Question about changing multiple plugin parameters at once

Let’s say that I have two tracks (like drum overheads) and I want to put the same compressor plugin on both tracks. I’m trying to find a way to change the parameters of both plugins at the same time (whatever I do to one instance of the plugin, I want it to do the same thing to the other instance because they go together like a stereo file).
Pro Tools HD has this feature, simply by grouping the inserts of the tracks that you want to control at the same time. Otherwise I have to change both plugins independently and this is not ideal (for obvious reasons).

How do we link up inserts so that I only have to make changes to one of the plugins for them both to reflect these changes?

Yes, I’ve needed that before, but it’s not possible at the moment. The way I do it at the mo is to adjust one plugin and then copy/replace it across to the next channel. I wonder tho whether there’s a way using a midi or remote controller to change multiple things?


Thanks for the reply. Yeah I could just copy it over but I’m making changes to the plugin as I’m listening and it’s almost impossible to make a change to one without hearing the other one work the same. In hindsight, if I knew what sounded good then it would be easy to adjust the parameters and simply duplicate the plugin onto the other track. I tried just grouping the two tracks to a stereo aux and putting a stereo plugin on the aux (to affect both sides the same) but it doesn’t sound the same. In particular, the stereo imaging is not as wide as opposed to using two instances of the mono plugin x2 rather than x1 stereo version.

This feature should be one of the most requested features to date. I’m surprised that more people don’t request this.

Send both tracks to a Group and automate the insert there.

Compressing stereo signal’s channels individually is a really bad practise even when compressor settings on both channels are the same. It will destroy the stereo image.

If changing the stereo image is what yeahimsteve is after I wouldn’t call it bad practise. It’s just another kind of design. Image shift (including possible altering of phase) is not bad per se.

Perhaps you could create a 4 channel group buss, feed it with the 2 stereo pairs then submix back to stereo?

Err, oops, you’re talking mono… and, besides, same problem, doh!

You need a plugin with true left/right independent compression methinks!


Like mashedmitten said, send the tracks to a stereo group track.

Also consider using stereo tracks when recording stereo sources in the future to avoid the extra hassle.


As stated, the stereo imaging actually gets wrecked when using a stereo processor as opposed to two mono. What was once nice and spacious becomes more towards the center. Don’t be thinking too much about compressors, per se. I just used that as an example. It’s actually more to do with EQing the overheads; filtering off the low end and a little high shelf.

I’m using the UA Cambridge EQ on each overhead and they sound great. When I switch to the cambridge stereo EQ and apply it to a stereo version of the overheads, like I said, the stereo imaging gets narrower. The original imaging is the natural, normal imaging and is not exaggerated. I just don’t want it getting narrower, and that’s what’s happening when I use a stereo plugin on the group track. Hope this helps clarify why I need x2 mono.

P.S. On, per the “mixing rock” tutorial, Kenny Gioia uses this technique to group the two overheads together and control them at the same time but he’s working in Pro Tools HD. I work in Pro Tools (not HD) and so this feature is not included. I also own Cubase 6 and so I was hoping that maybe Cubase had this ability so that I could at least get this part done with what I already have, versus buying the “Avid complete production toolkit 2.” On the other hand, the stereo collapsing that I spoke of above is happening in Pro Tools and so I’ll have to try and see if the imaging collapses in Cubase as well with the plugins I use (UA plugins).

If your stereo image gets “wrecked” when using stereo EQ instead of 2 mono EQs, then your EQ is a piece of crap. Stereo EQ should always internally be 2 independent signal paths (mono EQs) controlled by the same knobs.

With compressors it’s totally different story, because behaviour of the compressor is signal-dependent and if you process 2 channels of stereo independently your stereo image will completely wrecked. As with EQs the control should be identical, but because control depends on the signal being processed, you should always use stereo compressor (or 2 cross-sidechained mono units). That’s why 2-channel hardware compressors have a LINK switch: to process streo signal the right way.

Use the compressor as a send instead of an insert. By creating an FX channel strip you can apply that effect to any number of tracks and the changes you make in the compression settings are reflected across all the instances.

Also the FX channels can be panned, automated and effects added as well. As far as stereo goes I quite like panning a stereo compressor say 75% right and using that compressor for instruments panned in the right-field. for example:
The rhythm guitar in the right field is compressed giving it presence but maintains its stereo image. :smiley:

Really only useful for parallel compression, but can be achieved better through the use of groups I would have thought!!!

Thanks for the suggestions. Really what I’m after is a way to emulate Pro Tools HD in this regard.

Thanks again. Keep the ideas coming if you have any! :slight_smile:

Are you panning the tracks?

I just realized something:

I made it sound like I was trying to EQ a stereo file separately. This is not the case. I have two mics, an Overhead L and Overhead R. They are not stereo, as they are both mono sources that relied on mic placement to even make a stereo image.

Two mono sources that use the same exact plugin settings, and I need a way to control both tracks simultaneously. Sorry for the confusion.

I read it as two mono tracks from the start. If you don’t pan the tracks before sending it to any stereo plug or track, how do you expect to preserve the stereo image?

As before you can use compression sends for each invdiviudal channel [to smotth out transients] then pan then hard left and hard right and send them to a group track.

In the group track you can EQ, add reverb etc.

Quite a nice idea actaully. I might use this in my next track!

Thank you :sunglasses:

I apologize for my inability to properly communicate.

On a mix I’m currently working on (In Pro Tools 9), I have live drum tracks with two overheads, two room mics, etc.
Everything is panned properly, the stereo image is perfect, the drums are routed to a drums buss, and things are sounding good up to this point.
Now it’s time to roll off some low end on the overheads (two mono tracks). I’ll want to roll off both overhead tracks equally in this situation. I’m a Universal Audio guy so I go with the Cambridge EQ on each mono overhead track. I start at 75hz in this case and let’s say I’m content for now. Now I boost a little top end with a shelf EQ on both overheads. Sounds good, but I had to do everything twice (once for each overhead’s plugin)…so I try something to make it easier: I routed the overheads to a stereo buss (leaving the individual mono tracks’ pan settings alone) and put the Cambridge EQ (stereo) on that stereo buss. My thinking was that it would control the roll offs and hi shelf to both sides equally, as if I had used two mono plugins on each track instead. Then I noticed that it did not sound the same. The overheads were not as wide as they were, as they have now moved closer towards the center of the stereo image. It’s subtle but I can hear a difference.

So lets say my Universal Audio Cambridge EQ is no good in this sense. I still really like it when using it per track as opposed to putting it on an overheads buss, and would like to be able to control many instances of the plugin’s parameters over different tracks at once. In Pro Tools HD, this is common and easy to do. I posted over here because I love Cubase and own Cubase 6 and figured that maybe Cubase would let me have the functions that are only allowed to Pro Tools HD users (unless I buy the Complete Production Toolkit). If this was the case, then I’d mix this song in Cubase, hence the reason I was wondering about all of this in the first place.

I truly appreciate all you guys and if you have any pointers, clues, or whatever…I’m here!
Happy Holidays by the way. :slight_smile:

I cannot detect any change in width at all using UAD Cambridge EQ on a stereo group, must be me :stuck_out_tongue:

Thats strange that you would perceive a change in stereo width. The setup you describe should work as you expect it to. Are you sure that you’re getting the exact same level coming through the group chan? Is it possible that there’s a gain parameter of some sort on the UAD eq that’s been inadvertently changed and you’re hearing a slight difference in level that makes it sound like a change in stereo width?