Does the External Effects Bus allow only ONE input?

I am starting to use the External Effects Bus, a little new at it. I am able to create the bus but then I find that it only works on a single insert of a single channel. Meaning I can only plug one channel into it. If I try to add another channel, as I open the Ext Efx Bus within the channel insert window, I find the item greyed out - not available. This doesn’t seem right.

If I had and analog equivalent, it would be a a patchbay going to a mono effect, in this case a comp. With the patchbay I could plug in as many channels as the patchbay could handle. Am I talking apples to oranges?

Here’s what I want to do: Create a mono External Effects Bus and run my kick and my bass guitar tracks into it. And on occassion, I would like to run the whole drum kit sub mix into it. Is this not possible? My mixer has 16 outs so I am ready to roll here. Is it possible that Steiny wants me to create multiple Ext Efx Bus’s and use one for each channel? Is this even possible? Can I assign the same physical channel out to multiple DAW channels in Cubase?

The manual is light (but not casting light) on this subject. It says I can create a Ext Efx Bus and where to find it but not much more. Is anybody besides me into going external with an effect? Thanks for any help.

If you mean that you can only use one instance of an external FX then that is the reality of physics!

The only way to route more channels to an external FX is to put it on a group channel and route to that or use it in an FX buss (same thing as a group buss (in essence)).

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The short answer is no. It permits as many as you have available inputs and outputs for your audio interface and whether the external effect uses both digital and analog.

Assuming you had 8 analog i/o interface and were using 2 for master bus stereo for your monitors, you could use the other 6 for any combination of mono or stereo links up to the maximum total of 6, i.e., 2 stereo effects (4) and 2 mono effects (2) for your total 6 available.

Of course, as Split points out, they won’t do you any good if you only have 1 external effect to connect to.


Never used External FX with Cubase, so perhaps this is nonsense … Can mr.roos route the kick and bass guitar tracks (or the drum kit submix) to a group/buss and then route that group/buss (as a send or instert?) to the external unit?

Only if he want to! :smiley:


Damn… you guys are good. :slight_smile: I was so locked into thinking that I could insert many channels into the Ext Efx via the channel inserts that I overlooked the Group channel. :laughing: Which amounts to the same thing for what I am doing, and actually could be better because I could then use other plugins on the various channel inserts before going to the Group.

That’s another thing about the Ext Efx Bus - this is all the insert will allow. In other words, you can’t stack up vst plugins on the insert and then add the Ext Efx insert. ?? Yeah, somebody double check me on this but this has been my experience.

Another thing, not sure how your interfaces are working, but I can run just the ‘send’ part of the Bus, and not the ‘return’. Cubase will not configure the delay compensation when I do this so I have to change the track setting manually. And here it is the same value, 5.33ms, that my Mackie Driver is putting out.

Well, thank you all for checking in on this. I am glad to see that there are some others that are into this feature! I predict many more questions from me. :confused:

Damn again, you guys made me get further into this.

I was incorrect/wrong about not being able to stack VST efx in the insert chain before the Ext Efx bus. Sure, you can do this.

But here I did the full bus this time, not the ‘half bus’ I was using. Which to do this on my interface is to come out of an AUX from the send channel and go to the input of another channel. Well, two things happened when I did this. Steinberg found my delay at 20ms running into a Waves SSL4000 plugin and then to the external comp and back to the DAW (a rebuilt dbx160X, BTW). The next thing that happened was… wait for it: I understood the Ext Efx Bus. :blush: It is running an external effect as a VST. Doh! I did not get this, I am sorry to say.

This means the only way I can record the channel with the Efx is to mix my project down. (Well, I could record a single channel and drag it back into the project, true.) Needless to say, this was all an eye opener. And I say that because, with my board, when you split the bus, (which is what I was doing) I can route the send to an input on a channel and monitor/record things very differently. I conceed though, the way Steinberg designed this is better because the C6 delay compensation is more accurate than my ears. :laughing:

OK, have I said how awesome this option is? I sent my kick out thru the Waves plugin and then into the dbx unit. OMG!!! This is the fattest kick drum I have ever heard! I can’t begin to tell you how happy this makes me. Steinberg Rules, C6 is the total package!! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

…and thank you guys for the help once again!

If I read you correctly then yes you can have plugins before the Ext FX on a channel/Group insert.

Again I’m not sure what you are doing here? But obviously if you haven’t run a return from the external FX the delay compensation cannot be worked out automatically. Why would you want to do this?

Without an Xternal FX return, how are you gonna get your effect back?

Also, reread the manual. There is an adjustment in the VST Connections Xternal effects page … a little ‘ping’ … to calculate the round trip delay and set the value so Cubase take it into the overall Plugin Delay Compensation.


Looks like I replied just after you posted again!!!

When you set up an Ext Fx buss you need to define output and input routing for it.

So your Ext compressor will receive an Input from the Ext Fx output buss then the Ext compressor will return a signal back to your defined Input of the Ext Fx buss, this Ext routing is like a loop through the Ext Compressor.

You will then be able to click on the Ping button on the Ext Fx box and Cubase will send a small signal through the compressor to work out the signal delay via the compressor. With an analogue compressor I would expect the resultant delay to be reported at well under 1ms more like 0.1 or so!

The compressor return should not be routed through a normal channel input.

When set up properly the Ext Fx can be treated like any other plugin and export will work just like it always does, except export will only be in realtime and you can only have one instance of the Ext Fx in a project (as it’s not a virtual device) ye cannae change the laws of physics jim!

Split and Como - Thanks you guys.

Well, Split, yeah, I am thinking I am having better results running things this way, as Steiny intended. And the ping thing is working. And it says 20ms. ?? And the track is aligned as far as I can tell. I will also add that - if I skipped the VST plugin prior to the EEBus, my delay was actually higher, like 32ms. So here, interestingly enough, the internal compensation that is applied to the VST plugin (I think this happens) actually impacted the speed of my bus. Kinda weird to see.

Split, when you say I should not run it back into a channel, keep in mind, on the Mackie, one channel is/can be stripped down to one input transister and straight to firewire. Really there are no quicker input path on the board. And - yes - doing it this way, with a standard TRS insert cable, I can just plug the mono comp into the return channel ‘insert’ just ahead of the firewire. This is really a clean way to do something like this, IMO. External from the DAW, I have to press one firewire channel return button, connect the AUX/channel cable, and insert the comp.

So let me explain the path better. Bring the DAW signal (the send) to a channel out - no board EQ - tap it from one of 6 AUX outs, plug that cable into ‘line in’ (the return) on a different channel, insert the mono comp into this channel’s insert, and back to firewire/DAW. I don’t think there is a better way to do this on my board but I am totally up for hearing a different/better way, always.

BTW, the Steinberg adjustment/delay window for the EEBus is really a godsend when you need to set levels to your efx. Just set the track on loop play and check everything. Awesome!

Oh, BTW, there are 1000ms in a second. Considering the process, why do you think 20ms is too long? It sounds right to me and lines up with the track I was comping.

I didn’t realise you were using a external mixer? so when I read that you were returning the compressor into a channel I thought you meant a Cubase channel!

If it’s all working for you then thats great and I need not comment further :stuck_out_tongue:

OK, this is a followup to anyone who is considering using the Ext Efx Bus in C6.

When I initially set up the EEB, I was using my typical ‘stereo out’ 2 channel bus from my mixer. As I would add the EEB, I would add another mono out which is required. (I have 16 to work with.) This worked. But it also supply a 20 ms delay to the audio going back into the DAW. Hm, things lined up and I thought, OK, I guess this is typical.

OK, then an mainly analog audio person suggested that I install all my outputs in the VST connections window as I ran my projects. He said he heard that Cubase has a unique routing system. (??) So I did this. I chose 1 Stereo out pair (Mains/monitor) and then added 14 mono outs, or 16 total outs. A new section of the mixer appeared (14 mono faders) to the right of the ‘Stereo Out’ in my setup. This was a new visual for me. Next I created my EEF again, using the exact same channels out/in that I had used before, including the patch cabling and the same track, the same efx, etc. - everything identical. Here’s what happened. My ms delay number went from ‘20’ ms to ‘0’ ms on the Cubase ping meter. I recorded the track as I had done before and everything lined up.

So this is a headsup to anyone using the EEB. If you have ‘x’ amount of outs on your interface, connect them all if you are using the EEF. I don’t understand why this should be different than just choosing one when you need it, but it is. If anybody has any insight/explanation on this routing change and what it produced in my DAW, I would love to hear about it.

Split, it turns out that even though you missed the fact that I was using the EEB, your predicted delay time was actually more correct once the mixer was setup ‘properly’.

It is not.

I agree with Mr Cap there should be no difference between setting up one EEF buss or twenty, at least that’s how it is for my setup!

The reported delay time I usually get for an analogue processor FX buss is never 0ms but close to 0ms I always assumed it was due to the output and input DA/AD conversion?

Oh… and one wee tip! when pinging for digital FX like reverb and such, remember to ping with the FX bypass on!