Advantages to using the mixer?

General discussions on songwriting, mixing, music business and other music related topics.
Lenny Lee
Member
Posts: 602
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:56 am
Contact:

Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by Lenny Lee »

Hi,
I just upgraded to C7, and the new mixer looks real nice and it looks like with some time invested there are some cool new features, but for me, I'm not sure if it fits into my workflow.

I tend to mix as I go, and it makes sense to me to mix in the arrange window. that's where the automation sub tracks are, and I'm only ever focusing on one instrument at a time when mixing. I make lots of moves on the subtracks, both with volume and with effects, and when in the arrange window it's quicker to jump around to different parts of the song. If there's a track where I'm not using automation, the mixer/fader for the selected track is on the left side of the screen anyway, as is the edit button to call up inserts and sends.

Does anyone else work this way? Can anyone explain what advantages I'd get by utilizing the mixer more?
aka FastnLoose

Lenny Lee at Bandcamp

Box o' Chocolates at CDBaby

User avatar
swamptone
Member
Posts: 766
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:19 pm
Location: Upstate New York
Contact:

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by swamptone »

Howdy Lenny,

Like you, I mostly work in the arrange window. That's where I insert effects, handle routing, edit audio and midi, work up the automation tracks, and do rough mixes.

I rarely use stock-onboard EQ or FX, preferring UAD-2 plugs.

But when it comes to the final mix, I usually open up Mixer 3, fully expanded. That's where I do the fine tuning of the mix, tweak insert FX, and handle inserts on the Stereo Buss out. I have a dual-monitor setup, with the mixer on one monitor and the plugs on the other for final mix down.

0.02
formerly known as prism

User avatar
foolomon
Senior Member
Posts: 1695
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by foolomon »

Stupid question, but is Mixer 3 different than 1 or 2? I usually put the input bus, all audio and MIDI tracks on Mixer 1 and all Group, FX, and the output bus on Mixer 2. (I also have a dual monitor setup.)
_________________

"Just call me Larry."

Lenovo T450 laptop (Windows 7 64-bit + 16GB RAM + 500GB SSD)
AMD-Phenom II based system (Windows 7 64-bit + 8GB DDR3 RAM)
Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 interface

Other hardware: Too much to mention here
Software: Cubase 8.5 Pro; Komplete 9; Melodyne Editor; FabFilter Pro Suite; various VSTs from Blue Cat Audio, Native Instruments (beyond what's in Komplete), Slate, Softube, Sound Toys and Variety of Sound

Stop by and visit!

Woodcrest Studio

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by Woodcrest Studio »

For me, it is stages. Record and edit in the arrange. Plugins, routings in the mixer. Then the monitor view goes to desktop then I mix with my 24 faders on my mackie setup. I will return to the mixer and arrange in cubase for certain things like plugin or vsti riding. If the new mixer views cascaded to midi mixers (hiding channels) like in v6, it would be great. I don't think I ever actually mixed in the arrange window. Just fine tuning automation.

johngar
Member
Posts: 564
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:46 pm
Contact:

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by johngar »

I generally don't use the mixer all that much until after the creative aspects are done. For all sound generation, sound design, music composing, 90% of inserts and general volume settings are all done from the arrange page.
Once everything seems good, I will focus on the mixer for final processing and automation.
I also have a dual monitor setup, with the mixer always open on the right, but while creating it is usually filled with plugin windows. After that, close them all and mix.
PC | Nuendo 10 | i7-4930k | Win10 | 32gb ram | Intensity Pro | Radeon HD7700 | RME9632 | Euphonix MC Control -Mix - Transport | Generic

artifactdetroit.com

User avatar
curteye
External Moderator
Posts: 4754
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:03 am
Contact:

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by curteye »

Woodcrest Studio wrote:For me, it is stages.
+1 Same here.
{'-'}
If yer gear ain't breakin down, you aint workin' much.

iMac 5K 4.2Gz 16GB
MBP 3.0Gz......16GB

Location:
On the side of a volcano in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

User avatar
swamptone
Member
Posts: 766
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:19 pm
Location: Upstate New York
Contact:

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by swamptone »

foolomon wrote:Stupid question, but is Mixer 3 different than 1 or 2? I usually put the input bus, all audio and MIDI tracks on Mixer 1 and all Group, FX, and the output bus on Mixer 2. (I also have a dual monitor setup.)
All three mixers are the same, it's just a matter of how you set them up for your preferred workflow. Very flexible.

My Mixer 3 has everything in it.
formerly known as prism

User avatar
NorthWood MediaWorks
Senior Member
Posts: 2339
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:51 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by NorthWood MediaWorks »

Whilst perhaps not the most efficient, I flip back and forth between the arranger and the mixer, just to get rough mix/insert stuff the way I want it. Input is usually in its own mixer if I am working outside the box much (for my own stuff is largely instrumental, and virtual).

But, when it comes to final mix, its all in the mixer(s)... sometimes I will put FX returns in their own mixer. Automation is usally the last thing I do, so little tweaks will send me back to the Arranger page.

I am just getting my head around the "scene" function in the C7 mixer, I like it. 8-)
Robin
Visit Northwood Mediaworks!
| Cubase Pro 8.5.20 | Wavelab 8.0.3e | HSO | Padshop Pro | Win10pro 64 | i7 16Gb | UR44 | Angry Wife |
| OSX 10.12.6 | MacBookPro Retina 15 | Loads of Other Stuff |

User avatar
Split
Grand Senior Member
Posts: 5286
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:06 pm
Contact:

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by Split »

Steve Fogal wrote:Up at all times ...

Left monitor #1
http://www.cem.brighton.ac.uk/staff/alb ... rrange.jpg

Right monitor #2
http://www.doepfer.de/controller/cubase ... Mixer1.jpg
A total blast from the past :P
??????Split
Cubase 10|MOTU 16A
Still at it... just!

Lenny Lee
Member
Posts: 602
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:56 am
Contact:

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by Lenny Lee »

Thanks for your replies.

I guess I must be missing something, then. Since I mix/automate as I go, and the automation subtracks certainly seem like the most elegant way to to automate (as opposed to riding the faders in realtime with the 'write' button on), if I then go to the mixer near the end of the mixing process, I'm unable to
move the volume faders there because I've got the 'R' read automation button activated.

If I'm unable to make volume adjustments in the mixer (since most of my tracks are automated in the arrange window)
then the only thing I can do in the mixer is tweak my inserts/sends, which I can just as quickly and easily do in the arrange window, (plus, once I've tweaked inserts, etc, usually an adjustment to the volume automation is necessary) why work in the mixer?

I guess what I'm saying is - you guys have told me what -you- do, but haven't answered the original question.
Why do you do it that way - and what advantage would I gain by doing it that way, rather than what I'm doing now?

Thanks.
aka FastnLoose

Lenny Lee at Bandcamp

Box o' Chocolates at CDBaby

Early21
Senior Member
Posts: 1974
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:29 pm
Contact:

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by Early21 »

Can't suggest much here, because I do the same as you... as soon as you use the automation lanes, that's it for the mixer. I can't imagine not using them for volume, but also effect send levels, etc. But I don't have C7 yet.
Cubase 8.0 Pro, Wavelab 6 Essential, Lenovo Legion Y520 Laptop/Win10, Steinberg UR212, Izotope Ozone, Izotope RX6, NI Komplete
My album Incontinental Breakfast at http://lborden.bandcamp.com. Works in process: https://soundcloud.com/incontinentals.

User avatar
Sherz
Senior Member
Posts: 1455
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:59 pm
Location: New Zealand
Contact:

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by Sherz »

Lenny Lee wrote: Why do you do it that way - and what advantage would I gain by doing it that way, rather than what I'm doing now?
Good question. My work style is similar to yours. I occasionally make a quick fader/EQ/FX automation adjustment in the mixer itself but I never really mix with the mixer itself! ironic I guess given its called a 'mixer'. :)

AND on a related topic, I never really got into external controllers either. I had one for a while but I just couldn't make it useful or see how it could enhance my workflow in anyway. My hand was already on my mouse so it always seemed much easier to keep it there and make necessary adjustments/selections etc onscreen rather than take my hand off to tweak some knob or fader on my controller. What I'd be really interested in is watching someone else work... doing a mix with the mixer, and in particular, mixing with an external controller. I just don't know how it can be done without your hand constantly moving between mouse and controller?

8-)
| Cubase 10.0.5 Pro (64bit) | Windows 10 | M-Audio Fastrack C600 | 3.4Ghz Intel i5 | 8Gb |
--- M Y M U S I C ---

twilightsong
Senior Member
Posts: 1888
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:08 pm
Contact:

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by twilightsong »

I had a Mackie controller for awhile, it was really just a glorified scrubwheel for me

I don't have C7 yet. But it never occurred to me to mix in the Arrange/Project Window. I did know that some of you did it this way, including Jet, I believe. To be honest, I don't know ho to do it that way.

