Need to record your guitar to send new song ideas to your bandmates? Today we’ll talk about how you can record in Cubase.
Cubase is a music production system used by companies in the music industry to edit existing audio files, compose new songs, and develop individualized processes. For example, the platform’s chord pads let songwriters alter chord structures, fine-tune their arrangements by adjusting voicings and tension, and playback audio files using a MIDI keyboard.
Using warp markers, DAW’s quantized panel allows users to manipulate track parameters, including pace, arrangement, and audio distribution. The sample tracks, batch exporting, notepad, scaling helper, latency monitoring, colored mixer channel, and more are just a few of the features.
Music producers can also use MediaBay to search for and organize content and the integrated project browser to see and edit songs, productions, and performances. The track import feature lets musicians synchronize data between projects and import folders, tracks, groups, and FX from other projects. One-time payments are accepted, and help is offered over the phone, via email, and other internet channels.
Let’s look at how to communicate effectively with Cubase in terms of guitar recording and improve the sound quality of recordings.
How To Record Guitar In Cubase?
After the Cubase is installed, we must realize that the program does not understand how it should communicate with the tools we have purchased, so we must install drivers and select audio connections. This is important because the DAW must know where to get data and how to send it.
Therefore, this article is divided into two parts: the first is about preparation, where we explain how to solve the questions that the DAW has about the tools you have, and the second is about the MIX window, where we explain step-by-step what you need to do to record the guitar itself.
Before you can even begin recording your guitar in Cubase, you’ll need to adjust several settings so the program can connect to your audio interface.
Those with a separate soundcard should ensure they have the newest driver installed. Install the ASIO driver for your soundcard by navigating to “Studio> Device Setup>Audio System” in Cubase. The “Generic Low Latency” ASIO driver is recommended if you do not have a dedicated sound card. The free driver available at “www.ASIO4ALL.com” after download, installation, and use, may provide even better performance.
Once you’ve downloaded and installed the ASIO4ALL driver, you can relaunch Cubase and make the necessary adjustments to your audio setup by going to “Studio>Studio Setup>Audio System” and selecting the appropriate option. The ASIO4ALL driver is recommended for the vast majority of computers.
The ASIO driver you’ve chosen will be displayed as “Audio System” in “Studio-> Studio Setup.” You may access the ASIO driver’s settings menu by selecting it at this point and then clicking the “Control Panel” button on the resulting page. You should take a quick look at these options to get acquainted with them. But if you are still determining what you are doing, don’t make any adjustments.
The Audio Inputs Are Essential. First, the ASIO driver must be installed before configuring the “Audio Connections” in the “Studio” menu. Then, using Cubase’s “Audio Connections,” you may link the software’s virtual buses to the hardware’s inputs and outputs.
Setting Up The Outputs
You can’t listen to Cubase’s output until you’ve configured the “Output” tab under Audio Connections. Choose “File” > “Import” > “Audio File” to load a sound recording. After an audio file has been imported, the user can test the playing by pressing the “Play” button. Access the “Studio> Audio Connections” output section in the menu bar.
Now, in the device port column, click next to “Stereo Out” to link the logical output of your soundcard with the actual output. The correct port assignment for the device may already be in place. However, using the stereo out bus in the Audio Connections is necessary if you want to use our speakers with your device’s outputs 1 and 2.
When playing back audio from an audio track, the Signal can be summarized as follows: Cubase Audio Stream> Cubase’s “Stereo Out” Master Fader > the soundcard’s physical outputs via the virtual “stereo out” > the speakers or headphones attached to the soundcard’s physical outputs.
Setting Up The Inputs
Plug into the sound card’s physical input to use a microphone or guitar. You can find the input tab in Studio by selecting Audio Connections> Studio> Audio Connections.
For the sake of simplicity, here is the recording signal chain: First, start with the microphone or guitar plugged into the sound card’s physical mono input; then, move on to the virtual “Mono Bus” and have it set as the audio track’s input in the inspector; finally, record the audio to disk.
Remember that Cubase has a wealth of documentation available by selecting “Help> Documentation” from the menu. In addition, you can find tutorial material in the “Getting Started” section for more basic Cubase. Finally, for assistance with your initial Cubase recordings, check out the “Recording Audio” and “Recording MIDI” sections of the “Getting Started” handbook.
After setting up Cubase, you may start working on your project. This section will teach you the fundamentals of starting and preparing a new project for use.
This is what your Cubase environment will look like.
We need to insert a channel (Track) into our environment to make a recording. To produce a high-quality recording, certain conditions must be met in a recording studio. A few general rules regulate sample rates and recording formats. In the recording process, some default parameters are employed for this purpose.
