Control Room, Yay or Nay?

Hi Everyone,

So I’m always enticed by the control room as it seems like a feature rich part of Cubase, but I worry about unnecessary CPU overhead. If I already have an analog monitor controller (Drawmer MC2.1 Desktop Monitor Controller | Sweetwater), is there anything that the CR adds that is really fantastic?


PS: I mostly write in the box with VI’s and don’t do a lot of recording with Cubase.

You can add plugins to the CR outputs, giving you the option to tweak/simulate different calibrations. And metering options.

It’s also quite nice having onscreen controls for volume without affecting the main mixer channels, and removing any reference to outputs from your projects. I’ve changed interfaces before and had to change each projects main outputs on loading, whereas CR outs are global.

Okay, so if you’re in a less than ideal listening environment you can add some EQ to compensate for the room?

That sounds promising. Anything else?


Listen mode alone is reason enough for me to use Control Room. I also use an alternate mix when tracking and control room is great for that.

Just watched this video Demystifying the Control Room In Cubase - Part 4 - The Listen Bus - YouTube and Listen mode is super cool!

I think I’ll give the CR a try. Thanks everyone!

Yes, you could add ‘room compensation EQ’ or use something like Sonarworks for the same purpose. The advantage here vs. an external monitor controller is that you can have different processing for each different set of monitors that you may have.

My personal favourite use for Control Room is the ability to set up multiple ‘Reference’ tracks, which enables you to instantly compare your mix to 4 other references at the touch of a button (without those references having to pass through any master buss processing that you may be using). You can also use this to visualise/compare your reference tracks on a spectrum analyser plugin.

Control Room is also superb for setting up monitor mixes for recording vocalists etc.

If you want the best of both worlds, get yourself a hardware controller that can control ‘Control Room’. I use an Avid Artist Transport and it is perfect.

I also have plugins set up on my Control Room which enable me to monitor the MID or SIDE signal which I find quite useful when comparing to reference mixes (these are switchable from my DAW controller).

In a nutshell, Control Room is one of my favourite Cubase features and I’m not aware of another DAW that covers this area as well as Cubase.

Wow good shout Glenn0! Never used listen mode before and that looks really useful, so a thanks from me too with that suggestion. The more I learn about Cubase the more I love it, Control Room is definitely a standout feature.

all the above

You can set up Cue mixes for yourself to create alternative monitoring paths for specific things - drums and bass for instance.

I use the control room inserts for my different analyze plugins, and a tuner.

Talkback control is nice, and you can also record the TB input to a track while using it.

you can switch from Stereo monitor to Mono

perfect for reference tracks set up via the cue mix… jump between multiple references without having to worry about muting, soloing, overloading or your plugins altering the reference.

No reason for “nay” - provided you have a couple of physical ins and outs available on your audio interface.
Cheers, Ernst

Some people missing the point that the OP already owns a Drawmer monitor controller, so setting levels and swapping to different reference monitors exists already for them in hardware. It’s what CR room delivers in addition to that what makes them curious i imagine?

Also integrating CR to go via the hardware controller may be tricky? I don’t know as i only use basic/manual mixing desks. CR is something i would use ‘instead’ of the hardware, personally.

I use both hardware controller and control room.

I use a multi-out mixing desk with CR, and to be honest, i could just avoid routing through the mixing desk since using Cubase. Trouble is, some days i just wanna do stuff without a computer turned on. But i do wonder if i’d have a cleaner signal chain going direct out to the monitors from the interface.

Listen mode, inserts for each CR output, autonomous monitor level control independent of main output levels, monitor presets, cue mixes, external inputs (especially useful for reference material), metering options, ability to set and recall a specific reference level, talkback…

I love the Control Room. Although I record a fair bit with musicians, so sometimes (often) wish there were more than 4 cue mixes available.

I’ve got a plenty with my MOTU 1248.

Thanks everyone for the great discussion and advise!

Are you able to hear preview loops and samples without using control room? I use it but thought from past threads it was a requirement. could be wrong.

You are.

I have read about a bug where the loop previews stop working related to changing outputs/swapping to Control Room, so i expect it’s that which you’ve read somewhere. I remember reading it a month or two back.

Personally I couldn’t live without cue sends and their dedicated inserts in the control room but suppose that only really matters if you are recording a group of live players with their own cue mix.

I’ve never looked into the Control Room for the simple reason I assumed it was fitted for recording artists and sending cue mixes.

Learning here how it could make Referencing more convenient has intrigued me! Do I need multiple ins/outs to send the reference tracks? Or can that be done internally?