Instrument Rack - Send & Return Workarounds?

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lunabass
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Instrument Rack - Send & Return Workarounds?

Post by lunabass » Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:59 pm

does anyone have any bright ideas to help me get around the fact that there is no send and return functionality in instrument racks?

i'm making a number of presets for a live set. currently i'm inserting reverb and delay on the particular chains that need them and adjusting the dry/wet controls. in some presets this means i'm having to insert a large number of fx just because there are no sends and returns.

i dont want to use the main mixer send & returns, i need the presets to be completely self contained, any ideas?
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JuanSOLO
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Re: Instrument Rack - Send & Return Workarounds?

Post by JuanSOLO » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:16 am

use a DrumRack instead

leisuremuffin
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Re: Instrument Rack - Send & Return Workarounds?

Post by leisuremuffin » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:33 am

you can creatively use the external sidechain listen feature of the compressor. enable the sidechain listen monitor button, throw a utility behind it and you have a controllable tap of any point in any channel of your set anywhere you want.

.lm.
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Re: Instrument Rack - Send & Return Workarounds?

Post by lunabass » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:47 am

thanks guys.

JuanSOLO - i'd forgotten that the input on a drum-rack chain can be set to all notes, works a treat.

lm - i'd have never thought of that. this works great and it means i can just use my instrument racks as they are. instead of adding the utility i'm using the gain knob on the sidechain section which gives me a full -inf to +24db range...awesome!

thanks again guys :D
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Re: Instrument Rack - Send & Return Workarounds?

Post by leisuremuffin » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:48 am

just realized it might not actually be that obvious how to do this without more explanation.

basically your "return track" in your audio effect rack is just a chain that has another audio rack in it. In that rack you have a chain for every chain in the rack that you want to be able to send to that track. each of those chains has the sidechain listen trick/utility on it with the tap you want selected for its input. you put your return effects behind that rack and put whatever you want on it. the chain volume boxes of the first device are now your send controls for the other tracks.



edit: DERP! you posted while i was posting!

double derp!! of course you dont need the utility afterwards. why did i think that??
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Re: Instrument Rack - Send & Return Workarounds?

Post by lunabass » Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:08 am

actually lm your audio effect rack tip above is the icing on the cake! the comp sidechain gain acts as the send and the audio effect chain volume acts as a return vol...brilliant. i've just saved a 4 return audio effect rack in my library ready to go :D
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Re: Instrument Rack - Send & Return Workarounds?

Post by leisuremuffin » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:19 pm

i use this trick to make a really fun processed feedback network in a rack on one return. Previously i used a bunch of return tracks to do this, but it takes up way less screen real estate to do it in a rack. Remember Monolake's Studies for Thunder? I was super impressed by a blog post or something that he shared with us here about using a bunch of return tracks to create a complex feedback network with effects. Got the orig idea to do the feedback thing from that, and then turned it into a single rack just a few years ago when i realized i could abuse the sidechain listen like that.
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Stevee00
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Re: Instrument Rack - Send & Return Workarounds?

Post by Stevee00 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:19 pm

A little help, please. I discovered this thread and this sidechain listen trick--never knew I could do that! I tried setting it up, and can't get it to work. What am I doing wrong? I'm only interested in using this to route clean signals to other effects, not to modify the signal.

I have a compressor in the test track and tapped a plugin synth. I can see the input meter (and the yellow ball) bouncing just fine on the compressor, but no output bounce and no sound coming out the compressor. Threshold up 100%; ratio 1.0. Gain 0db; dry/wet 100% wet. I started with the "Classical Compression" device.

Related question: how do I set up the gate utility to do the same return/send trick?

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Re: Instrument Rack - Send & Return Workarounds?

Post by leisuremuffin » Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:28 pm

the compressor settings wont affect anything if you have it set up correctly. (except for lookahead, make sure you set lookahead to 0 or it will offset your signal) Make sure that sidechain listen is enabled (the litle button that looks like headphones next to the sidechain button). If you have the correct tap selected in the sidechain pulldown and the sidechain listen enabled it will work, and the compressor will be doing nothing to the signal no matter how it is set.


you cant do it with the gate as far as i can tell. It relies on the ability to listen to the sidechain source rather than the effect output.


.lm.
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leisuremuffin
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Re: Instrument Rack - Send & Return Workarounds?

Post by leisuremuffin » Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:31 pm

of course the sidechain section will affect the signal so make sure it is set 100%wet and gain is at appropriate setting. the EQ section will work too if you enable it.
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Stevee00
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Re: Instrument Rack - Send & Return Workarounds?

Post by Stevee00 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:06 pm

Little blue headphones did the trick! It works!

What does "listen" mean, exactly? What just happened?

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Re: Instrument Rack - Send & Return Workarounds?

Post by leisuremuffin » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:09 pm

it just means you are monitoring the sidechain rather than the effect output. Useful in regular operation if you are trying to use eq to isolate the part of the audio you want to trigger the comp or just to make sure you have the right source pulled to the sidechain input.


.lm.
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Re: Instrument Rack - Send & Return Workarounds?

Post by vitalispopoff » Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:20 pm

Ever tried the sidechain vocoder? if You modulate a single white noise signal with the deisred sound signal, You should be able to reconstruct it with only bit quality loss which in case of additional fx chain should be acceptable.
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leisuremuffin
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Re: Instrument Rack - Send & Return Workarounds?

Post by leisuremuffin » Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:31 pm

while that's an interesting idea, the ableton vocoder lets you pull an external carrier signal, not modulator signal. the modulator signal must be on the same track as the vocoder effect.

.lm.
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caluminium
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Re: Instrument Rack - Send & Return Workarounds?

Post by caluminium » Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:21 pm

THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE LIFE SAVER. Thanks, it's ingenious.

Just wondering whether I've done something wrong though. I set up a lovely nested rack of aux sends, but they stop as soon as I stop the audio. I like to have audio tails when I stop, helps the performance. How do I make sure that the effects continue to play out after playback has stopped?

(I tried putting them after the nested send rack, but if I put all the effects there, they all feed into each other). Do I need to set up an "exit rack" or something? So I can have the FX tail?

THanks!

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