[POLL] FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post general topics related to Cubase Pro 9, Cubase Artist 9 and Cubase Elements 9 here.

Would you be happy if Steinberg added a native plugin chainer to overcome the 8 inserts limitation?

Yes, I'm sure I would.
84
36%
I hope I would, but I'm not sure.
14
6%
No, I definitely wouldn't.
28
12%
Already happy with 8 inserts.
110
47%
 
Total votes: 236

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Re: FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by Hattrixx » Sat Dec 10, 2016 5:20 pm

J-S-Q wrote:I didn't make a vote but I guess my view would be "Yes, I occasionally want more than 8 inserts, BUT it's not near the top of my wish list so please don't waste time on it until you've done all the things on MY list first." :)
That's totally respectable. I'd just like to point out that this thread isn't about the priority of items on our personal wishlists, it's more particularly directed at possible solutions Steinberg might consider specifically to please those of us who'd like unlimited inserts. This is an important distinction because simply adding more inserts isn't necessarily the best solution to the problem, nor is it necessarily the easiest/quickest for Steinberg to implement (we just don't know). I don't think any of us want to see Steinberg pour excessive resources into features we're not personally interested in, which is why it's important to help establish whether or not we'd potentially be satisfied with alternative solutions that might help bring about the change sooner (potentially!). So if you could vote anyway, I'd appreciate that. Not voting won't do anything to change Steinberg's priorities anyway, I wouldn't have thought.

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Re: FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by ResonantMind » Sun Dec 11, 2016 2:10 am

features I'd like to see in a Steinberg Expander rack which would be better than cramming unlimited inserts into a console:
-It's own send buses
-make it freezable
-have different ways of viewing which plugins are in it without having to open it/the plugins.
-different views, rack view, schematic window (like reaktor)
-ability to break the rack so plugins are free floating like they usually are.
-pop out individual plugins
-resizeable rack that reorganizes the plugins: vertical scroll, horizontal scroll, single plugin width or tiles/columns 2x_ or 4x_
-modifier controls that can be assigned to parameters across multiple plugins,
-single plugin solo/listen
-create sends out of the chain at any point of the chain
-create sends within the chain
-name your chains and a Cubase Mixer/Channel search feature to find a specific chain, ability to bring up that chain without having to go to the channel and click on it.
-monitor the output of the chain whilst auto-bypassing any regular channel inserts after the chain.
-Chains get their own dedicated history (also duplicated/mirrored to the new mix history)
-Freeze a chain within itself and have the ability to start another B chain ontop of the freeze. ie, racks could have multiple pages - A, B, C, D which can be patched together (if your CPU can handle it) or you can freeze A and route it to B, work on B, then freeze B and route it to C.


I'd also like to the rack come with its own set of "micro" metering and gain staging plugins that can be inserted between plugins. Think of narrow Eurorack 2-4hp modules. Phase displays, pre/post effect waveform monitors, different meters from VU emulations to digital modern and a variety of gain staging plugins that use different algorithms for different purposes - see Air Windows bitshift gain and purest gain... or how about a plugin where you bypass the effect before and it takes a measurement of the bypasses signal into memory, and then you activate the effect and do another measurement and it finds the best average RMS to compensate.

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Re: FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by JohnFerraris » Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:04 am

The argument that you don't need more than 8 inserts because you shouldn't need more than 8 inserts is laughable and quite demonstrably wrong. That's not to say you have to use more than 8, but to say you shouldn't need more than 8 is incredibly insular.

Now, more inserts vs plugin chainer. I think the chainer is the cleanest solution to keep backwards compatibility and workflow for those who are content with the current mixer layout. It would have to be a Steinberg implementation to ensure compatibility, future proofing, tight integration and transparency. Third party solutions are not the answer.

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Re: FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by HowlingUlf » Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:20 am

Let's say Steinberg goes ahead and do this then they have the possibility of having the groundwork done for some kind of Bidule/Reaktor contraption they can further develop into a native Cubase/standalone VSTthingie 1.0 and $$$ of ... if they like? :D
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Re: FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by Vinylizor » Sun Dec 11, 2016 2:39 pm

You cannot continue to move forward if you're forever appeasing those working on older versions of the software.

There needs to a be a 'Save as version XXXX' command which saves the session in an as compatible state as possible. This is what Protools did when they changed their fader headroom from +6 to +12 db and other changes and its the perfect solution.

It's not just inserts that are the problem.

Why do we have a new EQ plugin? If its that much better it should be in the channel strip. Whats the point of having a sub-standard channel strip with all of its constituent parts bettered by included plugins? If we're gonna keep the channel strip relevent it needs to be continually updated - maybe have the EQ switchable between 'Classic" and "Frequency'.

Cubase 8 and earlier users can't use the Frequency EQ plugin anyway - so we already have backwards compatibility issue. Earlier versions also can't use VCA's or the Track Sampler, or even instrument tracks either! These are issues that are easily solved in a 'Save as version XXXX' solution - you just give the option to flatten and render newer features until you're in a situation where you have a session that is readable by an earlier iteration.
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Re: FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by Jalcide » Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:15 pm

We shouldn't have a compatibility issue, as "backwards compatibility" is newer versions of a technology continuing to work (in this case "load") older versions of that technology.

A variable number of inserts in newer versions of Cubase would still continue to load older projects, with a fixed number of inserts, without issue.
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Re: FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by Jalcide » Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:34 pm

I just realized another big reason I've been gobbling up inserts lately in other DAWs: metering and trimming.

I've been making sure each stage of my chain hits around -18dbfs, since many of these modeled plugins are modeling distortion on the inputs.

I always have at least one Dorrough meter that I drag up and down. So there's one insert gone. And some plugins that don't have a good way to stage the output and/or input, I'll have to insert a trim plugin. There's at least one more slot gone.

A negligible resources penalty, too.
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Re: FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by Hattrixx » Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:07 pm

JohnFerraris wrote:Now, more inserts vs plugin chainer. I think the chainer is the cleanest solution to keep backwards compatibility and workflow for those who are content with the current mixer layout. It would have to be a Steinberg implementation to ensure compatibility, future proofing, tight integration and transparency. Third party solutions are not the answer.
I'd hope that a very well-designed, advanced, native, baked-in chainer would have many, many advantages besides simply offering more insert slots. Ideally this should be a feature that even appeals to those of us who don't necessarily use many insert slots, but are excited by the idea of new routing possibilities not offered by the current (dated) paradigm.

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Re: [POLL] FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by peakae » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:15 pm

One thing that most of you overlook is that inserts on the same track will be processed on the same cpu core.
Expanding the number of inserts could easily max out one core.
As much as would like more insert slots, it is not going to happen without a major rewrite of the audio engine.
What could be possible without too much effort, would be a possibility to chain audio tracks with one command.
This should simply add another track, create a phantom bus to chain the output of the first track to the input of the other and finally remove the line between those tracks in both the arranger and mixer. So they can clearly being identified as chained channels.
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Re: [POLL] FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by Jack Burtons Truck » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:36 pm

Also keep in mind that hardware controllers like Nuage and such expect to see eight inserts, eight QuickControls, a four-band EQ in the strip, eight sends, etc, and offer immediate tactile access to them. Steinberg isn't going to mess with this, nor should they when there are very reasonable workarounds in place.

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Re: FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by alexis » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:36 pm

Jalcide wrote:I just realized another big reason I've been gobbling up inserts lately in other DAWs: metering and trimming.

I've been making sure each stage of my chain hits around -18dbfs, since many of these modeled plugins are modeling distortion on the inputs.

I always have at least one Dorrough meter that I drag up and down. So there's one insert gone. And some plugins that don't have a good way to stage the output and/or input, I'll have to insert a trim plugin. There's at least one more slot gone.

A negligible resources penalty, too.
This is exactly my situation. So two slots of 6 gone right out of the gate.

Also - I use Melda MCompare to to do a volume-compensated A/B comparison. That requires two slots (one immediately before the plug-in, one immediately after). It seems like an extravagant use of space, but I learn *so much* about what the plugin is actually doing when I do that.

So ... yes please, I'd like more inserts slots!
Last edited by alexis on Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [POLL] FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by djdione » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:48 pm

A chainer from Steinberg would be a great solution. Although i seldom use more than 8 inserts, and when i need more i make a new bus. But it sure would be handy to quickly compare different chains. Or for other people who need extensive metering per channel. I think it will speed up the workflow.

Tried all the third-party chainers ; none of them are able to load all the plug-ins i have available in Cubase.
If someone knows of a chainer that can, please let me know.

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Re: [POLL] FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by JohnFerraris » Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:02 pm

peakae wrote: This should simply add another track, create a phantom bus to chain the output of the first track to the input of the other and finally remove the line between those tracks in both the arranger and mixer.
Having to route to buses to get more inserts is a hack and not good for workflow. You can't change the order of plugins on different channels without losing your automation data, for one thing.

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Re: [POLL] FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by Hattrixx » Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:22 am

peakae wrote:One thing that most of you overlook is that inserts on the same track will be processed on the same cpu core.
Expanding the number of inserts could easily max out one core.
As much as would like more insert slots, it is not going to happen without a major rewrite of the audio engine.
What could be possible without too much effort, would be a possibility to chain audio tracks with one command.
This should simply add another track, create a phantom bus to chain the output of the first track to the input of the other and finally remove the line between those tracks in both the arranger and mixer. So they can clearly being identified as chained channels.
Hey, that's not a bad idea at all! Just goes to show that when you're willing to think outside the box there may be less obvious - potentially more practical - solutions.

I'd be open to the idea of a channel-chainer type solution rather than a plugin chainer, if it were specifically designed to overcome all of the problems associated with the Group channels solution. Specifically, chained channels should always appear adjacent to each other on the mixer. Chained channels should always freeze or render along with their parent channels. Insert plugins (with their automation data) should be able to be freely moved around to any slot in any channel in the chain. Chained channel inserts should always be visible in the parent channel's inspector.

The main downside I can see with this versus the plugin chainer idea is that it's a feature that a channel chainer feature would only benefit those of us who want unlimited inserts - it misses out on the potential complex routing benefits of an advanced modular plugin chainer. I'd be over the moon with either solution done well, honestly.

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Re: [POLL] FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by peakae » Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:48 am

Yes I understand that, I have even made a feature request in the past. I would love to see unlimited inserts with metering and level control for input and output on each insert slot. But to be realistic I think that is not going to happen anytime soon.
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Re: [POLL] FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by J-S-Q » Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:20 am

Hattrixx wrote:
peakae wrote: I'd be open to the idea of a channel-chainer type solution rather than a plugin chainer, if it were specifically designed to overcome all of the problems associated with the Group channels solution. Specifically, chained channels should always appear adjacent to each other on the mixer. Chained channels should always freeze or render along with their parent channels. Insert plugins (with their automation data) should be able to be freely moved around to any slot in any channel in the chain. Chained channel inserts should always be visible in the parent channel's inspector.
I think at that point they might as well just fully implement unlimited inserts. The above just sounds like 'unlimited inserts with a messy graphical representation on the arrange page'.
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Re: [POLL] FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by jimknopf » Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:24 am

I never need more than 8 inserts on one track.

I also simply don't use inserts which cause output level problems: I think those who developed these effects should fix that nonsense in the first place, before wanting anyone to use their effect in a DAW. So I never waste a slot for fixing problems that shouldn't exist at all.

And I don't want ANY(!) CPU resources wasted on unlimited (not even double as much) inserts. I hope Steinberg stick with the present status.

The poll so far also indicates that there isn't even a majority voting for more inserts: this simply is no common user concern.

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Re: [POLL] FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by lukasbrooklyn » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:34 am

peakae wrote:One thing that most of you overlook is that inserts on the same track will be processed on the same cpu core.
Expanding the number of inserts could easily max out one core.
As much as would like more insert slots, it is not going to happen without a major rewrite of the audio engine.
What could be possible without too much effort, would be a possibility to chain audio tracks with one command.
This should simply add another track, create a phantom bus to chain the output of the first track to the input of the other and finally remove the line between those tracks in both the arranger and mixer. So they can clearly being identified as chained channels.
the rationale behind the potential processing-power issues seems a little lacking in my opinion-- it could be likened to saying that, for instance, 4 audio tracks should be enough to complete any good song ('look at beatles'). we indeed do have the option to keep adding audio channels that noone disputes, and CPU cores can -- and indeed will be -- maxed out by adding channels and insert effects to those channels. users are not seen complaining that the count of audio tracks should be limited, because there is a risk of potentially maxing out your computer (which in turn most definitely bursts in flames as a result)..
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Re: [POLL] FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by fretthefret » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:32 am

Limits aren't always "LIMITS"..

If you want to OVERCOME the 8 inserts limit
You simply create enough Group Tracks to handle all the inserts you want to .. well.. insert !

Use Direct Routing from the Audio track to the 1st Group track
Use Direct Routing from the 1st Group Track to the 2nd Group Track
Use Direct Routing from the 2nd Group Track to the 3rd Group Track
so on and so forth. Leave the output of the last group track at your final Group or Bus.

Use the inserts on the original audio track and all the Group Tracks in your routing chain
to affect your sound in any way you see fit.
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Re: [POLL] FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by Raphie » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:53 am

Yep, that's pretty much it, the framework is already there.
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Re: [POLL] FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by Hattrixx » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:31 am

peakae wrote:Yes I understand that, I have even made a feature request in the past. I would love to see unlimited inserts with metering and level control for input and output on each insert slot. But to be realistic I think that is not going to happen anytime soon.
Welllllll..... you never know. It's worth putting the suggestion out there, without necessarily having unrealistic expectations. For all we know, they've been developing an unlimited inserts solution for months <shrugs>.

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Re: [POLL] FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by Hattrixx » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:35 am

J-S-Q wrote:
Hattrixx wrote:
peakae wrote: I'd be open to the idea of a channel-chainer type solution rather than a plugin chainer, if it were specifically designed to overcome all of the problems associated with the Group channels solution. Specifically, chained channels should always appear adjacent to each other on the mixer. Chained channels should always freeze or render along with their parent channels. Insert plugins (with their automation data) should be able to be freely moved around to any slot in any channel in the chain. Chained channel inserts should always be visible in the parent channel's inspector.
I think at that point they might as well just fully implement unlimited inserts. The above just sounds like 'unlimited inserts with a messy graphical representation on the arrange page'.
Well yes, it could be done via a messy graphical representation, that entirely depends on how it's implemented. I see no reason to doubt that Steinberg would develop a very slick/efficient/suave/user-friendly implementation. It might not be immediately obvious to us as users what that would look like, I'd contend that it's totally within the realm of possibility.

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Re: [POLL] FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by Hattrixx » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:42 am

jimknopf wrote:I never need more than 8 inserts on one track.
Lots of people haven't!
jimknopf wrote:And I don't want ANY(!) CPU resources wasted on unlimited (not even double as much) inserts. I hope Steinberg stick with the present status.
I can't fathom a reason why an unused insert slot would require any additional CPU resources whatsoever, unless it was programmed foolishly, by someone far less competent than the team at Steinberg. I don't think there's a founded concern here that giving the option of using additional inserts would in any way harm performance for people not using those extra insert slots - not even by a fraction of a percent.
jimknopf wrote:The poll so far also indicates that there isn't even a majority voting for more inserts: this simply is no common user concern.
That's not the point of the poll at all. I don't think anyone's pretending that unlimited inserts is the most popular user concern. The poll is specifically aimed at people who are annoyed about the 8 inserts limitation (hence the thread title).

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Re: [POLL] FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by Hattrixx » Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:10 pm

The assumption I keep seeing here is that people who want more than 8 inserts are somehow incompetent. I think quite the opposite is true. People who want more than 8 inserts tend to be advanced level users who want fewer creative restrictions and slicker workflow.
fretthefret wrote:Limits aren't always "LIMITS"..

If you want to OVERCOME the 8 inserts limit
You simply create enough Group Tracks to handle all the inserts you want to .. well.. insert !

Use Direct Routing from the Audio track to the 1st Group track
Use Direct Routing from the 1st Group Track to the 2nd Group Track
Use Direct Routing from the 2nd Group Track to the 3rd Group Track
so on and so forth. Leave the output of the last group track at your final Group or Bus.

Use the inserts on the original audio track and all the Group Tracks in your routing chain
to affect your sound in any way you see fit.
We know! :lol: There's not a single person advocating unlimited inserts who has demonstrated such a profoundly poor working knowledge of Cubase as to not be using the Group track workaround.

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Re: [POLL] FAO: people annoyed about 8 inserts limitation

Post by Tim Timmer » Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:54 pm

I've voted "I hope I would, but I'm not sure." A chainer might be an adequate temporary solution. On the other hand, andyjh makes a very good point here:
viewtopic.php?f=250&t=107456#p589446

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