Mono and stereo plugins novice question.

Hi Cubasers, :ugeek:

I read around the web that if you have a mono track you can’t put a stereo delay insert on it, with Cubase, and you have to set an FX send to apply a stereo delay on a mono track.
Further, I have a few Waves’ plugins that come in both mono and stereo version.
But if I open an insert on a mono track - I’ve Cubase 7.5 - looks like I can put a stereo delay on it.

Can you please clarify me how to deal with mono and stereo inserts on Cubase?

Thank you.

There are a few ways to take care of this. For me… I always just record my mono source/bus to a stereo audio track (I currently have no need to use a mono track). The link I attached is a conversation about this method, other methods, pro/cons, etc.

Regards :sunglasses:

Hi Prock and t.y.

Can you explain me how mono and stereo inserts work on Cubase please?
i.e. I have a mono audio track. Can I apply a stereo insert right on it, yes or not?
i.e. only stereo insert with stereo audio track tracks and viceversa?
Gonna check that link.

I’m really not smart enough to explain “how” mono and stereo inserts work with Cubase. But I can say this… over the years I have learned that some stereo insert effects will not sound right when you apply them to a recording being played back on a mono audio track. But you can just copy or move that mono audio recording to a stereo audio track and now that same stereo insert effect seems to work and sound fine and mono insert effects sound fine too. So I never record any audio to a mono track. Period.

Please note that when recording a mono source (like a mic or guitar) you really need to record that through a mono bus. That mono bus can be assigned to a stereo (or mono) audio track. If you record the mono source through a stereo bus, then you will probably get issues. So don’t do that.

Again, that’s just me, and as you can see and read in the other post, there are many different views/reasons for recording and not recording this way.

Regards :sunglasses:

@Prock. Thank you.
The point is that we are in a Cubase forum linked by Steinberg itself.
Understanding the correct workflow between mono and stereo inserts into a DAW is not a superficial thing.
It is essential, basic.
I appreciate you help but I’d just like to have a qualified, precise and concise answer from Steinberg.
I am not asking the moon here.


P.s. I am not talking much about recording tho, I am more on a mixing side in this question.

If you need a stereo result then the plug must be on a stereo channel.
You can still put a stereo plug on a mono channel but the result will be mono.

So you can put mono audio on to a stereo track to achieve this as Prock suggested or you can route to a stereo group and insert the plugin there (set mix as desired)or for typical send FX like reverb or delay you can use stereo FX channel and send to it (Always set mix 100% wet in the plug)

One thing I have found about using a mono track with insert effects is that panning is fairly staightforward. If you are using a mono source on a stereo track with stereo insert effects you should use the combined panner so that you don’t lose some of the stereo signal. Obviously the combined panner narrows the stereo field to the required position in the mix.

This forum isn’t an official support channel so you’ll mostly be talking to other users.

Found this…

Should help…

The answer Martin gives near the bottom is how I mostly work. The fact is that many plug-ins don’t work properly with a ‘Mono’ Audio track UNLESS the vendor has a mono-specific version (like Waves or UA do with many of their plugs). Eg. a modulation plug may only give you the left side of the effect with a ‘Mono’ channel… not what one expects.

Always using a Stereo channel gives me one less thing to think about. I don’t see a down side.


I used to always use stereo tracks, however with uad stuff it costs you twice as much dsp power, so for stuff like compression etc. I deal with in mono but then send to a stereo track if I want stereo signal processing.