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CUE-MIX=CONFUSING AF!!

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Discussion related to installation, configuration and use of MOTU hardware such as MIDI interfaces, audio interfaces, etc. with Windows

CUE-MIX=CONFUSING AF!!

Postby HARDDRlVER » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:08 am

I have the 828mk3 hybrid and cuemix simply boggles the mind. Even Motu's online video showing 8 separate mixers built into cuemix is as confusing as it could possibly be.

Just one for instance;

I can get a mic input to have a reverb effect through the 828 but I have no way of knowing if the reverb effect is being sent to the daw or not...which I don't want it to.
When listening to the recorded track, I don't know WHAT I'm hearing.
How many mixers does a signal have to go through in order to get what needs to be done, done?
You have all these hidden mixers in cuemix, then you have the basic tracks, then you have the busses, sends, effects, master buss, etc.
Mind-boggling to say the least...

Ok, one more example;
You have (supposedly) a dry track that is then shot through a buss which has comp/reverb...whatever...
When the signal gets back to the 828 for monitoring, how do you know you're listening to the Daw's comp/reverb or the 828's reverb?
And if by the miracle of fortune, you somehow get that teensy bit right, then how do you listen to the Daw's tracks which has the reverb, whilst recording a new dry track...and listening to the 828 reverb [for the new track](because, once again, you don't want the 828's effects printed to the daw...

Did I mention that CUE-MIX is confusing?
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Re: CUE-MIX=CONFUSING AF!!

Postby mikehalloran » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:54 am

Read the documentation. Together with the video it should make sense. Whether effects print or not depends on how you route the signal. There are many threads on this subject that go into greater detail.
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Re: CUE-MIX=CONFUSING AF!!

Postby csavetman » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:18 pm

Cuemix is for live inputs.
So any reverb you have assigned through the cuemix mixer is only for live zero latency monitoring. (Shouldn't get recorded)
On playback, your DAW routings control what you're hearing.
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Re: CUE-MIX=CONFUSING AF!!

Postby HARDDRlVER » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:06 pm

"Read the documentation."

I suppose this answer could be the default answer for any question posted on this website.

Read the documentation. Together with the video it should make sense. Whether effects print or not depends on how you route the signal. There are many threads on this subject that go into greater detail.

"There are many threads on this subject that go into greater detail."

Exactly where would I find these 'many threads'?
Inputting 'cue-mix' on this website returns almost nothing.
Is there some documentation I need to read in order to locate what you might be referring?

I feel as though I've driven into a strange town and asked someone the direction to a location, and got "get a map" as an answer...rather than simply point out/actually help me in my search.

Ah well...
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Re: CUE-MIX=CONFUSING AF!!

Postby James Steele » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:59 pm

The dash isn't going to help. Try entering "cuemix" without the dash. Also try searching the site with Google. For example, "cuemix site:motunation.com"
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Re: CUE-MIX=CONFUSING AF!!

Postby nk_e » Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:27 am

HARDDRlVER wrote:"Read the documentation."

I suppose this answer could be the default answer for any question posted on this website.

Read the documentation. Together with the video it should make sense. Whether effects print or not depends on how you route the signal. There are many threads on this subject that go into greater detail.

"There are many threads on this subject that go into greater detail."

Exactly where would I find these 'many threads'?
Inputting 'cue-mix' on this website returns almost nothing.
Is there some documentation I need to read in order to locate what you might be referring?

I feel as though I've driven into a strange town and asked someone the direction to a location, and got "get a map" as an answer...rather than simply point out/actually help me in my search.

Ah well...


That may be, but I can tell you from personal experience it’s the right way to go.

I struggled with cue mix for a long time because it LOOKS comprehensible and with a bit of fiddling you can get sounds out of it ok. But one day I sat down and actually went through / skimmed through the documentation...and a lot of things fell into place. More importantly, there were a few things I was doing wrong that I needed to fix so that some of the “weird AF” stuff would go away.

Also, it’s hard to give general advice for CueMix because your IO set up is likely very different, and so much of the answer to “how do I...” depends on how it is set up.

So.....the map it is! Good luck!

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Re: CUE-MIX=CONFUSING AF!!

Postby mikehalloran » Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:44 pm

nk_e wrote:...
Also, it’s hard to give general advice for CueMix because your IO set up is likely very different, and so much of the answer to “how do I...” depends on how it is set up.

So.....the map it is! Good luck!
Yep.
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Re: CUE-MIX=CONFUSING AF!!

Postby bayswater » Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:47 pm

I agree that the manual doesn't help that much if you don't already have a clear understanding of what Cuemix is doing in general. It focusses on how to use the controls, but doesn't address the general design.

Cuemix is lot easier to understand if you keep signal flow in mind. Cuemix itself is just a software interface that controls a digital mixer inside the MOTU box. The MOTU box, of course, also has a ADA interface in it. So you have three things: a mixer, an ADA interface, and a DAW, and the three of them send signals back and forth to each other, but they don't otherwise interact.

Now (mentally) replace the mixer in the MOTU box with an analog hardware mixer with effects send and returns. Cuemix goes away because you operate this mixer manually. Now you can have reverb in the mixer and in your DAW. You would not be confused about which reverb you are hearing because you know where you put these effects in the end to end signal flow, and how you set them up.

Everything you do, and can do with Cuemix and the mixer built into the MOTU box can be done, and is done, with a separate hardware mixer you operate manually.
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Re: CUE-MIX=CONFUSING AF!!

Postby HARDDRlVER » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:34 am

I should've mentioned that cuemix is running through an 828mk3 hybrid.

I did as suggested by searching threads which included 'cuemix', and I must say, I'm not the only one who finds this software confusing. I watched a Motu produced youtube video, which was so skimmed over in detail, I had to watch it 3 times before realizing I hadn't learned a single thing. That video is some 9:45 minutes long.
But anyway, I get the feeling I'm in auto shop at school and can't learn how to drive a car without first learning how to build an engine from scratch.
I'm a slow reader, I must admit. I drudge through reading material. That's just me. I'll give up before I finish the safety chapter.
I can however pick up on cues.
There's a multitude of processes out there which were learned quicker from those more experienced and who knew what issues not to bother with and quick-to-learn shortcuts.
I've never had an issue with paying it forward...those things I've learned that can help someone from having to 'build the engine from scratch'.
I don't really expect any answers, I suppose, for the questions I have about cuemix...or really much of anything lately these days...

'How do I get to 5th and Main?'
'Get a map'...when the location might be two blocks away...that 'pay-it-forward' shortcut I was talking about.

'How do I listen to a track while listening to a live cuemix input at the same time? What IF I want to print an effect on a track...but since I'm listening to my live input, I have no way to hear the track and effect the daw is applying'.
How do you set up proper gain staging through cuemix? How much processing does a signal need to go through before one says 'somethings surely being lost by going through so many'.
('Ok...I think my mic is set to optimum in the motu, now on to the daw...where is optimum...because it's now completely dependant on the Motu settings...one iota off at one point and everything goes south...it's quality..a mixer in cuemix..no wait! The video mentions EIGHT mixers in cuemix...then the mixer in the daw...then the sends, busses, auxes, master...
Its a wonder ANYTHING comes out the other end...
If you can even figure out how to do it...

'Read the manual'...
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Re: CUE-MIX=CONFUSING AF!!

Postby terrybritton » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:49 am

I received several "Aha!" moments from repeated viewings of MOTU's video, so watch it a few times. Get to the point where you entirely understand just ONE of the mixers - routed to main speakers, for instance - and then dive into routing the output to one of the numbered line outs or S/PDIF, if you even need those. It is most useful for sending special mixes to different headphone amps in a band situation, and I think that was the mixer's main intended purpose.

If you study the options of the eight mixers they offer up in Cuemix, they really are mainly for sending a mix of physical input signals to physical outputs - main out, the eight line outs, S/PDIF and two ADAT lines.

Look at the mixer this way - each of the sliders except the master are for physical inputs. The master and the output assignment dropdown are concerned with physical outs.

There are two special ports - one for "return" and one for "reverb" that are entirely different numbers on the MOTU DP input side (see last paragraph below), but I don't recommend using the reverb to print, unless you are running out of CPU resources. That 828 reverb is really there just to sweeten the headphone output for the vocalist while laying a track. I send the mic-pre-out to a Lexicon LXP-5 sometimes and print that, though - bringing the LXP-5 in through Line-in 7+8 into its own track. The "Reverb Return" port allows you to do the same, bringing the 828 reverb into its own track.

None of the Cuemix "Mixer" controls do anything much to the discreet inputs coming into your DAW (not counting the "Return" and "Reverb" channels). The most important page is the "Input" page for adjusting the trim level on the mic, line and S/PDIF inputs, and setting whether that input channel is handled as a stereo pair or as separate mono inputs.

(ADVANCED - Warning - be able to "build the car" before trying this.) I use a TOSLINK or COAX cable and route the ADAT or the S/PDIF, respectively, back into itself so I can send processed signals through the 828 and back out of the MIXER or back into the DAW (beware of feedback loops being set up in the mixer or DAW). I mostly use this to pass audio from the DAW or Voicemeeter out to my second MOTU box (Ultralite Mk3 hybrid) to feed audio to the video recorder PC via S/PDIF out or via 7/8 out using one of the mixers. But this technique can be used to send a special mix of your DAW's playback out to a vocalist or band member's headphones as well. (It really is the only way I know to include the DAW or Voicemeeter output mixed into the Cuemix mixers' multiple physical outputs. I don't know why they (MOTU) make that part so hard, requiring loopbacks, considering how many people want their own mix of click tracks and DAW track playback in their headphone mix!)

