Options for working with External Effects processing?

I have an external effects processor set 100% wet that I have hooked up via stereo ins and outs on my audio interface. I have set up Cubase 10 Pro to see it under External Effects in the configuration. When I go to Inserts, I see External Effects and can use the effect as an insert.

If I set up an Audio channel coming from my audio interface from my synths and use the effects processor as an Insert on the channel, I have to hit the Monitor button on the channel to hear the effects processor doing its magic. All good there.

When I record, I have two stereo audio channels being fed by the same inputs from my synthesizer into my audio interface; one with the insert effect turned on, and the other with no inserts. When I record though, I do not hear the effects on, but I do afterwards when I play back. Now I have two audio tracks; I have the 100% wet effects as well as my original dry mix. Now I can mix the level of the ‘wet’ audio take to taste. All is good there, except I cannot hear the 100% wet effects on the track when I do the first recording of audio into the project for the wet audio track.

If I do an External bounce down, even with Real Time Recording turned on, I don’t hear any audio at all until it finishes bouncing down. Most of the time, I’m ok with this. I already got the mix the way I want it anyway, so no big deal, but, I’d like to be able to hear it sometimes too.

So my biggest issue is when I want to manipulate my effects processor in real time while recording, I cannot hear the results from the effects processor either during recording of the audio tracks or during bounce down.

So the question is, 1) is there a way I can ‘monitor’ on the audio track when I record in real time on the audio tracks in the project and 2) when I do External bounce down with real time, is there a way I can hear audio while it bounces down?


I have a similar setup with 4 external hardware FX (used as send FX) in Cubase. I use group tracks for this, not External Effects like you, just because Cubase can’t save the configuration of Ext. FX. I also use some hardware synths like you.
I first tried to set up evrything in Cubase, but ran into solo/mute problems I couldn’t solve, so I’ve set it up in Totalmix (I have a RME Fireface 802). The whole routing is quite complex but works really well.

  1. not sure why you can’t hear your external FX unit while recording a synth. It works here (with send FX) but it depends on your routing.
  2. if you want to hear the FX you’ll have to print your audio mixdown in realtime into cubase:
    Route all your audio tracks to one group track. Then use this group as an input for your audio mixdown track.