How to change loudness adjustments professionally?

Hello, I want to get started with editing loudness partly. Partly means, that I don’t want to change the loudness of a whole track or part, but I want to change the loudness of a certain measure inside a part. So if I change the loudness of a certain measure, all tracks shall be affected and not only the first one. I’ve tried to reach that aim while using the CC7 (main volume) controller.

There is a piece for violin one, violin two, viola, cello and double bass and each instrument has it’s own track in the part and each instrument has it’s own bus. So there are five instruments tracks and five busses. But if I’m changing the loudness with CC7, only the first track can be affected until now. Is there a way to affect all tracks at once?

If I want to integrate a swell into my music piece, of course all instruments shall play that swell together, not only the first violin. How to accomplish that? I’m using the Garritan sounds (GPO5) in Elements 9, and on my laptop is running Windows 10.

I’ve also have tried to use automation with W and R. OK, it’s a way to accomplish loudness changings, but it’s so primitive, isn’t it? I must write with a pen on my laptop screen to be able to find again certain loudness levels to set the loudness controller settings as exactly as possible. And if I make a mistake, it’s stored. I didn’t find a way to delete an automation. And I don’t know, how to create an audio file which incorporates the automation then.

Isn’t there a way to affect certain measures regarding loudness changes only with the cc7 controller? I would like to use it like described above. Isn’t there a professional tool to change loudness adjustments in Elements 9? It’a DAW (!) and I want to work regarding loudness adjustments just as exeactly as I can do it regarding tempo changes in the tempo editor. Thanks for help!

AFAIK, the only way to accomplish this, and the way I always do it, is to make individual adjustments to CC7 in the CC lane for each track.

Thanks, I’ve already thought, that that would be a possibility, but I wasn’t able to affect another track except the first one. So how to affect the other tracks? If I change the bus number maybe to 2 or 3 and so on, there only can be affected the first track furthermore. How do you accpmplish to affect tracks, which are below the first one? I’m really courious, thanks again!

I’m pretty sure there’s no other way to do it except to click on each track (or select your part on the Info Line) in order to edit CC data for each track.

Not knowing exactly where Elements 9 might be stripped compared to Pro I would look at the following.
I would do nothing with CC7. You don’t really know if changing CC7 from 77 to 80(as example) has the same volume effect on every instrument.

a) What is usually a group like you describe - I would see to that these a run through a group channel(bus) to get a single fader for those.
Automate that group channel and all are affected.

You can route one level of group channels to yet another group channel.

As I recall Elements FX channels are stripped of routing abilities(only route to main outs) - so use send to group channels for effects on all tracks involved - and also route return of those possible effect busses(group channels then) to that group channel where all tracks+busses end up.

In this way you get true volume changes without changing dry/wet relations.

Or if doable use sends for effects on this final group channel instead - then sends are also effected in the same way.

b) if not a), I would make a link group for those tracks so automation volume of one affect all.
Not sure if this is Pro feature or not. Might be restricted on Artist even, only doing temporary link groups.

c) consider upgrade to Pro and use VCA faders.

cc7 is tied towards a midi channel
just create multiple instances of the instrument each with it’s on channel / instrument and you will be able to control cc7 for each instrument.

There are many ways one can setup ARIA for CuBase, and you have some choices in how you can mix.

You can work with MIDI tracks or Instrument tracks. You can load ARIA instances in rack mode, and use MIDI Tracks, or you can load them in instrument mode, and keep parts on the initial instrument track, or in MIDI tracks. You can also choose between a simple Stereo version of ARIA, or one that allows you to assign up to 32 (16 stereo pairs) outputs.

I personally recommend working with the Multi-Output variant of ARIA in Rack Mode for a long list of reasons.

  1. MIDI Tracks are a little more powerful in terms of Aux Sends and routing. Example: You can set up to 4 ‘sends’ and have the same track echo to multiple instruments/plugins, while also applying optional MIDI insert effects. This is not possible with Instrument tracks.

  2. ARIA is very efficient and easy to use as a Multitimbral plugin. Rare (at least with current Garritan Libraries) that there would be any CPU core/memory management advantages to using lots of single slot instances.

