direct vs. routing vs. sends

It happens quite a lot to me that I love a new cubase/nuendo feature, but then it is hidden somewhere and requires multiple steps, so that in the long run I just can’t remember, and I stop using the feature.

“direct” is one of it.

so I love the idea of routing my music stem to both the stereo mixdown bus AND the 5.1 mixdown bus.

but to make use of the direct routing, I have to activate summing modes by using LINK, before that I have to open the mixing console (where I never go) and find the direct mode rack, which is not visible by default, I have to “Set up your output busses as routing destinations.”, which I don’t know what it is. So it is still not working here, that’s why I simply will use sends and forget about “direct routing” forever.

please correct me if I’m wrong or if my way of thinking is just weird, but I wonder why it is not just possible to add more outputs in the “inspector”, which would be the easiest choice.

I’m guessing a lot of us aren’t bothered by this since for stems we often simply create the required routing in templates and take it from there. And accessing whatever we need - meaning opening a mixer, expanding sections and panes etc - that’s all doable with key commands.

No offense, but it seems that rather than just give up on this because you don’t wish to open the mixer and read through a bit more of the manual to figure out how to get it done you could simply spend a bit of energy and time to do this. It’s really not that much of an effort.

thanks Mattias,
I don’t mind reading and learning, I just always ask myself: is it something I’m gonna remember and is it worth it?

If someone would point me to the advantages of this method im comparison to using sends I’d go for the effort.

I use Direct Routing a lot, but especially in a 5.1-to-stereo setup it lacks any option to manually adjust downmix levels.

In my opinion the one negative is that there’s a possibility of having a mismatch between pan law and automatic adjustments when using direct outs. It’s easy enough to match but you just have to commit to it and be aware of it (if it is relevant to you).

The benefit is that you can set this up in a template and be done with it. You can hide all of it and then know that direct outs are for stems and sends are for effects etc. It’s just a bit neater this way. A lot neater actually.

The way I’ve worked when I’ve done jobs for broadcast for example is that (in my template) I have my groups contain all the basic elements, dialog/narration/fx etc, and those all go to outputs. I use direct routing to create all relevant stems. Since we have several “mixers”, or mixer views really, I simply choose the last one and have that show only my groups and outputs. So with a keystroke I can open that at any time to verify my routing if I need to, which can be convenient if I want to watch the whole thing from beginning to end without stopping during a review. I never have to adjust any sends or levels because all of that has been set up already, and so I trust my template and its routing. If I used sends instead there’d be a bigger risk of me accidentally changing a level on a stem simply because with sends I use them (duh), but with direct outs I don’t touch them (there’s nothing to touch really).

Not sure if that makes sense.

What do you use the software for? Perhaps it’s something you don’t need.

You mean folding down differently?

I often use Direct Outs for Parallel Processing :bulb:
Easy handling and channel sends are untouched.
Direct Outs are a great feature in Nuendo.

I configure my deliveries -that includes stems- in the “outputs” section.
5.1 cinema, 5.1 TV, Stereo TV_R128, Stereo Social Media, stems, etc …
So I can export all my deliveries in one simple export.

So I use direct routing to route my Groups to the different outputs.
It’s a great feature and timesaver.


thanks everyone for the insight!

well I’m building my templates right now, so I might implement it.

I’m also afraid I might touch the sends…
I do everything from foley, sound design, to mixing / mastering here. So I export TV, web, 5.1, sometimes stems…
great idea with the one mix console that only shows groups/outputs! I try that.

by routing your groups to different outputs you can’t adjust the levels of the outputs (and apply plugins if needed), unless you create another group for it, right?
So how would I set it up in the output section?

I know you were asking Fredo, but at least the way I and a few other people do it is we use the outputs created in the output tab as the final source for renders/exports. I never ever touch them. I might slap a brickwall limiter on there but it’s very, very rare it ever does any work. Really the only thing on there is iZotope Insight for metering. So all processing is really done before the output.

But if you wanted to you could place processing on the output channels just like you do on groups, fx and audio tracks.

So audio tracks go to groups according to their content, those groups then go to outputs according to function again (i.e full mix, mix minus, dialog stem etc). You can absolutely have one group go to another group, and in fact it’s sometimes preferable depending on the deliverables. But again; even if that’s the case some of us still render from outputs only.

I print my stems and then import those into a Versioning or if you will a mastering session. Makes the offline export screaming fast verses doing all your deliveries from the Mix session. In my Mastering Template I have added each delivery to my Monitor Sources in control room, great way to check what goes where or making sure things go where they are suppose to be.

yes, I work the same way, my missing link was/is the lack of understanding how these outputs channels are created.
I create the outputs in the I/O connections window, but they do not regulary show up as channels in the edit window.

So there is always a stereo “master channel” when creating a new project, but no 5.1 channel. for example, I just tried out a lot, and suddenly there is a “5.1 Out” channel, but I don’t know how I did that. Also, I deleted the “Stereo” channel, and don’t know how to get it back.

edit: okay, I did it by defining an output as standard output, save project, close and open again, and there is the output channel.
not that I want to put plugins there, but now I get it.

Aha, the missing outputs in project window feature/bug…

Well some prefer not to see them apparently, the way to make them visible is to turn on automation on the output tracks (and off if you don’t want to have them on).
Why do we need to do this? I have no idea, it has been this way forever. Now I am so used to it so if I can’t see them, aha automation r/w on and now they exist…

I, for one, like to have my surrounds pretty loud in my downmix - louder than the pre-set values. According to the manual they can’t be changed in case of Direct Routing to different output formats.

Got it.