixdown the track is being normalized to -6dB. I’ve checked all the settings, the master fader is at zero, everything is being routed through the stereo out, and when I go to export mix all the boxes are checked correctly. Any ideas on what I can do? I’m stumped. I’ve tried to find if there’s a normalize setting or something like that.

FYI The track playing out of Cubase is hitting -0.01dB at its peak after the limiter, so I’m very unsure as to what’s going on. It’s definitely in the export.

Post images of the meters that are measuring your levels, and post an image of export settins.

Intuitively seeing “-6dB” makes me think of ‘pan law’, which in turn makes me think perhaps you’re just looking at levels in the ‘wrong’ place… or alternatively are routing things incorrectly…

Here you go. After the export, it plays out of VLC at -6dB. It’s still been limited though, but it has decided to be limited to -6dB instead.

And if you import it back into Cubase, is it also peaking at -6 ?

1 Like

Like Louis asked - what about playing it back in Cubase?

Okay, I played it back in cubase and it’s at -0.01 dB. So that means that my playback in Windows is not routed properly. I dunno how to fix that still, I guess that’s what I need to figure out now, but you folks are the best. Thanks!

Just check if the output is at 100% in the sound settings and task bar.
It could be the settings in VLC too.

Thank you! It was at 60% in the taskbar. I’m such a windows newb, I’m not sure i’ve used windows a single time since windows XP. I didn’t realize you can independently control the windows sound levels and the interface levels.


Microsoft introduced an audio mixer within Win7 or Win8. This gave normal users a chance to have each app set to an individual level before it goes to its master out. For ProAudio users and music afficionados it is another level to look at when listening to audio in Windows (as you found out).