In the MOTU Audio control panel, in the Main Speakers, Headphones and Return dropdown menus, there is a further option to select one of the numbered 1-8 mixer outputs to assign to that - in particular, the "return" channel can be useful if you want to use the stereo mix in your DAW, but figuring out which numbered input port in DP is the return channel can be a challenge. If I recall correctly, it is a pair of numbers above the ADAT inputs. I'll look it up if you need that.

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Re: CUE-MIX=CONFUSING AF!!

Postby bayswater » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:10 am

HARDDRlVER wrote:'How do I listen to a track while listening to a live cuemix input at the same time? What IF I want to print an effect on a track...but since I'm listening to my live input, I have no way to hear the track and effect the daw is applying'.
How do you set up proper gain staging through cuemix? How much processing does a signal need to go through before one says 'somethings surely being lost by going through so many'.
('Ok...I think my mic is set to optimum in the motu, now on to the daw...where is optimum...because it's now completely dependant on the Motu settings...one iota off at one point and everything goes south...it's quality..a mixer in cuemix..no wait! The video mentions EIGHT mixers in cuemix...then the mixer in the daw...then the sends, busses, auxes, master...

All done exactly the way you would do it if you have a hardware mixer in the place of the hardware mixer in the 828. All the same problems are there, and the solutions and methods are the same.
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Re: CUE-MIX=CONFUSING AF!!

Postby HARDDRlVER » Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:28 am

I must apologize to you guys for (probably) seeming short, impatient.
I apologize.
I'm 65, had open heart surgery, three failed spinal surgeries (one which nearly took my life after contracting sepsis infection which no one saw until it was almost too late), and now am recovering from blood clots in both legs and lungs.
I admit,I'm impatient. Because of my back, I can't sit at my 'music' more than 20-30 minutes at the most.
I realize I'm looking for the holy grail of shortcuts that I can see is clearly not there.
I have a ton of old reel to reel songs I need to process and many new ones to get going.
My old reel tapes are all from 10 inch tascam/teac 3440 (dbx) 4 track/15ips..unprocessed. back then I had no idea what compression eq'ing was. I just hit record and played.
These old recordings from my early 20's-on, deserve a proper treatment before I'm done with it all.
'I' deserve to hear them as what they can be. The playing was ok...the sound quality was crap. The frequency masking is everywhere.
I suppose I have a fairly decent setup for a home studio...I need to make the best use of it while I still can.

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Re: CUE-MIX=CONFUSING AF!!

Postby wylie1 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:34 am

HARDDRlVER wrote:I must apologize to you guys for (probably) seeming short, impatient.

I found your post quite humorous only because I could relate I've had the Cuemix mind numbing experience myself and thanks to someone here for posting a step by step I was able to get it setup the way I wanted and never had to touch it again.
If your setup is fairly static you won't have to fiddle with it once its setup.
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Re: CUE-MIX=CONFUSING AF!!

Postby terrybritton » Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:48 am

HARDDRlVER wrote:I suppose I have a fairly decent setup for a home studio...I need to make the best use of it while I still can.


So, was my information about how the mixers are primarily for monitoring live inputs useful? You can ignore seven of them and just use one of them to send your reel-to-reel to the speakers, for instance.

The input page has the trim knob to adjust your input levels. If the tape player has output controls (that aren't noisy!) then just leave Cuemix at the default and adjust the level from the tape player.

You don't need the output page, most likely. Defaults are fine.

Do the EQ and compression with plugins in your fine setup in Cakewalk with the Waves plugins or Cakewalk's own - don't use Cuemix for that. Cuemix is for live monitoring setups for whole bands. Unnecessary in your case.

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Re: CUE-MIX=CONFUSING AF!!

Postby HARDDRlVER » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:24 am

Well, that didn't work.
Not your help. Just my implementation of.
I've worked on this until I'm so frustrated I want to give up my 55 year music habit.
I had absolutely no problem recording on reel to reel, but now doing it all 8n the box, I just can't wrap my head around any of it.
My motu 828 mk3 hybrid seems to be working fine, as is all my gear.
Setting the proper levels starting with the 828 preamps, how do i know the proper level is getting output? Then in the daw (Sonar platinum) levels...then the output levels to the busses?
If my preamp is too low, then everything after that suffers. And vice versa.
I just tried a simple vocal track last night and on playback it was so distorted to the point it was unusable even to politely test and experiment with. The track where you view the wave...most of the track was completely pegged...I mean the signal completely filled the track window top to bottom...as though I had been singing within an inch of the mic...which I hadnt.
The Motu mic meters appeared to be well within range on the peaks.
The output levels to the phones coming from the daw are pretty low, within reason. When recording, the signal is nice and clear.
The daw is clearly taking in too much signal, but again, I don't know if it's an output level from the Motu or the input of the daw.
You could have either too high while the other is too low and end with this same result, so I don't know which is which.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg as far as the learning curve I'm dealing with.

I will never figure this out.
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