Routing audio through an analog mixer

I managed to send a mix from my DAW through my analog mixer and re-record it into Cubase 12, with good results. I know you can use external effects in Cubase and I’m wondering if using the desk as an external effect via the insert send/returns is preferable? How do you use a summing desk in Cubase?

The best way is to make multiple send external effects, insert them to groups, route all audio to those and receive it on return external effect inserted on master.

E.g. if you have 24ch desk and want to receive its stereo out, make 12 stereo external effects, connect D/A stereo pairs to them, out 1+2 to ext.efx 1, 3+4 to ext.efx 2 and so on. Leave return not connected. And make another external effect, for this, only connect return from the stereo mix bus of the mixer, insert this on the master. It’s best to insert all these external effects to the same slot number including the master, e.g. insert to slot 8. Then you will be able to select all the groups and the master, enable Q-Link, bypass the console and compare with ITB mix at once.