routing question

Hey guys,

I was wondering if anyone can help me out with a routing scenario.

When I mix drums I usually route all my individual drum channels to a stereo drum group/buss.
I normally have a compressor inserted on the drum buss to glue it all together.

My problem is, if during the mix i alter the individual channels of the drums, the compressor on the drum group channel is now seeing something different and I have to then go to it and re adjust it.

Is it possible now with VCA faders to somehow avoid this or is it simply the way that particular setup functions?

I would be interested to hear other peoples drum mix setups to get some other ideas.


VCAs won’t really help you out there. It’s completely normal that you have to readjust your compressor settings if your drum groups input changes. That’s the nature of the beast/the art of mixing.

That’s right. Specifically the amount of compression that occurs is dependent on the level of the signal going into to it and the threshold you set in the compressor. If you change the the signal level going into it you will change what is getting compressed.

For example if the signal going in is hitting -5dB on the attacks and you have your threshold set to -10dB then you’ll end up compressing whatever is between -10 to -5dB - or a 5dB range. But then if you change the levels on individual drums so that you are topping out at -8dB you will only be compressing a 2dB range which will sound different.

I often use Voxengo’s free SPAN metering plugin inserted before and after a compressor to monitor the signal level at those points. Then I take them out after setting the compressor’s controls.

If it’s just the total amount of compression, you could compensate for level changes with the input trim of the drum group. Or insert the compressor in slot 7 or 8 and compensate with the group fader.

Thanks for the reply’s and help guys,

I thought that may be the case, nature of the beast that is mixing. Oh well.

I do have another question relating the mixer channels, im not sure if I have my mixer preferences setup correctly but I cant seem to find an option where the mixer will indicate if you are clipping an individual mixer channel.
Not the master stereo out, the actual mixer channel itself. Is there any way to be able to see if you are pushing a channel too far? Im used to a lot of analogue consoles that have an overload indicator on each channel strip but cant seem to find thsi option on the cubase/nuendo mixer.

thanks again!

Well the meter changes to another color from blue when you exceed 0dB. You can customize this in Preferences/Metering/Appearance. Also the meter shows the line at the peak level for awhile, and it’s in whatever color the peak occurred. And of course the the numerical value of the highest peak is shown below the meter. FYI, I set a Key Command to reset the meters so you can start fresh after making changes. Moving the fader resets that meter but changing the output level of an insert won’t, so being able to quickly reset the meters is helpful.

Great advice! Seen lots of people clicking down the clips one by one and always wondered how this can be funny :laughing:

I must have my preferences setup wrong then, cause the meter bar next to the channels faders doesnt seem to change, it stays the same colour. It will show the clip at the bottom of the master out fader but I prefer to see it on each channel to. I will have a look tomorrow in the preferences. Im still on N4 at the moment cause I dotn have the money right now to upgrade, i cant wait to upgrade.

good tip! thanks