Control Room mixer

How many of you use the Control room mixer?

  • 1. I use it and really enjoy this feature.
  • 2. I have tried it but with my project studio, I don’t need it.
  • 3. Never tried it, seemed a little complicated.

0 voters

I have to admit that I have not been using the Control Room mixer in my project studio. I have the Presonus Central Station which allows me to mute, mono/or stereo my mixes, and with everything recorded in my one room, I did not think I really needed it.

With that being said, I have seen many new hardware hybrid devices out there, and there was always talk about the auxilary’s and the ability to have separate mixes for the singer, etc. I typicially just used the mix on my screen and made changes for customers, and then I would mix it again later on. I realized how much more work I am giving myself by this workflow. So I started to use the Control Room mixer, and have really enjoyed using the separate mix, being able to add reverb to the singer, or give a bass player hotter drum mixes in his cans. While on the Control Room mixer page, even though I have some of the features on the Presonus, it’s nice to have it on the mixer as well, and sometimes it’s faster to just click some of the nice function. I have not got into all the capabilties yet, but I am enjoying it. I am currently not aware of any other DAW that has a Control Room function like Nuendo/Cubase. Very nice feature indeed. :stuck_out_tongue:

CR is one of THE best features in cubase… even if you don’t need to create ‘studios’ then it is still massively useful, the listen enable function is great as is the ability to toggle mono/stereo etc… if you DO need to create foldback mixes then it’s massively handy… shame it’s limited to only four ‘studios’ though… i believe there was a thread on the old forum debating the number of ‘studios’ not being enough for quite a lot of people’s needs.
But yeah GREAT part of cubase!

I use a Central Station as well and have been using the control room since I moved to version 5. Before that, all you needed to do was to add a set of outputs and route to it for cue mixes. Listen enable is the invaluable feature. I use it all the time during overdubs so not to disturb the mix so I can focus in on what is being recorded. Click and drag to change the listen enable level ratio.

Simple and extremely useful feature and with a Central station, fantastic. You can audition back a real mix to the studio by just changing the cue source on the central station with the push of a button. You can audition the cue mix with a click as well in the control room. Awesome.

Just an FYI. If you are using the central station without an external microphone, get an external mic. The relay inside the unit for triggering talkback gets picked up by built-in mic pretty severely. At least here it does. My central station sits off to the side in the rack so I had to gain the mic up a little. I got some complaints of the click sound and attached an external mic. No more complaints. Also, get a foot switch if you don’t have one. It is handy for triggering talkback when you are lounging on the sofa in the control room. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone. A Frontier Tranzport comes in handy with this. The foot switch is handy all together even if you are not lounging because it keeps you from reaching and keeps your hands on the faders.

How does one use the Phone channel? I have my output 1 and 2 going to my Main Mix. So I can change the mix to the studio mix with a click of a button. It seems the phone output is a little redundant. If you use main mix like I do, is the phone mix then not needed?

Second question is I have the Main outputs of my Rosetta 800 going into the CS. If I want the person with the headphones to hear studio 1 mix, I could just push the button on the main mix to studio 1. If I want them to hear a separate mix from what I hear, I would have to use output 7&8 on studio 1 and route the output of 7&8 to the input of the headphone input on the CS?

I assume you are saying the talk back on the CS is not that great, and an external mic for lets say channel 8 on my Rosetta could be used for talk back. The manual suggestion on p 143 to use a compressor limiter a’s an insert on the talkbak channel to ensure proper levels. What mic do you suggest for a talk back? Do you just put it on a stand by your mixer?

Hi Glenn,

Here is how I have it configured:

4 outputs assigned to the CS. (CS=central station)
2 for TRS1 input
2 for TRS2 input

I associate the TRS1 L and TRS1 R coming from the DACS as my cue feed (studio send) which then is available in the mixer pane in studio sends.
I associate the TRS2 L and TRS 2 R coming from the DACS as my control room monitors in the control room setup.

In the central station you can select whatever source to go to cue. trs1 or trs2 inputs. Depending on the playback system you have , you can send split monos to have 2 different cue mixes or 1 stereo mix. This is when using the CS solely. In the old days, which I roll in today, 1 stereo cue or 2 mono cue mixes are usually good. I just have different headphones suited for different instruments like bass heavy ones for the bass player.