  3. Having the multiple outputs makes it easy for me to isolate individual instrument slots through multiple audio outputs for effect processing by CuBase (I disable the built in ARIA reverbs). Example: Apply a compressor to just the drums, use different reverbs for woodwinds and brass, apply a little chorus to just the piano to spread it out more over the stereo field, etc.

Upon occasions where I want to make ‘midi-loops’ using ARIA, or if I am making a very complex layered instrument that’ll ultimately be treated as a single monophonic instrument, that is when I might opt for “Instrument Tracks” instead. Otherwise, I find little advantage to working with Instrument Tracks with ARIA, but quite a few advantages to working with MIDI tracks.

Controlling the MIX from within the Part (CC Lanes/Note Expression)

One of the most common methods to handle mixing ARIA instruments, which works regardless of how you’ve set up ARIA is to simply open the Key-Editor, or use “Edit in Place” for the track you wish to adjust, set up a CC7 lane, and draw your CC changes there. This method stores your automation in the part along with your MIDI note events. It’s easy to use various line and curve tools to simply draw your automation for all of the supported ARIA Controls directly on the lanes. Also be aware that winds, brass, and strings in Garritan Libraries like to use CC1 (mod wheel), or CC11 (expression) for expressive dynamic control. CC7 is more like the master volume, but you can also work dynamics to relative scale with CC1 or CC11. Percussive, plucked, and keyboard instruments tend to rely on key-velocity for this same sort of scaled dynamic control.

Some advantages to automating ARIA in this way are:

  1. You don’t really need to bother with the CuBase mixer. Unless you’ve a need to work with a remote device and work your mix with actual faders or knobs, it’s really the easiest way to work. Just draw/erase/grab/move/etc. using your mouse.

  2. You can run the powerful MIDI Logical Editors on these events. CuBase packs some nice editing features that allow you set up simple sets of booleen rules and apply it in batch form. I.E. You could lasso a group of events, and then run a Logic Editor to 'randomize the level of selected events by a ratio of plus or minus 10. I.E. You could easily bind a macro to lower or raise selected events a given amount.

  3. It’s more of a WYSIWYG representation of exactly what is being sent to ARIA over the timeline. You can see and control with absolute precision, all relative to the timeline and any note events on the track.

  4. You can convert your CC lanes back and forth between ‘Note Expression’ and ‘cc lane’ format. This comes in handy when you want to start applying grooves, humanization, or quantizing things. Note expression containers will pack the events on the CC lane in a way that they are attached to specific notes, rather than free-flowing on the controller lane. When CC events are kept in note-expression containers, they will move around with the notes while keeping all of the relative positions. I.E. If you copy and paste a passage that has CC data stored as note-expression, then all of that automation will copy and paste with the notes. I.E. If you quantize a passage, the automation data will shift around with the note. This sort of automation is accessed by double clicking a note in the Key-Editor. Sometimes it is easier to work with your CC automation on free lanes, and sometimes it is better to pack it into the notes…fortunately it is fairly easy to convert it all back and forth on an as-need basis.

  5. CC Data can also be kept in track automation lanes. In ARIA’s case, I personally don’t see much if any advantage in keeping CC events here, but it is an option, and tools are provided if you need to move the data on these lanes into-out of the main MIDI part. There are also an assortment of options to go back and forth between data kept in the these lanes vs what is in the part, or even to average things if there is conflicting data in BOTH places.

  6. If you have need to export raw or general MIDI files and keep everything together in the main Part for the instrument, less management or bouncing around of information is required. It’s already builtin and set up for ARIA, with all of the relative information on the right kind of track, all ready to ‘export’ for other DAWs or MIDI sequencers/players.

Working with the Cubase Mixer

If you want to Mix ARIA instruments using the CuBase Mixing Desk, perhaps also with remote controllers (faders/knobs/etc) again there are a number of options. Mixer movements can be recorded directly to track automation lanes if the W (write) button is toggled on and the transport is active (playing or recording). You can also toggle the reading of the automation on and off with the R button. You can draw events directly onto the automation lanes with the mouse and line/curve tools.

To get the most of out of this style of automation, it might help to use a Mult-Output version of ARIA and mix the audio busses directly; however, you can still automate MIDI and Instrument Tracks directly using the CuBase Mixer. Just realize that VCA faders will NOT work for MIDI tracks (though they will for instrument tracks, or the audio-buses of rack instruments); however, you CAN still get a similar effect to VCA for MIDI tracks by ‘linking’ MIDI faders together as a group so that moving one will move all of those ‘linked together’ while preserving their relative differences. I.E. You could link together brass and woodwind sections, so that dragging any member of that section’s fader moves them all together.

