Metering & gain staging with Control Room Pre-Fader listen

Hi folks,

i wanted to find a simple solution for metering in the context of gain staging. I have a single VU meter on the master (last insert) and quickly solo a channel for doing the gain staging.

Of course, the signal reaching the VU meter is post fader, so using the 0 VU as reference only works before doing any changes to the channel fader.
To get around this limitation, i thought i could use the listen feature of control room (which is basically a solo that can be switched between pre- and post fader, amongst other things) in pre fader mode for gain staging on channel after the other.

Here’s my problem:
Pre fader listen isn’t actually pre fader! It’s before all inserts and before the channel pre-section (gain, LC, HC in the rack).

Is this intended behaviour? If not, what could i be doing wron? If yes, does anybody have a workaround?

Thanks a lot!

No Control Room wizard out there? :frowning:

When I first read your post I thought: “He must be wrong”.

Didn’t have a chance to check it out until now and . . .

You’re Right!

Looked for some preference or maybe something in the CR overview.

Seems very odd and kinda useless.
Can’t think of a situation when you’d want to PFL the Raw input to the track because then there is nothing to adjust!
PFL an effects track and you get . . . well, just whatever you sent to the effect with NO Effect. Bleak.

I don’t quite understand your metering issue.
From what I understand there is almost zero chance of internal clipping or noise floor/resolution issues in a 32 bit floating point engine. Of course, your inputs (A to D conversion) and final outputs are a different matter.
Many plugins, especially those emulating analog gear respond very differently to different input levels, too.

But as to “Gain Staging” in it’s classic sense I don’t believe it’s an issue. I’m sure somebody here will disagree with me.

You can toggle your meters between “Input” and Post Fader or Panner to get an idea what your channel processing is doing.

But, yeah. I would much prefer sourcing PFL form just before the fader.


Thanks for your reply! Guess i will report it as an issue/bug, then?

Regarding gain staging and metering, i don’t wanna start a discussion here, but in short:

  1. Besides other reasons, i want to judge the impact my insert fx (eg. a compressor) have on the signal at equal (average) loudness, so i don’t get fooled by “louder is better”. For that task, i prefer a VU meter to the channel meters, which are peak meters (more usefol to prevent clipping).

  2. Because insert slots are rare in cubase and because it’s more comfortable as well, i like to use a single VU meter on the master. When i solo a channel and set it’s fader to zero, the meter gets the same signal as if it were on the last pre-fader insert of the respective channel.

  3. Once i start mixing and move a channel fader away from zero, the meter on the master is affected by the change in level, so my idea was to get around that by sending the pre-fader signal to my meter via Control Room, which would have been nice, but doesn’t work because that PFL signal is the raw input before any inserts and channel strip, as we both found out :wink: