Gain staging for Vocals in Cubase

Hey community!

Just need some quick help doing my gain staging in preparation to record vocals in Cubase 9 Pro.

I’m just wondering which meters I’m supposed to look at when I’m adjusting the gain knob on my interface. When aiming for my average levels to be between -12dBFS and -18dBFS, should I be looking at the input channels (left most on the MixConsole) or should I be looking at the audio track I just created to capture my vocals and on which I’ve enabled monitoring?

Kinda wondering too if setting the meter position of the track I just created to “INPUT” is basically the same as what’s referred to as the input channel on the left of the MixConsole- meaning maybe either could be used for gain staging AS LONG AS the new mono audio track has its meters set to the “input” option. What do you guys think?

Note: I’m going to record my voice dry but will be monitoring with some comfort reverb using a Send to the FX Channel.


You’ve got input meters within Cubase you can use. Keep an eye on those and whatever metering you’ve got on your audio interface.

TBH as long as you don’t clip - you’re good. If I was you I’d think about average levels in mixing and peak levels on input.

Very simple to find out yourself, but basically :yes. Depends on your personal workflow

Hi, I noticed in your screenshot that your inputs are mono but all your tracks on the right have double rings, which I’m assuming are stereo? Weren’t any of those tracks on the right capturing signals from a microphone, and therefore should have been in mono? – just curious…

As I understand it, unless the input fader (referring to the channel on the far left) is set to something other than 0 dBFS, you can look at either one as long as the “receiving track” display preference is set to “input”.

By the way, I’d second that the levels you are recording at are perfect, in that they are far from 0 dBFS. You can run into trouble (not insurmountable, but needing to be addressed with an otherwise avoidable gain manipulation) with certain plugins if you record at too close to 0dBFS - you can clip in the plug-in, even if you are not clipping on the input channel.

It’s very hard, almost impossible, to record at too
low a level, as long as you’re not too close to the background noise in the room.

Those are instrument tracks of the project I had open at the time.