Parallel compression on VST drums - Cubase 8.5 Artist

Hello all - Looking for help/suggestions setting up parallel drum compression on VST drums within Cubase 8.5 Artist. Currently I use SSD Platinum, EZ drummer and Addictive 2 VST drum programs. I found some videos on for Cubase using real drum tracks and building a successful parallel compression setup. One in particular was this one by Mike Smith.

My use of internal routing in Cubase is limited to none. I have not used bussing techniques in Cubase. I’m just a basic Cubase user. I’ve used groups for organizing but not internal routing. I tried using groups and placing the VST instrument track(s) within group folder. Then I would try to point one group say the “drum bus” to a destination. Then I would activate the “send” for the “Drum Para bus” group with no luck. I’m trying to mimic the video. I don;t get any signal showing on the mixer for either group.

For my projects, I typically use at least VST drum programs. Sometimes 3 VST programs. For example I use Addicitive 2 minus the snare and hi hat and use SSD (Slate) Platinum and extention packs for snare and hi hat tracks. Sometime I may use those 2 VST programs and EZX for the toms. You get the picture. I’m unsuccessful with setting a “drum bus” and a “Parallel bus” where I can glue (NY trick) drum kits and pieces together with a compressor insert and blend the 2 compressors as shown on these videos.

Has anyone else been successful in Cubase 8.5 Artist? Are there limitations in 8.5 Artist trying to set this up? Looking for some intuitive ideas. Here’s a couple screen shots on my mixer and tracks. Thanks in advance.

C’mon folks. The topic is setting up signal flow for parallel compression on VST drums. Help please.

Well you don’t mention if you routed the tracks to the drum bus so I guess this is what you’re missing.

You can do this from the routing panel of the mixer (or in the inspector on project window…or in the channel edit window)

It works exactly as explained in the video link you provided - also in Artist 8.5


Quick and easy fix but $: Don’t know Cubase Artist routing methods but some compressors (ex: DMG Compassion) have a dial to mix the % of the original with the compressed. Instant parallel compression and it (Compassion) is very versatile in the types of compression and their associated adjustments plus it can sound very good. Just one of I’m sure many compressors that have this feature.

Actually not true. My project has 3 VST drums plugins. EZ and AD have MIDI tracks. SSD has a instrument track and is may work similar to the video. AD and EZ vst tracks do not have the “E” (edit) button to manipulate inserts and sends.

Parallel compression on the Youtube video does not work for VST drums with midi track and is not apples to apples. AD VST has a “Master” shown in the mixer and has a different routing compared to the video with ready made drum “audio” tracks. Try it with your own VST drums and midi track. Hope this clarifies.

Thanks for chiming in. The issue is AD and EZ vst plugins are MIDI tracks do not have the “E” (edit) button to manipulate sends. On the other hand the SSD sampler is on a instrument track and has the edit feature to add inserts or sends. So the MIDI protocol is what is a mystery.

I think you complicate things too much… Just do your arrangement when its over render the drum track on a stereo track , cut the volume , then send this stereo track to compressor eq reverb or whatever fx you like , then mix it with the original track , and mix adjust the mix between the two til it sounds terrific … Otherwise take your time and create a template with all the busses and routing you want… And use it all the time… Btw we spend too much time on drum… Vocals and good signer is more important I think… And a good song

Wonderful and I can work with that. Mixing VST drums and pre mix down, at least for me do take up alot of time.

I looked at searches showing parallel compression thu VST drum tracks on Cubase from a midi track with no luck. I know it can be done. I would really like to know. Thanks for chiming in.

Well you could either:
A) Put the AD or EZ on an Instrument Track rather than a MIDI Track
B) If using MIDI Tracks, they are routed to Rack Instruments which in the MixConsole do have an E button
C) Render the audio and use the E button on the new Audio Track

Remember an Instrument Track bundles together the midi & audio, but using a MIDI Track and Rack Instrument combo separates the midi and audio. So there is no E on the MIDI Track because it has no audio to route. Instead you have to go to the MixConsole to access the audio associated with the Rack Instrument that is playing back your midi. I almost always use Instrument Tracks because it is usually simpler.

Calloun hubbs wrote:

Wonderful and I can work with that. Mixing VST drums and pre mix down, at least for me do take up alot of time.

I am happy you appreciate my answer but not really happy that the question I ask on another post has been rudely erased… I’d like to come here on this forum more often and helps collegue but if I am treated this way when I ask a question I will reconsider it Bye

Actually completely true. You are simply using the wrong reference:
EZ and AD are not MIDI tracks, they are triggered by MIDI tracks. Their audio output is a instrument channel, that works the same way the audio tracks in the vieo do.

No audio manipulation of any kind is possible with MIDI tracks in Cubase. You need to use the audio output of the Instrument, not the MIDI Input. It has the same routing possibilities like an audio track - that is apples to apples

It has the same routing, unless, (which I guess) you are using the term “routing” incorrectly.

Use the instrument output, not the midi track to send to a compression fx track.
Personally I render the tracks to audio before doing any processing

I italicized your “B” option to make this comment. You said and I’m paraphrasing, E is available in the mix console. Thats is correct. But AD “Edit” button options does not list any compressor, only MIDI plugins. I was using the Cubase compressor as shown in the video but it is not available. Does that make sense?

Here’s what I’ve done since posting this thread and the two weeks it sunk. Its still not 100% like the video.

Using parallel compression on VST drums is only manipulated thru either a group or FX tracks. Groups for both wet and dry VST drums containing AD, EZ and SSD are created. Then opening the send so the output goes from the dry VST group to the wet VST group as explained in the video. The respective audio output levels for those groups are adjusted to desired levels. This is what I was able to cobble together.

What is not going to happen as shown in the video is the group layout and routing will not be nice and tidy layout as shown in the video becasue the VST rack instruments do not show individual kit pieces. Does this make sense?
If you have some insight on this challenge I’d like to hear it. Thx

Ehhh no, from what you are describing the routing is exactly the same. Signal goes to the dry channel that sends the signal to the wet channel. That is one way of doing it, and probably the easiest way.
Are you using multiple outs ( BD, snare, tom1,tom2, etc.) of every plugin or just stereo out ?
Maybe post a screenshot of the mixer.

becasue the VST rack instruments do not show individual kit pieces. Does this make sense?

They absolutely can show individual kit pieces…it’s up to you to set up multi outs and assign the different kit pieces to each output. Once you activate an output it will appear in the mixconsole.