How to Emulate PT Master Fader in Cubase?

I am trying to recreate the mixing template of Jaycen Joshua in Cubase. As you might know, PT has this kind of track called Master Fader, which I believe is unique to them. It’s not an FX track, it’s not a Group track, it’s kind of like a VCA track with input and routing options.
What Jaycen Joshua does is he creates two tracks to route his drum tracks for instance: 1. a Group track (he calls it “C Drums” where all drum tracks are going) and 2. a Master Fader (he calls it “C Drums M”) and this is my problem. Instead of going OUT and into a Group track, this Master Fader is operating on a BUS level. So it is not a parallel to the Drums Group (because it’s not raising the overall volume) and it’s not either a send. It’s almost like all all the individual drum tracks are going out BOTH into the Group track (C Drums) and into the Master Fader (C Drums M), and than those summing up into a bigger Group track (All Drums).

Is there any way I can recreate this structure in Cubase?

I’m not fully understanding the purpose of a fader that shall not raise the volume (or will not result in a gain to the main output when pulled up).
Have you thought about creating a second bus, connected also to your main outputs and route the group onto that bus?

Actually the volume does raise if you pull up the fader of the Master Fader, but that’s not the purpose here. The goal is to process differently (for instance JJ uses the Master Fader to emulate the tone & character of an SSL.

Of course, that’s the first thing I tried. But there is a problem here. If I create two Group tracks (“C Drums” & “C Drums M” for instance), in order for me to finish on them the same output (let’s say “Drums All”), my signal flow has to go in SERIES like a daisy chain, which means the signal path goes like:
all individual drum tracks > C Drums > C Drums M > Drums All.

That’s not the structure JJ is using. He is doing something like this:



∑ C Drums M
C Drums

All Individual Drum Tracks

That ∑ Track is a Master Faders, and as I said it operates on a BUS level, just catching the signal from the “C Drums” bus and adding it’s “color”. He never touches the fader on any of this Master Fader, they all stay at 0, their only purpose is to add character.

You could create one group channel where you route all your single drum tracks to. On a second group channel you could route the same signal via sends. On a third group channel you route the outputs of both group channels.

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Maybe the nomenclature in Pro Tools is different, but from the description of its function, you could use an FX channel in cubase perfectly for this.

Your description is confusing to me because in the beginning you say that the Master Fader is not working in parallel but your later description shows all signs of parallel processing.
This should be doable with either sending the signal to a Group or FX track (it’s basically the same) or by using Direct Out (only Cubase Pro).

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Yes that is a workaround, even thought I’m afraid it might generate phase issues due to latency, it’s probable but I’m not sure. I think I will go for that if I don’t find any other solution. Thanks

No Henrique it’s not just a nomenclature problem, FX channel and Master Fader are two different things.

Well Johnny if you think about it a Master Fader in PT it’s not really a parallel channel, even though it’s process adds up in parallel in the end.

I haven’t thought about Direct Out. That might actually be a perfect solution for this. Is it possible to route a track to multiple Group channels in Cubase? (I’m using 13 Pro) If that’s the case, maybe I can send all my individual drum tracks to both “C Drums” & “C Drums M”.

Absolutely. You can either use Sends or Direct Routing (Direct Out is actually called Direct Routing, my bad).

I’m not familiar with PT, but from your description ( eg.“It’s almost like all all the individual drum tracks are going out BOTH into the Group track (C Drums) and into the Master Fader (C Drums M), and than those summing up into a bigger Group track (All Drums))” in CB you will need:

A Group to be your “C Drums”, to where your drum tracks will be directly routed, an FX channel to be your “C Drums M”, to where all the drum tracks will SEND their signal, and another group to be your All Drums, where C Drums and C Drums M will sum (direct routing).

If this doesn’t do what you need it to do, all nomenclatures aside, you’ll need to explain what each of those elements you mentioned is doing and what is their purpose in a more clear way. Cause first you say it is not parallel, but then you say all tracks send to both busses which will sum into another bus, and that is what the setup I wrote above does. So I cant understand whats the difference.

