Cubase Mix Console vs Pro Tools Mix Window

Anyone ever done a comparison of Cubase Mix Console and Pro Tools Mix Window (console)? Would be good to know your view and how both DAWs stack up. I’ve been studying at Berklee since September and almost everything is taught with Pro Tools, so I got one through a student discount. Initially I tried sticking to Cubase with my mix assignments, but in one of those assignments, I decided to use Pro Tools, and since I’ve been stuck with it somewhat. Below are the reasons why:

(1) Pro Tools folders show up in the mix console and so you can basically organize your tracks in those folders, without moving back and forth between the mix and edit windows. This is the most convenient part for me because it allows me to structure my mix faster. I can group my tracks, assign them to folders, all from the mix window without flipping back and forth. You can have multiple nested folders especially for drum parts. There are also routing folders that play more complex roles for routing all tracks in the folders.
(2) I like the dual panning knobs on stereo tracks in PT, because they provide more flexibility and width for panning;
(3) The color schemes for tracks in PT is quite beautiful, and allows me to distinguish tracks. I don’t think Cubase track color implementation is very rich enough. The colors are either too blank or too saturated and somewhat to the eyes, so I just keep things to the default.
(4) Ergonomically, the PT mix window is very friendly, sleek, beautiful, unwieldy, uncluttered, dumbed-down, with no folding parts unlike the Cubase Console with deep folding architecture where the inserts, routing, pre/gain, VCA, Direct Routing, Channel strips, all fold in and out. PT in contrasts, provides you with a complete view of your plugins, sends, inputs, outputs, panning, and everything in clear, clean view. It’s amazing how they achieved it without folding architecture.
(5) Routing, bussing, and submixing is also very easily done. With the multi-stage routing, you can easily gain stage and avoid clipping your volumes in PT. I cannot say that of Cubase, although you can achieve the same multi-level routing, but most times I see my volumes clipping in Cubase.
(6) The trim plugin in PT makes life easier. You can set the level thresholds, and it helps gain stage and keep individual track volumes in check relative to your preferred thresholds. The Trim plugin is native to PT and doesn’t add any artefacts or harmonics, it’s also not a limiter or compressor so it doesn’t really do anything apart from keeping your levels where you want them on individual tracks. Very quick and easy to do. You can argue that using the Pre/Gain levels in Cubase you can achieve the same…that’s a valid argument.
(7) Mix and Edit Groups in PT offers a convenient way of organizing your mix and also deciding what can be collectively edited. You can choose to apply mix and edits collectively in a group or treat them individually.
(8) The Aux tracks/subgroups are the greatest catch in PT. With these you can literally do anything to a collection of tracks, process them, route them to a submix then to a master track etc. I just find the signal routing and controls very cute and compelling.
(9) I like the fact that you can unbundle almost all the components of the PT mix window and decouple them. It’s very modular and whatever view you don’t want to see, you basically unbundle them. Cubase is almost the same, but execution is where PT gets the edge. It’s cleanly executed.

Any views would be appreciated.

Definitely, we can achieve all of these in Cubase, but to what degree of proficiency and flexibility?


I’m sorry, I don’t know Pro Tools deeply, but I will try my best to write some comments from Cubase point of view.

You are right, there are no folders in Cubase’s MixConsole. Anyway, in the Visibility tab, you can see the Project window folders. You can use them to show/hide all tracks/channels of the folder (and subfolder).

Click to the right side (triangle) of the panner. Here you can choose Stereo Combined Panner. In the Preferences > VST, you can choose Default Stereo Panner Mode.

I the Preferences > User Interface > Track & MixConsole Channel Colors > Colorize Track and MixConsole Channels, you can enable to colorise MixConsole Channels the similar way, how it is in Pro Tools Mixer.

In Cubase you can also open multiple tabs at once to see all you need at once.

The Pre/Gain argument is exactly the one I wanted to say. :slight_smile:

I’m not sure I know exactly, how does this work in Pro Tools. In Cubase, you can use Q-Link.

You can do the same with the Group Channel in Cubase, or am I missing something?

To add to what Martin has kindly replied with, i think this video from Dom Sigalas is brilliant to explain some of the questions you have:-

It’s quite a long video, but packed with tips from a mixers perspective.