Control Room, Yay or Nay?

The way I reference is just by clicking the Listen button, having the dim level at minus infinity. No additional ins/outs necessary.

I’ll have a play around with this, thanks!
Saves the hassles of soloing / muting each reference etc

Use the cue mixes but don’t have the cues routed to to an output in the hardware set up, there’s a video on youtube how to do it. This gives you 4 reference tracks each as a 1 click switch.

I don’t believe the dim method (which is new to me) will bypass the master chain. You don’t want your master processing on the reference tracks.

The listen bus never passes the master. I know the cue trick but it doesn’t differ in result.

My reference tracks - which often also are previous bounces of the current mix - are routed to nowhere (no bus), I simply stack them - as many as I like - on the bottom of my projects. Doesn’t really make a big difference whether I just press L (or shift + L to switch between them) or one of the cue mix buttons. Ok, the difference is that I don’t even have to route them to cues at all. One step less.

One step less = one step more in case the listen dim isn’t at minus infinity already. In my workflow it is most of the time. The dim slider is always visible in my setup so it’s still faster for me to grab it compared to set routings of reference tracks.

I really enjoy that Cubase offers a lot of ‘ways to rome’.

It will of course bypass the master chain. That´s the whole point of a PFL/AFL bus.

So if I have a Compressor on the Master Chain, I can in theory Cue 4 reference tracks in the Control Room, and by using the dim method bypass that compressor so as not to affect the references?

I’m confused by the dim method, it’s new to me and I’ve not seen it done. Personally I use the cues. Activate all 4 in VST Connections Studio but don’t route them to an output, this will create the 4 reference buttons in the Control Room panel. Add 4 audio tracks to your template. At the top of the mixer have them not going to any output. Set each of the 4 tracks to it’s own Cue (make sure the cue sends is set to visible in the mixer view settings). Save template.

He only does 1 here

If you use the method described by marQs, you can use as many reference tracks as you like. And yes, the „Listen function“ implements a PFL / AFL bus (user definable in the settings), that monitors the signal directly before or after the fader of the channel that has „L“ enabled.

Yes… I’m definitely going to be adopting this “Listen Dim -Infinity” method. Referencing previous mix downs wasn’t something I planned on doing but I’ve found myself doing it more with each new session, repeatably loading last nights/weeks mix into the project as a quick check. My only wish is I’d kept previous mixes of earlier projects to do the same. Strongly recommend!

The Cue mixes will be kept for NON previous mix references, ones set at the start. In a large project, the only advantage of using the CUE reference is you don’t need to go back to the audio track to select it. Switching tracks as you switch monitors, from the same control area.

Brilliant, thank you! I’ll play around with that today

Good point!

Most of the time I have several mix versions in the project but the latest (aka most important comparison track) pinned to the right in the mixer. This one is always there, for others I have to scroll. I might adapt that Cue-method as well on occasion :wink:

Another good idea, although i will use left, my groups tracks are pinned right, FX pinned left, usually only a few FX so space for reference pins.

test (profile modifications)

From the top of my head:

  1. If you have several monitors, you can use a different output gain setting on each of them in order to balance their level and be able to do A/B comparisons without any acoustic level difference between each set of monitors.

  2. A super useful function for me is the ability to pan the cue send signals. This way, I can use a single headphone mix for two kinds of musicians. For instance, if I have a rock band with two guitarists, I’ll use the exact same mix, but pan Guitar1 to the Left and Guitar2 to the right of the same cue mix. That way the guitarists can play off of each other and still listen to their exact emphasized sound. Some of them even take off one side of the headphones to “mute out” the other guitarist.

  3. Inserts on the control room channels are also really useful. I like to EQ my talkback for it to cut through the headphone mixes without having to explode its gain settings.

  4. The cue mix inserts are also useful to add gain stages to your headphone mix outputs. Specially if you use passive headphone distribution boxes. For instance, I used to have a “little red cue box”. So one Cue from Cubase could be used by 4 musicians in the live room. However, every set of cans connected to the red box would lower the overall max volume, so I discovered I could just insert a compressor on the Cue inserts in order to squeeze the signal a little bit and use the compressor’s make up gain to add more volume. This way, all four cans on the passive headphone box would get a little bit more volume. However, this is only possible if your D/A converter can take the extra gain without distorting the signal. In my case, it saved an ongoing recording session while also eliminating the need to purchase a headphone amplifier. Double the win!

… and so forth…

I don’t think there is a single hardware Monitor Controller on the market that does everything that Cubase’s Control Room does. In my opinion, it’s a hidden gem. For the sum of $0, you can have all the functionality of any MC out there (and then some). Even if you already own an MC there are Control Room functions that you can take advantage of to make your MC even more powerful.

If anything, I wish Control Room had more options, for example:

  1. More Cue channels (Cubase is limited to only 4)
  2. A way to customize its interface (it tends to get bulky)
  3. A button for the listen bus to sound also on the cue mixes, instead of only sounding through the Main and Phones sections
  4. Remote control of the Cues and Main section via a MIDI controller.

    Maybe for Christmas? :slight_smile:

I agree that the user interface could be better (a dedicated control room mixer window would be handy, could take more space and provide accessibility to more items at once). And FULL midi control of course… (the limitations are random - another example that noone really cares for the Remote Control thing at Steinberg).

There is ONE thing I have to oppose, though: Why do you think it is a HIDDEN gem? It is obvious it is there and minimal reading makes it accessible to everybody. It is NOT HIDDEN :slight_smile:

Didn’t we used to have a dedicated Control Room mixer window in Cubase 5 or 6? I was sad to lose it. I’ve kind of got used to the “new” layout now, but it would be nice to have a CR mixer window again, so there could be a choice of options available depending on one’s needs.

The main thing I’d like though is more than just 4 cue sends!

Agree the 4 cue sends are way to little.
Most venues around these parts have switched to digital mixing desks.
Bands are used to individual headphone mixes for every member when they play live.
Hard to explain that it is not easily possible when they are in a studio.
( I know I could use regular sends or invest in some gear just for monitoring )