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How to add effects plugins in Cubase

Today we will learn how to add effects plugins in Cubase.

Some people get confused about when use inserts or sends to add an effect to a track. Usually, when we want to process a signal, using an effect as a modifier, we insert it on a track.

When we want to add another signal in a separate bus and mix it with the original, we use a send channel. It’s a simple way to explain, but it will make it easier to understand.

It is not a rigid rule but I use EQ, compressors, and gates as inserts. Reverbs and delays are opened in send channels.

With that said, let’s learn how to insert an FX plugin into a track:

1) Open a Cubase project. You might have the tracks already recorded:


2) Now let’s add an EQ. It can be a third-party plugin or a native one. In this case, I will open the Waves Q4 as an insert. To do that, click on the ‘Inserts’ tab in the Inspector column:


3) Click on the first empty slot:


4) A list of all FX plugins will appear:


5) I will add the Waves Q4 equalizer, so I click on EQ and then on Q4 Stereo:


Notice that there are options for mono and stereo effects. So, if your track is mono, use a mono EQ.

6) There it is. We inserted the EQ on the track. Now you can adjust the parameters as you want:


Notice that there are several slots in the Inserts panel so that you can add other effects, such as compressors, gates, de-essers, etc.

Now let’s learn how to create a Send bus, so we can add other effect types in the track, such as reverbs and delays.

1) First, we need to create an FX Channel track. To do that, right-click on the Track List and click on ‘Add FX Channel Track’:


2) A window will open, so we can choose which effect to open and also to configure whether it will be a stereo or a mono bus:


3) Click on ‘No Effect’ and again the list of all installed FX plugins will display:


Notice that I will choose the RVerb Stereo, from the Reverb option.

4) The FX channel will open the selected plugin:



You can configure the parameters as you wish. You can repeat the steps if you want to use another FX plugin.

Now, let’s say that you want to add the RVerb to the track with the inserted EQ. How to do that?

1) Select the Track 1 (it’s the track with the inserted EQ plugin) and click on the ‘Sends’ tab in the Inspector column:


2) It will also open several empty slots. So, clicking on one of them will open all routing options for that track:


3) Click on the ‘FX 1-RVerb Stereo’. We just routed the FX signal to the Track 1:


4) Notice that there’s an on/off button on this track. To enable the reverb, just click on the button to turn it on, and then configure the amount of reverb to be added to the track:


That’s it! Now you can add FX plugins correctly on your tracks and improve your work.

Happy productions!


Pianist, keyboardist and music producer.

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