This is your answer.

Thank you very much for all responds. I’m a begwinner and until now I only can implement the method, to make the loudness settings for each track one after another. But it’s so inconvenient, isn’t there a possibility to group together maybe 5 instruments tracks in a 6th Instruments track? Or do I have to update to a higher Cubase edition like Artist or Pro to reach that aim? I have Elements 9. Thanks for some more information.

@Brian Roland, thanks again. I’ll keep in mind your detailed informations. But I’m a beginner and that’s still much too difficult for me until now unfortunately.

This is why I gave ‘over-view’ information with ‘hyper-links’, and cognitive constructs introducing you to some of the CuBase terms and language, as well as an opportunity to move about a bit in the online OM.

The order of the presentation and links was not ‘random’.
Click the links if you don’t know what the terms mean and how to apply them…

  1. Read about what a “MIDI Track” is and how it works.
  2. Read about an “Instrument Track” and how that works.
  3. Read about ‘instrument slots’ in ARIA, and how to set channels/outputs for them one by one.
  4. Read how to load an instance of a plugin that is suitable for your track type choice.
  5. Read about the Key Editor and see how to set up a CC lane and put events on it.

I gave some brief examples of why I personally like MIDI Tracks and using Rack Mode, and more. Eventually you will probably try it all, and may end up with different preferences than me, and that’s perfectly fine. I want you to be aware that you have work-flow options, with different pros and cons.

Looking back, I’m not sure if Elements does Note Expression, but everything is is relevant, valid, and hyperlinked. If Elements can do note-expression, it’s definitely worth knowing about, and setting a goal to experiment with it. The rest I believe should definitely be quite valid for all CuBase distributions, and more or less in an appropriate order of mastery.

Yes there is a way to keep multiple channels of CC events on the same track (by setting the track output to ‘any’ and doing individual event channel management), but until you at least learn to master Logical Editors, or manage stacked multiple parts in a single track or into track ‘lanes’, it is more complicated and difficult to keep track of and edit than using track automation lanes on each track and drawing on them, using the “Key Editor”, or unfolding ‘edit in place’ for each track and making CC Lanes there.

It is also possible to ‘automate the entire DAW’ via single MIDI track using remote maps and loopback ports…but that’s a long way from a beginner topic.

Thanks again. Of course I had clicked the links, but the informations, which Steinberg gives in it’s so called OM, are so few, that beginners like me are recommended to meet a Cubase professional, who can explain directly at the computer, how to work with Cubase regarding the loudness science. But I don’t know such a Cubase master. In generall I like Cubase, but I’m so disappointed respectively even shocked regarding how to handle loudness adjustments, that I’m already searching for another DAW. If I open the mixer console, of course I can choose, whether I want to affect only a single track or if I want to affect them all together, but if I want to make loudness settings, it’s a science, how to do that for all tracks at a blow.

The developer of Steinberg are invited herewith to enhance Cubase and to offer a simple way to affect all tracks at a blow regarding loudness settings. The Cubase tempo editor for example is such a good tool, it’s really great: It would have been only consequent, to create a similar tool to affect loudness settings for all tracks at a blow.

In the Mixer

To adjust volume for all tracks in a mix at once: Move/automate the “Master”/“Main Output” fader.

To adjust the volume of a multiple selection of faders in Elements:
Assign their audio bus(es) to a “Group Track”. Now you can adjust and automate the level of that ‘group’ of instruments.

Some have recommended that you just use one instrument per ARIA instance on “Instrument Tracks”. That method will give you a fresh audio bus/fader for each instrument. The instrument tracks will NOT give you separate MIDI faders (That would send CC7 for Volume, and CC10 for Pan) for the instrument on the CuBase mixer. Instead, it processes levels and pans on the actual audio stream. These can be assigned to “Group” bus tracks.

