Effects channel routing

Watching CLA mixing on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc3SxgT4uCw and notice he has his outboard gear\effects routed to the left side of his console using the volume sliders as effect gain on the track he’s working on.

Can i set this up in Cubase to work like that?

If i have 60 tracks and 15 reverb presets i would like to have accessible on each track and feed the selected track with the reverb from a single fader, is that even possible? I need a ton of audio channels? or is there some smart routing i could manage this with? How would i do it?

That´s a basic send Fx setup, even explained in the Cubase manual.

The terminology you’re using might be a little off. If you want to “feed” each track with a reverb - do that with an insert on each channel and use the reverb’s wet/dry mix control.

Now, what I think you’re actually aiming for is to feed a reverb from multiple tracks. Yes - that’s what send FX channels are for. No - you can’t do 15 of those FX sends, one for each reverb, as we are limited to a total of 8 send slots.

But where there’s a will, there’s a way, with a little sleight-of-hand.

Cubase pro will let you direct (output) route up to eight channels simultaneously in summing mode. You could route outputs to an additional seven additional FX channels in this case. This exactly matches your 15 reverb requirement. What you lose is, of course, the signal is and can only be post-fader, and you have no send-level boost/cut gain in addition to the post-fader level. (In many cases you may find yourself leaving a post-fader send level adjustment at 0db anyway - it might not be a problem for you). The reason this works is because we are holding the 8th output as our normal, everyday dry output.

A point to note: in a standard send-FX channel, you generally set your reverb’s wet/dry mix to 100%, and then you can use that FX channel’s fader as an overall reverb level. This is because the output of that FX channel is summed at the master output. You still have the send levels on each track for fine tweaking individual inputs to the send-FX channel. For the seven outputs routed as other FX channels, you also set the reverbs wet/dry mix to 100% wet and use the those group-as-FX-channels’ faders to adjust reverb levels.

(Were we to consider 16 reverbs or FX’s , this would eliminate that one dry output we’re holding in reserve. You’d have to consider using the reverbs/effects own wet/dry mix and not the group-as-FX-channel’s fader to adjust overall dry/wet ratio, to get any dry signal at all. Very messy, screws up your existing single-output routing scheme, and you might as well go back to inserts on all channels.)

Basically, HW console guys have managed to live with a fixed number of send buses for a long time, and 15 reverbs as FX’s is kind-of “out there” as a requirement… if they needed a different reverb setup for a different group of tacks, they’d probably bounce the current setup to a new track first.

Modern DAWS get away with murder, because we can reuse the same VST effects as many times as we like, keeping in mind the limit of 8 sends and eight outputs maximum per track in Cubase Pro, and noting that the number of plugin instances does affect real-time performance.



So what do i do with 30+ effects processors set up and running in the background?

The idea is if i run to track 1… i want wet signal ratio on a fader for the 1st reverb preset 1 on track 1, run up the effect fader, set, add some flanger, compressor… set… run to track 2, plate reverb preset 2 on track 2, run the wet signal up… eq… comp… track 3… and so on…

I gotta swap out effects with max 15 effects slots without assigning each effect to an insert on each respective channel?

i could bounce, but even then i am limited by the amount of slots available and back to same routine of swapping in and out effects.

i’m sure you understand what i want… but is it possible… maybe not Cubase? Another DAW? Outboard gear? Metagrid… whatever… just trying to find a solution, maybe im overlooking something?

What they are not showing on that video is what time he uses to patch in his outboard gear and the setting up on it, hes just using a fader to gain an already set up preset.

8 sends max on each track is a limitation, and i see running 30+ effects as inserts on 60+ tracks as not a viable option either… how to get around it-

I for one do not really understand what you want… but if you are running out of slots try Blue Cat’s PatchWork.

You should approach this with a considered attitude. You need to determine what can/should run as an insert FX, and what can/should run as a send FX. A good starting place is Cubase’s own channel strip. Those types of effects are placed there because, in the large, you’d run those effects as an insert. A reverb, OTOH, is a good choice for a send FX as it works well in non-complicated FX channel. I think many would agree that 30 inserts on multiple channels is overkill.

