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Cubase Pro: Reference Tracks

Steinberg Cubase Pro Tips & Techniques
By Matt Houghton

Cubase offers various options for comparing your mixes with reference tracks.

When Sample Magic announced that they'd soon stop supporting their Magic AB plug-in, some of you asked me to recommend other mix-referencing tools. Several plug-in options exist, including Mastering The Mix's Reference, Melda's MCompare, and ADPTR's Metric AB, but you may be able to do what you want using Cubase alone...

Simple A/B'ing

Cubase's Pro's Cue Sends can be used to monitor your reference tracks via the Control Room without the signal flowing through your project's master stereo bus — but while this side-steps any bus processing, it also skips the loudness metering, and it uses up one of only four available Cue Sends.Cubase's Pro's Cue Sends can be used to monitor your reference tracks via the Control Room without the signal flowing through your project's master stereo bus — but while this side-steps any bus processing, it also skips the loudness metering, and it uses up one of only four available Cue Sends.An obvious approach is to put references on a track in your mix project and align the clips with the relevant parts of the arrangement. If you don't use master bus processing, this can work well: keep the reference track muted, and when you solo it, it will play and all the other tracks will be muted. But if you use master-bus processing, as many of us do, you don't want to apply this processing to your references. There are a couple of ways around this.

One is to create a second stereo output in the Studio/Audio Connections window and route your reference track to that. This bypasses the processing but now your references aren't reflected on the master-bus loudness metering. If that's important to you, you could use a Group track as your master bus, and route that and your reference track to the default stereo output (on which you put no processing).

Right On Cue

Cubase Pro's Control Room offers an...

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Published July 2019