Ozone 10 / Cubase 12 gain staging questions/issue

I use Ozone 10 on my master bus to, well, master some of my songs. I noticed that something seems to be off when it comes to gain staging/gain displays in that setup:

I am setting the Ozone limiter to a ceiling of -1 dBFS, so there shouldn’t be any peaks above -1 dBFS. However, the Cubase channel meter shows me peaks on that channel that go well above that (well above the 0 dBFS point, up to ~+2 dBFS). So either Ozone isn’t respecting that -1 dBFS ceiling, or the Cubase meter isn’t showing levels accurately.

My guess is the latter because when I do an audio export of that master bus channel, and open the generated file in another application (SoundForge, in my case), levels are right around where they should be (while there are a few samples that go above -1 dBFS, they stay below 0 dBFS, and I’m going to chalk that up to MP3 compression for now, which is why I’m leaving 1 dB of headroom in the first place).

FWIW, I do not have this problem if I simply put the stock Cubase limiter on that bus - the channel meter peak indicators will show precisely the dB value that it set the limiter to.

Does anybody else have this problem? Anybody have any ideas about what might be going on? I sure would like to be able to precisely measure the levels at all points of my audio chain, even when using 3rd party plugins like Ozone, esp. when it comes to mastering, which is all about precise levels!

Do you by any chance have the Ozone plugin on a post fader insert on the master bus? Then the Mixer meter would show the level before the plugin is processing.
you could also insert Supervision after ozone and check the level there.

@Timo00 aren’t there lots of different settings for those meters in Cubase ?

Have a look at those and see what its set at.

Thanks for all the suggestions!

I went back into the project and carefully traced my routing, and it turns out I had a stray channel routed where it shouldn’t have been (I’ll spare you the details), and that was throwing off the metering.

After fixing that, all the meters are now showing what they’re supposed to be showing, so there’s no issue (aside from user error :slight_smile: )

The lesson here is to always carefully check your signal flow if something is off…