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Cubase 11: The Multiband Squasher

Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques By John Walden
Published March 2021

Example 1: Squasher, used in two‑band mode to even out a recording of a bass guitar performed with too much dynamic variation.Example 1: Squasher, used in two‑band mode to even out a recording of a bass guitar performed with too much dynamic variation.

We explore four ways to make the most of Cubase 11’s new multiband Squasher plug‑in.

The new Squasher plug‑in Cubase 11 (Elements, Artist and Pro) has obvious appeal as a ‘make it loud’ tool for EDM but, with downward and upward compression, multiband operation and band‑specific side‑chains, it’s capable of much more. To help you get started, here’s my choice of four things to try with Squasher. You’ll find audio examples for each tip on the SOS website (https://sosm.ag/cubase-0321).

Ups & Downs

In most contemporary mixing contexts, mix‑critical elements such as bass and lead vocals need to maintain a broadly consistent level throughout. Conventional (downward) compression has its place, but detailed volume automation and plug‑ins such as Waves’ MV2, Vocal Rider and Bass Rider offer additional possibilities. As well as bringing down the peaks, they can also raise quieter notes/sounds. Squasher can do this too.

Example 1 screenshot (and audio example) shows how I treated an electric bass guitar part. My aim was to achieve a more consistent signal level without resorting to heavy (and more noticeable) downward compression of the signal peaks. Squasher is set to two‑band mode, with the split around 200Hz, and each band applying upward compression to make quiet notes louder and downward compression to make louder notes quieter.

The Up and Down ratios can be adjusted to taste; alongside the Up and Down thresholds, these allow you to dial in as much/little upward and...

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Published March 2021

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