But I use the mixer because of years of being used to using a mixer to, um, mix. Having said that, one thing I always hated about Cubase is that the mixer by default doesn't look like a typical mixer, with FX Sends EQ knobs displayed (and tweakable from a controller). From what I gather, the new C7 mixer IS configured in this way? Recently, I bought the Harrison MixBus and mixed a song for which I had rendered all the tracks, and it was cool, but kinda buggy
"There is no avant-garde; only some people a bit behind." -- Edgar Varese
-----------------------------------------------------------
Cubase 5.5.2/ Win 7 64-bit/ Quad 9550/ UAD-2/ Wavelab 4/ more sample libraries than I can remember

Geppastro
Member
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Italy
Contact:

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by Geppastro »

I agree with the OP: I think the usefulness of the mixer, in general, is quite overrated.
Maybe this comes from habits by old-school people that got used to work on analog gear (and maybe by their "pupils" too...).
For me, the mixer is just an "overview" of what goes on in the Project View. Think of a two-dimensions analogy: the mixer will be the Y-axis, while the Project View is the X-axis. I also have it permanently opened on the second (at the right side) monitor though.
I'm quite disapponted by the amount of development resources committed by Steinberg for the new mixer, i.e. something for me totally useless (IMHO of course).

I think I won't buy C7, I'll wait for C8, hoping for something more useful for my own needs.

Paolo
Paolo (Cubase user since 1995 -> Cubase Audio on Atari Falcon)
Hardware (desktop): i7-880 3.06 Ghz ; 16 Gig RAM ; Asus P7H55-M/USB3 ; Echo Gina 24 PCI sound card ; ESI M8U XL 8x8 midi interface ; Steinberg CMC-TP.
Software (desktop): : Windows 10 Enterprise (64 bit) / Cubase Pro 10.5 v10.5.20 (64 bit) / WaveLab Pro 9.5 v9.5.50 (64 bit) / HALion 6 v6.1.0 (64 bit) / HALion Symphonic Orchestra / Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D.
Software (laptop Sony VAIO i5-4200U 2.29 Ghz ; 8 Gig RAM): Windows 10 Home (64 bit) / Cubase Elements 9.5 v9.5.50 (64 bit).

User avatar
swamptone
Member
Posts: 766
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:19 pm
Location: Upstate New York
Contact:

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by swamptone »

I tend to use the mixer for those channels/tracks that are not automated.
formerly known as prism

Lenny Lee
Member
Posts: 602
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:56 am
Contact:

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by Lenny Lee »

I found this discussion in the C7 forum, and Subpantaliss made a good post about his use of the zones feature
in C7 and how he sets up submixes.

http://www.steinberg.net/forum/viewtopi ... 28#p203728

I suppose the mixer is a good place to do the routing in a complex mix as he lays out here.
Otherwise, to me it seems like the mixer is something I'd be fine without, since automating a lot of tracks
renders the mixer useless for balancing levels.

As an aside, I learned while doing a collab that even the master bus can be added to the arrange window.
I recieved an entire Cubase project from a collaborator, and the master out was in the arrange window.
You can't add it by right clicking in the track section of the arrange window and selecting the type of track - so I asked him how he did it.
you simply need to hit the (W) write button on the stereo out in the mixer, then turn it off - now the stereo out
appears in the arrange window. Great for fade ins and fade outs.
aka FastnLoose

Lenny Lee at Bandcamp

Box o' Chocolates at CDBaby

Woodcrest Studio

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by Woodcrest Studio »

This thread is wild. Never would I have thought never to use the mixer. Mixing in the arrange window with a mouse writing automation would be so time consuming. But again, I have 24 external hardware faders that I use. I set up the mixer too so that sends are routed faders then to their effect channels.

I don't really gather the benefits of mixing primarily in the arrange when I can just push buttons to reveal whatever feedback I want to see on the screen. If you don't have control surfaces, then I would agree that mousing all the automation in the arrange would be quicker than grabbing individual faders. I would have to live there I suppose.

For me, nothing beats using neither of them to mix. Just a blank screen with everything I need on my control surfaces. I'd rather mix with my ears and faders.

So, you guys that mix in the arrange... How many of you have motorized fader packs?

User avatar
JMCecil
Grand Senior Member
Posts: 3621
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:03 pm
Contact:

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by JMCecil »

Woodcrest Studio wrote:This thread is wild. Never would I have thought never to use the mixer. Mixing in the arrange window with a mouse writing automation would be so time consuming. But again, I have 24 external hardware faders that I use. I set up the mixer too so that sends are routed faders then to their effect channels.

