Issue using the 'Play/Scrub' tool with Control Room

Hi, all

I stumbled on this one just two days ago, while testing 6.5.5 after having installed it (see here : http://www.steinberg.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=274092#p274092). Using only my headphones, I could scrub MIDI parts without problem but couldn’t get a sound doing so on an audio event.

After scratching my head, I saw that for a reason, the audio signal obtained from scrubbing an audio event is only routed to the ‘Control room’ bus, contrary to scrubbing a MIDI part which allows me to get the scrubbing signal to both ‘Phones’ and ‘Control room’ busses defined in the control room (see the configuration in OutputBusses.png). The ‘Play/Scrub’ tool has exactly the same behavior, whether in ‘Play’ mode or ‘Scrub’ one.

Trying to solve this, in the preferences ‘VST/Control room’ page, I ticked/unticked the ‘Use Phones Channel as Preview channel’ option : the result is that I can alternately get the audio event scrubbing signal on one OR the other control room bus, but not on both ones, as I would like and as it behaves, scrubbing MIDI parts.

The questions are :

  1. Could someone who has more or less a similar control room configuration check this ? Maybe I am missing something…

  2. Is there a way to set the audio event scrubbing behavior as the MIDI part one (with the signal sent to both busses) ? And if not, is this a bug or by design and, in the latter case, what is the explanation ?

Thanks in advance.

EDIT (an added precision) : deactivating the control room and routing only Cubase ‘Main out’ to an ASIO Out 1/2 pair makes that the ‘Play/Scrub’ tool works flawlessly : I get a signal from audio event scrubbing in my headphones as well as on my monitor speakers.
ControlRoom_ScrubAudio.png
ControlRoom_ScrubMIDI.png
OutputBusses.png

I can confirm the “issue” but as far as I know this is expected behavior. It may not be … IDEAL behavior, but, I’m fairly positive Steinberg would not call it a bug.

When using the play tool on a MIDI event, it will play that MIDI event through the main stereo out. It does NOT use the preview channel for this. This is why you can hear it no matter where the preview channel is routed.

If the control room is active, the preview channel (which is what is used when you use the play / scrub tool on an AUDIO event) can only be routed either to the phones channel or to the control room channel–not both. It’s the way it was designed. I understand why it was designed that way, given Steinberg’s idea of the intended use of the phones channel. That said, I also understand why you’d want the option to have the preview channel routed to both places.

In any case, this is just the way it works, and given that Cubase 6.5 is now at the end of it’s update cycle, and you are in a very small minority in terms of who it effects (using the control room in a certain way, and with certain requirements), I seriously doubt it will be changed in any current or past version of Cubase.

Hi, SLD

First, thanks for confirming the issue. Now, few objections :

  1. If you understand why the ‘play/scrub’ tool should bahaves differently, whether on a MIDI part or an audio event, please let me know, because I am still unable to figure it out. In other words, why should a tool such as this one should behave differently according to the involved track nature ? This is beyond me…

  2. Yes, it does ! See again my screenshots : both busses (including the ‘Preview’ one) receive the signal, scrubbing a MIDI part …

3)Again, simply to have a homogeneous behaving of the whole application and more than this, to be able to set independently each of both busses levels without hassle. That was my first motivation to activate the control room and I still don’t understand why what is working as expected on a MIDI part doesn’t on an audio event. What is the logic/paradigm beyond this ?

Now, I know that C6.x genration is at its end, sadly (I do NOT want to talk about C7 : already done this several times and been warned for this…). Maybe I’m in a small minority but it makes me wonder if I should keep my whole control room configuration as I set it a while ago. What is the advantage of using it if it doesn’t behave in an expectable and homogeneous way ? And don’t tell me that I’m the only one here trying to be able to set independently headphones and monitor speakers levels : I simply can’t believe it…

Thanks again for looking into this, though.

My understanding is only limited to the idea that Steinberg created the headphones channel for a specific purpose–and that is to give an engineer in the control room another option for listening to different control room sources. They designed it so the preview channel (and see below to understand what I mean by “preview channel”) can either be routed to the control room or the phones channel, not both, I imagine because they expected that the engineer would only want to hear preview either in their headphones or in the control room. They didn’t think that some people might want both. Beyond that, you’ll have to ask Steinberg. ::shrug:: As far as a reason why using the play tool on a midi track doesn’t use the preview channel (and it doesn’t, see below), I don’t know. Maybe there’s a VST routing issue that made it impractical? Again… you’ll have to ask Steinberg.

  1. Yes, it does ! See again my screenshots : both busses (including the ‘Preview’ one) receive the signal, scrubbing a MIDI part …

No it doesn’t! :slight_smile: When I say the “preview channel” I mean a hidden channel in Cubase that is independent of the Cubase mixer. It is used in the media bay to audition sounds, or with the audition tool in the sample editor, and when you use the play / scrub tool on an audio event. Where the preview channel is ROUTED depends on the control room settings. When the control room is NOT ACTIVE, the preview channel is routed to the main mix stereo out. When the control room is ACTIVE, the preview channel is routed directly to either the control room channel, or the phones channel depending on the preference you set in the control room preferences. In that case it bypasses the main mixer entirely.

As I said before, when you use the play tool on a MIDI track it DOES NOT use the preview channel to play back those sounds. It uses the output routing of the VST instrument, wherever that happens to be set in the main mixer. So, assuming that instrument’s sounds somehow end up on the main mix stereo out, of course those sounds will end up on both the phones channel and the control room channel in Cubase, because the main stereo out is sent to those channels. The preview channel isn’t involved at all in this case. The VST instrument connected to the MIDI track is simply having the MIDI played through it using the play tool. It is not re-routing that output through the preview channel, as it does with an audio event.

If you want to know why… ask Steinberg. I’m simply telling you how it works.

3)Simply to have a homogeneous behaving of the whole application and more than everything, to be able to set independently each of both busses levels without hassle. That was my first motivation to activate the control room.

Again, I can’t speak with any authority as to why they did it this way. My GUESS has to do with a combination of you trying to use the control room in a way Steinberg didn’t anticipate AND some technical under-the-hood difficulties related to temporarily re-routing a VST instrument’s outputs when it’s an active part of the project with it’s own settings (as opposed to using a saved preset of the instrument as it does in the media bay). But what do I know?

Now, I know that C6.x genration is at its end, sadly (I do NOT want to talk about C7 : already done this several times and been warned for this…). Maybe I’m in a small minority but it makes me wonder if I should keep my whole control room configuration as I set it a while ago. What is the advantage of using it if it doesn’t baheve in an expectable and homogeneous way ?

I don’t know… I find it extraordinarily useful, and it’s behaving in a perfectly “expectable” way to me. ::shrug:: Anyway, don’t confuse me for someone who loves Cubase unconditionally, or a fanboy. I’m simply a user who tries to understand the program, and then adapt to it if it doesn’t do exactly what I wish it would do. I certainly understand your plight, although it’s not a particular problem for me. There are other things I wish were different, of course, but I get more music done if I just adapt and chime in when it’s warranted. If I put too much energy into what “should” be, I wouldn’t finish any songs… :slight_smile:

The bottom line is… you’re going to need to learn to adapt (and there are many possible ways to adapt to this), because you’re just going to end up beating your head against a brick wall if you keep trying to change it. That’s your prerogative, of course. I’ll leave you to it. :slight_smile:

OK… Guess that, as you just said, I just have to adapt again… I already did for several other features (generic remote, external instruments, score, among others…). I don’t mind as soon as I can get useful workarounds. In this case, how to get the ‘play/scrub’ tool to act in a homogeneous way, with contol room activated or not, while being able to to set independently headphones and monitor lecels ?

And about asking Steiny, well… How would you do so ? As I’ve been already accused by PM of ‘trolling’ and ‘hijacking’ in a C7 UI related thread, I’m just wondering : I’m already in their sights…

Just think, at this point, that I’ll have to disable the control room and see how I could set my headphones and monitors levels in a different way.

Thanks for your extensive answer, SLD.