It’s correct, currently there’s no way to switch mono/stereo. It’s a feature that has been in Cubase SX1 20 years ago, was removed and will hopefully finally come back in a future version.
It seems that if I make a mono track, then realize I needed a stereo track, I have to delete the mono track and then make a new stereo track. Is this correct?
You don’t have to delete the mono track but to get it stereo, yes, you have to create a stereo track and drag orr copy content there. At least it’s easy to copy settings, just drag the mono channel over the stereo channel in the mixer > all plugins get copied. Routing and automation, if there is some, gets lost though.
Second question: what’s going on with mono files on stereo tracks? A mono file on a stereo track plays out of both channels, and it seems to do that as soon as it hits the inserts. So a single mono file on a stereo track is played back like two identical mono files…please confirm.
A stereo track can carry mono signals and will play, well, mono. The inserts are managed without user action. I’ve banned all mono versions of plugins out of my plugin collection (via plugin manager) as Cubase handles mono/stereo automatically. A mono source on a stereo track will speak to both inputs of a stereo plugin equally.
The other way around a stereo plugin on a mono track will automatically process just in mono at half the CPU. Given the power current computers have this is mostly irrelevant unless you’re using i.e. DSP systems like UAD.
Is there no way to have a mono channel that splits into a stereo channel partway down? (So you could have a series of mono plug-ins, followed by a couple stereo plug-ins). If this is the case, I guess the workflow in Cubase would be to have a mono channel run into a stereo buss dedicated to that channel. How do you guys do it?
You can always route mono channels to stereo groups. Obviously the mono channels will be treated by mono plugins, on the bus plugins that create stereo content will be stereo. I.e. you send 10 mono backing vox into a stereo backing vox group and insert a Stereo Enhancer or any sort of Modulation, Reverb etc. (anything that produces stereo content) in the stereo bus.