Zero a fader or selected tracks

This may not mean much to anybody else, but something I do a lot is prepare a rough mix of a track and then set the gain on each track to the faders value, then set the fader to zero. This takes some time.

It would be great to have a button on a track to do this, or a function to set a group of selected tracks simultaneously.

Now, someone please tell me is already been done and I’ve missed it. :smiley:

Cheers,
Mick.

I think you’re referring to gain staging, but your description of the process you use sounds a bit odd. Check out these tutorials, I think the method shown is what you’re getting at.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQ_Ey6pGZmczWcFNde89f6pz9Wg_V_9D_
Other than that, pressing Ctrl when clicking on a fader will reset the fader to zero (unity gain) and a single Ctrl Click will work for all selected channels if you have them linked (QLink) plus enable the Abs button.

BriHar, thanks for your reply but no, that’s not quite what I meant. Let me explain it a bit more. Once I have my tracks ready to mix, my first step is to create a rough mix. I do this without using plugins, EQ or compression. It’s just to get a starting point to work from with the mix. This is what I have been taught to do and it works for me in most cases. These are rough settings and all will change as the mix takes shape.

So let’s say the fader on my vocal track in the rough mix is sitting on -12db. I then adjust the gain on the that track to -12db and then set the fader to 0db in the mixer. I do this to all tracks that I judge to be relevant and this way my faders are all sitting at the same level providing me a good place to start my mix. Things will always change, but this is where I start.

The CTRL click is only half of the task. The gain needs to be adjusted too. Of course this is also dependent on track levels and how well things have been recorded. I’m no authority on all this stuff, but this is the workflow I usually use.

This process takes time, and being lazy, I’m looking for an easier way to do this. A button to adjust the gain by the fader amount and set the fader to it’s default position would be great. If you could do this to several tracks simultaneously I would be delighted.

That’s all it is. And maybe someone knows a way to do this that already exists.

Cheers,

Mick.

Seems an odd way to work – why not use gain or clip volumes in the first place, as you would on a console? But I can see it might be useful to write fader automation to any track- ie have MIDI output from each channel fader. In fact, going off on a tangent, if it’s not a large project, a workaround that would allow use of faders rather than pots for gain would be to create a MIDI channel for each audio/instrument track and map that to control the gain. Then hide your MIDI channels when done.

I get what you’re doing Mick, and the method, though perhaps unconventional, but is certainly a valid workflow.
However, I don’t think there is any way to make this task much easier (unless of course you have the luxury of having an intern do it for you :laughing: ).
As you say, it’s time consuming, but I can tell you even the most well known names in the business all go through similar time consuming processes, be it gain staging, phase checking, or what have you.
Because there is such wide variance between different peoples workflows, I can’t see this request being fulfilled as a Cubase feature.
All we can hope for is that they will at some point (hopefully soon) offer a more powerful and capable macro language with decision making functions and access to attributes and variables… - then you might have a chance. :wink:

Would you save yourself half the work if you used only the gain trim in the rack to set the volume? Faders stay at zero, so there’s no second control click involved there.

Sorry if I’m missing something …

Hmm. The immediate question that comes to mind here is: Why didn’t I think of that? Good idea Alexis. the gain slider is a little less flexible than the main fader. I’ll play around with this. Thanks.

Excellent suggestion Alexis :wink:
The idea had crossed my mind as well but thought it might be too much of a concession for the current workflow, and was concentrating more on an dealing with an existing mix. If you can make this adjustment Mick, then I think you’ve got a good working solution to your problem, albeit not for your current project.

i always set the tracks’ gain usin the pre-gain so all faders are at unity in the beginning, too. the best way to mix imho. for volume rides, i will use dedicated gain plugins (sonalksis free-g). that way the fader is not locked by existing automation data and can be used to momentarily try out a gain change.

most resolution on faders around unity, and things are much tidier and easier to deal with. this is why i miss the C6 implementation of the input trim, which was an actual knob.

