Help please: Master Fader for fade-outs?

So I saw this on the Reddit r/AudioEngineering subreddit and was wondering if someone could explain how this would apply in Cubase 10, please:

PSA: Don’t Use your Master Fader for fade outs

I feel like a lot of people don’t realize this, but the volume on the master fader is PRE inserts, (at least in Pro Tools). So when you do a volume fade on the master fader, it gets less and less compressed and the sound changes as you fade. If you want a fade that keeps the master effects in tact, insert a gain plugin last and automate that.

On the upside of this functionality, if your mix is clipping the master plugins too much, all you have to do is turn the fader down a bit. Just remember the volume is PRE inserts and affects how your master bus plugins react.

Not a huge difference in sound, but I feel like it’s a misunderstood feature that’s kind of important.

So I’m still kind of new to Cubase so if someone could explain how to best do this in Cubase I would appreciate it greatly.


And I guess another important question would be ‘how to automate it?’ Would you create a ‘Submix’ ahead of the main Stereo Out and automate the volume in that?

A new point in the discussion: fade-out should be reserved for mastering. Seems to make sense. Anyone care to add to that?

Cubase has both pre and post fader insert slots.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the assumption that you actually have inserts on the master fader. The way I work is to have sub-groups/sub masters all before the master fader, therefore nothing on it.

I haven’t done a song with a fade in a long time, but yes, that is normally the ME’s job with specific instructions from the client.

Yes, I typically only put Mastercheck and Sonarworks on my Master, and use sub-groups for everything else. Was just wondering if I was missing something here. Thanks guys.

Since I realize, that some plugins produce a noise, including Steinbergs Rotary, all my busses/FX/channels are routed to a main bus. This main bus is then routed to the main stereo out.
In my template the so called “Main B Bus” (thanks Apollo 13) has a VCA fader beside. I like it totally silence when the song is at his end, so in some reasons I fade out (or fade in…) with my “Main B Bus” VCA fader.

The other reason why I use this main bus is, that per default a new channel is routed to “Stereo Out” (or whatever you name it). Muting the main bus shows me, that none output from a channel/FX/bus is routed to “Stereo Out” (I don’t like it :wink: )

You should definitely not have Sonarworks on your Master, but in the control room.

But no, I don’t think you are missing anything, cubase has (as mentioned earlier) pre and post fader slots, so just automate the master fader if you want a fade out:)

Thanks for all the responses.

Strummer, I guess that way it’s just applied to monitors (Sonarworks), and not when exporting. I normally just bypass when exporting, but I like your suggestion much better if I understand you correctly.


One of my favorite basic template includes a set of Group Tracks (I call them Buses), and an FX Track – those all feed the a Mix Bus (another Group), finally the Mix Bus often goes to a “Master” (another group). The “Master” is what arrives at Stereo Out. Sometimes that Master becomes a target for Tracks or Groups used in Direct Routing. Often the Mix Bus is for Mix Bus Plug-In and the Master has analysis plug-ins, like Span, a VU Meter. Sometimes the Master is used in Parallel Processing, other times I use it for a Mix Bus for another part of a project (not so often).

If I want an automated a fade out/in, I use the Mix Bus for that.

Obviously this isn’t the only way or to do things and individual projects may work better with other routings. One of the things I most like about Cubase is how the Groups and FX tracks may be routed. With this Template, I may select instruments and route them to a Groups when created.

The attached is from an earlier version of Cubase, but works (I think) in Ver Pro 10.

Don’t overlook Control Room for these types of plug-ins.