My suggestion was to use the Multi-Output version ARIA in Rack mode, and use MIDI Tracks. This method provides faders for each of your MIDI tracks (These will Send CC7 and CC10 events when adjusted or automated, to drive ARIA’s own built in mixer), AND an independent set of faders for the actual audio stream buses. Notice in the image below the white-orange faders are MIDI type, and will drive ARIA’s built in mixer. The greenish faders are for the actual audio stream once it comes into the Mixing Matrix.

Here, you’d need to activate the audio outputs/buses you need in ARIA,

and assign the individual ARIA slots to the output you wish to use.

Note that you can also create instrument groups through ARIA by assigning them to like outputs. I.E. Putting all the strings on outputs 1&2, the Winds on 3&4, etc.

Each ARIA output will show up in your “VST Instruments” folder in the project view, and those buses/faders can be assigned to “Group Tracks”.
If I wanted, I could route the 1st and 2nd Violins into a ‘group track’, which would give yet another fader that combines those streams and allows me to adjust/process them together. Notice the new blue “Violins” fader below.

In this particular through composed String ensemble project, you can see I’ve got my MIDI faders all the way down in the ‘off position’. This is because I have elected to simply do my rough mixing directly in the MIDI parts. Of course I will fine tune things with the mixer, and add processing as some of the last steps in my project…but I tend to get things pretty close in the raw tracks, with fairly dry instruments (maybe a little reverb to cut down listener fatigue) before I ever touch the CuBase mixer. For this sort of mock-up, I needed to give almost every note special expressive attention with various CC events (articulations, bow pressure, etc.) anyway, so it just makes sense for me personally to do it one instrument at a time, on a track by track basis. So again, you can see where I’ve just drawn exactly what levels I want on part CC lanes.

If you upgrade to CuBase Pro, you can also ‘link’ sets of faders (of any type) into a link-group that locks them together (Sorry, earlier I had not realized this is not a feature supported in Elements), and if working with Instrument Tracks, or the Audio buses of plugins or live instruments/mics you can also make “VCA Tracks” (similar to Group tracks, but it doesn’t re-route all the audio into a single thread).

To automate Mixer Faders, toggle the “W” button red for each track to record live mixer movements while the transport is playing. Toggle the green R button on if you want the track’s fader to follow along with your recorded automation. You can also unfold the automation lane of a track and draw your fader movements directly on the lane.

So far most of the replies have been about how to automate the built in ARIA Mixer, which uses CC7 events. Experienced Garritan Library users also know that you are ultimately going to need to learn to automate each individual instrument. It’s simply that kind of Library, and Cubase itself has no control over how ARIA and Garritan Libraries are designed to be played and managed. To make it play with any kind of expressive quality at all, you’re going to want to make numerous entries to CC Lanes for every individual instrument. It’s also important to realize that Garritan instruments often crossfade sample layers, or adjust various filters when dynamic changes are done with CC1 or CC11, where just changing the ‘CC7 channel volume’ will not provide such sonic enhancements. I.E. A trumpet plays with a different sonic timber at triple forte than it does a pianissimo, so a different layer of samples, or some kind of timber altering synthesis will be called up with higher CC1 values. I.E. A piano or drum will change timber if you pound harder, so one would increase the ‘key velocity’ to get more volume, as opposed to just raising the ‘channel volume’.

So, that is yet another reason we Garritan Users often recommend new comers go ahead and dive into handling volume changes with CC1 events and key velocity adjustments within the instrument parts directly. The Logical Editors will help you make quick work of roughing in expressive data for a complete track with just a few clicks and key punches. Here is a thread on the topic of leveraging some power from the Logical Editor: Steinberg Forums


On Documentation: I’m not aware of any DAW that comes with a general OM that is much if any more elaborate than the one for CuBase. Of course there will be subjective differences (organization, formatting, search-ability, etc.), but objectively, they’re all going to be on a similar level unless you find some ‘educational DAW’ that was built specifically to ‘teach pro audio’ from the ground up (I don’t know of any to recommend). At this level it is assumed that the user already has knowledge of things like Mixing Consoles, MIDI Protocols, Effect Units, and various industry terms and concepts.

To get more tutorials and such you generally read web primers and books, watch videos, or take classes (many local music stores offer inexpensive, or even free workshops on DAWs).

Today’s DAWs are a culmination of many branches of the Pro Audio world. They’ve literally taken thousands of analog processes and bundled them into a single product in the Digital World. Each Editor, plugin, control, or extra feature is something of a product of its own, often requiring a pretty robust side manual of its own (or in the least, background knowledge of similar tools, perhaps from the analogue world before we had this stuff in software formats), as well as a bit of practice in learning to master it.

One thing that is pretty essential for most virtual instrument users to do is check out a MIDI protocol primer.
This will give you a solid over-view, in general terms, of what is going on under the hood to control your Virtual Instruments:

If you are not already pretty familiar with other things used for producing music, you’ll probably want to read up on those as well.
Mixing Consoles
Dynamic Compression

For reference…
Here are a collection of tutorial videos directly from Steinberg:
Here’s a link to a Stienberg YouTube channel:
And there are more out there to be found with your favorite web search service.

If you haven’t already, you’ll also want to read the ARIA and Garritan manuals cover to cover. The online documents for ARIA and GPO5 are set up in a way that is kind of tough to just scan as a long read, so I recommend grabbing the old GPO4 manual in PDF form and giving it a sequential scan, so you get a better idea of how Garry meant for the instruments to be played. Nearly everything in the GPO4 manual still applies in GPO5 (where GPO5 mostly just adds a lot of new instruments, and has some minor changes to some of the percussion stuff). Those can be found here: Garritan Virtual Instruments User Manuals

You have been given several simple solutions. I think it’s kind of sad that you seem to think that you are going to become proficient in such a deep program in a few days and because you haven’t spent the time to learn the software that you then blame the DAW. I think you will find that every DAW has a deep learning curve if you want to really become good with it.

I think the easiest would be to just automate the volume of your individual tracks and copy the volume automation curve to the other tracks. This is something that you as a beginner should know how to do-it’s a basic thing that you’ll need to do 100 times a day. If you don’t know how to do it, then don’t complain about the software, and spend a few minutes working on learning it-or ask a specific question.

EDIT: It sounds now like you are just asking about a global volume control. That is your master output. Click the “W” and wiggle the output fader. Now you can draw the automation curve for master volume.

@Brian Roland

Thank you very much for your very detailled information! I’ll try out that soon. I had read in the operation manual already yesterday regarding group tracks, but I wasn’t able to work with them. So I’ve ordered a Steinberg learning DVD today, it’s a film version of the OM. Thanks again for your good help, I’ll print it out.


Thank you for mentioning to “draw the automation curve for master volume”. I’ve already experimented with automation after reading in the OM, but it didn’t satisfy me: I hope, that I’ll have success to learn that all thoroughly via the learning DVD, I’m curious.

Can you describe what wasn’t going right with Group Tracks?

Are you having problem routing audio into them?

Are you not able to automate them at the time and amounts you like?

Also for future reference, do you know how to make screen shots? I ask because in the future it can help illustrate any questions you might have here on the forum. If we can see more clearly what you are trying to achieve, and how you’ve got things set up, we can be more direct and to the point on work-flow options.

That’s ‘one’ of the reasons I went into ‘information overload’ mode in my posts on this thread. There are so many ‘options’, and much of that depends on how you’ve loaded up ARIA, the type of project, and the ‘stage’ of production you’re dealing with.

Thanks again. My problems are caused by my lack of knowledge regarding Cubase. I thought it would be possible to combine five instrument tracks to one group track. Anyway I don’t want to be a sponge here, so it’s better, that I’ll watch the learning DVD at first, which I’ve ordered yesterday. It should be delivered next week. I’ll leave a response here regarding my progress after watching it and after considering the informations, which I’ve already got here. You are a great helper, thank you very much again. Have a nice weekend.

I’m sure some basic youtube videos will help you. So far from what I can count on this thread you have changed to ask about three completely different things:

  1. How to control the automation of several different tracks using a midi controller sending a single CC value. Answered
  2. How to automate the master volume output. Answered.
  3. Now…you just asked about sending five instrument tracks to a single group track. Yes-this is possible and very simple. I recommend Googling “Cubase Group Routing” to get an understanding of how routing is done and changed within Cubase. The first video that pops up for me is 4 minutes long and you don’t need to wait for a DVD in the mail.

Thanks for your tips. Even before the DVD was was delivered, I was able to accomplish a group track suddenly. It’s really easy. Meanwhile I’ve started to watch the DVD and it’s well done. Very good informations regarding Cubase. Thanks again.

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