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Music

The Cubase Mixer Window - Part 2

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Extended Channel Strips

Extended Channel Strips view in the Mixer is very important while you are working on any project that involves recording, mixing or mastering. These channel strips give you vital information about the tracks and helps you in managing the session very efficiently.

In order to use the extended channel strips in your project, first activate the Extended View.

To activate the Extended View, select Extended View from the Window menu in the right-click context menu of the mixer. The Common Panel also has a button at the top left shaped like an arrow pointing up, click on that and the Extended View will be activated.

Once it is done, the original mixer will expand to contain the extended channel strips. It contains a number of buttons that will enable you to change the view in the channel strip. 

This is what each button does:

Clear All Views

This is the topmost option in the channel strip and can be used to clear all the views that you set up in the channel strip. If you feel that you are done using the channel strip or if you feel that the view is messed up, press this button and the whole view of the channel strip will be reset to contain nothing.

Show All Inserts

This enables you to watch all the inserted Inserts on every channel. You can have a glance of all the Inserts that are activated and those that are de-activated. In this view, you can also copy or move the Inserts from one track to another. In order to move an Insert, just click on it and move it to the required track. In order to duplicate the Insert, move the Insert while pressing down the Alt key. This will duplicate the selected Insert and paste it onto the destination Track.

Show All Equalizers

This button allows you to see all of the four EQ settings that you might have applied to the track’s channel settings. In order to view the channel setting for each channel, select the E in the top right corner of the Inspector for each channel.

Show All Equalizers With Curve

As the name suggests, it shows all the equalizers on all the channels along with their Graphical curve displaying the frequencies that are boosted or cut for each track.

Show All Sends

This settings shows you the routing and all the sends that you have made on each track. The next two buttons, the Show Sends 1-5 and Show Sends 5-8 also does a similar job, but narrows it down to 1-5 and 5-8 sends. This setting is useful if you have many sends and want to concentrate on a few sends, like effects, reverb, etc.

Show Studio Sends

This can be useful when the Control Room is activated. The different headphone outputs to various artist can be displayed using this button. You can analyze which tracks are routed to which of the four outputs and make changes accordingly.

Show Surround Panners

If your studio setup has surround speakers and channels set up, this setting will allow you to view their configurations and the panning of each channel. This is useful only if your sound card supports surround sound.

Show All Meters

This shows a graphical representation of the levels of each channel and the peak level meters of each. You will be able to analyze the maximum level of each channel. This setting is very useful in the mastering stage. You can switch on the peaks by clicking on the graphical representation of the channels’ meters, clicking on it again will switch it off.

Show Channel Overview

This shows a summary of each track with all the activated and deactivated EQs, Inserts and Sends on each channel. If any of these are deactivated and if you feel like you need an A/B test, just click on the ones that are deactivated and it will be activated. You will be able to do a quick A/B test using this setting.

Can Hide Setting

Another very useful option in Cubase is the Can Hide setting. This enables you to hide specific channels from the Mixer Window. It can be very useful if you do not want to see few channel that are causing you distraction or those channels that you have finished working on. It also allows you to focus on a specific set of tracks rather than having all the tracks together. 

In order to hide a track from the Mixer Window, select the View option of the track. The view option can be found at the top-right corner of the track, just below the Input Phase and Gain option. Click on the arrow that is pointed down and select the Can Hide option.

Once you've applied Can Hide to all the channels that you need, click on the Hide Channels set to Can Hide option in the Common Panel. Now all the channels that you had applied the Can Hide option will be hidden from view. You can also Alt-click on the / button right beside the View drop-down menu. 

Remember that using the Can Hide option will only hide the channel and not mute it. You will still be able to hear the channel. If you do not want to listen to a listen, simply mute it or reduce its levels.

The Common Panel also has a few more options that might be useful in some scenarios:

  • Set Target Channels To Can Hide: This activates the Can Hide setting for the Command Targets.
  • Remove Can Hide From Target Channels: This removes the Can Hide for the Command Targets.
  • Remove Can Hide From All Targets: This clears the Can Hide option for all the channels.

If you want to learn more about Command Targets, please refer to the first part of this series.

Using it in a Project

For this tutorial, create a project with a few active tracks which have data on them. Select the Mixer using the shortcut key F3 or from the Devices drop down menu.

Now play the project and experiment with all the settings of the Extended View Channel Strips. Try switching on and off the various Inserts and Sends that you might have applied on each track.

Try hiding and showing the channels according to your need and realize the importance of learning the functions of the Mixer Window.

In the next part of this series, I'll show you the individual channel setting and how to properly use it to work efficiently.

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