How to monitor plugin-inserted vocal 'and' record with that effect?

I am currently not in my studio but away and I could not bring my hardware compressor.
I would like to know the ways, that I can monitor my vocal with compressor VST inserted,
‘and’ record the vox with the inserted FX?

I use Cubase 11 Pro and RME UFX on a mac.

Would this be possible… at the moment, the best way I could find was,

  • insert ‘Softube TLA-100A’ on MIC input channel.
  • There is no ‘monitor’ button somehow… so, I click on ‘L’ listen button.
  • Mute my Mic input channels on TotalMIX.
  • Reduce Latency so I could feel no much lag.
  • But then I can ‘only’ monitor my vocal so I click on ‘L’ on instrumental tracks also.
  • Try my best to disable all the plugins just for the sake of smooth recording.
  • I can monitor it, ‘but’

Would there be a better way…? :slight_smile:
I am sure I am taking the long route… aren’t I? haha…

‘direct monitoring’ button on device setup is greyed out… (maybe? cause I’m on a mac?)

I used to record without any plugins and used RME UFX dynamics compressor but!
its just that, my other compression plugins I prefer better…

Any other good/effective way I could try out?

Appreciated in advance.

*I want the compressed vocal to be recorded so I am not only wanting to monitor, thanks.
So… much like UAD unison mode.


Myself I wouldn’t do this and I wouldn’t recommend this.

But you can just place the Insert effect to the Input Channel in the MixConsole.

1 Like

Oh yes, raw source would be the best but this time, for this particular project, I… um… I really prefer to insert slight compression and commit :slight_smile:
I can record with insert, but could I also listen to the compression activated vocal through as I am recording?

On my Cubase, there is no monitor button on ‘input’ channel. But I ‘do’ have L button.

Cumbersome thing is that I have to now click all 'L’s on instrumental too to listen to while I am recording hehe…

So far, clicking on L (listen button) is my way.
Any other way Martin?

Thanks in advance.


If you put the Insert on the Input channel, the signal comes to the track compressed already. Once you enable Monitor on the track, you hear it with the compressor already. You don’t have to do anything with the Listen button.

1 Like

I’d go further than Martin and say don’t touch the L button in this situation. All it does is adjust the relative volume between Tracks set to Listen and those not. It does not control what is or is not being monitored.


Hello, You can try to use this function. (see the pic) play with the Listen DIM function.

1 Like

Oh thanks Martin, just to clarify,
My input track ‘does not’ have ‘monitor’ button.
So, I know if I insert plugins on input track, I can record with the FX plugged in.
But there is no ‘monitor’ little speaker button on the input track.

Is it because I am on mac and my RME UFX interface does not support such functioning?

I still do not know why, I do not have ‘monitor’ button on input channel (my mic input is set to input 9 of my UFX)

Is it the issue for mac users? or RME UFX users?
I have no clue. ‘L’ is the only option to monitor my voice being compressed + record with the compression plugged in.

*So, I don’t want to ‘just’ hear my voice being compressed, I ‘also’ want to record with the compression :slight_smile:

So you do not get confused, thanks!

I am still trying to find the best solution for this on my mac with UFX.

Maybe my preference setup is wrong?

So… I’ve read everything about mac UFX users not being able to acces ‘ASIO direct monitoring’ function. But um… so I am trying to find the best alternative solution :slight_smile:

Do you also think that ‘L’ mode is the only option for me to monitor/record through plugin…?


*If I cannot access latency-free direct monitoring option on my system, it is fine, I shall compromise… sadly… but I am trying to find the best alternative option!

John, you do not need a monitor button on the input.

  1. Put effect on input track X.
  2. Go to your vocal track, adjust routing so that input is set to “input track X” and press the monitor button there.
  3. Listen to how your vocal track has the effect, which you cannot get rid of. (because it’s insert in the input)

Try it with a reverb first so that it’s easy to spot, because compression can be difficult to hear (for me at least, at conservative settings, and without other context)

1 Like

Hello, ggmanestraki!
Oh… I think it works.
Because according to Sweetwater manual of recording through plugin on cubase,
it said, if I monitor on vocal track (not input track) I thought the compression does not get inserted.
But I think you are right!

