[FR] Software Reverb with Direct Monitoring - move DM track channel mute after inserts and sends

Actually when Direct Monitoring is used (mandatory for most serious recording session work), the input channel signal is muted inside Nuendo. It is only routed to disk during record.

That mean that in Direct Monitoring mode, using for example a send in the audio track does not work for the input channel signal. It will only work for the playback signal coming from the disk.

The consequence is that when using Direct Monitoring, it is not possible to add a DAW software reverb on input signals for monitoring purpose.
You are restricted to use the audio interface DSP (available in Nuendo Hardware Rack controls if using a Steinberg audio interface) for that purpose.

So It would be nice to have an option to unmute the input channel signal in the audio track when using Direct Monitoring, so that we can add software reverbs and keep the Direct Monitor capability at the same time.

Having the reverb slightly delayed because of the DAW latency is not a problem, it does simply add some predelay, something natural with a reverb.

Then we’ll have the best of both worlds : zero latency with direct monitoring, and DAW software reverb easiness.

I did find that using the audio interface DSP to add a reverb (using the Hardware rack in the Nuendo mixer) is a hassle specially during vocal overdubs, because you are limited to the Yamaha DSP reverb (badly designed small controls), and you don’t have the same DSP reverb choice and presets as the software reverbs you need to put on previously recorded tracks. More managing two different reverbs for the same task is unneeded complication.

Another option is to use the same hardware DSP reverb for prerecorded tracks and for the monitoring of the actual recorded track. But doing this ask to put the audio interface in external DSP effect mode, where all digital inputs are disabled… So you end up with only 8 analog I/O… And it’s only working at 44.1 or 48 KHz according to a test i did on the MR816.

See as well this other Monitoring limitation that will add to this one - Direct Monitoring cannot work at the same time during playback and record on a single track :


And a third important one : Direct monitoring does not daisy chain if using more than one audio interface…

As a conclusion with those three problems, Direct Monitoring as it is implemented today in Nuendo (and inside the Steinberg interfaces for the third problem) is a hassle compared to the way we can work on an external Monitoring Mixer or a studio recording console.

It is a shame because most of the work to get a good recording DAW has been greatly done with the Nuendo Control Room, there is only some minor adjustment work to be done on the Direct monitoring capability to rise Nuendo to a well respected recording DAW.

DM routes the signal directly from the soundcard to the output. No signal is passing through the DAW.
So it is not possible to have any control over those signals.
Except when you use RME cards, they have Totalmix, which is a software layer put directly on the soundcard.
But that is pretty complicated.


Fredo i think that you did not understood my request.

To make things really clearer, I just did check how works another big name DAW : Protools have an option for what i want.

From a release note (LLM = Direct Monitoring in the Nuendo world):

“Allow Sends to persist during LLM

Normally when LLM is enabled all plug-ins and sends are bypassed. With this preference we will allow the input signal to go to the sends while still not passing any of the signal from the input to the output.
Preferences -> Mixing -> Setup -> Allow Sends to persist during LLM”

So i’m not asking to route the monitor signal inside Nuendo. The monitor signal stay in the audio interface in Direct Monitoring mode. The input signal is routed directly and panned to the monitor bus with the audio interface DSP, and that’s right.

I’m asking to let the input signal enter the audio track when the monitor button is enabled. So that we can add on it a software VST reverb for example.

Actually when direct monitoring is used, the channel input signal is muted inside the track channel during monitor. Only metering is working. So it is not possible to add a software reverb.

This can be easily checked :

  • activate Direct Monitoring mode
  • add an audio track and select an input channel for it
  • send any test signal in the hardware input of this input channel
  • activate the monitor button on the track

Here you should hear the test signal in the monitor bus. That’s right.

Now press the listen button on the track : you will not get the channel input signal in the listen bus… That’s not right…

This prove that the input signal is muted in the audio track path during Direct Monitoring monitor. It does not flow inside the listen bus, neither in the sends, neither in the inserts.

You are not right too when you say that no signal is passing through the DAW in direct monitoring mode. If it were the case, then the input signal would not be recorded at all !!

