The first things to do when you startup Cubase:
1. ASIO driver in Audio System
If you own a dedicated soundcard make sure that you have downloaded and installed the latest driver for this device from the website of the respective manufacturer.
In Cubase go to “Studio–> Device Setup–> Audio System” and select the ASIO driver for your soundcard.
If you do not have a dedicated soundcard you should use the “Generic Low Latency” ASIO driver.
You might even get better performance if you download, install and use the free “ASIO4ALL” from “www.ASIO4ALL.com” driver. Close Cubase, download and install the ASIO4ALL driver, start Cubase and select the ASIO4ALL driver at “Studio–> Studio Setup–> Audio System”. Most systems perform better with the ASIO4ALL driver.
In “Studio–> Studio Setup” you will find that the ASIO driver you have selected is listed beneath “Audio System”. By clicking on the driver at this point and then clicking on the “Control Panel” button that particular page you will be able to open the ASIO driver specific control panel. You should at least have peak at these settings to get familiar with them. But don’t change anything if you are not sure what you are doing.
2. Audio Connections
The Audio Connections are very important!
After you have set up the ASIO driver you must set up the “Audio Connections” under “Studio -->Audio Connections”.
The “Audio Connections” are to connect the virtual buses in Cubase with the physical inputs and outputs of your hardware inputs and outputs.
Setting up the Cubase Output for Monitoring
To get started the “Output” tab in the Audio Connections is the most important because only if you set this up correctly you will be able to hear the Cubase output.
Click on “File–> Import–> Audio File” and import an Audio File.
After you have imported an Audio File hit “Play” and check if you can hear the playback.
Open “Studio–> Audio Connections” and click on the output tab. Now assign the virtual “Stereo Out” with the physical output of your soundcard by clicking next to it in the device port column. In some cases the device port can already be assigned correctly. If you have our speakers connect to output 1 and output 2 of your hardware you would have to connect this to the stereo out bus in the Audio Connections .
Simplified this is how the Signal flows when it comes to playing back audio on an audio track:
Audio Track in Cubase (flows to) --> “Stereo Out” Master Fader in Cubase (flows to) --> Physical Outputs of your soundcard that you have connected with the virtual “stereo out” in the Audio Connections (flows to)–> the speakers or headphones that you have connected to the physical outputs of your soundcard.
Setting up the Cubase Inputs for recording
Connect Mic/Guitar to physical input of your soundcard.
Open “Studio–> Audio Connections” and click on the input tab.
Click on the input tab and create a virtual mono bus “Mono In”.
Now you must connect the virtual “Mono Bus” with the physical Input of your soundcard by clicking next to it in the “Device Port” column.
Create a new empty audio track “Project–> Add Track–> Audio --> Mono”.
Make sure that you have the virtual input bus connected to that track. For the track it should say “Mono In” as Input and “Stereo Out” as output
Simplified this is how the signal flows when it comes to recording:
From Mic/Guitar to physical Mono input of soundcard flows to–> virtual Mono Bus flows to --> Audio Track that has the virtual “Mono Bus” defined as Input in the inspector–> write to disk.
Be aware that you can find more help if you open Cubase and click in the upper right in the menu bar on “Help–>Documentation”. If you choose the “Getting Started” guide you will also find more introducing information to Cubase. The “Recording Audio” and “Recording MIDI” section in the “Getting Started” guide will help you with your first recordings in Cubase.