Can someone please clarify OUTPUTS vs CONTROL ROOM?

Hey guys, it took me awhile to wrap my head around the new Control Room in Cubase… I was used to just using Inputs and Outputs tab before. Looks like some confusion lingers…

Currently, my Control Room setup allows me to send 2 independent headphone mixes by assigning 2 cue mixes in the Control Toom STUDIO tab, and sending them out to my Saffire Line 3/4 (headphones 1) and Line 5/6 (headphones 2). Pretty cool so far cause it works.

Where I’m seriously confused is why I can’t get any levels in the Main Mix part of the Control Room when I assign my “Monitors” (STUDIO tab) to Saffire Mon1/2.

I thought it was recommended to delete the busses in the OUTPUTS tab and just use the STUDIO tab. But in my case, unless I enable and connect the Saffire Mon1/2 in the OUTPUTS tab, I don’t get ANY signal happening in the Main Mix portion of the Control Room. Headphones yes but Main Mix no.

I also notice the Main Out Stereo channel only appears in MixConsole if I have something enabled in the OUTPUTS tab. Oh I’m so confused…

I thought we were supposed to assign everything to the Control Room…

Can someone please clarify?

You should have at least one stereo Output defined, but with No Connection (that is, not routed to any hardware outputs).

They will be the rendering target, because all tracks will eventually lead to them, but they will also feed the Control Room monitors and main headphones when Mix is selected.

Hey Patanjali,
Thanks for the reply. So I’m understanding that at least one stereo output needs to be defined but with no connection. You are referring to the OUTPUTS tab, not the CONTROL ROOM tab. Correct?

Thanks Pantajali, what you said enlightened me. I’ve written down my own guide here which I share in case others are confused too. I think I’ve got it now:

:slight_smile: Here is my guide: :slight_smile:

Step 1: Setting up the OUTPUTS tab properly.

You have to define at least one stereo output here even if “Not Connected” because this is what will add a “Stereo” output channel in the MixConsole (red fader at the far right), this is what create the Output bus that most audio tracks will need to route to (Inspector), and this is what will allow a mix to be rendered when exporting. Think of the “Outputs” tab as defining what’s going on “under the hood”. If this is all you’ve done (and set to Not Connected), you still won’t hear anything but you’ll see the activity on the VU meters. The next step is to setup the listening points so that you can hear what you’re seeing.

Step 2: Setting up the CONTROL ROOM tab properly.
Enable the Control Room and define where the audible signal will go. Define the routing for “Monitors” if you wish to be able to hear a Main Mix in Control Room. Typically, this should be assigned to Saffire Mon1/2 (if you’re using a Saffire interface). Add 2 Cues (not to confused with Phones) if you want to add two distinct headphones mixes to be available in the Control Room. This works nicely with my Saffire as I have 2 physical outputs for headphones on the interface while the engineer can access a 3rd mix (Main Mix) if desired, on monitoring speakers or other 3rd output. Remember to activate the Cue Sends in the channel strips to be able to activate the appropriate channels to send to the appropriate headphone mixes.

The confusion I initially experienced was due to the fact that I thought we had to remove EVERYTHING from the Outputs tab – I thought there was no point in keeping something defined there if it wasn’t connected. Now I know that’s it imperative to have something defined there, even if not connected.


You need at least one Output for the Control Room to have a Mix ‘source’.

OK, can you please explain what the “Phones” option is in Control Room? (I know I can get my signal to pass thru there as well, just not sure what it would be used for since it doesn’t seem to be flexible like Cues, and there is only one of them available)… I wish Steinberg had just named Cues as “Headphones” instead!

This confuses the crap out of me but very informative. I just thought you need to set outputs and that’s it. Hmm I’ll have to try it out one day. I have another set of monitors that I want to set up for dual monitoring. Wouldn’t you just need to set up output 1/2 for monitors 1 and out put 3/4 for monitors 2?? Seems pretty simple??

Headphones are meant for the ‘mixing engineer’, not the performers. As such, they can select from the main mix (from the Output), or any of the cue mixes, so they can set any of them up.

The cue mixes can be fed directly from the Cue Sends on any channel, unlike the Phones output.

That is, you set up cue mixes by adjusting the Cue Sends on individual channels, then use the Phones output to select from the cue mixes, or the main mix.

The main problem I find with setting up cue mixes is that the controls on the channels are fiddly, and because they are horizontal, not really easy to get comparative levels, nor are they easy for a performer to set up.

Cubase iC Pro changes all that, allowing each of up to four devices (Android and iOS) to have a ‘normal’ mixer that has the Cue Sends and main level for one of the Cue channels. It allows each performer to easily set up their own mix, even selecting which channels they want in the mix. That is how it should always have been done!

