Link Controls of Multiple Plugin Instances?

I’m following the instructions on Page 402 of the Cubase 8.5 User’s Guide to insert multiple copies of a stereo plugin on a multichannel (e.g., 5.1 surround) track. It works like a charm - I’ve got three instances of Waves C1 compressor working on all six channels.

However, I’d like to control the settings of all three compressor plugins together, thus creating one giant virtual six-channel compressor. That is to say, when I adjust the threshold on Waves C1 instance #1, the threshold is automatically mirrored on instances #2 and #3. Likewise, if I happen to adjust the compression ratio on Waves C1 instance #2, the compression ratio is automatically mirrored on instances #1 and #3.

Is this possible?

Any guidance is appreciated.


You can do so, kind of… Once you hold down the Alt+Shift modifier, to Q-Link, everything is linked, until you release it. So if you change the plug-in parameter, and the Q-Link is still enabled, it will be applied to all your linked Compressors.

Wouldn’t it be better to put the Compressor to the FX or Group Channel?

Not if the plugins you’re trying to link are located in the same track. As I understand it, Q-Link will link the controls of two or more plugin instances, but only if they’re in separate tracks (and located at the same insert layer), but otherwise, no.

Or, am I missing something?

I’ve heard of folks dividing their surround channels to three busses - L/R, Center/LFE, and Ls/Rs - rather than using multi-channel tracks. I’ve toyed with it but couldn’t make much sense of it, especially when it came to surround panning and implementing multi-channel effects (e.g., Altiverb). Admittedly, it would allow me to use Q-Link, as you suggest, but otherwise, I don’t understand the benefits of working that way.

It works only in multiple Channels. You cannot edit multiple plug-is via Q-Link in the same Channel.

The trick is: You enable Q-Link. Select 3 Channels. Insert Comoressor plug-in to slot 1 (the plug-in inserted in all 3 Channels, now). Edit the parameters (the Q-Link has to be still enabled). Parameters of all plug-ins change, because they are still linked.

Thank you, but once again, I’m trying to control three instances of a VST in one multichannel track, as explained on page 402 of the official Cubase documentation. I’m familiar with Q-Link’s abilities, but unless I’m missing something, it’s irrelevant to the discussion.

For comparison, Sonar features a built in tool, SoundBridge, that automatically instantiates additional copies of a mono or stereo plugin when it’s inserted into a multichannel track - however many are necessary to serve all channels. All of the plugins are linked, by default, effectively sharing controls/settings and turning them into one giant multichannel effect. It’s all done pretty much in the background. [Unfortunately, it has some bugs of its own, but you get the idea.]

If this can’t be done in Cubase, I’ll submit a feature request.

I see, I’m sorry, now I got your point.

What is the advantage of this SoundBridge? In Cubase, you serve all channels of the multi-channel track at once by default.

In other words, it allows one to use a mono or stereo VST plugin on a multichannel (e.g., 5.1 surround) track. Of course, this requires three copies of the (stereo) VST. Cubase supports this too, albeit not automatically, but also doesn’t link the VSTs, making it difficult to adjust compression parameters on a bus or full mix. You have to sorta guess with L/R, copy to the other VSTs, audition, and then repeat.

Submitting a feature request in 3, 2, 1…

In Cubase, you can use a Routing tab in the Channel Settings window, where you can define the routing of multiple channels over the Insert plug-in. But if you want to use multiple plug-ins, and some parameter link, you cannot do this in Cubase.