[SOLVED] Group channel question/problem

Hi fellow cubasists, I have a noob question regarding group channels.

My situation:

I have 2 instruments tracks (say 2 different synth plugins) with different reverb send settings. I group them into a group channel to gel them together using a compressor.

When I raise or lower the level on the group channel the reverb send level of the individual instruments gets messed up.
Either more dry (if turned up) or more wet (if turned down).

Ok, i could use a VCA Fader to workaround this, but then when applying a VCA and adjusting its volume the compressor on the group channel is being affected and the gel effect is lost when lowering the volume, or it compresses too much when raising the volume.

What i want to do, that i did on Ableton was to group channels, lower and raise the volume of that group without affecting the sends levels on individual instruments channels. Then also lowering or raising the volume on the group channel without affecting the compressor feed into that group channel.

Hope you guys understand what i want to do.

Am i doing something wrong? What is the way to route things to achieve this? Please help me this is driving me nuts.

Thanks, Nicolas

Hi Nicolas,

If I’m using FX’s I only put them on the group channel. Once the specific FX is chosen I set it to 100% where applicable (reverb etc) and the amount of the original track sent is controlled by the amount I send to the group channels. I also make sure that the panning used on the original track(s) is applied to the group channels.
I have found that by playing with all the send levels, panning and FX settings, you can really achieve some sweet clear sounds.


Jim B

Jim B: Ok, thanks :slight_smile: . You could of course put a single reverb on the group channel, as either a send or insert, but that doesnt solve my problem.

How do you do if you want to have different send reverb settings on the individual instruments, and this settings no to be messed up when lowering or raising the volume on the group channel+preserving the amount of compression on the group channel. My initial post explains it better i think.

Thanks, N


Are you using the Group Channel as an Output of the tracks, or as a Send?

i had this in my mind too… kind of hybrid group/vca that act as you describe :wink:

MartinJirsak: The instrument channels output is routed to the group channel, then the output from the group channel is going to the Master Bus.

Im not “sending” from the instrument channels, the only send there is to the reverbs. Hope this clears things a bit :slight_smile: .

Mozizo: Yes :slight_smile: , i dont know if this could be achieved. This is actually the way things work in ableton, you group two tracks that have individual sends to reverbs, then when you lower or raise the volume in that group and the send ratio for the individual channels is preserved. Even if you have a compressor on the group channel, this compression amount will be preserved.

The situation Im in arises from the problem of trying to achieve a fade in (in volume) of a lead sound that

  1. Consists of 2 (or more) instruments channels

  2. Have different amount of send to the projects reverbs

  3. Are grouped into a group channel where they are for example saturated and compressed together.

When i try do a fade in of the group my sends levels are messed up. I tried working around this with a VCA, but then my saturation and compression levels where affected when i did the fade in from the VCA. :nerd:

Here’s what I’d try and there are so many possible configurations for different sounds, so maybe this isn’t want you need.

Create FX Track Channel – Add the Reverb you want for both Instrument Tracks (and maybe compressor, eq, etc.)

Create Group Channel – Route Output from Instrument Tracks A and B to Group Channel. Group channel is routed to Stereo Out.

Quick Link the instrument tracks:

Instrument Track A
Instrument Track B

Assign to Group Channel and Assign Group channel’s Send to the FX Channel Track

You can put your compressor on the Group Channel which might give you some sounds your after.

Now you can blend in the effects by automating (Quick Controls) the Send Level and/or riding the FX Chanel Fader, etc.

Good luck and, of course, there’s lots of different wants to route things for different sounds you’re after.

Here’s one solution (although it might not be appropriate depending on what else you have going on in your session):

Create a new group and route your first group to it. Also route your FX track with the reverb to this group. You can then automate this new group which will change the volume of your VSTi signals AND their FX signals, without altering the compression or reverb balance.

If you are sending additional tracks to your FX channel which are not sent to your compression group then of course this approach will not work as it will mess up the FX balance on your additional tracks. If this is the case then let us know and I’m sure there is a solution.

Thanks for the replies J-S-Q and Stephen57, will try those methods and come back with info on how it goes, thanks :smiley:

Stephen: I begun trying your method, but in your example you are assuming Im using the same reverb for both instrument channels.