The input signal goes to Nuendo even in Direct Monitoring mode, but it is simply muted in the track channel when Direct Monitoring is used and monitor enabled. If not the input signal would not be available for recording inside Nuendo !!!

This behavior has probably been designed to avoid user errors, summing two times the monitor signal, one time in the audio interface, one time in Nuendo.

But there is a solution to this : the input signal mute could be done later in the signal path, just before the output bus, not before the sends and inserts as it is the case actually.

This could be an option inside preferences.

Because of this early mute in the signal path, it is not possible to get the input channel signal, neither for a software VST reverb, neither for a listening through the Listen bus (listen button on each track). This is a design flaw.

I did spent hours to study how Nuendo works in Direct Monitoring mode, so i think that i master what i’m saying here.

I should be able to draw a Nuendo audio track signal path diagram to explain this if this is not clear enough.

The only signal path diagrams we can find are old diagrams from Cubase that do not show anything about Direct Monitoring. This add to the confusion and the difficulties that many people have to clearly understand Direct Monitoring.

As a remark,the Nuendo manual should have such a diagram for channels and for the Control Room. It is something very desirable for professional audio hardware and software.

good points here! An for sure easy to implement!
Just cut post fader, not pre filter/gain stage! Thats all actually.
That is what PT changed now.
Nothing you could live without, but a handy feature now and than… (reverbs for ex.)

But a more interessting point would be, DM selectable for channels.
For example: one track is is in DM mode for voiceover recording, another is in software monitoring for a simpler task (TALKBACK with soundradix mutomactic plugin inserted). That way we could get a better workflow and could decide how Nuendo/ Cubase would handle our signal flow!

I monitor software only (64 sample buffer) because of this “auto talkback” using mutomatic.
I (for ex) can’t switch to DM because all of my monitoring would skip any plugins. But i actually would need that only on the track (tracks) i need zero latancy for! Make any sense?

So, that would be a huge improvement!

my cents :wink:


You are right basicX, auto talkback or listen mic with a vst plugin is another example that cannot work actually in Direct Monitoring mode because input signal is muted at the pre stage of the audio track channel.

As a side note, auto talkback / listen mic could implement this function directly inside the Nuendo Control Room… Then no more plugin for that.
Quite strange is that we have a couple Nuendo options here to automatically disable talkback, but no option to handle automatic activation…

This make me think that a listen mic function is missing in the Control Room. Listen mic is the opposite of Talkback. It is useful when starting a recording session, when no mics are connected yet for example, to be able to listen what’s going on in the studio room from the control room.

Yes Independent monitoring options for each channel would be very desirable too. I think that it is implemented for example inside Reaper.

Inside Nuendo we could have a menu inside the Monitor Button, where we could make two choices for each audio track :

Monitoring input selection mode

  • manual input monitoring
  • while record enabled
  • while record running
  • tape machine style
    - input mixed with playback -> This mode is not yet available

Monitoring mode

  • Software Monitoring
  • Direct Monitoring (mute channel input after channel pre -> no sends and no inserts usable)
  • Direct Monitoring (mute channel input just before output routing or before cues -> sends and inserts usable)

I’m not sure if a Direct Monitoring option without mute at all would be useful. For sure it would trig some loops if not used carefully.

Nuendo needs to polish Direct Monitoring to have a better comfort during sessions.

i guess that is not usefull. You would get a double monitor situation.
One from DM, and one thru the Nuendo mixer! Thats exactlly what DM should “auto disable!”.

But apart from this - your FR is very very interessting and should be considert by the SB develop team!

+1 !!!

Here is the Protools option to be able to use Direct Monitoring with software plugins like reverbs :

“Allow sends to persist during LLM”

LLM = Low Latency Monitoring. It is named Direct Monitoring in the Yamaha / Steinberg World.

No more hassle with DSP reverbs prehistoric GUI interface, added complexity and unmatched DSP / Software reverb settings.

Nuendo should provide such an option. A small step for a programmer, but a big step forward for the user.

protools monitoring.png

And here is how Apogee does solve this problem on Element audio interfaces :


Not the simplest way to do it… but it’s here.


