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Cubase 12 Drum Processing With Raiser

Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques By John Walden
Published May 2023

Raiser provides powerful limiting options with a very flexible release section.Raiser provides powerful limiting options with a very flexible release section.

With its Raiser plug‑in, Cubase Pro can raise hell with your drum sounds!

For users of Cubase Pro, one of the more intriguing additions bundled with v12 was the Raiser plug‑in, which brought us some new limiting options. Indeed, Raiser has a number of interesting features. For one thing, the real‑time graphic display provides very clear visual feedback on changes to the overall waveform due to the limiting and the amount of peak gain reduction that is occurring. Also, the DIC (Detect Intersample Clipping) button ensures your peak signal level does not exceed the maximum output level (even between samples) specified by the Ceiling control. And engaging the Compare switch allows you to hear the processed waveform (with the limiting applied) but at a volume that’s comparable with that of the unprocessed (bypassed) signal, making it easier to judge whether the limiting is introducing undesirable artefacts.

Sweet Release!

The various release modes allow you to customise the release behaviour in some interesting ways.The various release modes allow you to customise the release behaviour in some interesting ways.However, arguably Raiser’s key feature is its release section. Operation is pretty intuitive: as you raise the input gain the signal level increases and, eventually, you’ll push the peaks up against the ceiling, thus triggering limiting. But the release controls provide some very cool options to configure the limiter’s behaviour and can strongly influence the perceived loudness you’re able to achieve. This includes the ability to configure very fast release times, which means there’s lots of potential when dealing with sounds that have a strong transient element, such as drums.

There are two elements to the fast release behaviour. First, you can select different release modes (the options are shown in one of the screenshots), and these combine with the release time knob to control the overall release behaviour. Second, a Fast button lets you toggle on/off an initial, very fast release phase that occurs before that defined by the main release control. Steinberg’s documentation suggests this be engaged for percussive material, and in all that follows I’m going to assume that this is turned on. So, if you’d like to make your drums loud and proud, let’s explore just how far Raiser can take them.

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