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Stereo Export Cubase FF800

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Stereo Export Cubase FF800

Postby OneWorld » Wed May 05, 2021 6:34 pm

I have a project in Cubase (10.5) and my interface is Fireface800

I have some MIDI tracks that are a hardware synth

Some VSTi tracks

Some audio tracks

All tracks go to a Stereo track - eg I have 10 physical analogue outs on the FF800 but I only use 1+2

I monitor this through headphones, and I have a separate stereo hard-disk recorder which is fed by the FF800 analogue lineouts outs 1+2

But when I try to export the project in Cubase using Export/Audio Mixdown and tick the Stereo box, all I get is the hardware synths

I used a similar setup with my Focusrite Liquid 56, no problem, the Cubase Export facility picked up everything coming out the Cubase Mixer Stereo output

All the meters in RME TotalMix seem to show a level, but for some reason Cubase Export doesn't seem to get them - any ideas

I seem to remember I had this issue with my FF800 before and could never solve the problem so I swapped it out for my Focusrite
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Re: Stereo Export Cubase FF800

Postby The Elf » Wed May 05, 2021 6:48 pm

Sounds like a few layers of confusion here. Plus you seem to be trying to make life hard for yourself!

Firstly, I would render the hardware synth to an audio track in Cubase. Once done, disable all the MIDI tracks (but don't delete them). Their job is done. (Personally I would do a 'Render In Place' of the VSTi tracks too, but that's up to you)

Then do an internal mix (Export Audio) in Cubase. Now you have a mix file. No need to export in real time, since Cubase now has all the audio - it should render really quickly. You can (though I have no idea why you would!) play that back and record it to your external recorder.

But I'd also question your headphone arrangement. I would use Cubase's Control Room and designate the FF800's outputs 9/10 to your headphones (which is the default for the Fireface) and only use 1/2 for speaker monitoring. Now set up Cubase's Control Room and outputs accordingly.
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Re: Stereo Export Cubase FF800

Postby OneWorld » Mon May 10, 2021 9:26 pm

The Elf wrote:Sounds like a few layers of confusion here. Plus you seem to be trying to make life hard for yourself!

Firstly, I would render the hardware synth to an audio track in Cubase. Once done, disable all the MIDI tracks (but don't delete them). Their job is done. (Personally I would do a 'Render In Place' of the VSTi tracks too, but that's up to you)

Then do an internal mix (Export Audio) in Cubase. Now you have a mix file. No need to export in real time, since Cubase now has all the audio - it should render really quickly. You can (though I have no idea why you would!) play that back and record it to your external recorder.

But I'd also question your headphone arrangement. I would use Cubase's Control Room and designate the FF800's outputs 9/10 to your headphones (which is the default for the Fireface) and only use 1/2 for speaker monitoring. Now set up Cubase's Control Room and outputs accordingly.

I find it more convenient to employ just one step rather than several. I have found out to do it and that is by using loop back - reading the requisite parts of the manual helps :-)

I do generally render the midi synth tracks as wav files anyway, as a matter of course. So as I sometimes swap synths out I still have a copy of the stems even though the synth might have been replaced.

I still have another quandary. According to the manual the rme folder should contain the 8 preset files that are assigned to the 8 preset ‘buttons’ on the total mix GUI. I have done a reset ctrl + preset 1, but still only get 2 presets
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Re: Stereo Export Cubase FF800

Postby The Elf » Mon May 10, 2021 9:54 pm

What you are doing is much more convoluted than what I'm suggesting, and the way Steinberg expect you to do it - which is why it exists!

The way I'm suggesting is literally one step - bang, done! No loopback, no waiting for the length of the song for a render, no levels to set, no separate recorder, no intermediate files, no additional A-D-A conversions... and all within Cubase - no need to get the Fireface involved at all.

But if you're happy with what you have...
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Re: Stereo Export Cubase FF800

Postby OneWorld » Tue May 11, 2021 4:56 pm

The Elf wrote:What you are doing is much more convoluted than what I'm suggesting, and the way Steinberg expect you do to it - which is why it exists!

The way I'm suggesting is literally one step - bang, done! No loopback, no waiting for the length of the song for a render, no levels to set, no separate recorder, no intermediate files, no additional A-D-A conversions... and all within Cubase - no need to get the Fireface involved at all.

But if you're happy with what you have...

Render in place doesn't work with hardware synths though. The only way to do it, which is what you seem to suggest, is record each hardware synth track to an audio track.

When I used the Focusrite though, I went to Export/Mixdown, done, I had a stereo file, all tracks, whether MIDI/VSTi/Audio and mixed down to stereo in one pass. In 'OneWorld' that's less convoluted than making a cuppa. Anyway, as I say, I have managed to do it Loopback/Record/Done
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Re: Stereo Export Cubase FF800

Postby The Elf » Tue May 11, 2021 5:49 pm

OneWorld wrote:Render in place doesn't work with hardware synths though.
Yes it does. You need to declare your hardware as 'External Instruments'.

