How to Properly Setup and Record Your First Basic Recording With Cubase

Hello. I am planning to share my knowledge with you on the topic of Audio Engineering in this blog post. This article is for the people who are interested in using Cubase for their recordings. As the title says this article is for absolute beginners to Cubase software.

First of all, let me share the rig that I am using here.

  • Sound Card — Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
  • DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) — Cubase 5

Now, let's start…

As the first step, you need to install the drivers of the sound card before connecting the sound card to your machine. Then start the Cubase software. First of all, we need to setup Cubase for the sound card.

Go to Device → VST Connection or simply press F4

Then you need to go to the Inputs Tab because the output tab will be already done automatically. When you open the tab inputs, you will see something like this:

As this figure shows my Sound card has two inputs; it will show a stereo input. This will be different for sound cards

Sound cards give us separate mono inputs. For that, we need to configure the input channels as mono channels (or “Busses”) to get the best recording environment and for the ease of dealing with those inputs. For that, we need to delete these auto-generated configurations. To do that simply,

Right click on the created Bus name and click Remove Bus.

After that as the below figure shows we can create mono Buses for all inputs from the sound card.
Right-click → Add Bus → Mono

After adding the bus it shows like below. We can rename the Bus names and select the audio device (which comes up if and when we have connected more than one audio device)

The important part is the Bus Name and the Device port; why is that?

If we have a studio with all the cables already connected it will not change. For example, a single device port will be for voice mic and others will be for some other instruments. The bus name will be voice Input (as an example) and we need to select the correct device port in here that the vocal mic has been connected into the sound card.

If we select the bus name to record for voice when we record, but the input signal is from an instrument it’s confusing to the system. That is why this step is very important.

So after all, this is the final outcome as my sound card has only 2 inputs.

Now the sound card is successfully configured. You can go through other settings for your knowledge. Let’s go to the Recording workspace to look at how to start a recording; this is the final segment of this article.

Your workspace will look like this in Cubase.

For a recording, we need to add a channel (Track) to our workspace. For a studio quality recording, there are some settings that we follow in a recording workspace. There are some standards for “Sample Rates” and “Record Format”. Some standard settings are used for that in the recording phase.

In the recording phase we use the settings as below:

Sample Rate= 48.000kHz
Record Format = 24 Bit

You can change these setting for your project as below and when exporting the audio, those settings will be changed again according to the global standard.

Project → Project Setup or you can use Shift + S
Then you will get a box like below and you need to change the setting in here. Sample Rate and Record Format are in the bottom box.

Ok. Now, let's move to the Recording. We need to add a recording track to the workspace for recording the inputs which come from the sound card. Let’s see how to do it.

We can add a channel by right clicking in a specific space like shown as below figure:

After that, click the “Add Audio Track” from the options. A box will pop up to select the settings for the track. Let’s see what is the setting we need to add in that pop-up box

As this above figure shows, we need to make the recording track as a mono track. Because all inputs that come from the sound card are mono. And we have to separate the inputs from the VST Connections settings when we start this course. Now, the track is ready for the recordings.

Below figure shows you how the workspace looks like after clicking OK in the above pop up box.

Another important part is that we need to choose the input channel that needs to be recorded in the track we created now. For this, let’s assume that I have to record the guitar that is connected to the device port 1 in the sound card. We need to select the input 01 Bus Name that we created earlier. The below Figure shows where to choose the right Bus.

When clicking on the input channel such as in the above image, it will list down all the bus names that we created on the VST Connections earlier.

Behold! You are now ready to start. Hit the recording button as below.

So Now it’s recording!

This the way you need to set up the Cubase for an input recording from a sound card. There are many more options like VST recordings and MIDI inputs etc. If you are interested to know about those, let me know in the comment section.

So this is how you can do a basic recording from Cubase software using a sound card.

Have an awesome recording with Cubase.

Software & Audio Engineer