How to do mute groups?

How do people accomplish this simple task which seems to be impossible in Cubase:

I want to quickly and easily (one click or a single keystroke) switch from one set of tracks muted to another set of tracks muted. For example, I have tracks 3, 4, 5 muted and I want to unmute those and mute tracks 6 and 7 with a single click. And then go back again to do a comparison.

Routing to group channels or setting up folders is too cumbersome and intrusive just to do this simple task since I generally already have routing and folders set up and don’t want to interfere with that. I had assumed mixer snapshots would do this, but, much to my dismay, mute status is not saved in the snapshot (what were they thinking?).

An older version of Cubase had a great feature called “mute groups” that made this task a breeze, but that feature was dropped long ago.

I’m guessing other people need to perform this task, so what workaround techniques do you use to accomplish this?

I would use buses. I put like instruments in a bus. Example all Pianos go to the piano bus. Simple matter to mute or solo the bus.

You could use a PLE command maybe.
Put a # in the name of the tracks you want to mute. Then put a % in the name of the tracks you want to solo. Then set up a couple of macros.

Select all the tracks.

Some are muted, some are not.

Press M and the unmuted tracks will become muted and the muted tracks will become unmuted.

This ^^^ but be aware that it will only work on the project page, not the mixer.

You are looking for LINK selected channels. With the mixer F3 or in the LOWER zone mixer do the following. It will link the channels on the arrange page as well. These are LINK GROUPS if you will and are fully editable.

Select the tracks you want to group/link then RIGHT CLICK on the track and scroll down till you see LINK selected tracks. You can then select what to link as well, pan, volume, record etc.

Yes, that’s one workaround. The problem is: you’re limited to 2 sets of tracks to mute/unmute. It doesn’t work if you’re trying to compare 3 sets of tracks. For example, switch between:

  1. tracks 3,4,5 muted - tracks 6,7 muted - tracks 8,9 unmuted
  2. tracks 3,4,5 muted - tracks 6,7, 8 unmuted - track 9 muted and
  3. tracks 3,4,5 unmuted - tracks 6,7 muted - tracks 8,9 muted.

This is just a simple example. It’s easy to imagine where you need tracks that aren’t close together in the mix console to be grouped like this.

Steinberg, what we really need is for mix console snapshots to include mute status. Add a check a box for mute status in the snapshot settings dialog and it would then be possible to quickly and easily switch between groups of muted/unmuted tracks to compare different versions of the mix. Mix console snapshots are great for comparing alternate mixes, but what’s the most basic thing you would want to compare in alternate mixes? Answer: which tracks are included/excluded (unmuted/muted) in the mix.