My quest is to mixdown my work to MP3 CD with a result that yields a volume sufficient to hear everything clearly enough to confront my composing skills to learn from them. I want to know only enough to get decent sound just short of final mastering.  I am using Cubase 4.5,VSL Special Edition standard, Appassionnata Strings, Altiverb, a custom music DAW PC -32 bit master with ethernet to 32-64 bit Slave for VSL. My first question is - at what level should the individual track meter levels be set for MIDI?  I am now thinking they should average toward the top of the green color just before yellow to output enough sound to record individual tracks to Audio.  What should the Master fader be set to in the piano roll  window at this stage?  Velocity for Oboe is often set very low (two layer sampling) to retain the nearest sounding articulation level I want. My Page has two examples of what I am getting without your help.  So I need your help if you're willing.  My plan is to take this one step at a time from Samples to Midi, then Midi to Audio, then Audio through Altiverb, and maybe use the UV-22HR dithering plug-in recommended in the Cubase Manual.( Depending on the input I get from this forum.)

Thank you for any suggestions and or help ,
tony h   

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  • Hi Tony!

    Some pointers - the 'Velocity' of the midi notes is different from the volume level, but often related. Some sounds may not change volume with velocity at all, but just get brighter sounding. So use velocity to get the proper performance, then use the volume fader to set the relative levels of all the instruments.

    Look to be getting as hot of level as you can into your master faders with no red peaks.

    At your stage, using altiverb on the master output will be fine, and will give you good enough results to judge your compositions.

    Normally, you would consider eq and compression on your individual parts, then the same plus limiting on your master output.

    Best of luck!
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  • Hi Chris


    Thanks for taking time to reply. I read long article on Virtual Instruments forum about setting the master fader to 0dB/ recording sample MIDI tracks at a low volume (middle green area) to hear the details better, then balance the individual group instruments to each other (orchestral), route them to group channel, reverb, EQ and high/low filter and finally to bring the group channel volume faders up and leave about -16dB headroom for the possibility of,  effects, etc. and final mastering. (short version)  Does this sound like the right direction or should I go back and read more carefully?

  • Please excuse me if I veer somewhat from Mr. Hartmann's Cubase topic, but I felt this might be an appropriate place to ask a somewhat related question. I have been using sequencers for over 15 years to drive both hard and soft synths for orchestral compositions (mostly Cakewalk 2.0 thru 5.0). I recently began to realize that my old PCs are fast dying, and started to shop for a more up-to-date sequencer. I ended up with Sonar 7.  So far, all the sequencer software I have found has been totally "glitzy" and clumsy to work with,  displaying only 4 or 5 tracks at a time, compared to my trusty old Cakewalk, which wasn't so glitzy, but instead provided 24+ tracks on 1 screen.  Does anyone know if there is any simpler, more functional software on the market, suitable for XP or Windows 7.  I still find it faster to compose with my trusty old Cakewalk than today's products.  Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

    Cliff Lowe

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