Cubase (All keyboard shortcuts)

Shortcut Command

Audio category

A = Adjust Fades to Range

x = Crossfade

Ctrl+F = Find Selected in Pool

Automation category Cubase

Alt+R = Toggle Read Enable All Tracks

Alt+W = Toggle Write Enable All Tracks

Devices category Cubase

F3 = Mixer

F8 = Video

F4 = VST Connections

F11 = VST Instruments

F12 = VST Performance

Edit category Cubase

F = Autoscroll

Ctrl+C = Copy

Ctrl+X = Cut

Ctrl+Shft+X = Cut Time

Del or Backspace = Delete

Shft+Backspace = Delete Time

Ctrl+D = Duplicate

Ctrl+Shft+E = Insert Silence

E = Left Selection Side to Cursor

Ctrl+Shft+L = Lock

Ctrl+L = Move to Cursor

M = Mute

Shft+M = Mute Events

Alt+M = Mute/Unmute Objects

Ctrl+E = Open Default Editor

Ctrl+R = Open Score Editor

Return = Open/Close Editor

Ctrl+V = Paste

Alt+V = Paste at Origin

Ctrl+Shft+V = Paste Time

R = Record Enable

Ctrl+Shft+Z = Redo

Ctrl+K = Repeat

D = Right Selection Side to Cursor

Ctrl+A = Select All

Ctrl+Shft+A = Select None

J = Snap On/Off

S = Solo

Alt+X = Split At Cursor

Shft+X = Split Range

Ctrl+Z = Undo

Ctrl+U = Ungroup

Ctrl+Shft+U = Unlock

Shft+U = Unmute Events

Ctrl+Shft+I = Edit In-place

Ctrl+G = Group

Editors category Cubase

Ctrl+I = Show/Hide Infoview

Alt+I = Show/Hide Inspector

Alt+O = Show/Hide Overview

File category Cubase

Ctrl+W = Close

Ctrl+N = New

Ctrl+O = Open

Ctrl+Q = Quit

Ctrl+S = Save

Ctrl+Shft+S = Save As

Ctrl+Alt+S = Save New Version

Media category Cubase

F5 = Open MediaBay

F6 = Open Loop Browser

F7 = Open Sound Browser

MIDI category Cubase

Q = Quantize

Navigate category Cubase

Shft+Down Arrow Add Down: = Expand/Undo selection in the Project window to the bottom/ Move selected event in the Key Editor down 1 octave

Shft+Left Arrow Add Left: = Expand/Undo selection in the Project window/ Key Editor to the left

Shft+Right Arrow Add Right: = Expand/Undo selection in the Project window/ Key Editor to the right

Shft+Up Arrow Add Up: = Expand/Undo selection in the Project window to the top/ Move selected event in the Key Editor up one octave

Down Arrow Down: = Select next in the Project window/ Move selected event in the Key Editor one semitone down

Left Arrow Left: = Select next in the Project window/ Key Editor

Right Arrow Right: = Select next in the Project window/ Key Editor

Up Arrow Up: = Select next in the Project window/ Move selected event in the Key Editor one semitone up

End Bottom Select bottom track in the track list

Home Top: = Select top track in the track list

Nudge category Cubase

Alt+Shft+Left Arrow - End Left
Alt+Shft+Right Arrow - End Right
Ctrl+Left Arrow - Left
Ctrl+Right Arrow - Right
Alt+Left Arrow - Start Left
Alt+Right Arrow - Start Right

Project category Cubase

Ctrl+B = Open Browser

Ctrl+M = Open Markers

Ctrl+P = Open/Close Pool

Ctrl+T = Open Tempo Track

Shft+S = Setup

Shft+C = Show/Hide Track Colors

Score Functions category Cubase

Alt+Pad+[Plus] - Insert Voice: Next

Alt+Pad-[minus]- Insert Voice: Previous

Tool category Cubase

5 = Delete tool

8 = Draw tool

0 = Drumstick tool

4 = Glue tool

7 = Mute tool

F10 = Next Tool

9 = Play tool

F9 = Previous Tool

2 = Range tool

1 = Select tool

3 = Split tool

6 = Zoom tool

Transport category Cubase 4

I = AutoPunch In

O = AutoPunch Out

Pad / Cycle

. = Exchange time formats

Shft+Pad + Fast Forward

Shft+Pad - Fast Rewind

Pad + Forward

Shft+L = Input Left Locator

Shft+P = Input Position

Shft+R = Input Right Locator

Shft+T = Input Tempo

Insert (Win) = Insert Marker

N = Locate Next Event

Shft+N = Locate Next Marker

B = Locate Previous Event

Shft+B = Locate Previous Marker

L = Locate Selection

P = Locators to Selection

Shft+G = Loop Selection

C = Metronome On

Ctrl+Pad - Nudge Down

Ctrl+Pad + Nudge Up

F2 = Panel (Transport panel)

Alt+Space = Play Selection Range

Shft+Pad 1 to Pad 9 Recall Cycle Marker 1 to 9

Pad * Record + –

Shft+Pad * = Retrospective Record

Pad . or Pad ,= Return to Zero

Pad - = Rewind

Ctrl+Pad 1 Set Left Locator

Ctrl+1 = Set Marker 1

Ctrl+2 = Set Marker 2

Ctrl+ Pad 3 to 9 or Ctrl+ 3 to 9 = Set Marker 3 to 9

Ctrl+Pad 2 = Set Right Locator

Enter Start

Space Start/Stop

Pad 0 = Stop

Pad 1 = To Left Locator

Shft+1 = To Marker 1

Shft+2 = To Marker 2

Pad 3 to 9 or Shft+3 to 9 = To Marker 3 to 9

Pad 2 = To Right Locator

T = Use External Sync

Workspace category Cubase

Alt+Pad 0 Lock/Unlock Active Workspace

Ctrl+Pad 0 = New

W = Organize

Alt+Pad 1-9 = Workspace 1-9

Zoom category Cubase

Shft+F = Zoom Full + –

H = Zoom In + –

Alt+Down Arrow Zoom In Tracks + –

G = Zoom Out + –

Alt+Up Arrow or Ctrl+Up Arrow Zoom Out Tracks + –

Shft+E = Zoom to Event + –

Alt+S = Zoom to Selection + –

Z or Ctrl+ Down Arrow = Zoom Tracks Exclusive


Cubase 5 Music Production Tools

Cubase is the most widely-used sequencing program in the world with well over one million registered users. Designed for professionals from the ground up, Cubase converges extraordinary sound quality, intuitive handling and a vast range of highly advanced audio and MIDI tools for composition, recording, editing and mixing.

The first version of Cubase appeared in 1989 for the Atari ST computer although the programmer, Charlie Steinberg who gave his name to the company, had been creating sequencers for the Commodore 64 and Atari since the early 80s.

The release of Cubase in 1993 on the Atari Falcon was a breakthrough in DSP software technology as realtime manipulation of audio was possible without the assistance of additional processor cards, as was the case with the more costly Pro Tools and other similar systems. Cubase also sports a well-designed and fully functional midi and score editor, which seems to come as an afterthought in many sequencers even Pro Tools. If you want to record and tweak the sound with Cubase''s native reverbs, eq and dynamics, all of the tools of the trade are there and much more improved from a graphic user interface standpoint.

Now owned by Yamaha, Steinberg is greatly benefiting from the music giants ownership. After all Yamaha is the largest musical instruments manufacturer in the world.

Designed for professionals from the ground up, Cubase 5 sets a new standard for integrated music production software by combining powerful audio and MIDI recording, synthesis, editing, mixing and effects. The brand new VST3 effect plug-in set and new first-class VST instruments are only the beginning. There are also new VST instruments, including three outstanding new synthesizers (Prologue, Spector and Mystic as well as HALion One sample player with hundreds of new instruments based on Yamaha Motif waveform), and the new Instrument Track class accelerates handling of VST Instruments and combines MIDI and plug-in automation within the same track.

Tailored for composers, musicians and project studios as well as students and educators, Cubase Studio 5 still offers professional music production technology thanks to a high-quality set of essential tools, but at a lower price point than Cubase 5.

Customers who purchase Cubase 5 will find additional advanced features required for the final production phases including surround support, full Control Room functionality and specialised plug-ins and tools for creating a final mixdown.

These music tools will allow you to write tunes in a way that more directly relates to musical notation. But the input may instead be one of the time value reporters included in the Music Tools. Pro Tools MP3 OptionBy including the Pro Tools MP3 Option, the Music Production Toolkit makes it easy to listen to a new mix on a portable device or quickly share it with other band members without having to use a separate application. We all need the proper tools to create music, and by "tools" I don''t mean acertain brand of instrument or amplifier, but rather the music we hear inside.

In Summary Cubase 5 in my opinion at least is the Dewalt Power tool of the production world. Powerful and Reliable.

How to Produce Music with Synthesizers and Virtual Instruments - Cubase 5 and VST Plugins

This is a guide to basic sound synthesis which will help you in creating music with software and virtual instruments like Cubase and Fruity Loops.

The basic sound that you hear in the patches is produced by the oscillators, and is then fed through the synthesizers signal path. If you set oscillation to a very low pitch, you''ll end up with gaps because the wave form is unceasingly dependent on the speed pitch of the note. And so the different sounds are produced by the shape of the waveform, which is the product of oscillation.

Here's the standard wave form.

For a sharp biting type sound, you need the saw wave. Its named as this because its shape is identical to those on a saw blade

To get a soft mild tone then you''ll want the Sine Wave, which''s shaped like a horizontal S; it has a smooth up and down shape to it.

A specified colour of noise will produce noise even though it is not truly a wave-form

To get that sound that simulates a hollow reed you need the square-wave. This''s distinguishable by its near perfect square out-look.

A variance to the square wave is the pulse-wave, although its merely half as wide. It has the interesting ability to have a modulated width. Perhaps you''ve heard this as being related to as the Pulse Width Modulation.

To find a glad medium between the saw wave and sine wave you would need the triangle-wave, which''s the shape of a triangle.

Most often a synthesizer has 2-3 oscillators. Being as that is the case, you can do a couple of fascinating stuff by mixing the waveforms together. Plus you can tune them so they''re different from one another. It can be tuned in semitones, octaves or in cents. A swirling untuned sound is produced by many oscillators which are cents apart from one another. Cents is a hundredth of a semi-tone.

There is an oscillator recognise as a low frequency oscillator. Its frequencies are undetectable unless you physically tune it into a standard hearing range. Its job is to tone the pitch of the oscillator or the filter frequency.

The start and stop of the waveform is quite evident because the LFOs are like the oscillators in that they all the same use regular wave forms. When utilized the right way for instance the sine-wave allows you to hear an increasing or decreasing sound of the wave shape. Animation and moving texture will be the end result for your synthesizer sound if done properly.

You can harness the full power of an actual synth stack using VST plugins and Cubase. Go ahead. Ride volume on multiple tracks simultaneously. Explore sounds and effects with VST plugins. Mute,solo and record tracks with the push of a button. Open and tweak virtual insutrments and effects plugins easily. Music creation can''t get any easier than this.
If you enjoy producing and recording music, get your hands on VSTPlatinum VST plugins pack Discover how to you create music easily and quickly from home with over 1700 virtual instruments and effects These synth instruments and VST plugins work for Cubase 4, 3, SX, LE, Fruity Loops and other major music creation software. Find out more at: http://www.VSTPlatinum.com

Cubase Studio 4 Simplified


CUBASE 5 Heavyweight Audio Workstation

One of the reasons Cubase 5 has become the most used digital audio workstation in the world is because of it's comprehensive skill set one that's second to none.

"This is home studio recording heaven"... (Props Mag)

Cubase 5 has it covered like the tide, top to bottom side to side. It comes packed with tons of tools and ways to help you engineer professional sounding records. Now all home recording studio owners have a chance to compete with the so called giant studios. Thanks to digital technology and companies like Steinberg who help provide a level playing field. As music producers, musicians, and recording engineers it's our duty to support these software developers. Truth is without these guys there would be no home recording studios.

Steinberg doesn't need me as a pitch man. I'm just speaking on behalf of Cubase 5 because i own it, love it and understand the unlimited musical ideals that can be created using it. It's simple logic, if you want to produce a professional record inside your home studio, then you're going to have to power up. You're going to need a true digital audio workstation. One that's compatible with outside audio applications, midi and 64 bit vst platforms. Honestly speaking Cubase 5 does it all and then some. Steinberg continues to put out innovative industry standard products. It's no secret that any recording studio, home or professional can benefit greatly from using Cubase 5. Stay on the lookout for Cubase 5.5 which has new powerhouse features and toys and also comes free for registered Cubase 5 users. "Now we're bumping beats baby"


AVTI - Cubase Vocal Comping and Processing Tutorial

Cubase 5 (Stretching Audio) - Creative Variaudio & Bass Synths

Cubase Offline Processing

Cubase 5 Beatmaking with Groove Agent One and Beat Designer

Mixing Music for Depth in Cubase

Mastering Your Mix 101 (cubase 5)

Mastering Your Mix 101 (by Yep)

Let me start off by saying that Yep is one of the most educated audio/recording engineers in
the world bar none...

(Mastering Your Mix 101)
Don't master your own mixes. If the mix doesn't sound good enough to be called a master, then fix the mix. Mastering engineers are people who specialize in doing what the mix engineer cannot do. They make corrections to compensate for inadequacies in the mixing engineer's listening environment, monitoring setup, hearing ability, and so on.

If you can't afford to send your mixes to a mastering engineer, then there a couple of very basic things you can do on your own to make your CD a little more listener-friendly:

Bounce all the songs to 24-bit stereo clips, making absolutely sure that you have no digital overs on the main outs. Do not include fade ins/fade outs in the mix. Just leave the intro/outro noise and silence in the track. We'll fix those in the mastering stage.

Determine which song is the best-mixed, and which translates best on different sound systems. Friends can be helpful in this regard. Your friends and family may give you skewed advice on the quality of your material (some will say that everything is brilliant, others find fault with anything), but if you ask them which one sounds the best-recorded or most professional, they will probably give you pretty consistent answers. Keep track of which one is the best-mixed, since we will use it later as a reference.

Home mastering Stage 1 Here, we are ONLY concerned about how the songs sound in relation to one another-- ignore everything else:
Load all the tracks in the order you think you want them to appear on the record, and put them in one stereo track of one project in your software, but keep them as separate clips of audio. Space them far enough apart that you will have room to move them back and forth a little. Set the master out of your software low enough so that you have plenty of headroom, maybe like -12~18dB or so-- don't worry about the level just yet, just make sure that you have it quiet enough that you are going to hear the whole thing with no clipping, either at the converters, your amplifier, or the speakers, even if you have turn things up here and there.

Now turn the level of your monitors up to a normal listening volume (RMS level of 83dB SPL is industry-standard, about as loud as city traffic or a noisy restaurant). Play them all back and listen, focusing on the transitions between songs, and A/Bing each song against the "best mix" frequently. We are going to make some very basic adjustments to try and get them all to sound good in comparison with each other. When in doubt, use the above-selected "best mix" as a reference. The other songs should compare favorably in an A/B test with that one. Do NOT, at this stage, compare any individual song with a commercially-mastered CD. We'll get to that later.

Overall Volume:
If a ballad seems louder than a rocker, then turn down the ballad or turn up the rocker 'till they seem proportionate. Use clip envelopes for this. Use your "best mix" as a reference, turning the other songs up or down so that they seem proportionate to the best mix and also to the songs before and after one another. Don't sweat the levels or digital overs or anything like that just yet, just get all the tracks so they seem to have the correct proportional loudness, as though they were being played in order by an actual band. And use the best mix as your reference point. Don't change it's volume, change the volume of the other songs to suit it. And go by ear, not by your meters.

