Can cubase mix and master like top 40 market

You can do most about anything with Cubase, but I’m afraid it lacks the most important feature: The mix/mastering engineer! The engineers knowledge and experience is the single most important ingredient to achieve a top of the line mix. I’m afraid that Cubase can’t help you there, but who knows what Cubase 8 has in store. :slight_smile:

The less you know the more you need

The more you know the less you need

It really doesn’t matter these days which DAW and/ or Plugins you use.
The quality standard of most DAW und plugs is good enough for just about any result you may desire.

What really matters is the person in front of it.


And for mastering, a great room with great speakers. The daw is irrelevant, they all sound the same anyway.

That I can’t agree on but the end result is what matters.

Voices has more to do with choice of microphone than mastering IMHO.
And for mastering, I would chose wavelab instead of Cubase, anyway. For a quick home master job Cubase is fine, but if you want to deliver redbook compliant cd master or DDP you would need something like Wavelab.

Hi, this is NOT meant to offend you, but…

the key question is “Can YOU/I mix and master like top 40 mark”. Cubase for sure can.

Cheers, Ernst

If you really want to stay current don’t even look at Billboard. Radio stations in the USA will get feedback from the respective label promoters and often refer to this:
click on charts, then mediabase, 7 day report, then choose Top-40. (you might have to register for free) IMO you get a much better feel for radio air play and overall vibe than any of the Billboard charts with the exception of sales.

Since you mention Top-40 hits, here is Dr. Lukes video. Keep in mind he has a production team…it’s not just him…or him and Benny. :laughing:
The most interesting aspect for myself is that MIDI isn’t even mentioned and to my knowledge he doesn’t use midi!

These days, due to marketing, mixing and mastering has become blurred. Based on your prior posts it seems like you are referring more to mixing as opposed to mastering.

I no longer master, but when I did mixes from mix engineers are already pretty loud. ( -13dbRMS–10dbRMS range greatly depending on the track) If you don’t know, that’s pretty loud. (After mastering maybe -10dbRMS to -7dbRMS depending on the track.)The mix engineer was able to achieve this because of years of experience knowing how to arrange and glue tracks together with EQ and compression. To this day I don’t think they use much limiting. But the mix engineer can only do this when the tracking engineer has used the right mics to get the desired tone and the right performance. Experienced recording engineer, then experienced mix engineer then experienced ME usually means a good outcome.

Keep in mind the basic goals of commercial tracks. No piece of gear will do this for you.

Once you have the basics and structure down then find a mix engineer.

Here is one who uses a lot of ITB processing

Today’s final pop mixes are not “high fidelity.” They “dumbed down” to a common denominator that makes them sound the best they can on a wide variety of listening platforms. Ear buds, car radio, home stereo, radio air play are all very different. The real ME talent is choosing the right compromises to achieve “good” in all of those listening platforms while making the album cohesive. And this even goes back to the great mix engineers.

Your DAW is irreverent until you get to the mastering stage. Then you need to focus on a host of other things that a DAW doesn’t include. This is why Sadie, Wavelab, etc exist.

Good luck on your journey.

Also, the pop mastering process doesn’t add dynamics, it completely removes them. With the idea that a skilled engineer can retain a “perceived” dynamic range on a song that is pretty much a square wave from end to end.

Unfortunately, Cubase Pro 8 didn’t include a virtual mixing/mastering engineer. Well, maybe in Cubase 9. :wink:

In the meantime, maybe this is a useful option:

Blame the cook, not the kitchen.
Mixing and mastering is an art, both practised best in an acoustically optimized room and high resolution conversion and monitoring.
Cubase is as good as it gets in the box, ofcourse you can be seduced by other plugins but they won’t bring you anything you can’t do right now, in the box it’s all just maths.

There is clear upside in using analogue outboard in order to get “radio ready”
Don’t believe the hype of doing it all in the box. As 99% of the top 40 hits are mixed and mastered by world class engineers with world class equipment.
Cubase can get you 95% there, there are no other plugs that can get you further.
Yoú need to spend considerable money to get next level.