In reference to the Blue Cat’s Patchwork plugin, it seems to benefit the Mac world more than PC, specifically PT users.

thats ok, you have the right to your opinion, but lets say cubase had unlimited sends then we wouldn’t be having this conversation in that you tell me that i have to adapt my attitude towards it. i just asked if its possible man and i dont work like that, i would like to use a tool that serves me and not that i start to weight out and balance my workflow because of some limitation, that defeats the whole purpose of choosing that tool in the first place, for creativity to flow there has to be no limitations and not to work within a box of considerations. thanks.

Not really. PatchWork is of benefit on PC within Cubase and it has no issues. And of course PT users can use it too. It’s a good way to greatly expand the number of available plugin insert slots for those who need that.

Its not really the lack of a channels insert that’s hindering me, the problem is the track to effect that has to be routed somehow, more sends would fix it, or rerouting and bouncing tracks for each time you want a new effect…

We know that we can feed a reverbs setting to multiple tracks by gain, seperately, and that we dont have to multiply the process but feed multiple channels through the reverbs setting so that they all have its effect. Now lets take that one step further, you have 15 reverb “streams” that you want to have available on all of your tracks, 1 plate reverb with small\medium\large preset, 1 ir reverb s/m/l and an algo reverb with s/m/l, they are just there, loaded in the background, and how are you going to route them…

The regular workflow is creating a track, adding the reverb, either as an insert, not talking reverb specifically, or on an fx channels insert to be accessed as a send on your track. All you have to think about now is that you have 10 of your favorite plugins, they all have about 4-5 presets that you want to have available to all of your tracks on your mix at all times, not loading what you need, but having a fader for each one them to determine how much of each one them is being fed to the audio signal\track that you are currently working on, vocals, drums, bass, whatever…

Out of the box, say you had a rack of outboard gear on your wall behind your desk, 20 effects processors, everything from, delay units, flangers, compressors, reverbs, whatever, pultecs, fairchilds, lexicon, tc’s… now in practicality, hook each one of those up to a channel strip on your mixer, assign each channels fader to its gain and route every one of them to the ins on each and every one of your audio channels on your mixer. So, you end up with 20 faders on the left side of your mixer hooked up to your wall of processors, each one of the faders controlling the amount of effects that are applied to the track on the right side that you are working on… if you dont get it, then i have no other way of explaining it, maybe i think too far, 8 sends is massive and more than anyone could need, yea, for some.

and i should have a considered attitude towards it? no man, i want to work, but i dont want to work patching cables and routing signals every time i want to have access to something, i want to have access to everything at all times. if there is limitation, fine, i jump to where there is not. keep on adding features but were not really expanding in that what we have. why 8 sends tho, is it too complicated to have 32 sends? does that sound silly? i dont know.

I know for a fact that Logic has an option to route send to fader, that is just why, this is how people work, not entirely sure how many sends Logic has, if it has 30+ i would jump boat just for that feature alone.

people just dont get it, they design their workflow around its limitations, and sooner than you know you are that and thats how life is, how are you even gonna compete with anyone if you cant even express yourself, the only way any thing ever is going to evolve is for it to go beyond its limitations, need to rethink your priorities or get thrown in the bin when your competitors have evolved beyond you, or are more current.

I suppose if there was much demand for 32 sends per channel in a DAW someone would build it. Considering all other feature requests plus any time a new feature is added it can introduce new bugs, I don’t think the demand is there. You have X amount of resources. Choose what you do with the resources wisely. I don’t think adding more would be much more complicated, but based on forums I have never seen much demand for more.

I would think you know that having technical limitations is usually an advantage?

Users who want more will use what is suggested in above posts, or better yet Kore or New Sonic Arts FreeStyle…both of which go far beyond just providing additional inserts. Your complaint is that it should be included in the DAW. I disagree. I think a DAW should focus on rock-solid functions of DAW tasks that are not available from 3rd parties. You want more, buy more from the 3rd party.

If you have all this amount of outboard do you not have any patch bays/midi patch bays? I have 19 outboard hardware units interfaced by 4 MOTU MidiTimePiece for a total of 32. I have never used more than 10 at any particular time on any given project. And even if I did, I could change configuration in real time.

Personally I don’t compete with anyone. Cubase, or any other DAW while they all have limitations, allows me to achieve my objectives. With Serban, CLA or any in-demand mix engineer, their advantage is experience, not workflow limitations. They work with what they feel are the best tools, they have learned them inside out, and combined with their experience, achieve their sonic objectives that others seem to appreciate by repeat business.

If you can’t express yourself with others tools, then I guess it’s time to build your own.

Well that’s true, and its true for each individually, but if we talk about amount, and back support, we have such a thing as sends, the limit here is 8, there is probably a reason for not expanding it at this point, but that limit is holding back that functionality, for whomever would need more, that’s all.

What i end up with, is working around the music and the mixing process with having to dedicate my work around whats possible, if i would need more i’m stuck with trying to figure out ways to work around it, then that becomes a part of my work and i become restricted and adapted to work like that, if thats a good or bad thing that is again up to each individually, but at this point it is holding me back and im trying to figure out a way around it so i dont have to think about that.

When i say compete, i dont really mean compete in the way of competing against others, but if you look at where things take you then the limitations are going to predict how far you can get with something, and it would take more hours for you to reach a place to be fully expressive in that what you work with, obstacles for some, workaround for others. i dont want it to be like that, and if we are all reaching to some place, the tools that we have needs to support the path that you want to take.

You could try using Group channels. Group channels can be used in a similar manner to FX channels and you have 256 of them. Just insert the desired effect(s) on the group channels or use each group to send to an FX channel. Use the channel output routing to route to the group channels, or use Direct Out to send to up to 8 group channels at the same time… or use the send slots to route to the group channels, or use all of these options in any combination.

Maybe it’s not a good idea to point out that there’s “only” 256 group channels…bc, inevitably, someone’s gonna complain it’s hindering their creativity… :unamused:

Are you are saying that i can add for example 8 effects on a group channel, then set 1 of the sends from the track to that group channel? In a sense i have a buss to another series of effects?.. Did not think of that… how would i control the level of the insert on a group channel? Can it be routed to a fader?

Yes, you can do that. But you may be approaching the whole thing from the wrong angle.

Thinking about this further… yes you do have only 8 sends BUT you also have 64 FX return channels. You could set up all the FX as required on a number of these FX return channels and then use group tracks to send to any combination of these effects via the sends of each group track. In this scenario the group faders manage the send level to the effects and the FX channel faders manage the return level. Use the sends, or output routing of your regular tracks in any combination to route your signals to an appropriate group channel and thereby to the desired effect(s). In this manner you could have 64 effects set up simultaneously assuming that your computer can handle this kind of thing… and you’d be able to send to these effects in more or less any combination.

P.S. In the world of DAWS limitless doesn’t really exist. It’s often about compromise.

Stingray, i dont get it, i know too little about fx return channels, never used it… i cant grab what you are saying… is there a way you could maybe route it on a template with a track and a couple effects and so i could see how it works, or screenshots?

i will look into fx return channels, never used that, i just got this idea of having everything running in the background and accessible i just dont know the ways around cubase to set it up…

Right click. In the popup menu select Add Effect track/channel. Add effects on the effects channel in the standard manner using the insert slots or select the effect in the Add dialogue at the time you add the track. Look up FX channel in the user manual.

i know about fx channel buddy, but in the standard way of adding an instrument to a fx channel the fx channel fader (purple one) will mute the signal when i have the instruments out running to the effects channel…

the other explanation you made to run it through group tracks made me think there is a different way… as you said You could set up all the FX as required on a number of these FX return channels and then use group tracks to send to any combination of these effects via the sends of each group track.

I don’t think that is standard at all, if I understand what you have written, which I probably don’t… I’d suggest you attempt to give more clarity if you want others to take the time to help you out on here.