Mixing , from the ground , without money spent.

Hi , I was wondering ,for educational purposes . if you’re up for the challenge - of creating a mix , from the ground , with only stock VSTs/VSTi , just stock cubase , and see how you can make the most out of it .

It’s overwhelming the amount of stuff you “need” to buy , inorder to make things sound right , and this can reveal what are actually the most usefull ones for someone just starting , and wanting to spend smart.

I’m just starting , and often I find that limitations can yield learning and knowledge(along with diabetes and anxiety)
meaning , If I’l make it harder for myself , using only the stock (groove agent , guitar tones ,etc) , in the process of trying my hardest to make it sound good , I’l really explore and learn in depth the core features such as EQ , compressor , effect etc.

Instead of having a one nob amazingly sounding reverb , I’d really have to dive down into the workings of reverb , and have a deep understanding of it , so I can manipulate it to sound better.

Anyone has example of someone who has done this ?
Or someone who will?


I read this article the other day:


Yes but their sound is …

It depends on what you want to include as “stock”. You get more plugins with Cubase Pro than you do with artist or elements. Is HALion or HALion Sonic OK, or just HALion SE? I’m assuming no microphones or outboard instruments are allowed.

It’s an interesting challenge. I think it could be done if you stick to electronica. I did Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, but I needed HALion Symphony Orchestra to do it. I think I also needed HALion Sonic to sound-design a Celesta.

There may be some Steinberg demos of HALion SE out there that could meet the challenge. To get beyond that, you need to either be great at molding sounds, or you have to spend money on an audio interface and/or additional VSTis. Unfortunately, the ability to mold sounds is very limited in HALion SE. So yes, it appears that most of us will have to spend extra money to do what we want. OTOH, the stock reverb, compression, EQ, etc. seem to be capable.

Graham at recording revolution dot com had a $300 challenge to explore the cost issue. He also thinks you can push cheap components very far.

That all depends… The dump is 1/8 mile away from me. I don’t think that is very far.

I was thinking more in terms of a band mix , and preamping .
I don’t think the synths can be pushed so hard , but I wonder about the drum kits .

Which version Cubase are you using?

Cubase can record tracks very well, but how you get the sound into it is what you need to work on or detail.

Some typical questions – How many in the band, what kind of music, do you want to play live and make a band performance demo or do you want to try to record track by track and make a more perfected mix?

The Computer, the interface and your microphones and D.I.s that are available all will help you figure out how to proceed.

Using just Cubase Pro and some kind of clean interface with high-z and low-z inputs, like the entry level Steinberg interface, I think it would be certainly possible to produce a very high quality basic mix. However, a lot will depend on the skill of the operator as well as the technology available.

Good luck

You lost me with the above. It seems to be a wide open statement?

Perhaps throw out 48 raw wave tracks that comprise a song, and using only stock Cubase plug-ins focus on making the “best” mix? (Would have to list the stock plug-ins so there is no misunderstanding) That would be a bit more focused IMO. But if you include all production and elements prior to mix plus all the stock synths, I’m not sure what is gained?

I’m currently working on a pop song where my total hours are at 154. (composition, tracking, mixing) I’m guessing I still have another 30-50 hours before sending it away to an ME. So “making the most out of it” is too much investment for myself. But if someone threw up 48 raw tracks and this was a mix contest using only stock Cubase plug-ins, that IMO would be much more practical. I think there are some forums that focus on this on a normal basis.