Export audio misalign (batch export, stems)

This is a question I asked support on Nov 30 2017:
For some mastering purposes, I want to be able to use the stereo out track along with the stems from groups and individual channels, but the stereo track is never in sync with the stems. The stems themselves always sync up with one another, but the Stereo output track is always a little early.
This happens exactly the same way if I use the batch export for both stems and Stereo output track, as when I use the normal export for the Stereo out.

I couldn’t figure it out myself, and the answer that arrived Jan 19 does not help me at all (I have snap to turned off and have tried every grid type without succes):

Your issue seems to related to the "Grid Type and “Snape Type”. Further details are available at the link below:

Still no solution except the obvious DO NOT USE THE STEREO OUT together with STEMS, but I’m hoping you guys can help me out, as I wanted to do this again tonight and the exact same thing happened again. Yes it happens every time…
Cubase 9.5.30 Pro, Win 10, RME UCX.

Does it happen even if there are no insert effects on the master?

Hmmm, haven’t actually tried that as I’m pretty sure it should not have an effect, since the stereo out is ahead of the stems, ut I’ll try it tonight just to make sure.
Honestly, I think there must be a setting somewhere that I have set in a way that just ruins everything, but I can’t figure it out…

I’m just thinking a particular plugin you’re using might be giving a false latency reading or something similar.

I hear you, and will try your theory tonight, thanks for the input!

Tried tonight, and anything I can think of failed. The Stereo out is always pretty close to 45ms ahead of all stems and tracks that I choose in the export window, and I am just happy I don’t have real problems (I mean it is kind of pointless to have the stereo mix plus stems, but there is this guy who wants work delivered that way, and I would really love to comply…)

It might be a bug in the system.

How do you route the master and stems between vst mixer and mixer?
Are you taking stems from vst mixer and only master from mixer?

It might be a bug with delay compensation, if you pull stems from vst mixer and master from the mixer. There shouldent be. But there might be something there, if that is the way you bounce?

Honestly, I don’t understand your question? I use batch export check box, then check all group channels and the stereo out, that’s it. If it helps I don’t use VSTi at all, I record mostly live performances.

Cubase has 2 mixers. If you only have setup 1 stereo mixer output.

That means you only have 1 stereo output channel on the mixer, while your vst mixer has what ever number of tracks your project use.

This is all great untill you are starting to bounce.

If you are sending all tracks to sum on that mixer channel and apply plugins to it. You will have one track bouncing of the mixer doing one sum, while you have your stems bouncing of the other mixer (vst mixer) doing a other sum. This should not be an issue at all. But there might be a bug.

What you can do instead is to move all tracks bouncing from one of the mixers. easiest is just to move the master out summing channel inn to the vst mixer. Grouptrack and sum all tracks to it. Now you can bounce all tracks from vst mixer only. That might give you your synck back.

So you mean create a group track that will serve as the master, to get it all into the vst mixer? Soulds like it could work, I eill try that, thanks for the tip!

Spot on. It is worth a try. If it works, you have something solid too show support. It might also be a annoying bug. But this should bring you closer as far as troubleshooting.

After going pretty much nuts I realized that disabling plugs don’t really matter, so I started removing plugs on after another, and exporting a snippet after each removal, then importing kick drum, kick drum bus and stereo out (the song starts with kicks so it’s easy to see the prelay i got) until something different happened.

And YAY! The problem was Sonarworks Reference 4, which I always have on my master and just turn it off when exporting audio, but it seems that it introduces a delay to all channels compared to the stereo out (which is where the actual vst is located), so removing it solved my mystery issue.
Happy, relieved and bored to tears from hours of trying all kinds of mutations (I should probably have suspected Sonarworks as it messes a lot with the audio, but alas I followed my plan haha).

Thank you Manike for putting me on the right track, and thanks to Reflection who suggested I create a group bus out (which naturally got the same problem as I put all the stereo out plugs on that one too), thest two suggestions are what made me find the solution:)

So, obviously nothing wrong with Cubase, should I tell Sonarworks?

Is there a reason you aren’t using Sonarworks in control room inserts. This is perfect use for them…no need to ever disable it.

Otherwise I guess the problem may be that you’re only bypassing the plug when you think you’re turning it off.

Yes the reason is I have no idea how to use control room, (I use Totalmix FX which I know well) But I see where you’re coming from, I’ll check control room out and hopefully I’ll understand how to use it!

Yep, and I have absolutely NO IDEA how to actually turn plugins off without removing them, please enlighten me!


Hold down ALT when clicking on the plugin on/off.

Thank you, that solved my problem too, much appreciated:)