Insert FX on multiple tracks

Hello Cubase users
Can anyone pls tell me if there is a way to apply an effect to 20 tracks all at one time.
I’ve got a piece with twenty separate vocal tracks. I’d like to insert a light compression on all of them. Can it be done altogether?
Thanks for any advice

Just add all your vocal tracks to a group and insert the compressor (or use the inbuilt channel strip compressor) on the group track.

This would be the most common approach.

On the other hand if you prefer a separate compressor on each Track then select all the vocal Channels and engage Quick-Link in the MixConsole. Now when making any change to the compression (or pretty much anything) on one Channel it will occur on all the linked Channels. Don’t forget to disengage Q-Link when finished.

I’d recommend using the built in compression rather than a Channel Insert just so you don’t end up with 20 open plug-in Windows.

What would be the pros and cons of using an insert on a group rather than using a send effect?

Thanks to ChazC and Raino for their advice. A couple more questions, pls.
(1) WIll there be a difference in sound between these two approaches, ie, with compression inserted on the group vs inserted to all tracks.
(2) Can Raino pls explain what he means by

I’d recommend using the built in compression rather than a Channel Insert just so you don’t end up with 20 open plug-in Windows.

I’m using the Cubase compressor.

The same thing that is always the case: send effects work in parallel, insert effects in a row.

yes there will.

He certainly means you might want to use the channel strip compressor instead of loading a compressor plugin as insrt, which will then (since 20 tracks are linked) open 20 plugin windows when loading.
Although I think there is a preference to stop that temporarily.

Thanks to Svennilenni, Raino, ChazC
So I’m exploring the joys of Folders, Channel Groups, Track Groups. Utterly confused.
For the moment I’ve got my 20 voices in a Channel Group (I think). So they all share the same FX, they all get cut or trimmed together. But now I can’t edit them individually, but only as a group. So how do I ungroup again?

I am not sure whether you are talking about folders or a group track. Please be aware of the difference.
Raino was talking about 2 scenarios:

  1. A group track - which means you route all your vocal tracks to that group (channel/track). This is like a summing channel. On this channel/track you can insert the compression which will then work on the SUM of your vocal signals
  2. Individual compressors inserted into every vocal channel/track. Using the Q-Link thing will allow you to do the insert (and adjustments of the compressor parameters) for all the channels at the same time. Via Q-Link you can also adjust the built-in compressors in the individual chanel strips synchronously. As soon as you DISABLE Q-Link you will be able to adjust compressor settings for each vocal channel individually (which might be what you want to have).

Again: Please note that “group channel/track” is not the same as grouping channels into a folder. In other daws the vocabulary is different. It is important to understand that a group channel is just a summing channel that allows to control the sum, not the individual sources that are routed to it individually.

HTH, Ernst
PS: Maybe you would like to share a screenshot of your mixer with us, so we can see what you are doing !

Yes, there will be a difference in sound as instead of doing a summed compression on the group channel you’ll have individual compression on each channel - the channel source will change how the compressor operates on each channel. This may result in better or worse results. If I were running such a scenario I’d probably use the in-built channel strip compressor on each channel then do an overall insert compression on the group as to help ‘glue’ the sound of the channels together but that’s getting a little ahead of where you’re at now.

Here’s Greg Ondo’s video on Folders:
…and here’s his video on Groups (plus VCA’s):

Have a look at the YouTube channel “Cubase” for all of Greg’s great videos - should give you a good insight into the operation of Cubase.

Thanks to Ernst and Chaz
As suggested, I’ve attached a screenshot of my project, if it helps anyone.
What I still need to know, pls, is how do I ungroup channels?
My current situation is that I’m trying to add another track, but I’m not getting any signal at all. I think this may be due to the fact that they have been grouped.

Hi you, thank you for the picture.

It seems you have TWO identically named group channels/tracks named “voices”?
What do you mean by “ungrouping” channels - have you linked them? Routing all the individual channels to one group channel does not influence anything that you add later.
Did you have a look at the routing of the newly created channel that does not get any signal at all? You can see the routing in the inspector and of course in the mixer. The key question: What is the SOURCE of the added channel and what is its destination (iow where is it routed to)?

HTH, Ernst

Hello Ernst
Well thanks. But I’m afraid I wasn’t getting anywhere. All my tracks were locked together in such a way that I couldn’t edit one without editing them all. And I couldn’t find any way to undo it. In addition, I couldn’t get any signal at all from the microphone input no matter what I did.
So I went back to an earlier version, before I grouped my parts. There, everything worked fine. So I re-did the ten minutes or so of work which I’d lost. Better than spending another two hours figuring how do undo the grouping or linking or whatever it was.
Thanks for your advice.

you should definitely take the time to learn about Linking tracks/channels and unlinking them. I can strongly recommend the manual for these basic things.

It is really worth learning this basic stuff because you might otherwise again and again in situations like the one you had to face… in other words: It is always good to be able to do and undo things concsiously. (btw.: Parts are again something different in cubase… basic terminology of the product is key for communicating and solving problems! please dont get me wrong, this is an advice that goes FAR beyond RTFM, ok ? :slight_smile: )

All the best, Ernst

That implies that you didn’t unlink the Channels after you made the common changes.

Also there are two flavors of linking.

  1. Quick Link is a temporary linking of all Selected Channels - and you can change which Channels are selected while QL is active. This is what you want to use for your compression.
  2. Link is a semi-permanent (you can turn it off) linking of specific Channels that you want to keep linked together. This can be configed to link all the Channel’s parameters or only some (e.g. Faders but not Inserts). It is independent of which Channels are selected (except during the creation of the linking when you need to tell Cubase what to link).

Perhaps you Linked instead of Quick-Linked them?

Hello Raino
Maybe you’re right, tho I thought I grouped them. But how do you unlink/ungroup channels? I couldn’t find that anywhere.

The attached pic shows what to look for in the MixConsole that indicates Tracks are Linked. Also if you Select and right+click on them you can remove some or all the Channels from the Link and modify the settings for the Link.

Hello Raino
Thanks very much for doing that. I’ll know what to look out for in future.
Have a great day
God bless

Hello Raino
Thanks very much for doing that. I’ll know what to look out for in future.
Have a great day
God bless