^^ Thank you, Brihar, I am honored, and that’s a straight up statement, no irony/post-irony or other such nonsense in there at all!

Hi lukasbrooklyn … I have been getting frustrated lately with wanting to make momentary gain changes but having fader automation get in the way. Can I ask for some clarification of your workflow?

… are you saying that in C6.5 you might have been inclined to use the input trim instead of a sonalksis free-g type of plug in because the input trim’s knob was ergonomically easy to adjust … but the way it is in C7/C8 is a PITA enough that you went with a plug-in instead?

… Would slapping Cubase’s stock “compressor” (set at flat settings) into the first insert slot, and adjusting its input/output knobs serve the same purpose as something like sonalksis free-g?

EDIT: “Compressor” isn’t so hot, because there is no negative gain, only (+) makeup gain.

Thanks much!

Sometimes, I think I’m talking to myself :wink:

hey alexis,

regarding input trim: i was just refering to the fact the actual input trim used to be a knob and always readily visible in the old mixer. in the mixconsole, the trim is hidden within its own section of the console, and it’s therefore a little less convenient to access.

as far as gain staging, i had been using sonalksis free-g then and still continue to use it so as to always avoid having the mixer channel fader locked by existing automation data. this way you have a ‘hard-coded’, written automation data using free-g’s fader, and you can globally nudge the volume up or down using the mixer’s channel fader.

i understand this is what VCA’s do now, however i’ve seen the issue reports on VCA, so like most new steinberg features, i avoid using it until at least the following cubase iteration to spare myself the frustration.

Sorry man, missed that entirely. Doh!

the issue with this is that you may run out of ‘waveform display headroom’ this way, or make it drastically smaller when subtracting gain, and this hinders orientation visually. this is why personally i prefer input trim on channels.

Thanks, lukasbrooklyn!

So all your volume automation is written on free-g … none on the Cubase fader … if I’m understanding you right.

BTW - same as if I use Cubase Compressor instead of free-g … ratio = 1, etc. … ?

Thanks - I’m thinking I am going to be moving away from my volume automation on the Cubase fader, just saving it for quick ups and downs, if I’m understanding you correctly.

Although … will not be able to take advantage of the Quick Linking and other similar functions?

Thanks in advance for your further thoughts!

Input trim - that’s what I meant by ‘gain’.

I prefer envelopes, though. For one thing, you can increase waveform height (slider, top-right of project page) and for another, if Steinberg ever get around to having the option to apply FX at the clip level (often requested; I hope they do) it makes sense to set your levels at the start of the signal path… which in that scenario the input trim wouldn’t be.

true, but the issue is when one has to clip gain some events up, and some down. in that scenario, there’s no perfect ‘happy medium’ vertical zoom settings (something is way too small, while other events are visually clipped). so i often end up doing a combination of event gain and input trim at the same time so all of my tracks’ waveforms are visible from the get-go.

Fair enough. Not usually an issue for me. I’d love to see waveform height as an independent control for each track/clip.

Hi lukasbrooklyn -

Does that sonalksis free-g have different skins to choose from? I didn’t see that on any of the youtubes I looked at.

I am going to try your method of automating a fader placed in an insert (insert slot #6, right?).

But I am also busy putting a meter/fader in the first insert slot of my tracks, to help me see how hot the signal is going into the plug-ins, to keep from overloading/distorting them. And I know that I will get confused if I have two identical-looking free-g faders on the track! So, hoping I can make the appearance of the first insert slot free-g look different than the one that you are suggesting using.

Thanks -

not skinnable to my knowledge, but there are quite a few free gainer plugins, it’s the simplest thing.

randomly found- http://bedroomproducersblog.com/2012/06/20/stereochannel-monochannel-free-vst-plugins-by-dustin-ralston/

btw. here’s another real-world example where the 8-inserts-limit really starts to hinder workflow.