How to set up a multiband mastering project template in Cubase.
DIY mastering is a pragmatic necessity for many musicians, and while there are some great third-party software mastering products, Cubase already includes all you need to get started. What's more, any version of Cubase, from Elements to Pro, allows you to perform multiband processing — for example, separating the audio into low, low-mid, high-mid and high frequency bands, to give you greater flexibility/control. In this article, I'll show you how to do just that.
Even if you plan on mixing and mastering in Cubase, it's good practice to keep these two stages of a project separate, so try to resist the temptation to mix through your mastering-style processing. In fact, I think they're best tackled in separate Cubase projects, and certainly at different times, so that you come to the mastering with fresh ears. But in purely practical terms it's sensible too, since the format of different mastering projects is likely to be fairly consistent, so you can save time and effort by creating a mastering template.
While Cubase Pro includes several multiband plug-ins (eg. Quadrafuzz 2, Multiband Compressor and Multiband Envelope Shaper), Cubase Artist and Elements don't. Nonetheless, it's still easy to set up multiband processing using sends, groups and some filtering. And this approach can allow more complex processing in Pro too. You could approach this in various ways, but the main screenshot (of the MixConsole in Cubase Elements 9.5) shows a possible project setup, with seven stereo audio tracks plus the main stereo out.
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