I have just tested with inserting reverb. And yes, it prints with FX well :slight_smile:

Just one more question in general, so, users in Windows, what does ‘ASIO direct monitoring’ do? and what significant difference does it make practically?

is it zero latency just like UAD unison…?

For me, I have to set latency really really low if I do not want to feel the lag. (even though my mac has 64gb ram and highest cpu… maybe cause this project of mine is on 96k sample rate)

So, for my case, this is the only way to monitor/record through plugin, correct? :slight_smile:

Thank you so much!

Also just side question, so if I insert on the input channel, it gets ‘aways’ printed with? right?!

I have never faced this situation because I’ve always had hardware compressor with me but now I get why people are craving for DSP powered interfaces! UAD must be good at this!

1 Like

Thank you but I think I got my solution through other member :slight_smile:

Latency depends on a lot of things, but in general:

  • 96k = lower latency, but much heavier on CPU.
  • Zero latency plug-ins. They keep latency where it is, but again, heavy on CPU.
  • A good interface allows to lower the buffer, and latency goes down with it. If you exceed the limits of your computer, you get dropouts, crackles etc. Raise the buffer to the next higher step and try again.
  • When things get rough, you can always press the Constrain Delay Compensation button to record a take without messing around too much with buffers, or manually hunting for which plug-ins to bypass.

A buffer setting of 256 at 96k is a good compromise for me, using an RME Digiface and an i7 6700k. I seem to get 3.5ish ms latency in, and another 3.5ish ms latency out. I don’t feel it bothers me, and if it does I can always fall down to 128 buffer and less. This is acceptable latency for me, so I don’t mess with Direct Monitoring much.

Yes! You can also eq, apply pre-gain (cut or boost), pan, everything you do will have an impact and print on the track that is connected to this input.

You have your own DSP with UFX. UAD have their own. They’re all good, but they are what they are. Kind of like how the EQ sounds on a certain mixer. You are stuck with what you have. Generally, I appreciate how DSP cards can be super useful if I wanted to do a multitrack recording with basic EQ+Dynamics+Reverb on an underpowered laptop. But on a desktop computer with a fast CPU, lots of RAM, and recording track by track, I think I wouldn’t need DSP (I currently don’t). BUT, it would be yet another color to use if I wanted to! :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Thank you so much for the detailed answers!

One last question, would it be a ‘bad’ thing in my situation that I am missing ‘ASIO direct monitoring’ option on my mac…? Some users get furious about it… who are on mac side…

I don’t know about that. To be honest, since I am using RME for years now, if I want direct monitoring I do it through Totalmix. I don’t know if something changes with Macs and other interfaces that makes Direct Monitoring more desirable, but I can’t say I have ever missed not having it directly in Cubase.

Here’s what the manual has to say, maybe you need to activate the monitor button first, before the tick-box becomes available? I don’t know. :man_shrugging:t3:

1 Like

Oh thanks for the link! But unfortunately ASIO direct monitoring (zero latency) function does not work on mac… oh well. It is all good! I can deal with a bit of latency, it does make huge impact especially while recording, listening to compressed vocal and without… butI cannot go heavy on this because of latency… hehe but thanks got my answer!

Maybe getting a 500 series small mobile setup with pre + compressor would be a good small option! :slight_smile:

Those 500s are nice! But how much latency are you having? I see that the Softube TLA-100A only has a latency of 4 samples, so it shouldn’t be that bad all things considered, especially on voice.

1 Like

I’ve actually tested recording through my favourite compressor (Softube TLA 100A) on the input channel and made the latency fairly reasonable (192 = 2.7ms) and wow, I really like it.

But overall, yeah, hardware that cannot be compromised with latency like compressor, I prefer it hardware and I think compress ‘through’ is as important as going through a good pre in my humble opinion. :slight_smile: