Mixing down in Cubase

Quick question.
In the past I’ve used Cubase for all my midi tracks and output to an external mixer along with my external keyboards and taken the L&R out of the mixer into another computer for the final mix to save as wav. Is there any more simple way of doing this. I still need my external mixer as I have a couple of keyboards that I use that need to be in my mixes plus the occasional vocals. I’m trying to get to just use the one computer (my Cubase one) or would I be better getting a mixer which has built in recording facilities.
THanks in advance

What soundcard you got?

You’d be better off routing the keyboards in to your computer by means of audio interface/soundcard and recording them before mixdown on to audio track.

Ideally you want to lose that mixer all together because it’s not doing anything for you other than introducing noise and being a hub.


Martinh32… this is the way i used to do it MANY years ago when i used to record at home with a 4 track tape machine… it was great at the time but not so good these days with the immense power even a very modest system will have.
As Manike suggests you are MUCH better off recording the output of each synth to its own dedicated audio track before mixing… also it’s worth turning off any reverbs on the synths first and using reverb/s on sends in cubase, possibly also any delays/chorus effects etc too… i generally find most hardware synth sounds are actually mono once all the effects has been turned off on them in which case i will track it as mono.
If you have an interface with multiple inputs you could possibly record each synth simultaneously or if you only have two inputs then do them one at a time.

These days i only use a mixer as an analogue ‘volume control’ between the output of my interface and my monitor systems and as a DI for things like cassette/record decks when needed.

It does seem like a real ball ache at first if you’ve never worked this way but you’re likely to get infinitely better mixes if you do.

Hope that’s of some help to you.

I think you could route the output of the mixer to the input of your sound device and record at the same time, on the same DAW, as playing back… Arm the input tracks to record, but mute them so they don’t play back and create a feedback loop.

Apart from that, my experience is the same as others here, I used to have a big 32 channel mixer which submixed all my hardware midi keyboards with the outputs from my DAW (or ADATs before audio DAWs were common), and I used to record into a DAT machine.

Then I progressed to just using the mixer just during the composition stage and when I came to the real mix I’d record each hardware keyboard to stereo tracks in Cubase, then mix in the box. I’m still never quite sure if the sound was better with the submixed keys or in the box :wink:

Now I have packed up the mixer and stored it in the garage! I’ve replaced it with 32 channels of MOTU I/O so I can submix my keyboards using the MOTU inbuilt mixer but I still record all the individual keyboards into Cubase easily so I can mix in the box.

However, I’m increasingly using software synths… Over the last few years I’ve found sounds and VSTi’s which do most of what I need just as good as the external hardware synths, so right now I’m hardly using them anymore. This might well be the time when all my songs from here are created in the box with no external keyboard hardware :open_mouth:


Totally agree wtih this!

I have several hardware synths here… the Trinity only gets used as a controller these days and i occasionally dig out my novation A station when i want to use a vocoder because it sounds loads better than any software one i’ve found, so far…
I should put them on ebay really before they loose any more value lol…
I’ve also found that using things like SoundToys Decapitator/Radiator or the Slate pre amp models gives them an ‘extra layer of realism’… i.e. some of the harmonic distortion and non linearities found in older analogue gear.

Thanks all, appreciate your comments.
I’m currently using a Focusrite 2i4 as a sound card so a little limited on inputs. Would love of Motu but I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon

Get yourself a patchbay, you can quickly swap things round that way. Even though I have many hard wired inputs I still use a normalised patchbay to keep some of my inputs and outputs flexible for when visitors come round with other hardware.


I agree with the noise that the Mixer adds, but I don’t blame you for just wanting to sequence with a computer. between the latency (minimal as it may be) & processing space due to VSTs and other plugins it can make music not so musical amd less fun - not to mention other technical and/or compatibility issues…

OK, looking at possible options here - I need more than two inputs going forward - Roland Fa-06, Roland Jupiter 50, Korg X3, and mike and possibility for a few other modules I’ve got kicking around. I don’t mind controlling on screen. It would mean selling my 2i4 interface (and my mixer) but I’m thinking the Motu Ultralike Mk3 may be a working solution for me as it’s got the mixer digitally on screen. The other option is a Roland Octa which doesn’t have quite as good reviews. What do you all suggest?

MOTU is probably the better choice but consider RME products instead.

I would go for something that has ADAT, then you could add another 8 channels for cheap.
Steinberg UR824 has 2 ADAT in/out, for a total of 24 ins and outs, and is only a little more expensive than a ultra lite.
The behringer Ada1000 and Ada1200 are fine for additional ADAT units. When you need to expand your setup.

Hmmm i respectfully disagree… i think many others would too…

I’ve spent quite a lot of time using various incarnations of MOTUs’ 824 units, when i was looking for a new interface myself i considered one of the 824s but after trying an RME unit and doing a few months’ research the RME route was simply a no brainer.

I think you may have misunderstood. Let me rephrase that…

MOTU is probably the better choice when compared to Roland, but I’d recommend you consider RME products above both of these. RME do some excellent multi I/O units and their drivers work flawlessly.

I think the RME ones are a little out of my price range.
The Motu Ultralite I can get for £500.

Personally i think i would stick with what you have for now, possibly add a patch bay which you can pick up for not a lot of money and hang on until you can get the funds to go RME…
I’m not full of cash myself, very rarely buy anything full price and wait for sales/black friday etc and have learned to be patient with major buys like interfaces.
I saved for some time for my current interface after using an M-audio delta 1010 for about 10 years… i am SO glad i did! The difference between the two units is unreal, completely different animals, the RME simply blows my previous unit out of the water in every conceivable way.

As long at the midi is controlled from the computer - what’s the problem? Record one synth at a time.

It’s not a problem - just looking for a more streamlined solution :slight_smile: