Is there any need to use mono plugins in Cubase?

I’ve always been a bit confused why some plugin manufacturers (like UAD and Waves) provide mono versions of their VST plugins and most don’t.

The way channels are set up in Cubase, a mono audio channel always stays mono and a stereo channel stays stereo, no matter what plugins you insert. So I imagine if I insert a plugin in a channel it should just load the mono or stereo version, depending on the channel. And that’s what the plugins seem to do.

Or is it that they always load the stereo version and I don’t know it because the user interface in both mono and stereo looks the same?

I did some testing with the UAD plugins. I found that it makes absolutely no difference (in sound or DSP load) whether I use the stereo or mono versions on mono channels. Obviously using the mono version on a stereo channel is no good.

With the Waves, it’s a bit different because mono and stereo versions often have differing surfaces. So if I load a stereo plugin in a mono channel, the level meter on one side just stays at zero. But sound-wise there is no difference either.

So can I safely delete the mono versions and just use the stereo plugins?

I would say keep them. Here is why for audio tracks…

I haven’t checked/confirmed this same behavior in CB9 yet but in CB8.5 and earlier many stereo vst effects (like a reverb or phaser) will not sound proper if used on a mono audio track that was recorded from a mono source (like a guitar) on a mono bus. If that same stereo vst effect is used on a stereo audio track recorded from a mono source on a mono bus it will sound correct. So again, I’d keep them.

You always record to a stereo audio track then maybe you won’t need the mono ones (I really don’t know because of the many variables).

BTW… the actual .wav file recorded to a mono or stereo audio track from a mono source through a mono bus is the same. It is a mono file that is the same size and it shows the same waveform in Cubase.

FWIW… that is why I always record on stereo audio tracks. I’m not sure why a mono audio track is even available in Cubase.

Regards. :sunglasses:

From the UAD manual

Mono (m) UAD plug-ins
UAD VST plug-ins with “(m)” in the name are monophonic versions of the plug-in.
The standard VST plug-ins (which support both stereo and mono configurations) do not
consume additional UAD DSP on mono sources when loaded in DAWs that use true-mono
processing (for example, Apple Logic Pro, Avid Pro Tools, and Steinberg Cubase/Nuendo).
Some DAWs (for example, Ableton Live and Cakewalk Sonar) do not use true-mono
processing on mono signals. In these DAWs, using the mono (m) versions may conserve
UAD DSP when used on mono sources.
UAD mono (m) plug-ins are not available in Audio Units, RTAS, or AAX format. All
qualified AU, RTAS, and AAX 64 DAWs (e.g., Apple Logic Pro, Avid Pro Tools) support
true-mono processing.

Thanks, raino. I thought I read something like this once in a UAD manual, but couldn’t find it in the newest manual.

So, in short, the mono versions are not needed in Cubase. Do you agree? And the same would go for the Waves plugins, but in that case I’ll keep the mono versions because of their user interface.