Ok, now the mic:
You can plug in an external mic into the CS. That is what I do. I use a very old dynamic mic. Any dynamic mic will do. I have it setting off to the side facing the general mix position so it can pick me up fairly directly as I sit at the station or lounge on the couch. It works well too for capturing the conversation in the room. Sometimes I have a producer in the control room with me and we talk to the artist together. The talk back issue I had was the internal CS mic. It picked up the clicking sound of the relay. I checked and it was loud. Using an external mic attached to the CS got rid of it and gave me a little freedom.

Make sense?

Maybe there are better ways? All I know is this is how I use it and it seems to work great.

It’s one of the best features in Cubase.

I Use it all the time, my only gripe is that on the cue mix side of things, more than 4 studios would be an improvement.

I actually use control room mixer for one thing: quick check of the mixdown in mono. If Cubase mixer had this feature (switching between mono and stereo on every channel) I wouldn’t be bothering with resetting my vst connections as my soundcard has only two outputs. However, if you run a studio and record bands I think control room is a real benefit.

Oops… I’ve just found a mono switch on my soundcard :blush: Anyway, long live Cubase! :smiley:

The control room is an awesome feature

Thanks Tom, I get the CS setup. What this setup means is even though you can switch between your studio and main mix in the control room mixer in Cubase with a mouse, you can use the button on the remote CS control to switch back and forth. :wink: If you wanted a 2nd studio mix to go to a different headphone mix, I like your idea of using a mono signal into the headphones which allows you to use less outputs in your D/A converters. But honestly, with my one room studio, I don’t think I would need more than 1 studio mix along with the main mix. Having two would be nice. I would get output 7 for studio mix 1 and output 8 for studio mix 2. I also have a 4 channel headphone amp as well, so I could route output 7 into one of them and output 8 in the second input on the headphone amp.

I will look into the external mic for the CS. I am sure I can get a cheap EV dynamic mic on Ebay.

I would still like someone to explain the purpose of the phone mix and how that relates to the main mix channel. When do you use the phone mix and how is it any different from the main mix?

I think it’s a great feature, and worked well for integrating ARC room correction software from IK Multimedia. That being said, I am often using a low-power notebook and a Metric Halo interface with a full DSP mixer, so I end up setting up cue mixes on that box instead of using the Control Room feature to set up cue mixes. I need to experiment more to find a good hybrid solution, since it does get clunky sometime when I need to set up a special 2-track mix for the performer when overdubbing.

Glenn, from the manual

RE: Phones

Create a Phones channel if you intend to listen to headphones
in the control room. The Phones channel is not intended
for use by performers in the studio. It is designed
for the engineer to quickly listen to any source in the studio,
including the four cue mixes, as a reference.

I have not messed with it for a while. When I set up the CS, set out to use the least amount of DAC outputs because I send a lot of stems out to external gear. I can’t see why you would need a phones channel. You can plug some headphones into the CS and push the volume knob down to switch between main and cue.

I think I will mess around with it today to see what features it holds. There may be a key command to togle control room source. I think I would still rather avoid the mouse clicks to change source though.

You may be better off using the Metric Halo for your cues. Do you have the DSP version? The reason I say this is because your latency would be nothing with creating your cues in the halo. If you are using a laptop, I think it would be a better solution then routing in cubase.

Yeah I read that too. But it does not seem to offer anything different from the Main Mix. Both have the same buttons. I am thinking perhaps if your Main Mix was not in output 1 and 2, then perhaps it offers something different. Still getting my feet wet with the Control Room mixer. I finally have said goodbye to Samplitude 10 for mixing and recording. I like Cubase 5 better, especially with the Control Room feature. Still am annoyed at the Reverence mix slider being grayed out.

Yeah, it doesn’t make sense about the reverence plug. Steinberg posting in the old nuendo forums said they would change it back. Hopefully they port it to cubase as well.

I just spent some time, well, a very little time, with setting up a phones send. It doesn’t do much of anything except like you said in mirroring the stereo out. I even opened the control room overview to see where it is placed. For the life of me, I can only 1/2 understand that signal flow diagram, but it does seem to just mirror. I only spent a couple of minutes with it though. I never used it because there is no integration with channel studio sends which is what I was after at the time.

I did find in the key commands that you can assign shortcuts to the control room source (pretty sure though not 100% of this exact command). I saw a bunch of assignable commands regarding the control room. Oh crap. I did all this in Nuendo. Well, I am pretty sure the same commands are available in Cubase.