Compressor/Input Insert Effects

I’m new to Cubase and am trying to record a vocal track. I’m using Cubase 5 Studio on a PC.
I’d like to use the Cubase compressor while I record the vocal track. As I understand it, in order to do that, you have to add the compressor as an input insert effect. In order to add the compressor as an input insert effect, you’re supposed to open the mixer, click the edit button for the input bus, and then bring up the compressor.
However, in Cubase Studio, the input bus is not visible in the mixer, according to the Operation Manual.
So does that mean that it’s just not possible to use the compressor while you record a track in Cubase Studio? And that if I want to use a compressor while recording a track, I either need to upgrade to the full version of Cubase, or use an outboard compressor?

Why can’t you just add the compressor to the audio channel itself? There has to be Insert Channels in th Mixer. Are you sure you haven’t filtered them to the left of the mixer?

Thanks for responding! Both of the written reference materials that I have for Cubase seem to go out of their way to specify that in order to use compression while you’re recording a track, the compressor should not be added to the channel, but only to the input bus. I figured that if they’re both saying that, it’s probably right. Personally, I have no idea either way.
On page 19 of the official Cubase Operation Manual, it says that the input bus isn’t visible in Cubase Studio. Period. But if there’s a way around it, I’d love to know.

No, that’s right there’s no channel settings window for input tracks. Is the reason you want this is you use Direct Monitoring?

The input channel allows you to actually record the (VST Fx´d) signal directly. this is only possible with the full Cubase version, all other versions don´t show the input busses in the mixer or project window. Putting the FX into the audio track as opposed to the input bus will allow you to hear the FX, but record the dry signal only. With Studio version, you coluld route that audio track´s output to another audio track´s input and record that directly (as a workaround).

Besides of that i am wondering:

As far as I have learned and applied, you normally want to record the input signal as pure and unedited as possible. This is to have all the freedom for enhancements. A compressed signal is harder to EQ, etc.
Aditionally it may be confusing for singers/vocalists to hear their voice changed, it can make them sing different.

So why don’t you want to compress the output signal?
btw. some soundcards have integrated preamps, compressors, eq’s, etc. (e.g. motu ultralite) depending on your setup this may make more sense than within cubase…

Well, I was trying to add compression while recording because I’d read in a couple of places that it eliminates problems that you might otherwise have with a vocal track, like inconsistent volume levels due to the singer inadvertently moving closer/farther away from the mic during recording, or problems with clipping.
But is adding compression while recording vocal tracks not something that’s commonly done in the real world? Does it seem like most people wait to add compression after the recording’s been made, as a standard insert effect?

Actually Compressing vocals before the DAW is common practice in studios, the thing is this takes place before the converters using a good to very good outboard compressor. Putting a software compressor on the input buss (if available) is not the same and makes no real difference to what you want to achieve. In fact there are probably many more reasons not to do it on the input buss. At that point the signal has already been converted into digital so will make absolutely no difference to the signal the AD converter sees. If you are lacking in a great outboard compressor then your best bet is to use a software compressor on the playback channel, this will give you more flexibility in the long run.

And if you’re using the compressor to avoid clipping ( which as you now know you can’t really do as there are no input channels in cubase studio) make sure you record at 24 bit which if you set your levels correctly will allow enough headroom and a high enough noise floor to cope with very large variations in signal level.

I used to compression pre-AD conversion but in the end decided that my compressor was not really of good enough quality to make it worthwhile.

So I record everything pristinely now and use 24 bit whilst ensuring sufficient headroom

Thanks everybody for your responses. That was really helpful.