Cubase - from mixing to stems ready for mastering


OK guys, I have had a look around the web and can’t see an answer to this other than the ‘long version’ that i had already worked out in my head. I know if there is a better way, then this is the place to find out.

I have various individual channels, a parallel bus (for drums, but could have multiple of these lets say) and then a series of plate, mid and large reverbs. None of the reverbs are specific to the final ‘stem group’ I would export for stem mastering (and this may be the issues).

I get a great mix (this is hyperthetically!!), everything ready for mastering. I know stem mastering is better than a stereo file, so I now want to output stems. How do I do that so that each ‘stem’ group has the reverb for that stem within the stem? In other words, I wouldn’t be bouncing out a separate ‘reverb’ stem.

The only way I can think is that back in the mixing, I have separate copies of the same reverb settings, but for each intended stem (CPU ouch!). That way I can group all of the outputs I want into the one stem and output together. If I just solo’ don’t each group that i wanted, would I not get a different ‘summed’ sound in the mastering file due to things like the saturation not being pushed in the same way with less signal?

If you are using Cubase, what do you do to get from mixing, into mastering?

Cheers guys…


I’m soloing individual tracks (let’s say all individual drum channels) - when you click “solo” Cubase also solos all the send channels this channel has… So you have all the individual drums, drum group, parallel drum bus AND reverbs. In this case only soloed drum tracks are sent to reverb.
Then I bounce Master channel and get Drums stem.
Then same thing for Bass - soloing individual bass channels -> bounce Master

PS I learned that approach from Danny of course :slight_smile:


Thanks @Mike, that is the only way I can see it working too. Surely Cubase could improve that by letting you output for example all ‘linked channels’ (like we link for VCA) with all routing (parallel buss, FX etc) in place. You can output all ‘groups’ where you have sent the channels to a group, before the mix buss, but that also wouldn’t include the sends from the individual channel.

If you learned it from @Danny, then it’s good for me though. Until Cubase change things up!

Final thought, this could be a good little plugin for any plugin developers out there. The idea being that you insert it on the mix buss and it ‘detects’ the linked channels. You could then within the plugin solo or mute the linked channels, keeping all routing in place, including mix buss up to the point of the plugin, so you could choose before tape, after tape etc. The real bonus though, being you could ‘create stems for mastering’ which would output all of the stems from one click of the mouse. You could have an option that ‘checked output’. This would sum all of the created stems and compare with the stereo output to ensure the sum of the stems matched the ‘full’ output. This would ensure you hadn’t missed anything.