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CUBASE 5 - Where do I begin?

Discussion in 'Cubase' started by Crye, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. Crye

    Crye Active Member

    I really really love recording on Cubase of which I have version 5. I've never tried making beats with it (I use FL studio) but I just started out with recording vocals. I am kind of a baby here, but we all once were, right?

    OK, I want to just go patient with everything. I want to master playing with the most important stuff in Cubase 5...

    - Plugins
    - FX

    Where can I find a list of all the plugins etc which come with Cubase, but with the most important or commonly used ones highlighted? I wanna read about them and study them one by one.

    I often hear terminology like Waves, sample rate, preamp, reverb, delay and the almighty 'compression' but I don't have more than just an idea of what they are. God, I can't wait to learn these step by step and master them. I want to learn what mixing and then mastering are, and what it takes, but first I believe I have to begin with the 5 package.

    So where do i begin with this theory while tweaking to test?.... Any extra plugins (3rd party) that are commonly used? We can helpfully list some here, and what they do. E.g. To get stuff like for crowd vocals, separating backups from lead, robotic vocals and getting stuff like Timbaland's voice etc.

    Forgive if I asked too much ...it's for lack of knowledge/terminology. I really like to one day be able to be a doctor of vocals, but I often hear of plugins for FX, so I thought that's where the magic lies.

    Any input on anything I asked would greatly help!howdy
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Your best bet, if you're going to do this on your own, is to research the terminology, and learn about them by reading and asking questions. For example, type "what is an audio compressor" or "what is an audio preamp" into google or any other search engine and you'll find hundreds of posts explaining exactly what it is and what it does.

    As far as plug ins available for your platform - cubase - there are many different packages available, depending on your budget. Most - if not all - of the major effects libraries currently support all of the current multi track recording platforms - Reaper, Sonar, Cubase, Nuendo, etc.

    I'll give you a few freebies, and then the rest you're gonna have to knuckle down on and do your own research.

    1. A compressor is an audio tool used for gain reduction. Its primary purpose is to reduce transients (peaks) and to keep the audio at a more consistent level, it "narrows" the dynamic range, which has several functions which allow you to vary the type of compression you want. The first is Ratio. Ratio is the amount of compression you want to use, that is, how much you want to compress the audio. The second is threshold. Threshold is where in the dynamic range you want the compressor to start working. The third is Attack. Attack is how fast you want the compressor to start working. The fourth is Release, which determines how long you want the compressor to work.

    Now these are very basic explanations. There's a lot more to using a compressor than what I mentioned, and I suggest you read up on it thoroughly..because misuse of a compressor is probably the number one "sonic killer" there is with rookie or entry level engineers' mixes. The more you compress a track, the more you reduce it's dynamic range. You need to be careful when using it because you can wipe out all the dynamics which makes music cool and natural. If you over-compress every track, the whole song will turn into a mushy sonic mess. Learn about it. It's important. Here's a link to get you started:

    Dynamic range compression - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    2. Reverb and Delay are time based effects. They are not exactly the came, although they use very similar functions, in that they are both effects based upon "time" Reverb can create an artificial ambient "space" to audio... you can tweak it to mimic the reverberation you would hear in a huge Cathedral, Gymnasium, or as small as a tiled bathroom.
    Delay is more of an "echo" type effect, ( although the line between delay and echo is kind of blurred... (you need to read up on it because I have a job and can't take two hours explaining this stuff to you ;) )
    where you can actually add an echo to audio, as small as a quick "slap back" which creates a very quick echo, or you can use it to an extreme, listen to songs like Us and Them off the Dark Side Of The Moon album.
    Its actually got almost a full 1 second delay on the vocal that repeats several times (if memory serves correct I think it repeats like 7 times, once every second).

    Reverb or Delay: Do you Know The Difference?

    Now it's time to do your own research. The internet is full of very valuable information, hundreds and hundreds of great articles on audio recording. If you have a specific question that you can't find information on, then post it here. There are many professionals here who are glad to help you - as long as they know you are also doing everything to help yourself as well.

  3. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Best place to find a list of the plugins is the manual. I'm not trying to be a prick, although I'm pretty good at that, it just makes a very poor impression IMHO if you don't put forth the effort to read the manual. We all had to do it at some point in time. It's a $600 bit of software brand new. $300 on Amazon. Either way it's a bit of an investment not to read the manual. Put some effort into it. There are more intensive questions that you will want to ask after you've taken the time to do some reading.

    You also might want to joing steinberg.net user forums. Not to defer you to them specifically but if you want in depth information about your software and some free tech support(not officially tech support), that is the place to go. It will require that you register your dongle key.
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i am a prick ..... diddlydoo read the manual. that's where to start. there's a "quick start" tutorial. read it.
  5. Crye

    Crye Active Member

    Wow, thank you so much for your forbearance, Dr. Donny and everyone. Really helpful tips I must thank for. Not to worry about details, I can't expect anyone here to just be sitting there waiting to answer questions but maybe visit here when free. I was just like ....where's a list of plugins, and what's the big deal about all this Reverb, Compressor etc? ... so just the gist did the job (E.g. I quote: "Delay is more of an "echo" type effect..", "Best place to find a list of the plugins is the manual"). I expanded the question so that ANY part could be answered or any tip chipped in in a word, line, two, not necessarily all ...a word of encouragement or peek into the mass to be expected, and best practices from your own experiences so i avoid the mistakes you made and maybe one day return favour to your Cubase/DAW grandchildren (lol). I have communication probs, sorry.

    Hue Moderator, actually, I know of what use a manual is, not only for Cubase and other DAWs but as well anything demanding 'master'-ing. In life everyone has their best way of approaching new areas, and mine is to 'peek' first, get a feel and achieve effectivity ... like getting a logline before the main script. Sorry it was boring. And which other source for that 'peeking' would be better than experienced techies? So I thought. Sad that I'm the only dumb person amongst clever pricks, otherwise how couldn't I just go straight into the manual? And as if that wasn't sorry enough, it looks like I wasted "I am kind of a baby here ....OK, I want to just go patient with everything .... I wanna read about them and study them one by one ...God, I can't wait to learn these step by step and master them ... Any input on anything I asked would greatly help!".
    Poor me, I should have thought hard before asking in the first place so that I could secure good first impressions. Please forgive me, and thanks again for the schooling, and if it's not too much asking, pray for me to be granted
    patience for use with with people with difficulties or problems as I can't wait to assist anyone of them on anything and in any way they want if I have time. smoke
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    don't waste time worrying what others think of you. opinions are transient. other peoples opinions really don't matter that much and no one around here is going to think worse of you over such a small thing.

    check out the quick start tutorial ... that will get you going. cheers!
  7. Crye

    Crye Active Member

    Thanks Kurt. I will follow your advice to the letter; you're not wasting your time! Cheers!
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    It's not that we are not willing to help... it's precisely why most of us are here.

    But you have to lift your share of that weight, too.

    You hit us with a pretty large barrage of questions, and more than a few of your questions were leaps ahead of the others.

    It's a bit difficult for us to explain to you what a plug-in is, when you don't know what EQ, Reverb, or Compression is... it's not all that different from you asking how the carburetor in an engine works, when you don't know what gasoline is.

    I think you'll find that, in amongst your various posts, several people tried to answer your various questions as best they could.

    To give you the answers is one thing, and in many cases many here are glad to do that, but the stuff that will sink in and stay anchored from here on out, is the stuff you will learn on your own - after we guide you to where to find the answers. It's no different than if you were in a school for this - yes, some of it would be explained to you by an instructor, but that instructor is also gonna assign you a fair share of homework to do as well.

    The stuff that you retain the most will be the stuff you'll learn on your own - yes, of course we can help, we're glad to do so.

    But you have to do the work on your own end, too. ;)

  9. Crye

    Crye Active Member

    Sure Donny, I know. Thanks!
  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    you really want to know where to start?

    Start here:

  11. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Virtual Studio Technology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Dynamic range compression - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Equalization - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Equalization - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Reverberation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Delay (audio effect) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Time for me to come clean I suppose. The reason I don't want to directly help in this thread is this: You know nothing about audio but you have a software that is $300 and only because it is old now. Not many people these days with a lot of disposable income. Either you have a well paying job or your parents are well off. I don't know what the case is. I can't accuse you of anything. The thing is that this type of situation sets up alarms for me. I'd dare say that 99% of people who come here asking for help on the most basic concepts in regards to software that is obviously well beyond their current grasp are using stolen software.

    I won't support that. I absolutely refuse. I don't care what you do on your spare time but if a person wants to help themselves to pirated software then they shouldn't expect tech support. I'm not saying you've done this. I can't say it but it is in my head that this is a strong possibility. A person who invests their hard earned money into a piece of software will do everything they can to learn it. The cheapest way to do that is read the manual.

    When I get something new, regardless of what it is, I always read the manual. I relish it. It's like opening a long awaited gift. I anticipate flipping the pages and getting into the deeper details of that new toy. Read the manual. All of the things you need to know are there.

    If you want help on specifics hey, I don't mind helping(if I can). That's what this forum is for. But, I absolutely refuse to handhold someone who has the gumption to steal software and not bother to educate themselves in the slightest. I'm not saying that's you.

