I use Sonalksis FreeG gain plugin cause it’s in the slider form. I prefer sliders for gain, thats how my brain is wired i guess.
GVST - collection of VERY simple and VERY effective FREE plugins. Try it out! 64bit
I’d stay away from the sonalksis vst because they stopped updating their plugins years ago.
I use this:
Free and some nice useful options.
Fear schmear! How many used ancient cubase plugins until 32 bit got dropped. Maybe still using with help of another programs. Sonalksis stuff works great for years to come.
This is another very simple gain plugin (goes from -12 to +12 dB):
I love the BlueCat plugins!
It’s quite amazing that Cubase doesn’t have a simple gain plugin. This is essential for inserts where you need to gain stage along the insert chain to get the best out of plug-ins.
For a simple solution, get the Bluecat Gain Suite. It’s got Stereo, Dual Mono and Mono versions. Fantastic tool and you can link/reverse link them together in groups as well.
Another one of my favorites is the DMG Audio Track Control. It has lot’s of great stuff you can do (even delay a track backwards in time). Most of it you can do in Cubase already, but it’s nice to have it as an insert if you need it.
Pre-Fader will change the levels to your Insert FX. This is useful if you need to give them more or less level, but understand that its Pre-Insert FX and work accordingly or you can really undo your mix quickly. Pre-Fader Gain is also great for sending more on an FX channel (in the FX channel itself) if you have the Send level at 0db on your track but still need more level. Using it on the track just to give your mix less level is dangerous as changing it affects everything in the chain (Inserts, Send levels, etc.)
Gain plugins are great if you have automation on your track and just need to bump the overall balance up a db or 2. You automation stays just where you wrote it but your track level comes up at the end of the signal. Of course, it will send more to the master channel or 2 buss so remember that.
They’re also great for Re-calibrating your faders if you have channels that are too far down in the mixer view. If you find that you have tracks that are turned WAY down in your mixer, put a gain plugin on them. Then, bump the plugin gain down however much you need so your fader isn’t down in the low range. Cubase (as well as most DAWs) has faders that aren’t set to work uniformly across the whole range up and down. You can see this in the numbers next to the faders (if you can’t see them, your channel is too narrow and you’ll have to widen them in the mixer until they appear). The upper range, between 0 DBFS and -10 DBFS, is the “sweet spot” areas of the faders. They give you the most control when mixing so you’re better off with the faders in these regions. When you get into -20 and below, little moves make BIG volume changes. Of course, if you’re typing in the numbers for your automation or mixing you have as much control as you want, but who mixes like that?
So, for example, if your fader is turned down to say -30 on the mixer so it’s sitting in the mix where you want it, you could insert a gain plugin at the end of the chain on that channel, remove 30 db of gain, then turn your fader up to 0 DBFS compensate. This isn’t a fast rule so you could shave off 25db and put the fader at -5. It’s up to you, but this gives you finer control over your faders when you balance or automate. Obviously you want to do this BEFORE you start writing automation or everything will work against you.
The best time to use this technique is when getting your initial mix balance, before you start loading plugins on. Usually I get my tracks hitting at a decent level with the pre-gain (or on the clip itself) and then balance the initial mix, if anything is way too loud and I’m bringing any faders down too much I’ll use a gain plugin and get the faders closer to 0 on those tracks.
I also use it on the Monitor inserts in Control room to beef up my output to the speakers. When using a calibrated system (which is FAR better than setting levels by ear all over the place) you can set your master volume knob (on your hardware interface) to a certain point and then calibrate the db in the room with a plugin. That way, you can have presets on your gain plugin that let you mix at 83db (standard) or change it when your mastering so your volume is constant with different metering system (K-20, K-14, etc).
The curious thing about Cubase lacking a gain/trim plugin is that WaveLab does have one. Seems like a small step for Steinberg to make this available in Cubase too as most DAWs do have this. The pre-gain on the channel strip isn’t quite the same thing.
Hate using clip gain. It’s the last resort. The problem is that it’s not obvious when a part is clip gained in normal zoom. Sometimes I catch myself automating a part to get louder before realizing some time down the road I clip gained it down a few dbs. /facepalm
I’m just using other plugins gain control. I got used to that.