How are Sends and Returns supposed to be used?

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eric_c
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How are Sends and Returns supposed to be used?

Post by eric_c » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:09 am

So I've been a little confused on this and could use some clarification.

My understanding was that Return tracks can be used so that multiple tracks can utilize the same instance of an effect (so an effect on Return A can be applied to multiple tracks via their Sends). That much makes sense. What I don't understand is how you're supposed to use combinations of an effect's Dry/Wet setting, the Send amount and a track's "Send Only" option to be using them correctly.

For example, usually I would drop a Reverb effect on a track to get some reverb, and adjust its Dry/Wet setting to my taste. But if I use a Return track instead, the Send value and the effect's Dry/Wet both affect the Reverb. I've heard that you're supposed to set the effect to 100% wet and use the Send amount to act as a Dry/Wet control, but when doing that I hear both the original track and the Reverb effect, which is not the same thing I hear when the effect is just on the track and at 100%.

So what's the standard, correct way to work with Sends and Returns? Also, what exactly is a "bus" as I see this word pop up all the time in reference to effects and sends, but isn't something I see much in Live discussion. Thanks for any help!

davepermen
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Re: How are Sends and Returns supposed to be used?

Post by davepermen » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:02 am

well, the sends go to an additional audio bus where your effect is on. so it doesn't affect the original track still playing at all. => if you send 100%, and the effect is 100% wet, you still have your original signal by 100% + the effect at 100%.
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chapelier fou
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Re: How are Sends and Returns supposed to be used?

Post by chapelier fou » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:51 am

Although I use sends while mixing, I've been asking the same questions to myself. I often use "send only" for a reverb, and adjust the dry / wet.
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davepermen
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Re: How are Sends and Returns supposed to be used?

Post by davepermen » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:58 am

chapelier fou wrote:Although I use sends while mixing, I've been asking the same questions to myself. I often use "send only" for a reverb, and adjust the dry / wet.
it would be nice to be able to chose if it's additive, or blend (dry/wet).

i don't really use them much anymore, prefer to set up a rack and configure additive/drywet settings myself.
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Icaro Ferre
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Re: How are Sends and Returns supposed to be used?

Post by Icaro Ferre » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:10 pm

Sends and Returns used to be the best solution for saving some CPU performance however I can't see the point of using them now since we can group tracks, unless you want to apply different amount of fx on each different track.

chapelier fou
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Re: How are Sends and Returns supposed to be used?

Post by chapelier fou » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:53 pm

You told everything.
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Freekster
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Re: How are Sends and Returns supposed to be used?

Post by Freekster » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:10 pm

One of the main reasons to use reverbs on returns is that by applying same spaces to most of the tracks, the tracks will "glue" better together. It depends on what kind of a music you are doing. In a regular pop/rock mix there can be as few as 2 reverbs in use.

Digital evolution :D
When I started to make electronic music I had money for only one multieffect. So the track had either a one delay or one reverb. There was no other choice than use sends/returns. In analog mixing it is rare to use reverbs as inserts.

yur2die4
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Re: How are Sends and Returns supposed to be used?

Post by yur2die4 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:03 pm

If you genuinely want a wet/dry option where you can get 100% wet reverb, you can build a rack where one chain is your reverb setup, 100% wet and your other chain is a Utility with Phz-L+R activated. You would get the reverb from your original track, but also your original track would cancel itself out completely by feeding into the Utility. The big gray area is 50/50 sounds reeeally quiet. Also, attempting to use this on more than one return at a time can result in some pretty random results (since you are adding/subtracting all these waveforms).

Another option is to have your tracks instead of going out to Master, going to "Sends Only" as chapelier fou mentioned. Then you would need one extra 'dry' return that takes on the task of sending your normal audio to the Master. This way, anytime you wanted 100% wet, you'd just reduce your dry send knob :)

christmas k
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Re: How are Sends and Returns supposed to be used?

Post by christmas k » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:52 am

You can set up a seperate audio track with the effects and send the audio from multiple tracks to it. You can control the wet/dry by adjusting the effects individual wet/dry amount.

This is (I believe..) essentially what a Bus track is. If you want varying amounts of effect added to different tracks, you can copy it and make a BUS track 2, and adjust the wet dry levels on that.

This is a great way to have multiple effects chains with multiple audio inputs going to each, for instance if you want all your drum and percussion tracks going through Reverb and compressor A, all your vocal tracks going through EQ8 and reverb B, etc etc.

Sends are good for effects that you want to add without affect the original signal, like if you wish to add a ping pong delay to you vocals for one specific section, and then add the same effect to the rhodes on the bridge or whatever.. As Echo type delay effects are usually better added to a signal then blended, but a send track lets you control the amount and when it happens.

Also send tracks are good for adding Effects that don't have Wet-Dry controls, Like the ReDux effect.

8TROW8
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Re: How are Sends and Returns supposed to be used?

Post by 8TROW8 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:08 am

In theory the send/returns seem a good idea but I personally find myself not using them, Ive found some effects (mainly reverb) sound very different through a s/r track rather than directly ontop of the track and 99% of the time i prefer the sound when they are directly on the channel.

The main thing that hurts my CPU is the large instruments more than the effects.

yur2die4
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Re: How are Sends and Returns supposed to be used?

Post by yur2die4 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:35 pm

I suppose I should add to this that a common trick I've been seeing (especially w/ apc users thanks to some layouts) is to use the crossfader for Return tracks.

You send your channel into the preferred return, make sure that the return is on 'Pre' (so that it is listening to the original sound without being affected by the mixer/crossfader), and assign your audio channels to A, your return track to B for the crossfader. It won't keep the tail end of some sounds when you mix back, but you can remedy That by having a blank Return track (set to B for crossfader) that feeds to sends only (set to nothing for crossfader).

This gives your crossfader that wet/dry appeal.

Lukito
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Re: How are Sends and Returns supposed to be used?

Post by Lukito » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:29 pm

There's no typical use for send-channels.
In Analogue-musicproduction the most common use für send & return channels is proberbly to create different monitor-mixes.
For Example: You record a band and want the drummer to hear the bass-player louder oder the singer to hear her/him self less. So you create two different mixes for them just with adjusting the send-strenght of the different tracks to the two returns and route these to a certain output of your Audioninterface oder Soundcard. ("Output 3/4" and "Output 5/6" instead of "Master", for example).
It will not effekt your mix, but each to-be-recorded-person has his personal customized mix.

Another common use is to side-compress and add output gentle to Mastermix.
For Example: You put a strong compression on return1 wich routing to master. All channels send to return1 more or less. return1
wich just a little aplitude added to the mastermix, this makes a mix sound fat and full without destroying transients and flattening dynamics.


or it is used to loop-in external audio effect, wich are mostly not available in endless amount

lasersounds
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Re: How are Sends and Returns supposed to be used?

Post by lasersounds » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:41 pm

They are mainly for reverb and delay type effects, where you want to hear the original but then you want a tail on the end of some sort.

for instance, you make a reverb(which is your "room") and then you send the drums, lead, vocals, and a little hipassed bass to make them all sound like they are in the same room or space.

and theyre really important for delays so you dont actually delay the sound, but instead allow the delay to carry the sound an extra beat or so, instead of just being a beat late.

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