Instrument levels:
If the vocal sounds suddenly huge and dominating on one track compared with the best mix, then go back to the mix and lower the vocal track by a few dB until it sounds proportional. If the kick drum seems to disappear, go back to the mix and raise it a couple dB. Make sure to save these "remixes" as separate projects from the original mix (something like: "Minimum Rage-vocals down 3dB"), unless you're positive that you're making changes that you will always want to keep, even when you can afford a million-dollar mastering engineer.

Frequency balance:
Does one song appear to be really bottom-heavy, or another seems tinny, or maybe to have too much presence and not enough highs and lows compared with your best mix? If so, then you should probably remix it. If you are ABSOLUTELY positive that the mix is good, but that it just happens to be a little bottom-heavy or whatever, then you are allowed to use a tiny bit of corrective equalization to balance it out with the rest of the album. Use the best equalizer you own. You are only allowed to use the low cut/boost and high cut/boost filters, and no more than 3dB of either one, with a gradual Q (let's say 1 or lower). Any more than that, and you have to remix. Sorry, those are the rules. You are permitted to use ONE AND ONLY one cut or boost of up to 6dB per album, but your overall score drops one letter grade if you use it.

Spaces in between songs/tuck-and-tail:
Drag the song clips back and forth until the songs are spaced in a way that is pleasing and exciting. Some songs will lead naturally into the next, others will want a period of silence so that there is a real dramatic impact when the song kicks in, and so on. When in doubt, have the song begin on the downbeat of the next "invisible" measure after the last song. Inserting markers can be useful for this. In Sonar, you can hit F11 during playback to insert a marker in real time. Listen to the tail end of song 3, and hit F11 when you think song 4 should start. then drag song 4 to that spot. Concurrently with this, you should be adjusting the fade ins/fade outs of your songs to suit the tempo and feel of the song, but also the tempo and feel of the album. Unless one song feeds right into another (as in a crossfade or a live set with audience noise or whatever), almost every song should start and end with a fade. It might be a very fast fade, but a fade will prevent clips, pops, or jarring transitions in ambient sound from one track to the next. As a rule of thumb, fade outs usually start slow and then speed up, and fade ins are just the opposite.

Song order:
Listen to your songs in order and second-guess yourself. Listen especially for jarring or unbecoming transitions between songs. You definitely want to have your very best song at or near the beginning of the album if you want anyone to bother listening to the rest of it. (again-family and friends might not tell you how good you really are, but they will usually give pretty consistent responses if you ask them which songs are better/worse than others). The album, regardless of genre, should usually start with the catchiest, most accessible song, the one that's easiest to get into. An exception might be if there is one outright pop song on an album of music that is not otherwise a "pop" record-- as much as you want people to listen past the first few seconds, you also don't want to piss off or alienate the people who might become your biggest fans. It's also not a bad a idea to put a song at the end that everyone seems to like-- makes people want to hit repeat. For the stuff in-between, try and set up the song order as though it were "sets" in a live show.

So now you’ve got all your songs in order, they sound good in order, they sound good together on shuffle, they are balanced and proportionate, and everything is happy and hunky-dory at 83dB SPL. Time to do the technical stuff.

Home Mastering Stage 2- adjusting overall level. From here on, you are ONLY allowed to make changes to THE WHOLE ALBUM, not to individual tracks. You may only adjust individual tracks in relation to EACH OTHER. If you need to change a song, you go back to stage 1 and start over. Got it? Good.

Overall level:
Now that the individual songs are set in levels that are proportionate to each other, play the whole album through and watch the meters. Figure out which song has the loudest average RMS level. (you can also use some kind of analyzer tool for this). It may be that there is a particularly loud section of an otherwise quieter song that you need to go by. You want to basically figure out where the “loudest part” of the album is. This will always be somewhat subjective. Make sure that you are going by RMS level, and NOT peak level. While you’re at it, identify the quietest song on the album, RMS-wise.

Once you have identified the loudest overall section (by RMS), turn up the WHOLE ALBUM so that THAT SONG is PEAKING at about -0.3 dB. Don’t worry about the levels of anything else just yet, just adjust the volume of the whole project so that the loudest song, RMS-wise, is coming in just under a digital over, PEAK-wise. For the moment, we ONLY care about the LOUDEST part of the album, RMS-wise. Make sense? This is important.

Now check the album, all the way through, and watch for digital overs. If everything was well-mixed with controlled, natural, balanced dynamics throughout, then there will be no clipping on the whole album. If so, great, you did awesome, move on to the next step, “Stage 3-playing with others.”

Probably, though, there will be one or two digital overs, here and there. Maybe one of the quieter songs has a loud snare, or maybe there is a section where the electric bass is turned up for a solo and pins the meter. Don’t sweat it, yet.

What you want to pay attention to is 1. How LONG the digital overs are, and 2. What the average RMS volume is of the quietest song and the loudest song.

WARNING: We are about to something that can be very dangerous to the quality of your audio. It is something that, overused, can seem to the untrained ear like an instant, across-the-board improvement in sound quality, but that is a psycho-acoustical illusion. We are about to apply limiting. A limiter limits the peak volume of the program material (aka the song). This allows us to turn up the average (RMS) volume before clipping. Program material with a louder RMS volume, in the short term, almost always sounds better than quieter stuff. But if the only reason it is louder is because the dynamic range has been unnaturally limited, then it quickly becomes fatiguing and headache-inducing to listen to. THE INSTANT YOU APPLY SEVERE LIMITING WITH MAKEUP GAIN, THE SOUND QUALITY WILL SEEM TO IMPROVE. BUT THAT IS ONLY BECAUSE IT IS LOUDER. AFTER MINUTES, THE SOUND BECOMES GRATING AND TURN-OFF-ISH, BECAUSE THE DYNAMICS ARE UNNATURAL AND HARSH. Your audience probably has a volume knob. Let them use it for what it was intended for. Do not use limiting to make your material seem louder than it is.

