How to use the effects of 2 tracks and have them play as one

Okay so this is a bit hard to phrase, but essentially I took a normal track, added lots of effects to it and made a pretty sick guitar sound, then I duplicated that track and edited the effects on the new track (with the exact same audio recording), so now I have 2 different tracks playing the same audio recording, but each track applying different effects to it, and when both effects play together it sounds really cool I think. So I was wondering if there’s a way to just tell cubase “hey, put the audio signal through the effects of these tracks seperately, then merge both those sounds into one track and let me just deal with that one track”. Because yeah, there’s just 2, but what if I wanna do this with 3, or 4? I believe this is exactly what Mick Gordon did to a sine wave to make his sick sounding doom instrument.

Just send both to a group track.

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I’m afraid you might get a bit different results though, because you won’t mix two sources anymore, you would apply the effects to I’ve source.

Yup. Sub group tracks are for when you want to mix several tracks to a new channel. The idea is simple, instead of routing the two guitar channels to your Master Output, you route them to a group channel that is in turn routed to the Master Output. (Then of course you could have several group channels routed to a new group channel and so on…)

  1. You can put the two tracks (original and copies of it) into a folder together. Still multiple tracks, but when folded up only takes the vertical space of 1 in your project view. You can mute/unmute and a few other things to all tracks within’ a folder at one time. If you also only want all the stuff you’re doing in this folder to ultimately only take one fader spot on the mixer, send the end processed results of all these related tracks to a single group track. Hide the faders you don’t want on the mixer and control your ‘completed guitar sound’ via unhidden group fader.

One pretty big plus to just keeping multiple copies of the source track is that you can do things like slightly detune the two tracks. Phase shift them, and more! Get in there and actually manipulate the two chains at the sample level. Some of the stuff you’d do here is equivalent to what a lot of plugins might try to do in real time…but with your hard edits on the tracks themselves, will take fraction of the cpu power to achieve! Different sorts of chorus effects by offsetting one of the tracks a few samples…tuning tricks (retune one of the tracks to a different octave, or make parallel 5ths, whatever you can dream up), and more!

  1. It’s possible to get creative and route a single track to multiple effect chains in parallel.

a. Check out FX tracks. For this sort of thing you would NOT host any plugins on the guitar track itself. Instead, route it off to FX tracks, and establish the effect chains there.

I forget if you can direct an audio track directly into an FX track, or more than one at once? If you can, do that. If not…then you’d simply set an aux send of the one guitar track to be pre-fader, and unless you want some of the dry guitar sound in the mix as well…keep the mixing console fader all the way down on the raw guitar audio track (could also hide it on the mixer if it’s in the way). I’m pretty sure you can route an AUX send into as many FX tracks as you want. I’m absolutely positive you can have several AUX sends on a track if you need that to get it working.

If you also want to mix the results of your multiple FX chains down to a single fader on the mixing console, you could route the 2 FX tracks into a single group track. Pack it all in a folder together, hide the stuff you don’t want showing on the mixing console.

b. Depending on your effect chain, it’s also possible to set up a ‘quad’ configuration on a group. Route your guitar track into the group so it’s panned dead center (sends signal to front and back channels), and use the routing options to run a series of effects in parallel off the same group…where some work on the front channels, and some on the back channels. If this group is routed to a regular stereo endpoint, it effectively acts/sounds like a pair of stereo inputs merged as you’ve described in the OP.

  1. Some versions of Cubase have some hard routing options that might work for you. Sorry I can’t remember them all the way back to version 9 right off hand. Plus there can be big difference between say, Cubase Pro, and Cubase LE in terms of what all is available!

  2. Third party ASIO routers such as ASIO Link Pro or Link2 allow you to do some really interesting routing and re-routing at the asio driver level.

  3. Third party chainers/routers like Bidule. These allow you to host plugins in an effect slot with a good deal more flexibility. I.E. Run 20 effects in a single Cubase effect slot…some in parallel, some in series, etc…

I can’t remember if Cubase 9 supports side-chain, but if it does, Bidule gives you EVEN MORE options to get super creative routing going on across multiple channels/busses…even between VSTi and VST plugins hosted at different points throughout the DAW.

a. If your effect plugins are third party, you could run all sorts of effects in parallel and/or serial, wire them up any way you like…all from a single source track.

b. If you are using the effect plugins that come with Cubase, those can’t be hosted in your chainer, but you can still use instances of your third party chainer/router in a quad or surround group ‘between the Cubase Plugin slots’ to get things routed where you want them to go in order to achieve the same ‘mixed effect’ that would require extra groups/aux sends/etc. otherwise.

So would this allow me to record directly into the group track and have both of the tracks activate it, or would I still need to record into one of them, and then copy-paste the audio file into the other one. Or does this simply give me a master volume control of all the tracks?
Because what I’m hoping is that I could, in theory, get the effects of many many channels while only having to record on one as if it was just one track to begin with that just sounded like all of them together. I suppose I could just set all the tracks to record at the same time, but that would probably blow my speakers real fast.
Pardon my late response.

If you want one source, an audio track with a guitar recording for example, being fed into multiple channels, you typically use sends. You can choose to send the audio from your guitar track to multiple Group Tracks or FX tracks and you can choose to send the signal either Pre Fader or Post Fader.
So now you can have a signal routing that looks something like this: