Control room nuendo 6 monitoring through the main speakers

Hello all,

Maybe a stupid question, I like the concept of the controlroom but I encountered a problem that caused that I don’t use it anymore. I am running Nuendo 6 with a fireface 800. I made 4 cuemixes for the musicians an used the mainmix going to my Monitorspeakers to monitors the recordings. Unfortunately I could not hear the vocals good enough so I rised the vocal fader to the max but in fact it still was’nt loud enough. After hitting stop and playback you can imagine what happened. The vocals almost blow up my speakers.
Ofcourse I could have turned everything els down instead of rising the vocal rider but what if I have a nice mix and I am recording only the vocals , than I would ruin my nice mix.

Today I was looking through some tutorials but could not find the answer.
What am I doing wrong ? Shroud I also make a cuemix for myself ? Should I listen to the cuemix from the vocalist ?
Please let me Know how you are working with this.

Regards Gerardo

This sounds like your main mix is already “loud”.
There is no way a vocal can get louder than a full wall of sound.
Just put your complete music mix through a “Music” Group. Send this mis to the headphones (Cue 1)
Lower that group until the vocalist can get above it, and you are done.

Problem is not related to Control Room, you would bump into the same problem on a console …


Perhaps he could use listen mode on the vocal track, and use the listen dim setting on the control room section to adjust the music level instead of fully cutting it.

This will give him as well 18 dB of global gain using the listen level in the control room section.

Hello Fredo ,
Maybe you have a point but most of the times I record all the instruments first en then later on I record the vocals.
Before the vocalist comes to sing I already mixed the music. My problem is not to get a good sounding mix to cue 1 for the vocalist to hear himself. My problem is getting the vocalist loud enough on my main speakers during recording so I can hear him loud enough to judge if he is doing a good job. The only place where I could adapt his volume is rising the fader in the mainmix or is this the wrong place to adapt ? Thats why I asked should I also make and listen on a cuemix ?

Regards Gerardo

Hello Helidream,

This may be an option to make it work but it feels like a work around for me.

Normally , if i am not using the controlroom I use the totalmix feature from the fireface. I just select my main outputs and adjust the faders of the incoming signals in this case mainmix stereobus an Vocalist channel and adapt it to taste.

But I wil try your option.

Regards Gerardo

It sounds to me as if you have an issue either with routing or with gain-staging. I suggest you either post screencaps of your project setup / levels, or give a more detailed description.

Okay I will try to explain better :

Forget about the cue mixes I have no issue there.

I use a fireface 800. On output 1+2 I connect my mainspeakers. On the other outputs possible cuemixes.
I have setup directmonitoring in the fireface and activated the controlroom.
Lets assume I want to record a vocalist on channel 7 from the fireface. I will ad a audiotrack in nuendo and set the input of that track to channel 7 and the output to stereo out. I will arm the track for record and start recording.
In nuendos main mixer (F3) I will see the faders of the channels that are playing back an the channel I am recording on.
I will hear the singer through my mainspeakers. If I dont hear him loud enough I can rise the fader of the armed track.
So far as I know there is no other way of rising the incoming level to monitor the singer during his performance .
(Besides adjusting the inputgain on the pre amps but i would be recording to hot)

The fireface comes with totalmix. I dont know if you are familiar with it but totalmix in fact is a dedicated softwaremixer to make routings and fader and pan levels with the in and outputs from the fireface.
If I rise the armed fader in the nuendo mainmixer (F3) to the max I can see in totalmix that the corresponding fader is moving but it will not reach the max. (I think there is my problem).

If I dont use the controlroom I work in totalmix and I can rise there the inputfader from channel 7 (which is routed to main 1+2+) to the max if i want and this gives me plenty of volume. I also can adjust the mainfaders which are representing the playbackchannels and lower them down if I want without affecting my mainmixer settings in Nuendo.

So may be my way of thinking is totaly wrong. I assume that if you are recording you are listening through your main speakers and looking at your mainmixer in nuendo. How do you adapt the level of the incoming vocals to monitor the vocalist performance ?

Or do you setup a cuemix for yourself that you send to the main speakers so that this does not affect the fader settings in the mainmixer (F3) from nuendo ?

Sorry for the long story but I hope this shines a light on my problem .

Let me try it one more time.

  • The signal strength of your incoming vocalist (channel 7) can never be strong/loud/powerfull enough to be “louder” than your x-channel music mix.
  • In the digital domain, there is a ceiling no-one can cross. That is 0dBFs. Hence the reason why people use compressors and limiters to make things louder.

So, inevitably there is a limit to getting things “louder”. (I.e. your vocal track)

The only solution to the problem of “can’t get it any louder” is to make other stuff less loud.
Since the master fader lowers all channels (including the vocal track) you need to find a way to lower the music mix vs. the vocal channel. Either you lower all of your music mix faders by the same amount (messing up the mix) or you route the music mix to a group channel, which will you allow to lower it in volume vs. the vocal track.


Hello Fredo ,

You are right . I think routing the music to a group channel is the only way to go.

Still I wonder if there is an option to “calibrate” the fader to the corresponding fader in totalmix .
But may be this only works a 100% if you use Steinberg gear

Thnks I will let you all now the results

What you are asking for is listen mode. It will give you the possibility to lower the music mix and rise the global level at the same time effectively rising the vocal level. But it will not work i think with direct monitoring. This is your problem.

Could you disable direct monitoring ? At least to try ?

Because your are using zero latency direct monitoring, Nuendo communicate to the Fireface to give her the mix level from channel 7 to the mix. But this does not take into account hardware implementation differences, specially the fader headroom available in the fireface mixer.

Another thing that is not taken into account with zero latency direct monitoring is the track effects that you could have inside Nuendo. If you have a compressor inside Nuendo, it will not be replicated during recording because Nuendo is bypassed on the recorded channel during input channel zero latency monitoring switching.

You’ll have to duplicate this compressor manually inside totalmix if possible, if your interface do have effect processing available at this place.

If the effects you have inside Nuendo on the recorded channels are not duplicated inside the zero latency monitoring path in your interface, then you’ll have EQ and or level differences when swithing to recording mode.

This is where it is interesting to have an interface more integrated with Nuendo at the monitoring level. I think that high end Steinberg and Yamaha Nuage interfaces do allow to setup effects in the ZLM path directly from Nuendo. You’ll have to ask to other users or read those interface manuals to know exactly what they can do here. I never tried them myself.

I think that another advantage to use advanced interfaces is that you can put exactly the same effects and EQ in Nuendo and in the Interface direct monitoring path because interface effect plugins duplicating those from Nuendo are available.
This is not possible with third party interfaces, for example you will never have the same compressor or EQ.

Another solution is to use an analog console for recording. Here you’ll have all the routing and monitoring perfectly working and ergonomically user friendly. And true zero latency monitoring too ! This is still today frequent inside studios where high end analog recording console are still available.

Your other solution is a dedicated mix for recording or grouping music channels so that you can lower music when recording voice.

I would be interested to know your results with listen mode, i’m curious to know if it is duplicated inside the interface zero latency monitoring path.

Really, using listen Mode in ADM, is asking for troubles.
The procedure is simple as hell, same as gain staging in any recording situation.
I really don’t see any reason to start complicating things with TotalMix or anything else.
Don’t get me wrong about this, I do not mean to sound denigrating, but if the OP already has issues with a normal recording/gain staging procedure, how on earth do you expect that he finds his way in the Jungle of TotalMix or the likes …

If not not using a hardware front end (mixer) for monitoring, then ADM is the only logical next step.

Best regards

There’s also another way of doing it that may be worth considering;

If you simply route all music to a group and then lower the level of it to have it be low enough for your vocals, then every time you want to go back to where you were you’ll have to undo that gain change. The other way of doing it is routing it to a group or output that in itself has no output assigned, but you set up Control Room to be able to monitor from it. So if you now send everything to it at a lower level, add the vocal at a higher level, then simply switching in Control Room will allow you to “instantly” switch between level-adjusted mix while tracking versus “real mix”, all without disturbing the signal flow of recording/mixing and cue mixes.