Somewhat silly question about volume

Seems so simple but I have never really been certain about this. What is the correct way to alter the volume for personal listening in Cubase 12? What I mean is when making tracks one has a comfort level for listening, whilst composing. Obviously, there are jhundreds of ways to change volumes, but I think (but am not sure) there are three ways to get teh end product out of Cubase at a level which is comforortable to you personally when mixing:

1] If your using Control Room (which I am and is recommended), then the big red mix button is one option.

2] The level of your audio interface which has level controls.

3] The level of your amplifier

Really depends on and what you prefer to use. Signal chain is important in terms of noise floor and dynamics, though.

i.e. my monitors are very loud so I wouldn’t want them all the way up, as that would mean running the interface or the control room at 20-30% which brings a danger of unwanted noise/interference via as I’d be sending a less dynamic signal to be over amplified.

I prefer to have monitors running at 50% and Interface at 60-80%, and then adjust via control room as it’s easier. But if I need extra volume it’s there on the interface, which saves me going to the back panel on the monitors.

If you ensure that the dynamics are well preserved, you should be good. Last thing you want to do is dropping the volume low and then pushing your amp higher as that has the potential for something spiking and damaging your speakers, plus it’s like compressing the audio un-necessarily.

My personal advice would be that the final volume control within your signal chain is always the best to adjust if you’re unsure (i.e. amp/monitor volume), then move back down that signal chain to what is most easiest for you (Interface, then Control Room in that order).

But it really depends on your setup and number of outputs, and such like. As if you’re direct monitoring, you also have to ensure that everything is balanced - which means you don’t want to adjust volume in control room as you may be fooled into adjusting recording levels to suit.

I use an outboard mix console due to numerous synths and hardware.

Over the years I have grown to love the Mackie Big Knob with mute, mono, dim, monitor select. It’s there in front of you. Its immediate. No fiddling with anything else due to monitor volume. Behringer also has a few big knobs too.

It would be very hard today to work without one.

Are you using the passive version between your audio interface and monitors, or the audio interface version though?

I am right in thinking that the big red knob in Cubase Control Room does nothing to the mix? This is what I intend to use, as I balanced my amp and passive monitors and intend to leave them alone

Correct :slight_smile:

Yup exactly that, you can even apply EQ using the control room inserts if you need to tweak beyond what your amp or the trim controls on your monitors offer.

Before using control room, I used to come out of my audio interface to an analog mixer through to an amp, then to the monitors. Mainly so I had volume control and could cut or adjust EQ at night.

I now go straight out the interface to active monitors now and it’s such a cleaner signal chain. I have the control room level mapped to a MIDI fader too.

Just the passive $70 unit. I have never heard of Mackie doing an audio interface but maybe you mean Onyx?

My point is that instead of reaching for the monitor knob in a larger mix console, there is much convenience and immediacy having a…big knob right next to you.

I set my audio interface at unity on the output channels and use the control room volumes to control 3 x pairs of monitor and a pair headphones all calibrated to have the same Db levels with the control room volumes set at -35 … whether that’s correct or not it works perfectly well for me :+1: