channel strip

I’m just discovering how versatile the Cubase channel strip is.

I’m curious how users feel about the quality of the various functions included (EQ, compression, etc.) and how they compare with third party plugins like Waves, UAD and others.

Just look for the other “native Cubase vs 3rd party plugins”-threads…

The built-in ones are fine, but what I’d really want is to be able to make panels for any plugin and put them in the strip. Additional settings would be accessible with an E button.

Oh like a selfmade quick control for the channel strip, nice idea.

The channel strip modules do their job. You can get a pretty good acoustic mix using only them and the REVelation reverb. Of course if you’re mastering your own music you would also want to use Frequency and the new plugin version of Maximizer on the master bus.

The biggest difference between the included plugins and third party solutions will be in the compressors. Most third party compressors are based on vintage hardware, which had quirks that usually made them easier to work with. I think the most famous example is the 1176, which raises its compression threshold when you increase the compression ratio. Basically every setting on a 1176 will probably sound good, so working with it is pretty much just looking for the setting that works best in the mix. If you need different compression characteristics (softer, punchier, transparent…) you just pick another compressor.

Digital compressors like the one included with Cubase are more flexible, but much harder to use. You have to look carefully for the settings that will give you your desired sound AND will work in the mix. So while they are capable of a wider range of compression styles, there’s a lot more tweaking involved.

The Tube and Vintage compressors only emulate some basic characteristics of classic hardware and not their full range of quirks, so they may not be as easy to use as full vintage emulations.

Third party limiters and maximizers are sometimes capable of giving you louder results than the stock ones, but this isn’t that big of a deal anymore since pretty much all media streaming services use audio normalization anyway. (If you make your music too loud, the volume will automatically be reduced and it will sound wimpy)