I agree with you on how its unnatural to adjust levels horizontally - i actually still find myself struggling to remember every now and then. But im interested in what you say about Cubase IC Pro because I purchased it last month (Android) but pretty much only for start and stop. I`d like to know more about how I can use this to in the way you describe (allowing each performer to have a normal mixer?? as in if every singer has his IC Pro connected, they can each adjust their mix on their phone??) Is this what you mean?

The Control Room is meant to be where you set up all the actual physical connections to your audio hardware.

The outputs then become your virtual topology for rendering, but which also feeds into the Control Room for being able to hear them.

So, instead of using Outputs to connect to 1+2 and 3+4, you would use two stereo Monitor channels in the Control Room to do exactly the same.

On the versions below the full version, with there being no Control Room, the Outputs would be set up as you describe.


They work so well that I ditched using a third touchscreen in the studio, on which I had set up a MixConsole with a bunch of sub-Group channels (to get vertical faders) fed by normal Sends from vocal/instrument channels. The mix panel on iC Pro does all that using the Cue Sends. Fantastic!

We have two Samsung Note 3s, so we have the transport control panel on one, and a cue mix on the other.

Wow, I`ll have to try! So how do you use it for your setup? Are you a producer who sits at the controls while you have other people come in and do sessions or are you a one-man band like me?

Our scenario is that we mostly record ourselves playing together, so I just use the transport control panel for that. When doing extra tracks beyond that is where I would use both devices, one for transport and the other with a cue mix to control my foldback.

We haven’t used it ‘in anger’ (that is, on an actual recording) as yet, but the test setups I did showed that the ergonomics were extremely good and enough to ditch the old setup with the touchscreen, which also had the added benefit of reducing studio clutter.

Hmm…ok, I guess I`m wondering if besides the awesomeness of being able to start/stop recording when Im far from the computer (ie. doing vocals), if there’s anything I could do with an older Android tablet that I could set up at the producer desk with IC Pro installed… any ideas? (this is the only touch interface I have… my monitors are non-touch)

You could set up several cheap touch devices doing different mixer functions. iC Pro’s button setup is quite comprehensive, and you could use a different button panel on each device.

It does not appear that you can select banks of tracks in iC Pro so that you could use them like most control surfaces to scale the number of simultaneously displayed channels.

I’ll also add that by default the cue sends are post fader, they should be set to pre fader!!!

I’ve no idea why this isn’t the default as it makes things very confusing if you don’t realise.


MC: Thanks for pointing that out. How do you set them up to be pre faders?


They should be pre-fader by default, so that the Cue Sends are completely independent of the output mix that:

  • may be being experimented with between takes to evaluate rough mixes, thus upsetting the Cue mix from the last take, and
  • may have some channels too low to be mixed high enough in the Cue mix.

Basically, post-fader Cue Sends force the performer to re-evaluate the mix before EVERY take.

See p224 of the Op Manual for how to change the pre-post setting for all channels feeding a Cue mix. In particular, see the options:

  • Use Current Mix Levels, which automatically changes all to pre-fader
  • Change Cue Send Levels, so you can adjust all the levels down to allow some headroom to boost some channels.

Yes as Patanjali said use those commands for ease of use.

I basically select all my channels , then right click I think on the control room mixer, to access the :

Use current levels for cue send, AND ALSO IMPORTANT : |Use current PAN. As well.

Then you will have the same mix as your ‘working’ mix sent to that cue mix as a good starting point.

Also while we’re talking about this;

You can change the colour of your pre/post cue mix sends in the preferences, so what I did was to colour the default ‘post’ fader send bright RED so I wouldn’t get caught out if I forgot.


p.s. Patanjali, are you sure using those commands changes to pre fader? When 7 came out I’m fairly certain it didn’t, has this changed in an update? I’m having a day off today so not going to the studio :smiley:

From page 225 of the Operation Manual:

  • Use Current Mix Levels
    This copies the fader levels of the selected tracks to the cue sends. This option
    sets all cue send levels for the selected tracks to the level of the main channel
    fader. > It also changes the cue send status to > pre-fader> , so that changes in the main
    mix do not affect the cue sends.

I didn’t actually check it in Cubase, but the manual could never be wrong, could it? :wink:

It doesn’t state that Use Current Pan Settings changes cues sends to pre-fader.

When I’ve designed input forms in Excel, I tended to use magenta for the text of erroneous values, with some lighter shade for the background, just to give that extra impetus for users to make the corrections, if only to get rid of the horrible colours!