Ideally, in this method, you want to end up with the average level of the quietest song coming in not much lower than -20dB RMS. You are absolutely forbidden to make any corrections that make your loudest song louder than -12dB, RMS. If the quietest section of the quietest song averages -24 RMS, and the loudest section of the loudest song averages -14 RMS, and the peaks are coming in at -0.3 with only near-instantaneous limiting, then you probably have an excellent, well-balanced, dynamic mix. If any song has less than 12dB dynamic range between the average and peak levels, then it is probably going to give your audience a headache if they listen to it at normal volume.

This requires careful judgment on your part. A limiter is the audio equivalent of a loaded gun. It is what makes the world safe, and also what makes it dangerous. It is what makes most home-mastered records sound like dog excrement. But it is often a necessary evil if you have a record that sounds great, but has one snare hit that is 6dB louder than everything else.

Remember above when I said you want to keep track of how long the overs are? You are only allowed to use the limiter only on overs that are less than 2ms long, and that long only in extreme circumstances. The ideal scenario is that your overs are only occasional instantaneous transients lasting just a sample or two (in which case, my advice is to just leave the clipping in there-- that’s right, skip the limiter and let it clip for one or two samples). If you can bring your level up further and have only two- or three-sample clipping on occasion, then go a ahead and do it. Use the limiter if you want, but 99.9% of A/D converters in the world will gloss over digital clipping of only a couple samples, and almost none of them will reproduce the dynamic range differences of a one-sample sound, never mind the speakers or the amp.

What you want is to achieve the loudest level you can get without artificially squishing the dynamics. What happens if there are short portions that clip for audible periods, such as a loud bass note in one song? Here and only here, you are allowed to use bandwidth-limited compression. Set up the compressor with a really fast attack and a ratio of 2:1, maybe 3:1 in extreme cases. Set the threshold to about -2dB, maybe -4 if the clipping is bad. Set a fast-ish release time with a narrow bandwidth of maybe 1/3 octave or less. Loop the clipped section and play with the frequency until the peak level is lowest. Then narrow the frequency as much as you can and play with the release time to make the compressor sound most transparent. Bring up the ratio until just before clipping, about -.03dB. Set up automation so the compressor only kicks in on that note.
What if, on the other hand, there are lengthy portions that clip repeatedly? You have to remix. Sorry, rules are rules.

Again, do yourself a favor and keep your dynamics control to the absolute minimum required to get the loud sections loud. You can limit as many 3-sample overs as you want, but you are only allowed two instances of limiting for more than 1ms per song, and none for more than 3ms. Bandwidth-limited compression is permitted ONLY for individual notes at this stage.

Home Mastering Stage 3- playing with others.

In this stage, we will compare our master against commercially-mastered CDs to make sure we’re not kidding ourselves. Again, in this stage, you are not permitted to correct individual songs. The reasoning will be explained later. Any changes that you make have to be made to the WHOLE ALBUM.

Now that your album sounds well-balanced and well-put-together and is up to a reasonable listening level with a few well-controlled overs, it is time to pick a CD, any CD-- well, not just any one. Pick one that is similar to the style of music that you are doing, and that “sounds” the way you want yours to sound. Pick two, if you want. In fact, it is even better to pick two or more that have a similar vibe and dynamic to what you want yours to have, and it’s not a bad a idea to pick a third that you think most of your target audience will be listening to. Rip those Cds to stereo .wav files and add them to your project as tracks two and three and whatever.

Now, before you hit play, remember what we said about the loudness effect back in step two. U2 and Guns N’ Roses and Nelly and Madonna all have major advantages that you don’t have, and their mixing and mastering engineers have likely squeezed out a few extra decibels more than you will be able to without compromising audio quality. Like an amateur playing against professional golfer, you deserve a handicap. Not only is this fair, but having the handicap will probably improve your level of play by increasing your comfort level. So drop all those “pro” Cds by 6dB before you compare them to your own. I personally guarantee, nobody will ever not buy your record because they had to turn up their stereo by 6dB to hear it.

Now play back the “reference” material and compare it to your own. Does yours sound well-balanced? Do the loud songs sound loud, and the delicate ones delicate? Is the bass powerful and clear? Are the highs articulate and smooth? Is the midrange (most important) clean and well-defined? Are the vocals clear and present? Are the drums impactful and appropriate to the mix?

If you want, at this stage, you can make additional broadband, low-level eq corrections, using broad, shallow, low-Q cuts/boosts. Here, you are allowed to use filters of up to +/-6db, but only ones that cover at least two octaves. You can make small (up to 3dB), subtle corrections to the limiter or compression settings that you applied above, but only to correct transient overs, not to squash the performance dynamics. If particular songs need work, then you MUST fix them in the mix, or in the stage 1 processing (comparing them to other songs in the album, not to outside masters).

