Chief Cook and Bottle Washer
Since: May 10, 2002
Wow you are right. A lot of questions. All good questions too! And not a bad approach praising the answers so far. hehehehe
Keyboard: I like to go through the mixer then into the computer myself. I like that extra layer of control. That way I know I am not cliping the A/D converters on the sound card.
Volume or amplitude control using a compressor:
At least three places to compress. First using a physical compressor pre sound card. This gives the best control over avoiding clipping at the A/D converter in the sound card. Second on the channel strip of the sx mixer. Use compresser here to get the one instrument recorded in that channel under control. Three in the master mix pannel. Use this to apply compression to all channels in the mix. Typically this is done after a mix down has been made using a specific mastering plug in. A fourth method is to send a number of specific channels to a sub mix or buss. An example might be snare, tom1, tom2 and kick, to buss one. Then put compression on buss one compressing the entire drum kit evenly.
Reverb. Very much the same theory, except remember that different reverbs on different channels can cause a surealistic impression of the room the recording was done in.
Now. Having typed my fingers to the bone and babbled forever, here's the real kicker! Just experiment, listen, and have fun! Cubase is very flexible for a good reason. There is no "right" way to do this stuff. It's a process of trying different things and knowing what each process will do. You need to hear each process. That is what it is all about. Developing your ear through experimentation. Don't misunderstand, I don't mind chattering at all about it, but I can not go through the process of developing that "golden ear" for you. You will get to where you can listen to a performance and know what effect and where you want to apply it and know what the result will be.
Glad to see you are enthoused! That's the first key to a great recording!