FX vs Group Channels - how to choose?


The author in the above article said he preferred groups, for added routing flexibility, he’s not even sure why Cubase has FX channels.

What do you guys think? Do you agree/disagree?

Thanks for any thoughts!

I’ve never figured out why Group tracks and FX tracks are different things in Cubase, but in this thread:
thinkingcap says:

but refused to explain these differences :frowning:

If only diference is that one is more powerful, that should be the only one there is. Another one is redundant.

One of the very few things I can think of that may be of some small advantage, apart from having a different coloured fader, is FX channels can be hidden separately from Group channels!

Thanks for those.

Maybe thinking cap was referring to the fact that in older versions of Cubase (pre-C4?), groups could not be routed to groups that were created “after the fact”. I think I remember having a template set up in SX3 with a zillion empty groups, waiting to be routed to if needed, for that reason.

Then again, it may have been bad yogurt. :smiley:

I’ve also wondered about this. I tried a mix the other day using only group tracks and while it did work out just fine, I realised as split said,that the different colours on the faders as well as the seperate sub menues wHen routing help in keeping things organised. So its back to FX tracks for FX and group tracks for groups.
Seems like steinberg have me well trained after all :smiley:

Sorry, I did not refuse to explain, I simply had not seen your thread.
In Cubase LE 5 and Essential 5, FX tracks do not have sneds, and can only be routed to outputs, whereas Groups do have sends and can also be routed to other (notr necessarily subsequent) groups. Maybe that changed in V 6, but the other thread was in the AI / LE 5 sections, so…


at this moment are FX and Group tracks the same, I think. You can use Sends (use Send Level, and Send routing too) both, the FX and Group tracks. You can set the output to FX and Group too.

Historical, it was different.


I don´t know if you actually read my previous post, but in Cubase Elements 6 the same restrictions apply. FX tracks don´t have sends, and can be routed to ouputs only.

Oh, sorry! I mean in Cubase 6. Thanks!

I wish we had an actual effects rack back.

I just want to have all of my (send) FX in a rack that I can open quickly with a key command, make simple changes quickly, Navigate to their corresponding FX return quickly… etc.

There is still a rack for instruments right? Why not an FX rack too? And we did have an FX rack back in the 1990’s. (Although the output from each effect went directly to the master buss)

Imagine a Rack Module just like VST INSTRUMENTS. Add the effect unit you want to use, Done. A dedicated FX return is automatically created for you. The big difference would be that the “effect” would not just be an arbitrary item INSERTED on a group. It would be the proprietary source. Just like a VST instrument in the vst rack.

An FX return could have all of the same functionality as the FX/group track.

And if you delete an effect unit from the rack the corresponding FX return in the mixer and Automation lanes would disappear as well. Just as it does with a VST instrument now.

And the signal flow would be logical and familiar to audio engineers.

No thank you. I like it the way it is.

Why couldn’t there be both? Just like there are instrument tracks and an instrument rack?
That way you could carry on with the current “method” and there would also be an environment available for people who have worked with real equipment and would like to have a familiar environment.

It would just create confusion imho. I’m working with “real equipment” every day but software is a different environment and I like not being restricted by “analog” thinking. :wink:

Confusion? The very nature of this thread illustrates that there is already a certain amount of confusion with respect to how aux sends are handled in Cubase. And I’ve seen plenty of threads on this topic by confused users over the past 12 years.

But it’s an Interesting position you’re taking.
Let me see if I understand. You don’t want to be “restricted” by analog thinking (not really sure what that even means). So therefore you would prefer to “restrict” the way Cubase functions to the way that you are familiar with in order to avoid confusion. is that right?
You must not have been too worried about “analog thinking” when you bought your UAD kit.

My suggestion would not “restrict” anyone to “analog thinking”. In fact it would be more efficient, fewer mouse clicks and a logical signal flow. And would still provide the same functionality that you’re used to now.

Out of all the DAW’s Cubase is the most receptive and familiar to traditional environments. So, If you really want to be liberated from “analog thinking” why aren’t you using LIVE or MAX?

My suggestion would be more intuitive for most users. And if someone finds themselves confused by a logical and elegant GUI environment they can always continue to use the current “method” for emulating a traditional aux buss/return setup.
Just like some people prefer instrument tracks and some prefer using the VST rack. Some people alternate depending on their needs.
It’s all about flexibility in the software world, right? No restrictions.

However Cubase will evolve, I hope the programmers will not go de-improving existing functionality. No problem with having a new/old FX-rack back (for the ones who’d prefer) as long as groups and fx-channels remain untouched in the current way. I don’t know how it could work simpler than it does already or where’s much room for any confusion.

Using groups or FX channels is basically identical. The advantage of FX channels is that they are automatically assigned to the send slots in all tracks created afterwards (as long as this option is set in preferences). Even that is not so important anymore for a lesser mouseclicking workflow since sends of multiple channels can be assigned to any destination at once (select desired channels, hold down shift - or shift and alt? -, assign, done).
Another advantage of FX channels vs. the old FX-rack is simply that you can stack more than one plugin in there.

You obviously chose to ignore that the “analog thinking” remark ended with a wink? What has my UAD got to do with the topic?
My “analog thinking” had to do with you’re suggestion to have an effects rack.

Well then you need to explain a little better how you’d like it to implemented.

Because I work 99% of the time recording and mixing bands. The last 1% is me working on my own music.

Did you do a survey or is this according to you?

There’s a difference between flexibility and no restrictions. :wink: