which surround configuration: 5.0 or 5.1 when was have a subwoofer


I had a stereo configuration with a subwoofer. I had my signal going to the subwoofer and the subwoofer was passing the higher frequency to the stereo monitors. Recently, I bought three (3), additional active monitors. So I set up Left, Front Right, Center, Left Surround, Right Surround studio active monitors with a Subwoofer routing to Left-right). I assume my setup is 5.0 and not 5.1.

Should I send a separate signal to the subwoofer or it is fine the way I have it now?

Also, I was wondering if there are sample Cubase/Nuendo projects with surround configuration. I am just getting started and excited to use it.

Any help would be much appreciated.


The question is really what you want to do with your setup.

Bass management is the process of extending the range of speakers. That’s what you’re doing by routing through the subwoofer and having it crossover the signal and send to mains and sub. But you’re only doing it for the front L/R. So doing it that way means that you get a “full range” (at least extended) signal in two of the five channels.

Normally what you’d want to do is think about which channels need to have the range extended with bass management. If you are doing for example film etc then you should really have three full range speakers for the front three channels, and if you don’t have that then the three mains need bass management to ‘fake it’.

Your actual question about sending a separate signal to subwoofer sounds more like the LFE channel. That’s the actual “.1” channel in “5.1”. It’s a separate signal in the mix/output. This is all different from bass management so you should think of those things separately.

What I have done in my home setup using Nuendo for post is I have five identical speakers for front/surrounds, and then a subwoofer. Nuendo has a plugin that does bass management and I use that to extend the range of all those five speakers downwards. The routing from my sound card is then L/R/C/LFE/LS/RS. So all channels go to dedicated speakers/sub - nothing goes through the sub.

Then when I mix I have access to a full range signal by just panning normally with bass management in the Control Room inserts, and I can send separately to the LFE if I want (which goes to the same sub of course).

Thank you Mattias for the prompt response.

Maybe I should do the same thing!

  1. Is the same bass management exist in Cubase?
  2. My speakers are all entry level: My Left and right are BX5a Delux edition by M-Audio, center is M-Audio BX5 D3 ( similar to BX5a I suppose), and my Ls and Rs are JBL LSR305 ( which can reproduce lower frequencies down to 40 Hz around 16 Hz lower than a BX5a) and subwoofer is the active M-Audio BSX. Does the bass management work since I don’t have identical studio monitors?
  3. I have calibrated Left and Right with subwoofer using Calibration software. and also the LS and RS to listen to mix in two different stereo setup. If I send a signal separtently to subwoofer without passing it through my L/R speakers, I need to recalibrate the L/R speakers with a subwoofer, provided that the bass management works for stereo channels. Does it?

If you were me, how would you set it up?

I do greatly appreciate your time and help :slight_smile:

Not sure. I’m guessing it might not be or at least wasn’t at some point. You should be able to find some sort of comparison or info online, or just pull up the plugin list in an insert and see if it’s there. I think there’s also a section in the manual about included plugins so I’d guess it’d be listed there.

If not then I think there are both free and paid plugins that do the same. Not sure about how convenient the integration is of course. I think Voxengo has one…

I suppose the short answer is that you’ll have to recalibrate, yes. But if you can somehow find out exactly what your sub is currently doing in terms of how it’s actually crossing over and at what frequency perhaps you can get close in the plugin, I honestly don’t know.

Using different rears can work though most recommend that at least the front three should be the same make and model so panning across from left to right feels seamless, and that preferably the rears should be at least the same brand. But you already have your set of speakers so I suppose just do what you can with what you have.

So recalibrate once you have it set up differently, if that’s what you end up doing. I think you’ll likely have to adjust on a per channel basis and possibly on the speakers themselves. I think the Steinberg BM plugin includes the basics such as level, time delay and phase invert. But any sort of EQ adjustment needs to be done outside of the plugin. Either way it should be possible to get a setup to start playing around with.

I’d probably do what I did. Send each of your six outputs to a dedicated speaker: L/R/C/LFE/LS/RS. Then use a plugin to do bass management in Control Room on an insert. For calibration I’d make sure the spectrum is well balanced like you presumably have already, and then just level match all five channels (bass management “on”).

Nuendo Control Room has a lot of nifty features you can use when mixing and when you combine that with using different templates and Control Room (saved) setups you’ll have a ton of options. You can for example;

  • Run full 5.1 (with or without bass management)
  • Downmix that to stereo (with or without bass management)
  • Downmix to mono through LR (with or without bass management)
  • Downmix to mono through C (with or without bass management)
  • Mute the front channels+LFE and play back the rears on the LR channels
  • Solo or mute any channel

and more.

Thank you. Cubase Pro doesn’t have a Bass Manager: https://steinberg.help/cubase_plugin_reference/v9/en/_shared/topics/plug_ref/bass_manager_r.html

I have one more question. I will recalibrate my stero speakers with Sonarworks Reference 4 VST ( can do stereo no surround). So, I will end up two profiles ( one for left/right, and another for Ls/Rs) to be inserted in the Control Room insert section.

If I purchase a bass manger plugin, should I place it after or before the Reference 4 VST plugin? Or I don’t need it since I was included in my calibration process?

I actually don’t know how that Sonarworks plugin works, so I don’t know what to say really.

It basically, sonar works Reference 4 measures the reproduce frequencies by the speakers and finds the room frequency response at the listening position, and then when you plug it in the control room mixer it reverts the frequencies response to get a sort of a flat frequency response for the room.

I would think that any analysis tool that measures what the speakers put out needs to do that after you’ve done your bass management of the signal that is to be measured. But if the plugin you’re talking about generates a test tone then it needs to generate that before bass management if you’re going to measure each channel as a full range channel (which is what bass management is for). I think that’s the right way of thinking about it.

But you also shouldn’t run that plugin to adjust speaker response in a 5.1 system and only have it change channels L/R and LS/RS, you also need the center adjusted. Because if you change your monitoring system in Control Room that doesn’t change the mix - and that in turn means that if the center channel is unchanged by this plugin then you might change all sorts of things even though you really shouldn’t. So the three front channels really need to sound essentially the same.

You can perhaps imagine a car with the windows down playing some music, driving from left, through the center, and exiting right. As you pan that across Left/Center/Right you’ll have issues if the center speaker sounds different. If the center speaker is brighter then maybe the music playing ‘pops out’ when the car is in the center of the screen. So either you have to live with that change in sound and just ignore it when you listen (annoying) or you change the mix so it sounds good but - then it only sounds good on your system because other systems won’t have the problem that your system has.