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  1. Music & Audio
  2. Cubase
Music

ReWire in Cubase

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:

ReWire allows you to stream upto 64 audio channels and ReWire2 supports upto 256 channels. ReWire helps in sharing the resources between the applications, especially to share the audio card and control the outputs of each channel via the card. 

It also synchronizes the Transport of both the DAWs so that you need to only control the Transport in Cubase and it will automatically be mirrored in the ReWired application, such as Pro Tools, FL Studio, Reason, Studio One.

You also have the option to separately mix the channels according to your need. ReWire2 allows you to send the MIDI tracks from Cubase to the supported applications, creating a harmony between the various applications. You can choose different VSTs in the other application and play that VST through the MID channel in Cubase.

These methods help you to reduce the load on your system and helps you to run the session in a smoother way, rather than loading the audio applications in a separate process.

Basic Procedure

The main thing that you have to do before you ReWire is the launching order. Since Cubase is the master in this case, open Cubase first and then the secondary DAW.

While quitting, this process has to be reversed, first quit the secondary DAW and then quit Cubase.

Once Cubase is opened, if you open any other DAW that supports ReWire, it will automatically get routed to Cubase. In case, if you want to load the secondary DAW without Cubase ReWiring it, you will have to open the secondary DAW first and then open Cubase

Be aware that if you do this, both the applications will be using the audio card and can create a huge load on your system.

Starting ReWire

All the applications that support ReWire will be listed in the Devices menu in a separate group. Select the required application from the list. A panel consisting of the available channels for that application are visible.

Here, select and activate the various channels that are supported in the application by clicking on the power button besides the channel. If the application supports stereo channels, they'll be available as a paired group and you need only to switch on one; the other channel will be switched on automatically.

If only mono channels are available, switch on each channel individually according to need. Bear in mind that as you activate more channels, the load on the CPU increases.

To make things easier to understand, rename the channels to how you've routed in the application. It's always a good idea to rename tracks depending on what each channel sends. 

It helps to easily understand what each channel represents in the Mixer window. The default names may not prove very useful in such a situation.

Configuring the ReWire Application

One of the important features in ReWire is the synced Transports. Control the playback for both Cubase and the ReWired application via the Transport in Cubase. The supported Transport controls in the ReWired application will be mirrored in Cubase and you can control the settings via Cubase

If you press the Play button inside the ReWired application, it will be automatically reflected in Cubase as well. Recording is not, however, linked together so that you can control the recording option separately.

If you have set a loop region in the other program, this is automatically reflected in Cubase.

This way, you can have the application play a loop repeatedly and Cubase will play the same region in sync with the application. This is great for testing separate VSTs or Instruments in both the applications at the same time. 

For example, play a drum loop in one program and test the tone of a synthesizer in another in sync with the drum loop.

Setting the tempo in Cubase will automatically be affected in the application as well. If you change the tempo in the application, it will also be automatically adjusted in Cubase

If, however, you have a Tempo track in Cubase and if you adjust the speed in the ReWired application, the Tempo track in Cubase will be disabled and Cubase will follow the tempo set in the application.

When using MIDI via a ReWire2 supported application, the MIDI channel outputs in the application will be available as MIDI outputs for MIDI tracks in Cubase. With this method you can play MIDI tracks in Cubase through the MIDI channels in the ReWired application.

Sample Rate

While settings the Sample Rate of a project, make sure that the ReWire application also supports the same rate. Some applications or synthesizers may support only a limited Sample Rate and if Cubase is not set to that sample rate, the pitch of the sound from the application may sound lower or higher than the original pitch. 

If this issue occurs, set the sample rate of Cubase to the one supported in the ReWired application or synthesizer.

Conclusion

ReWire is a very useful protocol that can help you to control another application inside Cubase with the full capabilities of both the applications. All the channels that are routed via ReWire can be treated like a normal channel in Cubase

You have the option to add EQ, Inserts, Sends or route to other busses as well. Automation can also be written on these channels just as you would do for a normal track in Cubase. You also have the option to export these tracks as a single audio track or multi-tracks according to your need. 

To find out more about exporting audio tracks in Cubase, refer to the following tutorial:

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