Side-chain Rules

Hi all,

I am wandering what the rules/limitations are on Cubase 7.5 regarding side-chaining a bus or channel to another channel’s plug-in insert. I’m mostly using Waves plug-ins.

I bring this up with this scenario:

I have a Stereo Bus called Band. It is sending to a Waves Vocal Rider Stereo on two sends. One for Lead Vox and one for BGVs. Lead Vox and BGVs are both Stereo Buses, each with a Vocal Rider Stereo insert. This is working fine, except in the list of Sends for these two buses, I cannot send to any FX channel tracks. Why?

I can create yet another Sub Mix of all Vocals and send that way, but lose Send Level.

In another case, I couldn’t figure out why I was unable to send from my Band bus to the Side-Chain Input of other plug-ins. Some showed up in the list, but not others.

Make sure the sidechain button is on. On the fx you want to sidechain. It will show up.

I thought I was the only one who wandered when it came to rules and limitations…

So nice to have company


Well, I figured out something.

I think Cubase hides routing options if it even THINKS the connection would be a loop. Help me wrap my head around this:
Vocal Channel -> Stereo Group called “Vocal Rider”. Waves Vocal Rider inserted on group. Sidechain enabled. Group also routed to an FX Verb channel.

All instruments and verb channels routed to Stereo Group called “Everything Else”. When I do this, I can’t send this group to the Sidechain input of the Vocal Rider. If I remove the verb channel from the group “Everything Else”. I can.

Now, if I were routing the “Everything Else” bus to be mixed INTO the group called “Vocal Rider”, then yes, this would be a loop. But, I don’t think sending this into the sidechain input necessarily makes a loop. Also, the FX is 100% wet, so it isn’t like it is hearing itself back anyway.

So is Cubase just playing it safe since it doesn’t know what the plug-in does?

Almost a year later I know, but I would be curious to see if the OP or other people had any more experience with this, or an answer to the OP’s question.

I have 12 outputs activated from Geist for snares, various percs etc. I was trying to get the high frequency percussion from two samples, lets just say Hats 1 and Hats 2, to make room for each other in unique ways. Hats 2 is a kind of reverse sample that builds slowly over a few bars from 5khz to a definitive 14khz peak that lasts a second or so, whereas hats 1 is more of a regular fizzy hihat at 8khz on every offbeat.

I chucked a Dyneq cut at 14khz on Hats1 with sidechain active, triggered by the 14khz of Hats2. That worked fine, so then I put another Dyneq on Hats2 so the 8khz side frequency content of Hats1 could cut through on every off beat as it hits, but only when it passes through that specific freq range as it rises freq. Activated the sidechain of Dyneq on Hats2, but it would only appear as a send option on anything BUT Hats1. If I remove the original Dyneq or remove the send from Hats2 to Hats1, the sidechain appears as a send option from Hats1 to Hats2. Insert and activate, Cubase hides it again.

I understand the eg I gave is probably clunky and over complicating things (I tend to do this), and I did end up working on arrangement, mixing and just routing the output of either Hat channel to a group to allow the ‘vice-versa’ sidechaining. Still, I would be interested to know why Cubase does this with VST outputs, and if it is as muzicman is wondering and just Cubase ‘playing it safe’? I am struggling to see how sending two channels into the plugin insert sidechains of each other would create a loop. Am I missing something obvious?

Again sorry to revive a dead thread, but after searching on here the OP’s questions in this thread re hiding routing options are precisely what I am curious about, albeit in VST output channels rather than groups and fx.


I had the same problem. I experienced that I was not able to create 2 sends from a track (let’s name it track A) to 2 inserts (side-chain ON) on another channel (track B). What I did is create a group in which I routed track B.

I sent track A to the first effect on track B, and put the second effect in an insert slot of the group, then I was able to create a second send from track A to the group as Cubase allowed me. I’m on Cubase 9.5