Have no problem with this…
Please check this video:




This video show a setup with a Lynx interface, with its mixer application, and does not make use of Direct Monitoring mode.

This is not the same thing at all and it is not possible to do it with a Steinberg audio interface.

If using Steinberg audio interfaces, like i said in my previous message, i keep that you cannot add a software VST reverb on the input signal.

There are two reasons :

  1. the interface mixer application cannot run when Nuendo is running, so you cannot route the input signal to the cue mix manually. You need to activate Direct Monitoring mode.

  2. In Direct Monitoring mode, the input signal is muted inside Nuendo audio channels, so that regardless what you do here, you will never get a software reverb on the input signal. The best you can get in the channel regarding the input signal is level metering.

To get a software reverb on the input, as i did explain, Nuendo should provide an option to let the input signal reach aux sends inside Nuendo audio channels.

The video you did link to does not use Direct Monitoring mode. It is using software monitoring, and use the interface card mixer to get the input signal in the cue mix.

This is not the same case as the one i did describe, this is the opposite. It’s a workaround working only when Direct Monitoring is not activated.

Again, with a Steinberg interface, you are forced to use Direct Monitoring if you want to hear the direct signal without latency.

There is no other way to do it to my knowledge (except uninstalling the steinberg MR extension and use the audio interface mixer, but this is a terrific alternative, if you do this you loose the hardware rack control at the same time,you loose automatic tape monitoring control style, and your setup become exaggeratedly complicated and difficult to use…).

If you find a way, keeping the MR extension installed, keeping low latency monitoring mode, and without a workaround like an external hardware mixer or an external I/O looping let me know i will be happy to try it.

Obviously to get that working, we just need a small modification inside Nuendo : move audio track channel input signal mute after inserts and sends in Direct Monitoring mode. The same as in recent Protools versions that do allow this with a setting in preferences ; “Allow sends to persist during LLM”.


This has NOTHING to do with “Lynx only” or so - you can do this with any converter you like…

I use RME, Focusrite, Apogee e.g. = no problem with this wonderful handling at all.

BTW, it would be nice if you take a shorter shot…
I have to scroll forever with my smartphone. Not good. ^^

Again i’m talking about Steinberg interfaces in Direct Monitoring mode.

The video you did link to is not using Direct Monitoring and it’s using a Lynx interface. It is using software monitoring and the dedicated mixer of the Lynx audio interface to send the input in the cue mix in hardware.

Steinberg interfaces are the only ones with Yamaha ones that are integrated inside Cubase or Nuendo for their internal mixer and DSP control. And that is a very nice feature. Simple and efficient, no need for another monitor screen, or swap windows, for a dedicated audio interface hardware mixer.

Other interfaces brands are not integrated into those DAW.

Try it. You will see that with a Steinberg interface, it is not possible to run the interface mixer application when Cubase or Nuendo is running. You will get a driver communication error.

This is normal because with those interfaces, Nuendo mixer and control room take full control of the audio interface mixer and DSP. So you cannot run anymore the interface mixer app to manually force some manual mixing for monitoring.

Because of that the workaround in the video would not work. And anyway it’s only a workaround, bypassing the automatic (3 different modes) law latency input monitoring available inside Cubase / Nuendo.

This is simply incorrect. They are not the same.

LLM is hardware monitoring for Protools.

DM is hardware monitoring for Cubase / Nuendo.

Hardware monitoring mean that the audio interface DSP mixer is controlled by the DAW to route the input signal directly to the cue and/or mix outputs, effectively reducing the latency to the value of the AD/DA conversion + DSP mixer latency so you can get a stable latency value in the millisecond range, instead of 10 or 100 ms that can change a lot according to witch VST plugins are loaded when using software monitoring through the DAW mixer.

So can you explain where is the difference, are you talking about some minor implementation details ?

And if there are some differences what is the implication here ?

Anyway i do not try to compare both worlds here, i’m just asking for a new feature available in a couple other DAW and hardware analog or digital mixers, so that we can get software reverbs when using ASIO direct monitoring without to much complication.

BTW, it would be nice if you take a shorter shot…
I have to scroll forever with my smartphone. Not good. ^^

  • 1