And that’s why I said that in Cubase an FX channel will do what you need. Cause you can just select all drum channels, add FX to selected channels and there you go, they will be sending to that channel, keeping its direct route to your C Drums Group, and the FX channel will be doing all else just as a group, or bus, or your “VCA but with audio input and routing options.” (for this last bit you will need to link faders).

No need to worry about that in CB. Latency compensation will keep things in phase, unless you have some bug going on.

It is possible, but not in a “multiple direct outs” kind of way.

You have one direct out and the rest are sends. But for your need its the same difference, cause you can send anywhere, and you can put them pre or post fader.

How come the master fader is not parallel but is parallel? I though it could only be either one…

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:smiley: Yes I know I sound silly saying that, sorry I’m not explaining it technically correct. What I mean by “parallel” is a channel that needs to COLLECT the signal, process it and than deliver out to another channel. In the case of Master Fader in PT, that’s a channel that does NOT collect any signal (this is why I said it operates on a BUS level).
Let me try to explain what I have in mind with this scheme:

I’m trying to understand the situation too, I’m not 100% sure of how PT works but this is what I could get by watching several videos explaining the topic in PT.
Sorry if I completely missed the point on how Master Faders work :smiley:

Johnny please can you explain what is the difference between sending the signal through SEND and sending the same signal through DIRECT ROUTING?
So if I have “drum track 1” that’s routed to “C Drums” and I send a signal from “drum track 1” to “C Drums M”, is it the same as doing a Direct Routing from “drum track 1” to BOTH “C Drums” and “C Drums M”?

Sends let you chose between Pre or Postfader, Direct Routing is always Post. Furthermore Sends have a Send Level and Panorama/Balancing in Cubase. Direct Routing relays whatever the channel output is.

Direct Routing can make sense if you need the 8 Sends for other purposes like side chaining or, well, actual aux sends.


Ahhh ok! Now I get it. The Master Fader is parallel to the individual tracks, but feeds directly into a Bus that contains the same tracks that fed the master. Cool!

From your diagram then, I’d say that you need to, in Cubase, send all your drum tracks to two FX tracks. One of them will be your C Drums M, the other will be your C Drums.
The C Drums M will have NO direct output, but will have a post-fader send to C Drums. The C Drums FX track will have a direct output into All Drums.

And there you have it! The signal flow will be effectively the same as your second diagram!

Now, if by any chance you cant afford these two sends in each drum channel, you can reduce it to one send with the following workaround:

Send your individual tracks to the FX track C Drums M , and route the output of that FX track to an Intermediate Bus A. Then you will get all your drum tracks to the Intermediate Bus B via direct routing (this will be a Group). Both these two intermediate Busses will be finally grouped to your C Drums Group.

Am I trippin?

Yes thanks, that’s the technical version of what I was trying to explain :smiley: Master Fader feeds into the same Bus that contains the individual tracks.

In PT I noticed the Master Fader doesn’t have an output, which probably means the processed signal goes straight into the Stereo Out (not sure if that’s the same terminology in PT). In Cubase instead, I can choose the output of the FX track, so I guess I have to send the FX track straight into Stereo Out to best emulate the template of JJ. I will do some test to see what sounds more truthful.

Does it make any difference if I choose to leave “C Drums” as a Group track, and create an FX track only for the “C Drums M” (with no output, as you said, but only a post-fader send to Stereo Out)?

I think your best bet is to use Direct Routing in Summing Mode which will allow you to route a Channel to multiple simultaneous destinations. It will provide you with the most flexible routing available in Cubase.


I took an hour now trying to learn about PT’s MasterFader concept from the manual and YT videos. I have to say: That is one weird concept. It acts half-way like a VCA, there is no input to this track but it has plugin slots
What I could not find out so far is, what really happens to the audio signal when a Master Fader is attached to a bus. Some indcations lead to believe its inserts work serially behind the bus (otherwise a dithering plugin would not make any sense at all), other indications lead to believe its fader works before the connected bus.
Really a weird concept to me.

(NB: I also learned that PT only has pre-fader inserts on all tracks except MasterFader. Holy Moly.)