To begin the recording process, we adjust the following:
- The sample rate is 48kHz.
- 24 Bit Sample Rate Recording Format
You can modify the following settings for your project, and when the audio is exported, you will modify them again to conform to the standard. Then a dialog box like the one below will appear; make adjustments there. Finally, you can find both the sample rate and the recording format in the lower box.
It’s time to start recording now. First, add a recording track to the workspace to capture the sound card’s inputs. Let’s check out the process.
As illustrated in the figure, right-clicking in a blank area allows us to add a channel.
The next step is to select “Add Audio Track” from the menu. The track’s preferences will appear in a pop-up menu. Okay, what do we need to do in that little menu that just popped up there?
According to the preceding diagram, we must create a mono-recording track since the sound card can only accept mono inputs. Also, at the outset of this lesson, we must disconnect the inputs from the VST Connections preferences. The recording can begin now that the track is complete.
After approving the preceding pop-up window, your workspace will appear, as shown in the following figure.
We also need to select the input channel you will use to record the new track we just made. Let’s pretend you are trying to record a guitar over the sound card’s Device Port No. 1. We’ll use the input 01 Bus Name we made before as a starting point. Below is a diagram that can help you decide which Bus to take.
As shown in the figure above, selecting the input channel brings up a list of the bus names we entered when setting up the VST Connections.
Behold! Now that you have all you need, you can begin. To begin recording, please follow the instructions below.
How To Improve The Sound Quality Of The Recordings?
- Dealing With The Noise
The presence of background noise is one of the most common challenges of audio recording. Of course, you can ignore the noise if it is faint or inaudible, but if it interferes with your recording, you should take care of it. The ideal solution is to eliminate all noise from the signal chain. A jumbled sound may result from a loose connection or interference from another signal.
Be sure that all of the connections and wires you employ are neat. Take away anything that could disrupt the transmission. Adding a noise gate plugin to your track is another option. The input noise can be reduced with the help of the noise-gate plugin, resulting in a more refined and less cluttered output. You may install this plugin in Cubase through the Dynamics menu item.
Reduce the background noise by adjusting the Gate plugin’s threshold and attack release settings to your liking. This won’t have any effect on the guitar’s tone. The Waves X-Noise and Z-Noise plugins are two others that can be useful here. You can adjust the settings so it “learns” the noise frequency and eliminates only that frequency from the recording.
A guitar can produce a broad spectrum of frequencies. As a result, the overall mix must zero in on the correct frequency and eliminate the problematic one. You must set the guitar’s EQ to blend well with the other instruments. Reduce the lows or apply a high-pass filter to the track if you think the guitar has too much bass. You can use an equalizer to tone down the highs if they’re overwhelming.
The low frequencies in the preceding track are amplified more than they should be. They clean up the bass using a high-pass filter to decrease low frequencies. The guitar can benefit from a slight high boost to make it seem more vibrant. Increasing your boost anywhere around 10k will make a noticeable effect.
Sometimes the richness of the guitar is lost while recording it in mono. Adding this primary effect can significantly improve the guitar’s bass. First, make a copy of the mono track, then pan each copy to the left and proper channels. Now, add a mono delay from the Delay plugins list on both tracks, and tweak the settings until you get a pleasing stereo effect.
- Double Take
Recording the guitar twice on separate tracks may be more cumbersome, but the results are well worth it. Due to the inherent fallibility of human performance, the two songs will feature subtle timing variations. In addition, you may instantly notice an improvement in the stereo image quality by panning these two tracks hard left and right.
Remember that Cubase is a complex program with many features; don’t expect to grasp all of them immediately. Cubase is a recording, mixing, and mastering program with various options to accommodate various musical styles.
The settings we’ve discussed will make Cubase less daunting and more like a natural extension of your creative process, allowing you to start recording whenever you like. Furthermore, as you gain experience with Cubase, you’ll find that many of the questions you had when you first started using it have been answered by the DAW’s well-thought-out and intuitive design.
Remember that it’s not enough to record the sound merely; we’ve included various Mixing options at the end to aid in your comprehension of the tracks. We hope this article has helped you understand Cubase Basics and you are already with your guitar in hand, ready to record.
Death metal enthusiast here. I am a Romanian musician and producer with over 13 years of experience in the music industry. I’ve experienced all types of Metal up until now, playing Melodic Death Metal, Brutal Death Metal, and Black Metal with different bands. Learning by doing is my base principle, which is why I’ve been drawn to sound design from an early age.