Digital insert for master stereo fader


Oct 6, 2012
Gear owned
I'm using my DM mixer with a DAW.
Running the firewire card for 32 ins and outs.
Using the DM to sum the audio and external boxes.
The audio goes back to the DAW as a stereo mix for the final mix down.

I'm searching for a way to use mastering effects on the master stereo fader.
I know I can do this after the fact in the DAW, but I'm wondering if there is a way to insert DAW plugs on the DM master fader.
I can't seem to find the routing for this.
I'm sure it can be easily done.

Why not simply insert those plug ins to the DAW stereo mix? These can be applied non destructively in the same way any individual track can be treated.

Your question would be more relevant if you were using hardware mastering tools, in which case, adding those to your OTB/DM stereo mix would make more sense. Otherwise you're trying to make your workflow more difficult than it needs to be.

This would be a really cool feature. Placing DAW plugins into any channel in the DM or on the stereo mix would be awesome. Use of plugins is one of the main reasons I started recording into a computer. But, the the DM and the DAW are considered two separate entities. Plugins require a host, like your Daw, and they vary with OS and software versions, like AU, VST, Rtas, etc. So, like the Capt. said, post mix hardware tools would be your only course of action.
I suppose it's also a matter of viewpoint and workflow choices. For example, I prefer to tackle the production process in three segments: tracking/mix/mastering.
That's not to say I don't apply DSP during the initial two phases; building a mix/arrangement occurs in a non-linear way; I like to get a sense of how things meld together in the early stages.

But mastering, I think, should be handled AFTER an acceptable mix is put to bed. I believe there's a tendency to rely on efx to 'bandaid' tracks that may not seat well when, perhaps, they require better fader balances, pan trajectories, eq adjustments - or maybe - elimination from the tune entirely. Mastering really can't accomplish that; it should - instead - be applied to improve an already good mix, IMO.

Besides, if an album of tunes is the goal, mastering the entire group can't really be undertaken until all of the files are completed in the first place. In otherwords, it's not just a matter of making a single song louder, wider or brighter - it SHOULD be about making all of the selections work well in a total album context.

Just my opinion; it's not The 'LAW', as it were. :)

I agree.
I always master after I've mixed and assembled all of the songs for a project.

That being said... Is there any way to remotely control the DM stereo master fader from my DAW? (just volume.. up and down)
It would be nice to be able to automate it without using the DM internal automation.

Maybe sending midi info?

I'm using the remote layer for bi directional control of the other 24 faders, but I can't figure out a way to control the master fader.

Thanks for all of the great help.
So glad this forum is back.
waterstrum said:
I agree.
I always master after I've mixed and assembled all of the songs for a project.

That being said... Is there any way to remotely control the DM stereo master fader from my DAW? (just volume.. up and down)
It would be nice to be able to automate it without using the DM internal automation.

If you set up the mackie protocol correctly then you should have this functionality already. My master fader is bidirectionally controlled from either Cubase or the DM3200 like the rest of the faders.
cmaffia is right. I do this in reaper as well. The Mackie protocol should allow you to move your DAW's master fader with the STEREO Buss fader on the DM and visa-versa. Setup a master track in your daw and use your daw's automation for your master track. It will move your DM's STEREO fader. You can then record the DM's STEREO buss output into another stereo track in your daw.
Thanks for the great replies.
I added the master fader in the DAW and it does work to move the DM's stereo fader.
The only problem is that it doesn't work.
The DM's output doesn't change.
I'm wanting the same functionality as the DM stereo fader, but out of the remote layer.
It should fade the whole of the mix.
I use the DM stereo fader to do fade outs at the end of some mixes.
I thought it would be nice to be able to automate this in the DAW.

Thanks for your patience, I'm probably missing something obvious.
Ok, It's going to be different for every daw, but, I was just doing it a second ago. Here's what I did. I had to choose "Master Track" from my "view" menu, to show the Daw's Master output as a separate track in my track view, rather than just a channel in the mixer view. I then applied automation for the volume of the "Master Track " making various changes in points within the automation lane to make obvious volume movements.
Then I created a new track in my daw that was set to record the STEREO buss output from the DM, via SLOT1 CHs 31 and 32. Make sure you have your DM's STEREO buss assigned to two FW channels over SLOT 1 and these set as inputs for your new daw track to record the final mix from the DM's STEREO buss.
Now, when you hit playback in your daw, you can either move the DM's stereo Buss fader to change the level being recorded into that new track, or you can use volume automation in your Master Track to move both the daw's master fader and the DM's Stereo Buss fader. Either way, the volume of what is being recorded into that new track should be varying with the fader movements. Hope that helps.
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Many thanks to you for taking the time to write the tutorial.
I'm just now back home and can try this on my board.
I'll report back when I check it out.
Much appreciation for sending the info.
As for your DAW insert question, I always reserve FW 31/32 out to record the stereo DM mix in the DAW, and FW 31/32 in to listen the the mix playback, assigned to one of the external listen buttons.

When you are mixing, you can listen to your mix via the external listen for confidence listening, and this would include any plug ins you have assigned to the Master stereo track in software. You would have to spend a short moment later to render those tracks, no biggie. But I always master as a separate process, listening through those external listen returns.

This is I think the equivalent of what you would be doing trying to use 2 FW sends and 2 FW returns as inserts on the stereo fader - which would burn extra FW tracks! And overly complicate things I think.

I do always have a Cranesong Hedd hardware unit assigned as digital inserts on my 2 buss mix.

"...quite easily done, You just put some bleachers out in the sun...."

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