Exported file sounds different than in Cubase

Hi all

First time post but long time casual Cubase user. I’m not the most knowledgeable so I apologise in advance if I don’t word my questions or responses very well.

My main question is - When I export an audio mixdown from my Cubase project, in Wav or MP3, it sounds quite different when I play it back outside of Cubase. Why would this be?

Some detail - I use Cubase 8 Elements. I mix my recordings in Cubase using plug ins, some specific inserts on tracks, and sometimes effects added to the whole output on the mixer in the software. I usually use either my external usb interface to monitor, or sometimes I’ll just plug in the headphones straight to the headphone output if I don’t want to drag out the interface and cables etc. Can get stuff sounding great in Cubase through either method, so I export the audio mixdown. When i then play back the exported audio file outside of Cubase (through media player, VLC, Soundcloud, Youtube, etc), the reverb always seems increased and sometimes loses a bit of the eq balance I’ve put on it within Cubase. It’s not just the audio output of my laptop, as it sounds thes ame through my phone and through my TV sound system. If I import that file into a new Cubase project however, voila it sounds good again, how it sounded when mixing before the audio export.

Is anybody familiar with this problem? What might be causing it? If I could monitor it as it would sound outside of Cubase then it’d be easy to compensate of course but I can’t find a way to do this so it’s quite frustrating.

A couple of years ago, I did a little collection of songs, recorded and programmed, mixed mastered and exported by myself, and I thought they sounded decent considering. But the feedback from everybody else was negative, saying there was too much reverb and sounded like it had been recorded in a tunnel and I remember thinking that was odd as I’d been quite restrained on the reverb in Cubase, but presumably the above problem was there then as well and messed with my exported files.

Any ideas would be greatly welcome! If you need any further detail from me to answer, of course I’ll happily provide it


Hi Matt,

hi think the problem is in your workflow pipeline.
try to lower the master of -4 dbs and tell me if you spot that difference anyway

here’s an example on how you can manage a single channel workflow


keep’n touch

Hey there, thanks for your reply. Unfortunately I don’t really understand what you mean? I’ve tried google searching “Cubase workflow pipeline” and a few other combinations but cannot find anything about that?

I’ve not properly watched your video yet (will do tomorrow) but seems to be more about midi inputting and adding effects to it? Which part should I be looking for?

Thanks again

Can I move this to the General forum instead? Think might be more visible there perhaps (and I’m sure it’s user error rather than an issue as such)