    This is just my point of view. Others may differ.
  12. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I guess I like to give people the benefit of the doubt... that they aren't looking for help on pirated software, or simply looking to be spoon fed and handheld through the process. Perhaps I should be more analytical; but I do agree that the pros here are much more inclined to help those that are also attempting to help themselves.

    I'm not shilling for Berklee or anything, but I still think that the fact that they are offering a course in the basics of DAW production - for FREE - leaves very little excuse for those that truly want to learn about the basics of the craft... maybe it will help to weed out those that are looking for the easy way out, the quick answer, the easy road... because this craft is NOT easy by a longshot. To do it right requires commitment, discipline and above all, time and research.

    Or... maybe I was just more serious about getting as good as I could in this craft than others who are now entering the field.

  13. Crye

    Crye Active Member

    Thanks Donny. I'm started on the manual already and this could really be some great hands-on backup. Let me check it fully.
  14. Crye

    Crye Active Member

    I signed up for Causera and have connected with them here and there. Thanks so much. Unexpectedly, it's even free. The course schedule/scheme is great. I'll have to dig in to see what they're made of. Grazie, my good friend Donny!
  15. Crye

    Crye Active Member

    Hue ... thanks for the links; those are quite the essential springboards. GBU abundantly !!

    While I'm not willing to waste my brother's sacrifice on my Cubase software, I, not out of being lazy, still hold that the manual is some scary cumbersome material which can't replace peeking. I have a Sony NEX VG20h prosumer camcorder and the most regrettable thing I did and the most lavish way I waste time was to go straight into the manual without first hearing 'what others had to say from experience'. Both the manual and operation guide tell you how to autofocus for e.g in a way so unclear you still need to go elsewhere to be able to pull it off hands-on. But someone with experience uses 2 lines, tells you what autofocus is (gist) and if they've used that cam before, choice settings according to them, looking at the conditions such as of light and noise etc. When you then pickup the manual, you're instantly illuminated and get the full picture in a more beautiful way, as well as that confidence you're now reading from the maker.

    But you, Hue et al, have this music production experience and I don't ever like blame, so I followed your and everyone's advice to get down with the manual. Music may be different from Film making. Donny also helped me know about Causera/Berklee where I'm in for a course on music production. I have given up some study (school) hours to allow me level up with the music making loads. I just want to be sure I'm doing the right thing. I often lack confidence in myself, so I need feedback of some kind when I learn technology informally/at home.

    BTW, I live in China where language is already a barrier. I don't have friends here I work with. I'm in the middle of Chinese people doing other stuff. There are so MANY things involved ... many opportunities I can't get as I would have if I was in say my country. Well, you need to walk in those shoes to for example know what it takes to even search online and get someone or a school to learn such an art, and ...in English!! That's just a tip of the iceberg ... I hope you even know getting on FB, Youtube, Twitter etc is a hassle... we pay for VPNs to get there (illegally), and it's still unreliable, slow. How dare anyone then compare us with someone who just needs a browser and web connection to get on Youtube and learn learn learn? I mean...Such!

    Well, let's just say I get it and move on. My matter shouldn't stir any trouble for your site and time. Thanks again, y'all.
  16. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Just out of curiosity. Is your bro close enough to give you some pointers?
  17. Crye

    Crye Active Member

    No...he's not into music at all. He's just the one with the payment card i could use from China since at the time, mine was rejected...why?

    But really, don't worry man. I'm already on and digging. I'm taking it from scratch and having good feedback on quizzes on sound properties (amplitude, frequency etc), though quite basic. I'll progress to DAWs soon..i just want a good b/g on theory b4 touching that manual full-scale. The course is 6 weeks but I can wrap it up in much less time then grab manual which I'll barely survey from time to time just for feel.

    If at anytime, though, you feel like you have a heads-up or pointer such as the links, it's always good to share. At least so far you already know I'm entry level.

    thanks again!
  18. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    From what I was able to discern, the class was a nice all-round introduction to DAW's in general, which as far as I can tell in your case, is pretty much what you need right now.

    Don't throw out your manual though. ;)

    While all DAW Progs are designed to do the same thing, there can be major differences in how they do it, from program to program.

    Let us know how it's going from time to time, and how it's helping you in regard to you being able to actually apply what you are being taught.
  19. Crye

    Crye Active Member

    Thanks Donny. I'll do just that. Looks like the lessons are only dished out on schedule, so no way to go ahead of week lessons as I'd thought...but there's suggested further reading to do. Yeah of course the course can't replace the manual which is specific to my DAW. Thanks man, GBU abundantly!
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