Cubase 6 tracks & mixing

İ wanted to ask something about vst libraries and mixing in general with Cubase 6.5:

For example we have 8 tracks of;
1- Piano
2- violin staccatos
3- viola staccatos
4- Percussions (low)
5- Percussions (high)
6- Bass guitar
7- Synth Pad
8- Choirs

I need 2 answers for these questions:

1- What do you usually do after composing your music for mix? Are you exporting each channel into wav and again import them as a new project to mix it channel by channel?

2- this is the most important question for me: are you applying compressor and limiter to each channel independently or applying compressor and limiter to the main output for common settings? And also which and what type of compressor settings do you oftenly use for these type instruments?

Thank you very much!

  1. Only if I’m planning to import a project into another DAW software. Sometimes I export some tracks (and re-import them to the project), if they are cluttered with different takes and I want to clean up them or if there’s some plug-in which migh behave in undeterministic manner and ruin the mix by doing so (auto-tune etc).
  2. Always use compressors/limiteres where needed (tracks, groups, main buss). There’s no generic rule. I personally try to avoid them in the main buss to leave as much options as possible for mastering phase.
  1. Another option is to bounce the audio to 8 new tracks in the same project. Make a folder called MIX and put them in that folder. Then disable the source tracks. This frees up resources, but leaves the source readily available if you need a tweak from the source.

  2. There is no answer here, just a bunch ‘you could’. For example.
    Limiters … For regular genre use, they are protection not necessarily an effect. You can use them on single problem tracks when you know you might get extreme spikes, such as from a troublesome VSTi. Or, you can put it on the master just to be sure. Then disable before mastering…

For a lot of modern music (unfortunately), the limiter has become THE loudness tool. So, it really depends what you are going for.

Compressors … For classical or jazz I rarely use more than very light compression on individual tracks to smooth out occasional playing that causes the instrument to jump out of the group. Something like an LA2A … Vocals really depend on the singer to what type and how much compression. Again, Modern music uses compressors for everything. Most compressors come with presets for various starting points. But, they seldom work the way you want because it is completely source dependent. Having someone tell you there settings is useless.

Dear Jarno & JMCecil,

Thank you for your quick replies. I needed some other true examples for compressing and limitin the vst and live recording channels. I got your point.

I generally prefer cubase’s plugins.


The problem with “true examples” is that there really isn’t any. Compressing and limiting is kind of an art. You have to use your ears: If a single track needs reduction of dynamics, put compressor on that one. If a group of instruments needs it, route them to a group and compress that one. Main thing is (as a great pioneer of using compressors, Joe Meek, said): “if it sounds right, it is right”.