As to the rest... I think I should do a video to show you what I mean. Exporting a mix in Cubase is literally two seconds to kick off and done 20 seconds later!
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Re: Stereo Export Cubase FF800

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue May 11, 2021 5:55 pm

I think the OP is running his external synths via MIDI in real time, though, rather than recording them to a track. (Although I've no idea why...). So it wouldn't be possible to run a faster-than-real-time mix dump.
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Re: Stereo Export Cubase FF800

Postby The Elf » Tue May 11, 2021 6:27 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I think the OP is running his external synths via MIDI in real time, though, rather than recording them to a track. (Although I've no idea why...). So it wouldn't be possible to run a faster-than-real-time mix dump.
Exactly - so render them once and every mix after that point will be super-fast.

With Cubase you can do a 'Render In Place' of hardware 'Instrument' tracks (defined as 'External Instruments') by selecting the parts, asking it to 'Render In Place' and walking away for a while (it takes the length of each part to render). Disable the MIDI tracks, then any subsequent mix will be super-fast.

I do this all the time!
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Re: Stereo Export Cubase FF800

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue May 11, 2021 9:45 pm

:thumbup: :D
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Re: Stereo Export Cubase FF800

Postby Martin Walker » Wed May 12, 2021 1:01 am

The Elf wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:I think the OP is running his external synths via MIDI in real time, though, rather than recording them to a track. (Although I've no idea why...). So it wouldn't be possible to run a faster-than-real-time mix dump.
Exactly - so render them once and every mix after that point will be super-fast.

With Cubase you can do a 'Render In Place' of hardware 'Instrument' tracks (defined as 'External Instruments') by selecting the parts, asking it to 'Render In Place' and walking away for a while (it takes the length of each part to render). Disable the MIDI tracks, then any subsequent mix will be super-fast.

I do this all the time!

So do I, especially as this 'convert MIDI synth to audio track' approach means that you don't ever get renders with missing MIDI synth tracks because you forgot to switch the relevant synth on before the final render of your project (yes, I've been there and done that :headbang: )


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Re: Stereo Export Cubase FF800

Postby OneWorld » Sat May 15, 2021 1:55 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I think the OP is running his external synths via MIDI in real time, though, rather than recording them to a track. (Although I've no idea why...). So it wouldn't be possible to run a faster-than-real-time mix dump.

The only hardware synths I can 'render in place' are the MOXF and Virus TI, both of which can operate as VSTi and send audio over the USB cable.

Try as I might, I cannot do the same with the other hardware synths that of course send MIDI over the MIDI cable and audio over the line outs. So in the case of those hardware synths, I can 'record' the input of those synths and the result of course of course is wav file recorded in real-time, as opposed to the wav generated by 'render in place' which takes about 1/4 of real time.

But that is not my original point. All I want is a project mixed down to stereo, and that includes the MIDI tracks, VSTi tracks, Audio tracks. When I used the Focusrite Liquid 56 I could do this by using the Cubase Export Mixdown option, for example.....

Track 1 MIDI
Track 2 MIDI
Track 3 VSTi (Halion for example)
Track 4 VSTi (Groove Agent for example)
Track 5 Audio (Vocals 1 for example)
Track 6 VSTi (Vocals 2 for example)
etc
etc

All of these would be mixed down to stereo

I try this with the Fireface, and the MIDI tracks are not 'recorded' into the stereo track. Or to be more precise, they are now, as I used loopback. The results were better in the Liquid 56 though. I guess that is because the Fireface Loopback option 'capture/records' the signal leaving the Fireface Stereo output 'looping back' internally, and somehow avoids 'feedback'

It is a point of curiosity as much as anything else, how come the Liquid 56 can do it with relative ease and the Fireface takes some messing about with. I guess it is the way each interface deals with internal signal routing.

Of course there is the option to 'record' each MIDI track and then has the corresponding Audio track - for example, My MOXF line out goes to the Fireface line in 3+4, my Roland XV 5+6, XL1 7+8

So I have an audio track recording the input at 3+4, another recording 5+6, and another 7+8, and yes of course I have to Mute the other tracks whilst creating the audio track. And by doing this, I can now have all tracks represented as audio tracks and the Export/Mixdown produces a stereo track containing all the tracks. But all that is a bit of a faff when I just want to produce a quick down and dirty stereo track, without having to record the MIDI tracks as audio.

I do have the option of recording to an Alesis Masterlink, but I want to factor that out of the setup. Great piece of gear the Masterlink is, but........no USB, came along just at the wrong time :-(
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