for all of you having trouble leveling the volume in a mix, here's a trick i have been employing as of late that has really allowed me to get things sitting just how i want. lets imagine you have all of your tracks recorded in the project step one is to divide and group. what you want to do is make choice groups of tracks. for example: all of your drums would be one group. bass another. all rthm gtrs another, lead gtrs, clean gtrs, vocals, keys, fx, each of those would be separate groups. you'll want to make a buntch of folder tracks and start putting these tracks that make up these groups into the folders. next you'll want to add a group track for each folder. for example: you'll have a group track and you'll name it "drums" then you'll shift select each track in the drum folder. once selected, hold alt + shift and set the output to "drums" group. next you'll want to solo this group. this is assuming your levels are currently a rough mix or all over the place. now turn the slider down to -9 and clear your master bus. mix the drums full throttle. get the kick nearly hitting 0, same with the snare. mix the rest of the kit according. now stop, reset volume to 0 and set input gain to -9. now no matter how slammin your drums are, its pretty near impossible to still clip with a reduction of 9 db. so your kick track is hitting 0 on the kick track, but if solo'd, its only hitting -9 in the drum group channel. you continue to do this for every track / group in your song. your tracks should represent individual volume adjustments. the psychology behind this is that all of your track volume sliders are LOCAL adjustments. this means if you want the guitars to be +3 db in the mix, you can actually make a +3db adjustment rather than changing the guitar from -13.2 to -10.2 if you get what i'm saying. another beautiful thing is even if your mix is really dense. when all the group tracks hit the master bus, they shouldn't be clipping. this will allow you to properly throw down a compressor and adjust it to the content without overpowering the plugins threshold improperly. to sum it up, the basic concept is that tracks are routed into group tracks where cubase's summing matrix allows infinite volume (32 bit data) to take place. so -9 input gain adjustments allow your mix to remain unharmed when it combines with all the other groups and hits the master bus. on a technical level, the master bus is also not effected by clipping until the final output (inserts 7 and 8 in cubase on the master bus channel), but this will allow you to use inserts 1 - 6 as intended, and help control your over all flow of your mix. if you'd like rthm guitars to bump up 1 db for the chorus to seem more powerful... its a simple automation adjustment of the rthm gtrs group track. i hope you enjoy the tip. it really helps manage those crazy projects that span over 200 tracks.