Output level way too hot

I’m running Cubase pro 10 on windows 10 with a focusrite 2i2. I just upgraded from my old DAW Mixcraft, and I’m having a similar issue where the output level in the DAW is significantly hotter than windows. The exact same audio played at normal level in VLC or Audacity at unity is almost unbearably loud in Cubase. When I’m recording and mixing, I have to pull the master fader down by about -10db for it to be a comfortable level. This is really annoying because I have to constantly flip between -10db and unity for mixing and exporting. I mix on headphones (I know) and my focusrite does a thing where apparently it powers the left driver before the right, so below a certain level the balance shifts left. So just turning that down really isn’t an option. I haven’t been able to find any control inside Cubase to lower the output level completely independent of the master fader, so that I hear Cubase at a lowered level but my mixes still export at unity. The windows volume control has zero effect on Cubase, and control room didn’t seem to adjust anything either, although I’m still grasping what control room is actually used for.

If anyone knows of an independent output level adjustment in Cubase, my ears would really appreciate it.

Most likely you’re double-monitoring the output - check the vst connections window: do you have your main outputs on your focusrite assigned in the output tab, and those same outputs assigned in the control room tab? That’s where the extra level is coming from.

If you don’t know if/why you need control room, best to keep it deactivated, as it’ll only get you into trouble.