Thus, when you say “Assign Group channel’s Send to the FX Channel Track”, well in my project I usually have like 5 different reverbs as FX channels, so which FX channel should i send from the group track? All of them? Trying this right now and it doesnt sound right… :confused:

I usually send the individual instrument channels to a different blend of these FX channels, then i want to group some of them, say a lead sound:

  1. this lead sound is three different VSTi on diferent individual instrument tracks,

  2. with different amount of sends to the projects FX channels

  3. Group them, then use say compression and saturation as inserts in the group)

  4. and then manipulate that groups level without messing things up for example the amounts of compression/saturation (inserted in the group channel) and send FX levels (sent from the individual instrument channels).

J-S-Q: Well as you predicted, I do have other instruments playing at the same time, sending to the projects FX channels. So this method made those other additional instrumens very dry when attempting to make the fade in. But it do works if you are not sending additional instrument tracks to the same FX channels that has its output to the additional group.

Any other suggestions are highly welcomed :slight_smile: :slight_smile: Anyone else perceive this as a problem?

One very simple option would be to bounce your synths to an audio track, including their FX, and then do your automation on the bounced track.

If you don’t want to do that then here’s another way which should crack it.

Instead of routing your synths to the group, use an Aux send to send them to the group, and set this Aux send to Pre-Fader. Set the output to No Bus. Now you can setup a VCA fader linked to your compression group and your synth tracks. When you automate the VCA fader, it will change the volume of your compression group and also change the level of synth signal sent to your FX. Because you are sending to your group via a Pre Fader send, the compression will remain the same.

There are other ways of doing this but this is the simplest I would say.

A very quick solution would be to solo your group track and audio export your instruments and reverbs from the master output channels. import back this new file back into cubase on a new track and mute the original tracks. Now when you turn up or down this track everything will stay balanced and with compression.


This almost solved the problem :slight_smile: , but, here comes the but, it created a mixing problem. When i try to make a different blend in volume between layers now the instrument channels faders not act normally (of course due to the special routing). Strange things happens to the reverb amount.

I think this is a normal situation, you feel the bass part of your lead sound is too strong, you lower it in volume. But having things routed as you instructed makes it kind of counterintuitive, almost impossible to dial in a different blend between layers. And no, i dont want to bounce to audio.

Feels like things shouldnt work this way :cry: . Ive read some other threads, and many people experience this.

Any more suggestions? thanks for helping by the way.


yes that could do it.

But normally as in my workflow, i want to be able to have the possibility of changin the amount of reverb (as aux sends for the instruments channels) along the way, as i add more things to the project and so on. Also equalizing those reverbs to make them sit well in the mix. Also i want to be able to for example change the VSTi settings for my midfreq part of the lead sound. And also changing the blend between layers…

this is possible in DAW-world, maybe not in Cubase Provolution :confused:

So bouncing to audio isnt a solution…

Well, that’s the thing about workarounds… they aren’t perfect!

With my method, if you want to change your volume of each synth and keep the FX balance the same, you would have to adjust your pre fade send AND the main fader by the same amount.

Or, you could insert a gain plugin on your synth tracks and use that to change your synth volume?


that did the trick!! :smiley: :smiley: all routing as you directed plus an insert to control gain in the individual instrument if one wants to control volume for one specific layer. Everything i wanted to achieve is now acomplished. Thanks a lot!

Can you recommend any good dedicated gain plugin for this purpose? Right now Im using kind of a workaround…

Thanks, N


I don’t use a dedicated gain plugin myself but I’m sure Google would find one. Personally, if I need a gain plugin, I just use the Steinberg Studio EQ plugin with all EQ bands bypassed and then adjust the gain. This won’t degrade your signal in any way so it’s absolutely fine.

Perfect, thanks. :slight_smile:

I was doing something similar but with another plugin, thanks again.

There are plenty options around for gain plugs that will work fine…it’s such a simple process there should be no quality difference between plugs.
Hofa do a free plug with fader, pan and meter, Bluecat Gain Suite has channel linking options that might be useful,G-VST if you want something as simple as possible.

Thanks for the tips, gonna check those out. :slight_smile: