Hardware insert Level Translation

HI There,

I have been using Cubase for about 5-6 years now. It really amazes me why no one else has brought this up (or I missed something?). Anyways, It is kinda annoying.

When working on a mix that is mostly ITB, especially with electronic/sampled music, you get files that are quite hot in the digital level world. 2-6 dBFs headroom maybe. This is totally okay if you are staying ITB.
When employing hardware inserts however, this is a problem. -2dBFs translates to 20dBu analog level on most converters. This needs to be padded down. Very conveniently, Cubase offers this type of level adjustment in the hardware-insert plugin panel. You can turn down the level all you want, but only 6dB of digital gain afterwards is not enough. You have to take away 12dB most of the times to get a good analog level around +4dBu.

Making that up on the preamp way in would again mess up my analog levels.

Taking all my Mixer channels down 12-16dB in the “PRE” section is quite a hassle to do for a full mix that uses like 4 hardware inserts. Plus the Metering is more inacurrate in the lower area.

All of this could be fixed, if it just were possible to add like 20dB of makeup gain on the hardware insert effect. That way you can digitally translate the level for the hardware, but run the software like it was meant to.

Anybody having the same problem? Clearly ITB levels are way to hot for analog hardware, if you have a standard converter with something like -18dBFs = 4dBu.

proper gain staging is your responsibility…
most converters have level controls or at least sensitivity switches

I see… but when the trend is to work with hot levels ITB this feels really off tbh.

It slows me down when I have to make sure that every new sample or loop I import has to be adjusted for gain in the PRE section (I have to do it there so I can keep the faders in the upper positions, where the resolution is much higher). Just to run a few hardware inserts that I really like.
Given that most sample material nowadays is normalized to within a few dB under 0dBFs.

I kinda feel like increasing the digital gain range on the insert would fix this with a lot less clicks…