Real Pre-Fader Metering

Hey Steinberg,
this is already requested often, but switching from Logic I really, REEEEEALLY miss a real pre-fader metering. Your pre fader is actually post gain, what is very different to real pre fader. It is in a lot of situations by far less helpful in many ways and leads also to a problem when using Melodyne ARA as track extension, because then there are no levels shown at all.


Of course, it is, since the pre gain is the first step in the signal chain.

Which situations?
During recording, you can see the input metering in the input channels.

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Not sure I understand. In Nuendo it looks like this:


Rather than having it labeled “pre fader” it’s input that is before the track’s signal chain. So if you want the level at the start of the track’s chain then you want “input”.

The setting that’s post-gain (“trim” really) is the setting that reads “post-fader”, not “pre”.

I guess I’m a bit confused about when someone would want a signal that is read pre-fader but post-gain. I’m not really seeing the point in that honestly (and I’m not sure I understand your example).

Sorry, I must have caused some confusion with my own namings. Cubase labels it correct “input metering” what I labeled wrong “post-gain” or “pre-fader metering”. Nevertheless, a PROPER pre-fader metering is still something I miss a lot.

The Path is:
Signal → Input/Gain → Inserts → Fader → Pan

Metering Positions are:
Signal → Input/Gain (Input Metering or what I called Post Gain) → Inserts → (Pre Fader) Fader (Post Fader) → Pan (Post Pan)

So in my world pre-fader is, where the magic happens while mixing and what Cubase is missing.
Input metering is somehow useless, because I do not use software monitoring. That means, before recording I am metering the gain in the mixer of my soundcard, while recording in the input of Cubase. After recording… no reason to watch it again.
While mixing I want to see, what my inserts are doing. I want to see, how much signal I push into the channel. What happens AFTER my last inserted insert effect? Does it really sound better or is it just louder? Are there any clippings in the peaks?
Post-fader metering… for what? In wich case is it important to see what I have to hear anyway? “This instrument is not as loud as the other ones”… uhm… yeah… I pushed the volume fader down and I can hear it… so…?

So this is, how I work and what for me is a proper metering. Of course there are ways around it, but this is for me the fastest way to see, where problems in the mix are happening.

I guess I just don’t see the big value in it. You feed your inserts with whatever is recorded and you can see that level with the current metering set to “input”. If that level is “off” you can adjust that by using the gain. But the level offset is easy to calculate if needed and I really don’t see the point in seeing it reflected in metering. In addition the receiving plugins should have input meters if the input level is important, or at least some other indication that the level is off.

You could say the exact same thing for what you call “proper pre-fader” metering (before gain/trim). You have a signal that feeds inserts and at the end of the day whatever that results in is something you “have to hear anyway”. So why the metering?

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Do you ask, because you really do not understand, or do you ask to convince me, pre-fader metering is useless?
I have to ask, because (with all respect and not wanting to offend you) this is a really mysterious, confusing, and little bit annoying habit in this forum. It is like Steinberg users are some kind of afraid about this feature coming into cubase, or feeling, why ever, provoked because of the request itself.
If you really do not understand I am looking forward to discuss with you, why you can not say the same about pre-fader metering as about post-fader. At least not without questioning the whole metering itself.
But when you ask because of just trying to convince me… sorry but… uhm… why?

Ok, you made a feature request. Let’s leave it at that.

I’ve worked on Cubase 3/4 of my life. Then on Logic. Recently in Studio One. The lack of a post-gain pre fader means that I will probably never return to Cubase, even though I have the 13th version. MattiasNYC doesn’t understand (or doesn’t know) the idea of unity level.
But surprise - I’ve been working on Reaper for several weeks. If you just close your eyes to some interface elements (mainly system windows) and if you devote enough time to the settings and graphical theme - you will be surprised how good this program is. He is so amazing on so many levels. One small example - it is the only DAW that sends a midi signal throughout the entire track, so all plug-ins on the channel can use it.
Speaking of plugins, if you want to work on Repaer - “take them” with you to it. You’ll need them :wink:
Anyway, give Reaper a chance, don’t be discouraged. In my case it’s the third attempt.

Really? Normally the term used is “unity gain”, and if you just mean “same level” then yeah I understand that just fine thank you.

Yes, of course that’s what I meant. Sorry for the wrong term, the important thing is that we all know what I mean.

Aside from a little EQ, I do most all my processing in groups bus channels. I just insert a meter plugin in the first slot of the group channel inserts (like the Waves VU meter) so I know how hard I’m hitting the group channel and insert processing.

Of course there are a lot of ways around it. In between my inserts I often use VU channels also. All this ways have in common being (often unnecessary if this feature would be integrated) extra worksteps and I am never able to habe a quick look over the gain situation of a lot of tracks at the same time. At least not the gain situation I see as the important most of the time.
And every, eveeeeery time when I work on serious projects I knock my head at this stupidly missing feature.
Steinberg! Pleeeeeeeeeeease!!!

I heard a lot about Reaper but changing the DAW again would drive me nuts. :grin: And with Cubase 13 running pretty stable on my system, and having a lot of super features and extremly useful high quality plugins, this wouldn’t be a smart move in the moment.
But who knows… maybe somewhere in the future when I am annoyed enough.

Cubase 13 is great, but I can’t forgive Steinberg for 5 things:

  1. no post-gain pre-fader meters
  2. no easy ramp editing in envelopes (with inclined slopes, because it exists with straight ones)
  3. very poor solution for editing clip gain envelopes
  4. visual mess in the mixer (now it’s slightly better)
  5. no gain reduction in meters (except those from the channel strip somewhere at the top in the additional meters panel)

Midi musicians cannot ask for channel delays in terms of instrument articulation. As far as I know, no DAW has this solution. Steinberg, as a pioneer, could be the first to do this.

There will definitely be something else.

@Tomasz_Sosnowski What are you referring to here please?

From left: Studio One, Reaper, Cubase (only stock stripe dynamic effects - upper meters).
Pro Tols has this in every plugin. Even in those that do not have this option in VST3.

(Only VST3 supports this).

Look this thread:

@Tomasz_Sosnowski OK I thought it might be that. Your description wasn’t clear.