End notes:

The reasoning behind all the rules I have laid out is to protect you from doing more harm than good. As I said at the beginning, the primary job of the mastering engineer is to fix the stuff that mixing engineer cannot control. There is no such thing as a good mixing environment that is also a good mastering environment. 9 times out of ten, the final mixes sound better than home-mastered stuff does. The listener may have to adjust their volume knob or tone controls more often, but who cares? If you had to ask about mastering, then I guarantee that your room and/or equipment and/or ears are not up to the task.

I am not trying to insult you (the same is true for me), I am merely trying to point out that, if your room has a -10dB cancellation at 200Hz (and a 10dB cancellation is not at all uncommon, even in pro studios with the best gear), then you will probably compensate for that at the recording stage, at the mixing stage, and at the mastering stage, making things progressively worse at every stage for any listener who is not sitting in your room with his head between your speakers. In reality, you probably have much worse problems than a single 10dB room cancellation at one frequency, and to be honest, your gear and your ability are probably first on the list. Mixing is a mostly aesthetic challenge-- you hear the music, you mix it to get the right sound. But mastering is a more technical, more refined art. The job of the mix engineer is to make it sound great RIGHT NOW. The job of the mastering engineer is to make it sound the way it sounded to the mix engineer EVERYWHERE AND ALL THE TIME. This is the difference between photography and a photo-processing lab.

You will hear people tell you to master every song to a certain level, or to use this effect or that effect for best results. This type of one-size-fits-all approach is wrong.

The best thing you can do is to mix all your songs to sound as best you can, and then limit your “home mastering” to making them balance out with each other and sound good compared with commercial CDs. Commercial Mastering can be surprisingly inexpensive, and it will usually yeild much better results.

How to use FL Studio in Cubase 5 (tutorial - vst instrument multiple out...

Vocal Tips For recording vocals in cubase

Vocal Tips For recording vocals in cubase

Vocals are often the most important element of a song, but for a producer the vocal track is also the most problematic.

Vocal Processing Tips
With a vocal track its important to get the best possible performance, using the best possible microphone and preamp. This is a whole other topic, so for now I’ll just assume we already have a recorded vocal take to work with, flaws and all.

The first stage in processing is to remove any unwanted noise/frequencies. This can be done with a noise gate, de-esser, filtering and/or EQ.

Vocal Tip 1 – Filter/EQ
Generally speaking, a vocal will have little or no information below 100 Hz (see this frequency chart for details), so a high-pass filter to cut out this range is probably a good idea. You can even raise the threshold further if you’re dealing with a female vocalist. Most DAWs have their own native EQs so you should be able to do this rather easily.

Vocal Tip 2 – Noise Gate
A noise gate cuts out the spaces where the vocalist isn’t singing, and acts in a similar fashion to a compressor. You’ll need to set up the attack and release times so that the effect works
well with the timing of the singer.

Vocal Tip 3 – De-Esser
A de-esser is usually required to take out those intrusive plosives and ‘ess’ sounds, although you might get by without one if the singer knows how to work the microphone (don’t forget to use a pop shield).

Vocal Tip 4 – Compressor
Now that most of the bad stuff has been cleaned up, it’s time to look at controlling the dynamics of the recording. As usual, compressors are the order of the day – sticking with the excellent Digital Fish Phones freebies, we can use cubase's vintage compressor to even out the levels in the performance, creating a smooth vocal that doesn’t have any annoying dips or spikes in volume.

Vocal Tip 5 – Reverb
At this stage, we can consider applying some reverb. Tread with caution here, as it’s easy to overdo – reverb should be barely audible, just enough to blend and pad the vocal slightly.

Vocal Tip 6 – Adding Depth
If you need some extra processing beyond the basics outlined above, then you might want to consider cubase's stereo image plugin for some tape saturation, Cubase studio Chorus for a taste of chorus fattening, or the Limiter for bringing up the levels a bit more.


Signs of a Quality Mastered Mix (Cubase)

Signs of a Quality Mastered Mix (Cubase)

These are some of the characteristics that I think are pretty true of different types of recordings, for those who are still wondering what all this mastering stuff is really about:

Good final mix, not mastered:

- sounds quieter than commercial recordings.
- songs sound different from one track to the next. The listener frequently adjusts tone and/or volume controls on the playback system to compensate.
- recordings sound noticably different on different playback systems.
- compared with commercial recordings, highs seem to lack "sparkle" and "shimmer." lows sound sometimes dull, weak, or boomy.
- dynamic response may be uneven from one song to the next, or within songs.
- Overall sound of individual tracks is generally good.

Good final mix, well mastered:

- Frequency spread and level is comparable to commercial recordings.
- All songs have a consistent, high-quality "sound" that translates well regardless of playback system or listener's preferences vis-a-vis tone/eq controls.
- highs, mids, and lows are tight, clear, and smooth.
- Dynamic response is natural and musical. Pads are clean and lush, drums are punchy, instrument balance sounds natural.
- Frequency spread is balanced and clear. The "sound" is transparent, it doesn't distract from the musical content. "Depth" and "airiness" sound natural and smooth.

Good final mix, poorly mastered:

- Frequency spread is uneven and distracting. Highs may be sibilant and grating, especially at high volume. Lows may be thumpy or excessively boomy. Mids are noticably lacking.
- Dynamic response is unnatural and over-compressed.
- Sound is generally consistent from one system to the next, and from one track to the next. Listener adjustment of tone controls does not alter the "sound" of the recording.
- Overall, sounds generally more "pro" than the raw mix, but slightly sterile, and possibly unpleasant after extended listening.
- Sound may be gritty or overly "digital."
- Cymbals have a white-noise sound to them. Electric guitars may sound fizzy and harsh. Bass instruments do not seem well "seated" in the track. Drum sounds are weak, boomy, mushy, or inconsistent.

Between the rough mix and the bad master, I'll take the mix every time. Have fun.


Cubase 5 Nudge Tool

Cubase 5 Nudge Tool

If you want to move a track a few milliseconds in any direction, use the nudge tool (+/-) located on the transport panel. First make sure you have snap turned off by pressing the "j" key. Now you should be able to move the tracks freely.Next you need to zoom in on the track for more accuracy, you can do this by pressing the "H" key several times, if you want to zoom out press the "G" key.


Cubase Quick Start Guide to Using Effects

Using Cubase Send Effects

cubase send effects

Reverbs and delays are basically always used as send effects, as this allows you to channel different amounts of different channels to the same effect, while having one fader available to control the entire level of the effect. Compared among using multiple reverbs as record effects, this conserves CPU power and makes it easy to place multiple sources in the same acoustic space. Just remember the send effects should be set to 100 percent wet. To set up a send effect in Cubase, insert a plug-in on an FX or Group Channel —preferably an FX Channel.

Cubase contains plenty of choices for delay, but sometimes it pays to keep things simple and use MonoDelay or StereoDelay.In general, I find that it aides to think of your stereo mix as a three-dimensional space, consisting of a left-to-right stereo field, which you can control though panning, a 'vertical' frequency spectrum, which you can control via EQ (and by writing suitable characteristics for suitable instruments!), and front-to-back depth, which is built mainly with reverb- and delay-based effects (often combined with a bit of EQ).

A useful starting point for a mix (which is worth creating as a Project template in Cubase) is to set up somewhere between three and six FX Channels, for a different delay and/or reverb. For example, I created a template that includes six send effects channels. These include a very brief reverb provided for mainly the first part of reflections or 'ambience', a mid-length reverb and a longer reverb, and a parallel configuration for delays — one very short, with little or no feedback, one more noticeable, maybe with a touch of feedback, and another rather longer one, amidst feedback that I'll change based on information from song to song as required.

I might choose to use some further, 'special' reverbs and delays later, but this is often my basic starting point. I can use these kinds of FX Channels to place sounds at multiple points on the front-to-back axis, by sending varying amounts of the different channels to them. If you haven't tried this approach before, give it a go — it can be really effective and can save you a lot of clock ticking work.

When you use the sends to route a signal to an FX Channel, it defaults to sending the signal post-fader — that is to say, it's only the sound source as it sounds following EQ, insert effects and the volume fader that goes to the effects. But you can opt to send the signal before any of the processing or volume settings, which means that you get the unprocessed signal going to the FX Channel. To do this, you just click the pre-fader button.


Using Cubase Compressor to Create Pumping effect

How to use Cubase's compressor to get that pumping effect

First find your song's (BPM) beats per minute, then calculate your attack
and release times.

Heres one way you can use a compressor to artificially pump an 1/8th note bass line on every quarter note. First set the attack to a 1/16th note and the release to a 1/4note-1/16th note. For a BPM of 95 in this case set the attack to 158 ms and release to 632-158 = 474 ms. This should let the 1st transient through (approx 1/16th note in length) then clamp down on the rest of the 1st eighth note and the 2nd eighth note and then be fully released by the time the 3rd note starts. Basically what you get is the 1st half of every other 8th note goes through untouched thus creating a pumping effect. This is a great way to add ear trickery and take your mix to a whole new level.

Cubase 4 Tutorial: Editing Audio (Part 2 of 2)

Cubase 4 Tutorial: Editing Audio (Part 1of 2)


Cubase 5 Ducking Vocals Using the Side Chain Effect

Cubase 5 Ducking Vocals Using the Side Chain Effect

Vocals are often the most important element in a song, and their place in the mix should reflect that. Compression and limiting of the vocal track can help make that easier to achieve,
but another trick is to slightly drop the levels of other mix elements when the vocal is present, and raise them again when the vocal drops out. Good candidates here are rhythm guitar
and keyboard parts.
The volume changes can of course be achieved via volume automation, but the recent addition of side-chain facilities to some Cubase 4 plug-ins means you can also do
this via ducking, without having to draw all that automation data in. Inserting a compressor in the track to be ducked, activating its side-chain input and specifying the lead vocal track
as the source for the side-chain input will allow the compressor to gently squeeze the level of the instrumental track whenever the vocal is present. Even a drop of 1 or 2dB in some instrumental
backing elements in this way can help give the vocal a little more space to work in the overall mix.


Cubase Panning Control

Cubase Panning Control

When it comes to audio channels, the pan control is, in theory, pretty simple: if it's set to centre, an equal amount of the sound comes out of both speakers to give the illusion the sound is centered, while if the pan control is set to hard left or right, the sound only comes out of either the left or right speaker. By default the pan control for audio-based channels is set to centre, and for MIDI Channels it's set to 'off', meaning that no MIDI pan information is sent.

Cubase SX 3 and up offers additional flexibility for configuring the behaviour of the Mixer's VU meters via the VU Meter Settings sub-menu, available based on data from a pop-up menu if you right-click on the Mixer window.

Sounds straightforward. However, the pan control isn't that novice since without some form of compensation it's possible for sounds to sound unnaturally louder when they're panned centrally — there is output from two speakers, compared to when a sound is panned hard left or right, when there's only output from one. The solution, is to attenuate the signal as it passes through the center. This behaviour is known as pan law in recording.

You can adjust the amount of attenuation with the Pan Law Mode setting in the Project Setup window (press Shift+S to open). Cubase offers 3 choices.

0dB suggests there may be no attenuation in the center. As explained above, this can cause an unnatural stereo image, making sounds usually panned center (such as bass and bass-drum sounds) appear louder than they really are.

—6dB is, in theory, more natural sounding, but can be unsatisfactory for people who need tons of punch in instruments panned centrally (such as a bass line), so it's best to use this setting for stereo music where mono compatibility is important, as when producing audio for TV or other broadcast work.

—3dB is a compromise between the two settings, and Steinberg recommend its use for the majority of stereo music.

The default pan control in Cubase, where you can pan a sound from left to right in the stereo field, is known as the Stereo Balance Panner, while in the case of stereo audio tracks, if you right-click on a pan control you'll notice quickly Cubase provides a choice of two additional types of pan control for each channel. The Stereo Dual Panner gives you two Balance panners in the space of one, so now you can control the panning for each side of a stereo signal separately. The Stereo Combined Panner puts both left and right controls in the same field, with a filled blue area between them to show the width of the field. The left and right controls are linked by default, but you can move them independently by Alt/Option-dragging. The filled area between the two sides become red if left and right channels are reversed.


Basic Compressor Controls

INPUT........To set the level going in.
THRESHOLD........This sets how high the signal must go before the compressor kicks in.
RATIO.......This sets how much compression is applied in ratio to the Db rise in signal level above the Threshold.
ATTACK.......This sets how fast the compressor kicks in once the Threshold has been breached.
DECAY........This sets how fast the compressor lets go, once the input signal has dropped back below the threshold.
LINK ......Links the two sides for stereo operation.
OUTPUT......Sets the output signal level.


This form of compression kicks in as soon as the threshold ceiling is reached.

Let's say you have set a RATIO of 4:1......Once the threshold is passed, the compressor allows only 1db of signal level increase at the output,
for every 4 db in input signal level rise above the threshold setting......

On a Hard Knee compressor, this full amount of compression (as set by the Ratio) is applied in full, as soon as the input level rises above
the threshold.....This is a standard type of compressor.


Some compressors, such as the Alesis 3630, allow you to switch between PEAK...and RMS operation. Practically, a compressor listens to the input signal
through the "SIDE-CHAIN" circuit, and then tells the VCA (voltage control amplifier) to apply compression when needed according to the adjusted setting.
The compressor will respond differently depending on whether it is monitoring the input signal in either Peak mode or RMS mode...

The PEAK setting makes the compressor crush any signal rising above the threshold, no matter how fast the transient.....This is an ideal mode to use
for something like digital recording, where you need to absolutely stop any signals from overloading the input, because digital cannot be "saturated"
in the way tape can, and you get terrible digital distortion......Peak compression however is not very smooth or natural sounding, & can produce very
un-natural noticeable results unless you use a low compression ratio .....However, it can work well on fast attacking sounds like drums, working fast
to maintain a more even level for each drum hit.

The RMS mode setting is a more natural sounding mode, and responds similarly to the human ear...(Oh yes...human ears do have compression !!).......
RMS mode doesn't bother too much about quick short peaks that might cut through above the average signal level....even if you set a fast attack time..
RMS mode works on a wider average than PEAK mode, thus allowing some fast transients through, but closing down more when continuous loud peaks start to appear.

Using Automation in Cubase

Cubase Automation

When you are working using a mixer, such as the one constructed into Cubase, there will come a time when you find yourself moving the mixer controls. Cubase gives you the ability to record and play back the movements of various mixer parameters, which we refer to as automation.

The novice operation of working with automation in Cubase is quite straightforward. For example, say you have an audio track and you want to automate the volume fader. To do this, just click the track's [W] Write Enable button, hit play, move the fader to taste, and then push stop. Once a track's Write Enable button is active, any parameters that can be automated on that track will be 'armed' for automation so that when the transport is active (which is to say you either pressed play or record), any adjustments to armed parameters will be stored at the appropriate time location.

Cubase represents mixer channels that do not play back Audio Events as Automation tracks on the Project window's Track List, and automatically organises them to folders by path type.
Once you've written automation info to a track, it's a good underlying thought to deactivate the Write Enable button to hold off any accidents, and then, for the automation info to play back, you need to make sure the track's [R] Read Enable button is activated. You can toggle the Read and Write Enable buttons for all tracks simultaneously by clicking the 'All Automation to Write/Read Status' buttons at the very top of the track List (labeled [W] and [R]).

So once a track is armed for automation, parameters are actually recorded? In the case of audio-based tracks, you can automate Volume, Pan and Mute, the built-in EQ parameters, and Level and Enable parameters for each send. Any parameters for insert plug-ins you're using on the track that is being enabled to write automation are also included. You'll realize that plug-in windows also include Read and Write Enable automation buttons, and these can be used independently of the track or channel on which the plug-in is used. For example, if you have an insert plug-in on an audio track and enable the track's Write Enable button, the plug-in's Write Enable button will also become active. However, the reverse isn't true, so enabling a plug-in's Write Enable button doesn't activate automation for all the parameters on the appropriate track.

As an aside, it's major that in the current version of Cubase, when a track's Write Enable button is active, the movements of all automatable parameters are recorded.