I don't really gather the benefits of mixing primarily in the arrange when I can just push buttons to reveal whatever feedback I want to see on the screen. If you don't have control surfaces, then I would agree that mousing all the automation in the arrange would be quicker than grabbing individual faders. I would have to live there I suppose.

For me, nothing beats using neither of them to mix. Just a blank screen with everything I need on my control surfaces. I'd rather mix with my ears and faders.

So, you guys that mix in the arrange... How many of you have motorized fader packs?
I'm with you. I shudder at the idea of doing automation one parameter at a time with a mouse in the arrange page. I think my hands would fall off.
cpu:i7 6950x - RAM:128gb - OS:Win 10 - Interfaces:Lynx Aurora, Komplete Audio 6 - MIDI:Midisport 4x4, Quadra Thru
Steiny Suff: CMC:FD,CH,TP,QC,PD | Wavelab 9 | Cubase VST-32->9 | H5, GA4, HSO, Padshop Pro, Cubasis, iC Pro

emotive
Member
Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:08 am

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by emotive »

For me, nothing beats using neither of them to mix.
Wish I had the money, seems no matter which manufacturer is in question all seem to promise the ultimate in tactile operation but rarely deliver.

At least SB was able to support the old gear such as the Huston in a meaningful way.

Lenny Lee
Member
Posts: 602
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:56 am
Contact:

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by Lenny Lee »

Hi, Tom,
No, I don't have motorized fader packs. After getting used to doing it the way I do, I can't envision a good reason to want to use them, either - but as you said - I'd have to live there to understand where you're coming from.

Since you run a commercial studio, I can see why you'd do it that way, since you can automate several tracks 'on the fly' at once, then go back and adjust any moves that you didn't nail the first time. You want a good result - but you also want to make the most efficient use of your time and get the client 'finished' and move on to the next project.

I'm in no hurry. I enjoy the process of mixing the way I do - and I don't think you could argue that there is a more
precise way of controlling the fader moves (and fx moves) than in the automation subtracks. I have pinpoint control over not just the track volume and fades - but I like to experiment with the length and intensity of delay tails at the end of vocal phrases and on solos. Compared to working on the subtracks, IMO moving the faders with your fingers is a more clumsy way of doing it.

And mixing in the arrange window doesn't mean that somehow I'm not using my ears. What else would I use?
It's just that I have no problem -really- taking my time with a mix. Especially when it's near completion.
At the end of a session I may think it's done. After saving and coming back the next day with fresh ears, I realize that there's more tweaking to be done. So I fix the things that aren't quite right - then come back again the next day.
I like this process of seeing a mix ripen over several days or even a couple of weeks.

Maybe one day it'd be fun to stop by your place and see you in action, Tom.
I've helped a few local friends who got into digital recording, and they learned a lot in a short time by
being in the room with me and sometimes one can learn more by seeing it done rather than reading about it.
I've never had the opportunity to sit side by side with a power user who was willing to explain what he was doing.
aka FastnLoose

Lenny Lee at Bandcamp

Box o' Chocolates at CDBaby

Woodcrest Studio

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by Woodcrest Studio »

emotive wrote:
For me, nothing beats using neither of them to mix.
Wish I had the money, seems no matter which manufacturer is in question all seem to promise the ultimate in tactile operation but rarely deliver.

At least SB was able to support the old gear such as the Huston in a meaningful way.
For 3-400 bucks a second hand mackie mcu does quite a lot. Sure there are better surfaces, I guess, but over the many years I have been using mine, I have no reason to change except for deeper and better PT integration. As I have said before in this forum, I also use a secondary 15" touch screen monitor for plugin guis. I absolutely fly on this setup. If you are on Cubase 7, you are screwed because steinberg broke some integration having to do with software mixer/hardware mixer mirroring along with the end of view sets. Well, maybe I am screwed. C6.5 and my hardware zings right along with productivity and efficiency.

I would really like you to elaborate on your comment : " promise the ultimate in tactile operation but rarely deliver." That is a blanket statement that needs some explanation in order for me to understand where you are coming from. Your usage must be drastically different and I would love to understand how you work.

Every software promises the same thing. It is all about adaptation, personal integration and using the features something has to your advantage.

Woodcrest Studio

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by Woodcrest Studio »

Lenny Lee wrote:Hi, Tom,
No, I don't have motorized fader packs. After getting used to doing it the way I do, I can't envision a good reason to want to use them, either - but as you said - I'd have to live there to understand where you're coming from.

