Practical applications of render in place?

I am near the end of a project with lots of big mixes requiring final tweaks. mostly just levels.
I find the time it takes to open and mixdown these projects is a huge overhead vs the time spent auditioning and tweaking.
I feel like render-in-place might help with this but after reading the documentation I don’t fully understand it.
i’m curious how people use this feature in real life.

  1. if I render an individual track, Including channel settings (which seems to me the main purpose to reduce CPU load and loading times), disable the source track, and then adjust level of the rendered track, I can see how that could work. But if I then need to adjust something in the channel settings such as EQ or compression then I must re-enable the source track, copy over the level setting from the render track , make the changes until they are good, and then re-render?

  2. I understand I can render including group channel effects, but won’t it have a very different sound if the group channel is doing things like aux bus compression which is an interaction of multiple individual channels coming into it? same with any side-chaining.

  3. I can see how it might have some use to send a Cubase project to a colleague who is happy for all your channel settings to be baked in going forward. it’s the same as sending stems in the cubase project. but it’s a one-way street. If they gave you the project back and you started re-enabling the source tracks, you would have to copy over any channel settings they had adjusted on the rendered tracks, and even then you wouldn’t be hearing what they heard because of the way tracks interact?

am I missing something here?

can anyone please share their workflow of how they use render-in -place on large projects, to reduce CPU load and project loading times, and/or for collaboration?

It seems like you answered your own questions.

Other than CPU load It’s all about how committed and confident you are about the work you’ve done. I know people who like to leave every single plug-in, every little VSTi open until the very last second. ( a little cray cray IMHO)
I also know mixers who have layer upon layer of bounced work and usually do the final mix using bounced tracks and stems.
I tend to reside someplace on the latter end of that spectrum.
I grew up recording on tape machines so bouncing was a fact of life for a good chunk of my career.

As you point out in #2 you have to strategies your bounces sometimes.

I usually bounce tracks that have a heavy load like warping, pitch shifting or CPU intensive plugs and VSTi’s.

And I actually prefer bouncing my VSTis to audio for mixing as a general rule whether I’m straining the CPU or not.
Not only do I prefer mixing VSTis as audio but it also future-proofs the work in case you need to open the song in the future and don’t have the VSTi / plug-in that you used on a particular mix.

I know there are now features like freezing and render in place but I’ve never felt the need to explore those things. I feel like I have more control if I do it myself by bouncing then muting the source and dropping it into a muted folder. I very rarely if ever go back and revisit the source tracks.

my 2c

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Thanks for your insights.

I already use freezing to alleviate performance issues. But there is no way to freeze multiple tracks at once. That’s why I’m trying to understand render-in-place.

I understand the creative benefit of commitment to bounces. But sometimes my creativity leads me to places I need to pull back from.

I’m surprised there aren’t more features for quickly managing freezing/rendering of channels. Seems so inefficient to be live-processing the same data over and over again when no changes have been made. All the video editing applications do background rendering and caching. Now that some audio instruments and effects are very CPU and memory intensive, would be helpful to have in Cubase too.

Render-in-place is really useful when working with Instrument Tracks. Most of the time, at least in my case, once I work on an instrument setup, I’m done with it. Rendering-in-place saves a lot of RAM and loading time when opening the project, specially when using big orchestral libraries. I save the original track with the midi information but disable it just in case I need to edit the notes (this doesn’t affect loading tme unless you enable it again)i. With say drum libraries, it’s very practical to see the samples in audio form to work phase relationship (really useful when using samples with a real drum recording). Render-in-place can also be useful when the effects you applied are “part” of the sound, for example if a reverse delay in your synth is critical to the sound, or a particular reverb which should stop perfectly at the end of a bar (and you don’t want to mess with volume automation)

For that use case, isn’t Freeze better than render-in-place, because it can unload the instrument etc, but you don’t need to keep a second disabled track around?