How to set up the Control Room Mixer for Cubase 6
Edit: There is a video for this! (Thanks Bredo!):
and if the video doesn’t explain it all see below for more info:
I was unaware of this useful tool until I figured out how to do it through trial and error, the Cubase 6 Video Tutorial, and the Cubase 6 guide last night. This is my attempt at step by step instructions on how to set it up. Please feel free to correct me if I miss something, or if there is a much better way to do something that I am sure I will be missing this first try. I am currently using Cubase Version 6.0.2. The last time I upgraded the version it destroyed all my Halion Sonic settings and as I am in the middle of producing an album for the next year or so, I won’t be messing with upgrading until the album is finished.
If you are recording 1-4 people at a time for a song and need to be able to adjust the mix for them, (examples: Turn the mix down so the person can hear themselves better, or turn up the drum parts so the person can hear the rhythm better…) and instead of doing it all in the regular Cubase 6 mixer and destroying your current mix, or doing it on an external mixer and risk possibly recording a dirty signal, then the Cubase 6 Control Room Mixer is what you need.
Basically, you are creating a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th or 5th ) mixer in Cubase 6, that can have a whole separate mix from the main Cubase 6 mixer.
Although there is the possibility of setting up 4 different mixes, so you can record 4 different people at the same time, all with their own mixes of your song playing, for now this will be for the single person recording session set up. Once you get this down, it will probably be easy to figure out the rest.
- Open Cubase 6 and open a song you intend to record (for example sake I will say “Vocal”) a vocal on.
- At the top of the window choose “Devices”, then from the drop down menu choose VST Connections”
- Click on the “Outputs” tab, then under the Device Port column, make a note of what each device is there for later, then click on each device and choose “Not Connected”. Apparently having your audio input device still enabled here can sometimes create problems. Don’t worry, you can always add them back when you are finished recording and you want to create your main mix.
- Click on the “Studio” tab. Check just to the right of “Control Room:” there is a little button that should be blue. If it isn’t click on it to turn it on. This officially “Enables” Control Room. (later, when you want to go back to working with the main mixer, you should turn this off (turn it gray) thus disabling Control Room. Mainly you will want to disable it so that you can still audition your Wave files during editing when working with the Main Mixer.)
- Click on “Add Channel” and from the drop down menu choose “Add Studio”. In the menu that pops up, you have the option of changing the name from “Studio 1” to whatever you want, and changing the configuration from Stereo to Mono. For this example please leave it as “Studio 1”. Click “OK”
- In the “Device Port” column, click on the first (Left) “Not Connected” and choose your device (Probably best to go with what you have previously in the “Outputs” tab. Do the same thing for the next one (Right).
- Close the VST Connections – Studio window.
- At the top of the window choose “Devices”, then from the drop down menu choose “Control Room Mixer”.
- At the top of the Control Room Mixer window that pops up, make sure “AUX” is blue, near that make sure “MIX” is blue, near that make sure “AFL” is orange looking, at the bottom make sure the square button with the “1” on it is blue, and to the right of that the square with the speaker is blue. Click on these to change them if they aren’t. If you intend on using clicks when you record, click on the “CLIK” button for the Studio 1 track (so that it is not gray).
- Open the regular Cubase 6 mixer (Shortcut hit the F3 button on your keyboard).
- On the regular mixer, choose ALL the tracks that you intend to turn up or down for your recording session. I tend to click on the very first track, then scroll and then while holding down the shift key, click on the very last track, thus highlighting everything. Make sure if the “Stereo In” and “Stereo Out” tracks are highlighted that you unhighlight them by holding down the control button and clicking on each track.
- Click on the Mute button “M” on the main “Stereo Out” track. Then Right click on any of the high lighted tracks and choose from the drop down menu: “Link Channels”. Then choose the Mute button “M” on any of the highlighted tracks so that none of them are muted (Re mute them if the were supposed to be muted later) and only the main “Stereo Out” track is muted. If you don’t do this the regular mix will be playing on top of your studio mix, which lessons you control over the mix greatly. Right click on a highlighted track again and choose “Unlink Channels”.
- While all those tracks are highlighted, go back to the little “Control Room Mixer” window and right click on it. Choose “All Studios” (Or “Studio 1”, or if you had changed the name of the studio mixer when you created it, choose that new name) from the drop down box that appears and choose “Use Current Mix Levels”. This copies all your current mixing levels into the new mixer. This way you don’t have to remix everything like you had it in the main mixer in this new mixer.
- Still while all the main mixer tracks are highlighted, Right click on the “Control Room Mixer” window again and from the drop down menu choose “Studio 1” (or the name you created previously) and choose “Use Current Pan Settings”. This copies all your current pan settings to the new mixer.
- Still while all the main mixer tracks are highlighted, Right click on the “Control Room Mixer” window again and from the drop down menu choose “Studio 1” again (or whatever you previously named it) and choose “Enable Studio Sends” Make sure for any new tracks you add, that you repeat steps 13, 14 and 15.
- Back on the main mixer window, and YOUR left side near the top corner is 2 little arrows, 1 pointing down and 1 pointing up. Click on the up arrow so that the main mixer window expands, then click on the star that is in the black menu on YOUR left side. This is what your new mixer looks like.
- Make sure near the top of each track, that the power button (Little box with a circle that has a line at the top) is blue indicating it is on, and right next to it make sure the “Pre Fader” button is orange. If they aren’t click on each one to turn them on.
- Now that everything is all set up you are ready to record your vocalist and set the volume levels for him. Make sure all the tracks that you want to turn up or down are highlighted in the main mixer window (Excluding the track you are using to record on! Adjust that manually), then right click on the “Control Room Mixer” window and choose “Studio 1” (or whatever name you changed it to) and from the drop down menu choose “Change Studio Sends Levels”.
- In the “Change Studio Sends Levels” window, make sure “Relative Mode” is checked. And then adjust all your highlighted tracks at once by changing the number in the little “Level” box (default is “0.00 dB”). If you click on the number and drag your mouse up or down you can easily turn the volume up or down. Once you have the level right choose okay and all tracks will be turned up or down equally while still maintaining your basic mix AND without changing your previous mix on the main mixer.
- If you want to be able to change the volume or panning on a single track, go to the main mixing window, and notice near the top under the previously indicated blue power button and the orange “Pre Fader” button is a aqua blue volume line you can use to adjust the volume, and a pan line you can use to adjust the panning.
That’s it. Have fun. This is my first try at these instructions, so I’m sure some of the experts on this forum will have lots of corrections for me. Please be sure to give me step by step instructions for your corrections as I have done above so we can make this as accurate as possible for any new comers.
Note: I like to have a little reverb in just the vocal track when recording. I notice on the main mixer it doesn’t let me add effects to what looks like the effects slots (2-4), but if I add effects to the normal inserts for that track it seems to work fine. Is there a different way to do this? (When I added the reverb to the Control Room Mixer it affected all the tracks…)