Using Cubase with an analogue mixer

Hi All,

I use a Yamaha mixer in my studio because I like to have all of my keyboards, drum machines, Axe FX etc all connected permanently. Does anyone else use a similar method?

If so could you give me your ideas on how you have decided to wire up the system with a multi input/ output soundcard? I use a Focusrite 18i20 gen 1.

I am musing over how to incorporate control room atm.

Any tips at all gratefully received thanks.

I’m using a patch bay in half-normal setting to split the signal from my external hardware into one signal going to my hardware mixer, and the other going to my audio interface.

Thanks. That’s a good tip that might well come in useful.

Assign a control room speaker out and connect it to any 2 track return on the desk if it has such?

Thanks. I have mused over this a lot & see that there is a dedicated Stereo In Sub input on the mixer. I think that the idea is to be able to use another mixer & just route its stereo output into this one. Any thoughts on using this for the main Stereo out from Cubase?

Using it on stereo out is another option, and is the traditional way of using daw+desk.
But I prefer using control room out because it’s more handy in many aspects, like the ability to ‘dim’ by KC. I hit the KC whenever someone start talking. I can listen to YouTube or anything comes thru the system sound by flick of KC. These are impossible if you use the master out.
It is also good that you can insert plugin to the CRM mixer before the master goes back to the desk. You can use analysers, eqs to compensate the room acoustics/the mixer headroom and so on.
Having ‘another mixer’ before going into the analog mixer does not degrade the sound quality at all, so why not.

Thanks for the reply & apologies Takashi!

I have managed to confuse the situation. What I am saying is that I will use Control Room as the output FROM Cubase (I did not mean the normal Stereo out) BUT I am considering inserting it into my mixer via the Stereo Sub In channels.

I see. I don’t know what kind of input you are referring by “a dedicated Stereo In Sub input”. Is it sub mix channels that goes through the master of the mixer? You know, on a lot of medium sized desks you have 2nd line inputs that only has a pot for volume and another for pan so it could be used as tape return, sort of pseudo-inline.
Or it is one situated in its’ control room section and is separated from the mix bus? Like EXT inputs on SSL, Neve, etc desks or 2TR on Mackie mixers?
Later should be the better choice as I said earlier, those normally has lesser components for monitoring.
I guess you have bus outs from the mixer to input to cubase, that can cause feedback loop also if you connect that to channels.

It’s different story but I find it is more handy if you set these mixer bus outs as external plugin return then you’ll be able to patch that anywhere on the cubase mixer.


Yes I do. The mixer is 24/8/2 but there are groups & direct outs. So it is possible to use 8 group outs & 8 direct outs to record to 16 channel at a time. These will go to my Focusrite 18i20 & ADAT coupled extra 8 channels.

I intend having several devices plugged in to the mixer at once to save re patching. A 2 track tape machine, a 4 track tape machine & an 8 track digital recorder. Also 2 multi output synths & expander modules. A Roland s760. Finally an Axe FX 3.

I want to use cubase in the best way possible ie by making use of control room.

I am not sure if I want to record a final mix to a tape of just produce that within Cubase but I want to leave the mixer stereo bus output clear just in case.

I presume the 2TR deck is a 1/4 or 1/2 inch reel to reel has sync, repro and erase heads? If so I recommend to use it as an extenal efx in cubase. You can record on the sync head, play it on the repro head with a bit of latency, maybe 50ms or so? If you use it as external efx, the timing is compensated, and very low wow and flutter, so you can use it as a real tape effect plugin anywhere on the cubase mixer.