Sound coming from somewhere when hardware insert engaged?

This is a very weird issue. I’m out of town and not in my studio at the moment, but I’ll try to give as much detail as I can and maybe someone familiar with Cubase can help a newbie out. I’m not new to DAWs at all but new to Cubase.

First, I’m using a MOTU 828es as my interface. I have two mono outboard analog compressors that I want to use as hardware inserts. They are on the Analog 5 and Analog 6 in/out pairs. I have successfully used the compressor on the Analog 6 in/out in Pro Tools, DP and Logic. Everything works just like it should.

I set up each device in Cubase I/O as external hardware insert and I’m positive it’s setup correctly in that window (F4 is the shortcut). What’s happening is that in a test project that has only 1 mono lead vocal track, when I insert a hardware I/0 plugin the right channel would sound lower than the left. After some experimentation I found this was because there was still lead vocal coming into the right channel of the main stereo output even if I dragged the “Return” slider in the hardware insert all the way to zero. This signal combined with the normal signal that is supposed to be present when the Return is turned up was causing some weird cancellation in the right channel.

So bottom line… I have a hardware insert on a mono track. When I turn the return all t he way down in the hardware insert, I should be hearing nothing, but instead I’m getting some lead vocal in the right channel on my main stereo output. It’s leaking in from somewhere.

I have also checked the MOTU setup and double checked my routing to make sure that’s not where it’s coming from and it doesn’t appear to be the case. I’m only seeing this in Cubase and none of the other DAWs I mentioned. Any suggestions welcome!

Sounds like you are not using a mono track.
Mono insert fx, software as well as hardware, inside Cubase only process the left channel.

I’ll double check. That’s a pretty basic thing. Pretty sure it’s a mono track.

Hey there… mlib! THANK YOU! I got home and indeed you were right. I clicked the little symbol at the bottom of the channel strip and changed it to a mono track and that was the issue! I’m totally new when it comes to Cubase… that was a big help! THANKS AGAIN!!!

I’m glad I could help!
If only all our issues had such simple solutions. :slightly_smiling_face:

Hmmm… actually, looks like that wasn’t the complete solution. I realize how the problem was created in the first place.

I have a mono audio lead vocal and I have the hardware insert to my outboard mono compressor in the first Insert slot. When the hardware insert was the only plugin I had on that track and I set the track to mono then it was correct. I could turn the Return level down on the hardware insert and the vocal was completely gone as it should be.

I then inserted an instance of the TC-2290 delay in the second insert after the hardware insert plugin. Because the track is mono it forced the TC-2290 to be a mono>mono instance. All was working well. But I wanted the delay plugin to be mono>stereo. So then I changed the track to stereo so I could use my delay plugin as mono>stereo and now I get the vocal in the right channel again when I turn the return all the way down in the hardware insert. It does not disappear. So it seems I can’t insert a mono > stereo plugin after a hardware insert plugin without getting this problem?

There’s a way around it, of course. I could use a send and put the mono>stereo delay plugin on an Aux and set to 100% wet, but there must be a way to insert hardware before a mono>stereo plugin? Thanks!

Maybe I’ll write to Steinberg support. I don’t know if maybe this is some sort of bug? It seems like users would like to put a mono>stereo plugin after a mono hardware insert plugin?

Here’s how you do it.

  1. Use a stereo track.
  2. Open the Channel Settings and go to the tab “Routing” of the Insert Rack.
  3. Click the small down-arrow on your mono effect slot and open the Routing Editor.
  4. Click the “link” on right channel to break it. It should look like this:
  5. Now there should only be audio coming from the left side of the track.
  6. Insert your mono > stereo effect.

Thanks… that certainly helped me get in the ball park. What seems to happen when I do that is that there’s no vocal bleeding into the right channel, but there’s also no dry vocal signal in the right channel… only the left. The right is the return of the delay plugin without any of the original signal mixed in… 100% “wet.”

Sorry this is so difficult. I will keep plugging away at the problem. Other DAWs I’m experienced with seem to handle this automatically. I can insert a mono>stereo plugin after a mono plug and it reconfigures automatically and in the case of a delay plugin, you’ll get the dry signal dead center and then the wet signal spread stereo like you’d expect mono>stereo to behave.

I have tested this in Cubase Pro 12.0.70 and it works as expected.
I used a stereo track with a mono audio clip. I added a mono insert in slot #1, changed the insert channel routing as described in steps 2-4 above for this slot. Then I inserted a mono>stereo plugin (Waves H-Delay Mono/Stereo) in slot #2.
If I set the wet/dry control of the H-Delay plugin to 0% (all dry), I get a mono output panned center (equal amount of level in both Left and Right channels). If I set the delay plugin to Ping-Pong and raise the wet/dry balance to 50%, I get the dry source panned center and the delay ping-pong’ing hard left and right.

There must be something you’re not doing right.

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Thanks… well I’ll keep at it… maybe I need to set the routing before adding the plugin after it.

I did come across this older topic where there was some debate going on about mono-to-stereo plugins and how they were supposed to work. I guess it’s just something very foreign to me coming from other DAWs.

Again… thanks for the help. I’ll try setting routing before I add the next plugin.

Hey thank you so much… I truly appreciate your patience. Seems to be some sort of issue with the TC-2290-DT delay. Just now I tried Waves H-Delay and it works exactly as you described and as it should. I also noticed that when I went to add H-Delay from the plugin selection menu it showed “Mono/Stereo” as an option. TC-2290 did not offer this option. Looks like I should write to TC support and ask them why.

Again… that really helped a lot. Very kind of you to take this much time and it’s silly that it turns out to be the particular delay plugin I’m using. Again… need to write to TC and ask them why this is.

Weird… apparently there are several developers whose plugs don’t offer a Mono/Stereo option in the plugin menu like Waves does. So far McDSP EC300, and Softube Tape Delay do not show Mono/Stereo as an option and have the same issues the TC-2290 plug does. Really weird.

UPDATE: I have dozens of delay plugins and for some weird reason, only Waves gives options for mono-to-stereo!