Cubase • Adding delay to a mixer audio track

Kubler

Active Member
Hi everyone,

I am in the process of transitioning from FL Studio to Cubase, so far I've been able to sort out most of the basics but I still have some things to figure out, and this is one of those. In FL there's simply an icon on the mixer tracks on which you you can click to add or substract milliseconds of delay, but in Cubase this functionality seems to be available only for the MIDI tracks. Is there any way I can do this with the audio outputs ?

My exact situation is the following : I have two "twin" Kontakt instruments, one on the left, one on the right, with aleatoric RR and a slight change of pitch, the goal being the creation of an artificially wide stereo image. I have routed these two instruments on the same MIDI track to avoid the pain in the ass of copy-pasting everything as I work, but that means I have to use my mixer in order to add a bit of latency to one of my instruments and get my stereo effect to work.

In the absence of a solution I will proceed with the plan B I mentioned, but I'd rather avoid a bunch of fastidious, continuous copy-pasting if I can… plus delaying audio outputs instead of MIDI can have other useful applications that I've exploited in the past.

Thanks in advance to anyone willing to help !
 

Paul Christof

Film & Game Composer
What do you mean avoid the pain of copy and pasting? It’s literally just two buttons, c and v (i mean i’m lazy, but damn...). Plus what if you need to make adjustments to the notes, cc, etc. of one of the tracks routed to the same midi channel? It’s seems like a recipe for disaster if you ask me, but then again what do I know.

Do you run Kontakt multi-timbrally or one track per instance?

Instrument tracks and audio tracks also have delay offset not just midi tracks (or the addition and subtraction of delay as you called it). It can be found in the inspector in the left side of the screen, once you select a track.

I don’t understand when you say delaying audio outputs instead of midi can have other useful applications. By delaying the midi part of an instrument you are actively delaying the audio output too, that’s how delays work, whether as an effect or an offset value applied to a midi part. Unless you mean delaying the left and right channel, which would make me even more concerned tbh.

Also to answer your question, any of the stock delays that Cubase comes with, can delay the audio of the applied channel, just don’t use any of the ping-pong, echo etc. settings and just make it 100% wet, and add the millisecond value you wish. Or you can use something like InPhase from Waves, to offset the phase of the left and right channel to create a super wide image.

All in all, i suggest you watch some YouTube tutorials/walkthroughs of Cubase by media composers. Study their templates, their workflows etc. You will start to learn the true modularity and power of this DAW, and why this is more “composer” focused than FL Studio.
 
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Kubler

Kubler

Active Member
to answer your question, any of the stock delays that Cubase comes with, can delay the audio of the applied channel, just don’t use any of the ping-pong, echo etc. settings and just make it 100% wet, and add the millisecond value you wish.
Hadn't thought of that, but yeah it perfectly does the trick ! i'm going to stick with that, it will be much easier – apparently there just isn't the delay offset that I'm looking for. Thanks a lot for the suggestion !

what if you need to make adjustments to the notes, cc, etc. of one of the tracks routed to the same midi channel?
Precisely, I wouldn't need to. I wasn't very clear with my method here : I'm using a multitimbral instance of Kontakt in which I have loaded twice the same soloist, non-orchestral, centered percussion with the settings that I mentioned. It doesn't have a super precise attack like a single stick, more like a pair of hands on skin, so I'm not concerned with any weird ER-sounding effect. These two instruments receive MIDI from the same track so I can write / edit them at the same time (I know, c+v isn't difficult but it's still time saving not to have to worry about doing that continuously) but are sending audio to their own mixer track, one of which I wanted to delay in order to get my stereo effect. Worked like a charm on my old FL template, I'm simply trying to recreate it in Cubase :P

I don’t understand when you say delaying audio outputs instead of midi can have other useful applications. By delaying the midi part of an instrument you are actively delaying the audio output too, that’s how delays work, whether as an effect or an offset value applied to a midi part. Unless you mean delaying the left and right channel, which would make me even more concerned tbh.
Well I have such applications as special effects so I don't see why this should be fundamentally worrying, this is an open field for all kinds of convoluted processing. For instance I would typically send a mixer track to a secondary track with a fairly long latency (couple seconds maybe), then mess around with swaped stereo, automated panoramics, EQ, filters, etc. I never said that it couldn't be done differently by dedicated plugins, but that's a workflow that I ventured into and found rather comfortable, if not arguably more flexible than relying solely on a plugin's exhaustivity.

My main difficulties at the moment come from the fact that FL and Cubase work in pretty different ways when it comes to MIDI / audio routing and their mixer, so I still have to adapt my workflow and my mindset. But as you said there's plenty of material out there to give me a hand :)
 

lucor

Senior Member
There's also Cubase's native "MixerDelay" plugin which might be a bit more straightforward to use than a regular delay plugin (and should keep the signal 'cleaner').
But you'll definitely need to use a plugin, I don't think there is a direct way to do this.
 

Paul Christof

Film & Game Composer
Hadn't thought of that, but yeah it perfectly does the trick ! i'm going to stick with that, it will be much easier – apparently there just isn't the delay offset that I'm looking for. Thanks a lot for the suggestion !


Precisely, I wouldn't need to. I wasn't very clear with my method here : I'm using a multitimbral instance of Kontakt in which I have loaded twice the same soloist, non-orchestral, centered percussion with the settings that I mentioned. It doesn't have a super precise attack like a single stick, more like a pair of hands on skin, so I'm not concerned with any weird ER-sounding effect. These two instruments receive MIDI from the same track so I can write / edit them at the same time (I know, c+v isn't difficult but it's still time saving not to have to worry about doing that continuously) but are sending audio to their own mixer track, one of which I wanted to delay in order to get my stereo effect. Worked like a charm on my old FL template, I'm simply trying to recreate it in Cubase :P


Well I have such applications as special effects so I don't see why this should be fundamentally worrying, this is an open field for all kinds of convoluted processing. For instance I would typically send a mixer track to a secondary track with a fairly long latency (couple seconds maybe), then mess around with swaped stereo, automated panoramics, EQ, filters, etc. I never said that it couldn't be done differently by dedicated plugins, but that's a workflow that I ventured into and found rather comfortable, if not arguably more flexible than relying solely on a plugin's exhaustivity.

My main difficulties at the moment come from the fact that FL and Cubase work in pretty different ways when it comes to MIDI / audio routing and their mixer, so I still have to adapt my workflow and my mindset. But as you said there's plenty of material out there to give me a hand :)
Your additional explanations made things a lot clearer, thanks for that. When I said it would be fundamentally worrying, I wasn’t sure if you were asking how to delay an audio track as a whole, or the left and right channels(which just traditional delay, hence the worrying), not if you wanted to do something experimental. There are no restrictions when it comes to production techniques, mixing tricks and sound design applications, go wild.
Also, having worked with Fl Studio, the only i miss from it is the Piano Roll, it’s very intuitive and easy to use, but it lacks CC lanes, customizable shortcuts, more in-depth midi editing, etc. When you find your way around all the possibilities Cubase gives you (logical editor presets are a great example, allowing to do all kinds of stuff, visibility configurations, etc.) it’s gonna drastically improve the speed of your workflow.
 
OP
Kubler

Kubler

Active Member
having worked with Fl Studio, the only i miss from it is the Piano Roll, it’s very intuitive and easy to use, but it lacks CC lanes, customizable shortcuts, more in-depth midi editing, etc.
I feel the same way ! It's the curse of switching DAW's, you start wishing there was a hybrid one that combines this or that from both.

I'm using a little plugin called Voxengo Sound Delay to do that kind of stuff in Cubase. You can use both msec and samples to adjust your delay. And this is absolutely free!
I going to check it out, thanks for the tip !
 

JamieLang

Active Member
There's a TRACK delay/offset (positive or negative) on anything...that's a track..audio, midi, instrument--irrelevant...it's in the Inspector, not in the mixer.
 

j_kranz

Active Member
Maybe look at Haas from kilohearts, as it seems you’re after basically a haas effect in delaying one side. It would eliminate the need for the duplicate instrument (unless I’ve misunderstood what you’re after).
 
OP
Kubler

Kubler

Active Member
There's a TRACK delay/offset (positive or negative) on anything...that's a track..audio, midi, instrument--irrelevant...it's in the Inspector, not in the mixer.
I found it already, but it's actually missing for the Kontakt outputs.

Maybe look at Haas from kilohearts, as it seems you’re after basically a haas effect in delaying one side. It would eliminate the need for the duplicate instrument (unless I’ve misunderstood what you’re after).
Thanks for the tip ! In fact Haas wouldn't have been appropriate in this situation as my instrument was stereo, simply centered – and I was looking for more of a "spread ensemble" effect. But that looks like a simple and useful little plugin regardless ^^
 

j_kranz

Active Member
I found it already, but it's actually missing for the Kontakt outputs.


Thanks for the tip ! In fact Haas wouldn't have been appropriate in this situation as my instrument was stereo, simply centered – and I was looking for more of a "spread ensemble" effect. But that looks like a simple and useful little plugin regardless ^^
I see... not to bang the kilohearts drum too much here, but they also have an Ensemble plugin that could be useful here too.