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The Mixer window offers a common window for all types of channels present in your project (see Figure 12.1). A channel for each audio, MIDI, and group track is represented in the Mixer window, offering controls, such as volume, pan, mute, solo, and read and write automation. To help you with this process, a panel on the left of the Mixer window controls common elements found in the mixer. Cubase SX users can extend the Mixer window to display insert and send effect settings, EQ settings for audio and group channels, output levels, or an overview of settings applied to a channel.
The Common panel found on the left of the Mixer (see Figure 12.2) controls global settings for this Mixer window, as well as its appearance and behavior. Here's a look at each item in the panel from top to bottom.
Show Extended Mixer (SX only) button offers a way to reveal the extended portion of the Mixer in SX. When the extended portion of the Mixer is visible, a minus sign button will appear above this button. You can use this minus sign to hide the extended portion of the Mixer.
All Wide/All Narrow buttons make all channels in the current Mixer wide or narrow respectively. The same settings appear individually on each channel, allowing you to set one channel narrow or wide independently. But when you click here, all the channels change to wide or narrow at the touch of a button. When a channel is displayed in Narrow mode, all its functions remain active; however, some of the controls are hidden away, allowing more channels to fit on your desktop. This becomes convenient when working with a project that has more channels than can fit in your current desktop resolution.
Store View and Remove View buttons let you save a set of mixer display options as a preset and retrieve them later from the Select Channel View Set menu (see Figure 12.3). Creating your own presets allow you to customize the mixer to display the information you need to see for specific tasks, as audio recording, mixing, or other common tasks you need to perform in this window.
To store a channel view set:
Set up the mixer view options appropriately so that they display the information to which you want to have quick access.
Click on the Store View button.
Enter a name for your preset, for example "Audio EQ" if you selected to display only audio channels with their EQ settings in the Extended panel.
Click the OK button.
You can remove view sets by first selecting a view set and then clicking on the Remove View button. You can use up to three different Mixer window configurations with Cubase SX. You can take advantage of this feature to organize your mixing environment in a way that suits you best. For example, you can choose to display all MIDI channels in one mixer and display audio channels in another. You can access the additional mixers through the Devices menu.
The following four buttons are also found on each channel. In the Common panel, they serve as a master control and monitoring of the current status of channels available in the Mixer window. When one or more tracks in the Mixer window are muted, the Mute button is lit. Clicking this button cancels all current mute settings, unmuting all channels in the project. The Solo button plays a similar role in the sense that it appears lit when one or more tracks are in Solo mode. Clicking this button deactivates the solo monitoring for all channels in the project. The Read and Write buttons activate or deactivate the read or write automation on all channels by changing the state of the button in the Common panel. If one or more channels are already in Read or Write mode, the Mixer window is lit as well to indicate that a channel is currently actively reading or ready to write automation.
The Show VST Connections button does the same thing as the "VST Connections" option found under the Devices menu; it will bring the VST connections window up, allowing you to make modifications to the current input and output bus configurations.
The Reset Mixer button resets all the channels or only the selected channels in the Mixer. When you reset a channel, you deactivate all Solo, Mute, EQ, insert, and send effect settings. The volume fader will also be set to 0 dB and pan to center position.
Below the Reset Mixer button is a 3-part toggle zone (SX only) where the three rows represent the Input/Output (I/O) settings area of the mixer, the Extended panel, and the Channel portion of the mixer (which can't be hidden). Revealing or hiding a portion of the mixer does not change anything in your mixer's setting; it only hides certain parts from view. The corresponding portion of the Mixer window is visible when the area is highlighted in this small representation. Clicking on one of these areas will either reveal or hide it.
If you want to copy the settings of a selected track to another, you can use the buttons and menu found at the bottom of the Common panel. For example, if you want to have the same EQ, inserts , and sends settings on several vocal tracks, you can make the settings on a first channel and when you are satisfied with these settings, copy and paste them to one or more channels. Subsequently, all the channels to which you copied these settings will be the same.
To copy a channel's settings to another channel:
Adjust the settings of the channel you want to copy.
Make sure this channel is selected in the Mixer. If not, click the bar over the channel's name below or above the fader to select it (see Figure 12.4), or select it from the Channel Selection drop-down menu in the Common panel.
Click the Copy Channel button. The Paste button becomes active.
Select the channel to which you want to paste the copied settings.
Click the Paste Settings button in the Common panel.
You can repeat this paste operation to any number of channels by selecting it and clicking the Paste button again.
The following nine buttons (eight in Cubase SL) hide or show the channel types associated with each button. These are, from top to bottom: Input channels (SX only), Audio channels (disk-based digital audio recording), Group channels, Rewire channels, MIDI channels, VSTi channels, FX channels and Output channels (previously known as Master Output channels ). The last option allows you to show/hide "Can Hide" channels. You can set a channel's display property to hideable (explained later). When selecting the Hide channels set to "Can Hide" option in the Common panel, all channels that can be hidden from view will be hidden. This can be useful when working with ghost tracks, or tracks that you use to place events temporarily, but that are not part of your mixing process. Hiding them from view makes it easier to focus on the tasks at hand.
The Extended panel is visible to Cubase SX users when clicking on the Show Extended Mixer button in the Common panel's area as seen above. When the Mixer is in Extended mode, the Common panel area now reveals an additional set of options (see Figure 12.5). As with the options found in the non-extended Common panel, the options found here are also available for each channel in the Mixer. The difference once again is that when you select an option in the Common panel, all channels in the current Mixer will display the same type of information. For example, clicking on the Show All Inserts button in the Common panel will change the information displayed in the extended portion of the Mixer for all channels to the insert settings. You can, however, change the displayed extended panel for a specific channel by selecting a different display option for this channel. Note that changing the displayed information does not in any way change the settings made to a channel, only the information displayed changes.
Depending on which option you choose to view in the extended Mixer area, different panels will appear, as shown in Figure 12.5. What you will find depends mostly on the type of channel; for example, the Clear View panel appears when you select a type of panel that is not available for the type of channel (see Figure 12.5).
You will notice that there are no MIDI EQ settings in the Extended panel. When you choose to display the EQ for other channels, the MIDI channel's Extended area keeps displaying whatever was there before you chose the extended EQ display.
The MIDI insert's Extended panel displays the four Inserts settings. Each insert has the following functions:
Enable/disable the Insert
Open the Insert's edit window
Select the MIDI Insert effect
Audio inserts have the same controls as the MIDI inserts; however, the list displayed in the Insert Selection menu is different.
Both extended EQ display options offer the same controls in different display options.
An On/Off button to enable or disable the EQ band
A gain control (top slider in Slider mode and inner knob in Dial mode)
A frequency control (second slider in Slider mode and outer knob in Dial mode)
A Q setting (third slider in Slider mode and lower small knob in Dial mode)
The MIDI sends in the Extended panel display the following settings for each of the eight (in Cubase SX) or five (in Cubase SL) send effects:
An On/Off button to enable or disable the MIDI sends
An open effect's editing panel button
A pre- or post-fader selection button
An effect selection menu
A MIDI output port selection menu for the output of the effect
A channel setting for the output of the effect
The audio sends offer the following controls:
An On/Off button to enable or disable the MIDI sends
An open effect's editing panel button (only in Slider mode)
A pre- or post-fader selection button (only in Slider mode)
An effect selection menu
A send to effect level (represented by a slider in Slider mode and dial in Dial mode)
The settings displayed in the Extended panels are the same settings that are available in the Inspector area of each track, so if you don't have Cubase SX, you can still modify these settings in the Inspector area of the channel, or you can click on the "e" button (Edit Channel Settings) next to the channel's level fader to open that channel's additional settings panel.
The Routing panel is found at the very top of Cubase SX's Mixer. You won't find this feature in the Cubase SL version. In here, you can choose the input and output buses for audio channels and input and output MIDI ports for MIDI channels. The content of each field in this panel is discussed later in this chapter since each channel type (MIDI or audio) holds its own controls.
If you don't see the Routing panel in SX, click on the top plus sign found in the upper-left corner of the Mixer (see Figure 12.7). To hide the panel once again, click again on this button (now showing a minus sign). In SX, this is a great panel to set up multiple track inputs when recording bands instead of going through the Inspector area. In the end, it's basically a question of working preference or type of project you do that will determine if this tool is for you. Knowing it's there when you need it is still a good thing.
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