routing specifics


the tl;dr version first: it’s a simple question. when sending signals from the mixer to the output bus, do they output through the effects individually and then combine, or do they combine first and then go through the effects together? i would assume the latter. but, my testing seems to suggest the former. understanding this is going to help me undo some things.

longer version…

i’m using sx3. i know it’s probably no longer supported. and i suspect the question i’m asking has a different answer over different versions. but this is a technical question that’s…you either know the answer or you don’t.

a few weeks ago, something broke. i think it was a driver break, but it seemed pretty “deep”. it was subtle, and related primarily to random shifts in tone, so it took me some time to realize it was even broken. i ended up reinstalling. but, i created some mixes in the space between it breaking and realizing it was broken. now, i need to figure out what broke in order to figure out how to recreate the mixes that i created when it was broken. being more specific will be less confusing.

so, i have a render of a project i created a few weeks ago when something was broken. it’s a simple 4-track project [i’m remixing material i recorded many years ago on a 4-track tape deck]. there are some effects and eqs on the individual tracks. all four of these tracks route directly to the output. the output has a mastering plugin on it, and nothing else. this project is unmodified from the time i created the render with the broken path.

what i’d like to be able to do is create a render on my non-broken system that nulls with the one from the broken system. the project is unmodified, so this should be possible. that way, i’ll know what the effect of the broken system was so i can undo it.

what i’m noticing with this project is that two of the mixer tracks null without any further effort. i haven’t figured out one of them yet. but one of them nulls if i boost the eq on the output [that is, after the mastering plugin] by about 2 db at 80 hz. but, of course, if i were to actually do that then the two tracks that null with no effort won’t null anymore.

i’m left to conclude that the tracks must be going through the bus (and the plugins on the bus) individually, and then combined afterwards - and that what was broken is that somewhere along the way this specific bus got warped by a 2 db boost at 80 hz. it’s vaguely consistent with the weird tone issues i was getting. and, it’s the only way to create the null. if modifying the eq after the plugin nulls, modifying the eq before the plugin will not be able to create a null.

is what i’m suggesting consistent with the internal routing paths in cubase sx3?

i’m inferring that it must send each track through the output individually from start to finish, and only “mix” as it streams through the hardware. kind of like a printer. or a monitor. i can’t find any documentation on this - all the manuals and everything explain how to use the program, and i can find flow charts up until i get to the output, but nothing is explaining how it goes through the output bus. if somebody could verify or deny, i’d appreciate that.