Since you run a commercial studio, I can see why you'd do it that way, since you can automate several tracks 'on the fly' at once, then go back and adjust any moves that you didn't nail the first time. You want a good result - but you also want to make the most efficient use of your time and get the client 'finished' and move on to the next project.

I'm in no hurry. I enjoy the process of mixing the way I do - and I don't think you could argue that there is a more
precise way of controlling the fader moves (and fx moves) than in the automation subtracks. I have pinpoint control over not just the track volume and fades - but I like to experiment with the length and intensity of delay tails at the end of vocal phrases and on solos. Compared to working on the subtracks, IMO moving the faders with your fingers is a more clumsy way of doing it.

And mixing in the arrange window doesn't mean that somehow I'm not using my ears. What else would I use?
It's just that I have no problem -really- taking my time with a mix. Especially when it's near completion.
At the end of a session I may think it's done. After saving and coming back the next day with fresh ears, I realize that there's more tweaking to be done. So I fix the things that aren't quite right - then come back again the next day.
I like this process of seeing a mix ripen over several days or even a couple of weeks.

Maybe one day it'd be fun to stop by your place and see you in action, Tom.
I've helped a few local friends who got into digital recording, and they learned a lot in a short time by
being in the room with me and sometimes one can learn more by seeing it done rather than reading about it.
I've never had the opportunity to sit side by side with a power user who was willing to explain what he was doing.

Hey Lenny,

I just work faster and more precise dumping things onto a surface and mixing without visual feedback. I used to be so intrenched in the visual feedback when I first moved to digital and I found when I stopped staring at the screen I worked a lot faster and I liked the results better.

I know you use a lot of VSTis, right?, and If I did I would me on the screen much more than I am. Most plugin parameter rides I do on a touch screen.

You are absolutely right though. I don't have time to tweak for endless hours when I am under time constraints. If I recorded my own things I would probably devote more time. Even with the high level production work I do, I have to trim workflow fat to keep people happy.

A lot of this too depends on how someone works and I respect everyone's workflow. That is why I asked if people who mouse mix had control surfaces too. I worked on consoles for years so I am partial to that style of stacking sends and effects on separate faders with also having different blends of group tracks of similar elements to ride through hooks and returns. What I love about Cubase 6.5 and earlier versions is the mixer view sets that can be saved. What I do is decide what instrument channels I want to spread over the 24 faders because I don't like paging through banks of faders.

For instance, I will create a viewset that has lead tracks featuring viola and trumpet. If I hear the percussion feeding off that, I will add those tracks too. So now I have 24 faders of the audio channels send and effect returns. I will ride the song now in this set starting from a static "levels up" balance. I also create other sets that over lap to get the entire mix jiving together. The overlap tracks are usually total group tracks, like all the viola tracks including sends and effects so that can be interleaved with the next fader set, like in this case the trumpet and viola groups and fx with the vocals and the various vocal treatments that come in and out during the song because they share the same frequency domain.

Hopefully that makes sense. I feel like I am rambling now, but that is a snapshot of how I work. It is deeper too with individual effect parimeter rides too, but like I said, I do parameter rides on a touch screen most of the time using a stylus.

emotive
Member
Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:08 am

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by emotive »

Woodcrest Studio wrote:I would really like you to elaborate on your comment : " promise the ultimate in tactile operation but rarely deliver." That is a blanket statement that needs some explanation in order for me to understand where you are coming from.
I don't know about Nuage, but it seems every year there is some machine that is supposed to make life easier for engineers in the "tactile" department.

I guess what I am saying is I like MixConsole, because if touch is where it is headed I don't need to worry about hardware.

User avatar
swamptone
Member
Posts: 766
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:19 pm
Location: Upstate New York
Contact:

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by swamptone »

I mix with my eyes and ears.

What could be better than using BOTH of those senses? I'll tell you what ....... add the sense of smell into the mixing environment!

Do you want you mix to have a hint of minty freshness? Prefer a field (or near-field) of wildflowers? Maybe the essence of a cedar lined closet? Enter the UAD-3 Glade plug-in. Voila! Perfecto! I'm so looking forward to the future! It's looking so bright, I gotta wear shades. ;)
formerly known as prism

User avatar
Split
Grand Senior Member
Posts: 5286
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:06 pm
Contact:

Re: Advantages to using the mixer?

Post by Split »

swamptone wrote:I'll tell you what ....... add the sense of smell into the mixing environment!
Sit in a control room with 5 band members, you get a sense of smell into the mixing environment alright :lol:
??????Split
Cubase 10|MOTU 16A
Still at it... just!

Post Reply

Return to “Steinberg Lounge”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests