Bussed wet/dry effects

Share your wishes for the future of Ableton Live
Post Reply
driven
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:08 pm

Bussed wet/dry effects

Post by driven » Wed May 06, 2015 10:24 pm

I get that it's not possible to have a 0-100% wet Return effect within the current Send/Return paradigm. The resulting 50% wet limit is very frustrating and severely limits the usefulness of Return effects. Essentially, if you want >50% wet effects, you have to use individual insert effects on each track.

I propose adding an option to swap the Send knob for a bussed wet/dry knob. If you need to switch modes (either Sends or Wet/Drys across the board) then so be it.
Last edited by driven on Wed May 06, 2015 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Angstrom
Posts: 14727
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
Contact:

Re: Bussed wet/dry effects

Post by Angstrom » Wed May 06, 2015 10:32 pm

Google "ableton magic sends"

driven
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:08 pm

Re: Bussed wet/dry effects

Post by driven » Thu May 07, 2015 11:23 pm

Angstrom wrote:Google "ableton magic sends"
I have. And I tried it out. It's a hot mess.

Just an option to put a simple [dry/wet] knob in place of the existing [send] knob would be heaven, for both producing and performing. This is my Feature Wish.

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Bussed wet/dry effects

Post by Stromkraft » Fri May 15, 2015 11:43 am

driven wrote: The resulting 50% wet limit is very frustrating and severely limits the usefulness of Return effects.
No, it does not "severely limit the usefulness". It works as expected.
driven wrote: Essentially, if you want >50% wet effects, you have to use individual insert effects on each track.

I propose adding an option to swap the Send knob for a bussed wet/dry knob. If you need to switch modes (either Sends or Wet/Drys across the board) then so be it.
Something's stopping you from sending the audio via Sends Only? I don't get this issue of yours. How is it desirable? When?
Make some music!

brisboisaudio
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 4:10 pm

Re: Bussed wet/dry effects

Post by brisboisaudio » Sat May 16, 2015 1:46 pm

If you make your sends pre fader that gets 100% wet signal.

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Bussed wet/dry effects

Post by Stromkraft » Sat May 16, 2015 5:36 pm

brisboisaudio wrote:If you make your sends pre fader that gets 100% wet signal.
The returns are 100% wet as it is (providing you have all wet in the effects chain in the return, which would be normal). You're addressing the volume of the signal sent to the return. A return fed pre-fader is still just as 100% wet as before, only louder. The sum of the original track and the return the signal is sent to is not just wet, it's a mix.

If you want to control the volume of signal sent to the effect processing in the return independently of the volume of the source track, the pre-fader is great. If you want a 100% wet signal, you still have to route the audio via "sends only" (or put it directly on the track effects chain/strip).
Make some music!

brisboisaudio
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 4:10 pm

Re: Bussed wet/dry effects

Post by brisboisaudio » Sat May 16, 2015 9:30 pm

Unless I'm reading the OP wrong, what they're asking is for more wet signal? I mean, there's tons of different approaches to achieving just that but the first that comes to mind is that pre-fader send. I'm aware that whatever you send through a bus is fully affected with what ever TBP you've got on the other end but it sounds like they're complaining that they aren't getting enough wet signal back from it... So, pre send that sucker! lol

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Bussed wet/dry effects

Post by Stromkraft » Sun May 17, 2015 4:08 am

brisboisaudio wrote:Unless I'm reading the OP wrong, what they're asking is for more wet signal?
Possibly, but that's no reason to pretend the returns aren't 100% wet (Still assuming the effect on the return is at 100% too). What you're addressing here is the fact that the fader level affects how much volume is sent to the return. But if the fader of the track is on 0 the volume sent will be the same even if you send to the return pre-fader. I keep mine at -6dB or so, so I need pre-fader sometimes.

I can only guess what the OP wants is to get more than 100% signal sent to the return. I'd really like to know in what situation you could be needing this. I do understand that you need to send pre-fader once in a while. It's possible we are missing a great application here and that the workarounds we have suggested are insufficient for the needs of the OP.
Last edited by Stromkraft on Tue May 19, 2015 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Make some music!

driven
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:08 pm

Re: Bussed wet/dry effects

Post by driven » Tue May 19, 2015 6:09 pm

OP here...

What I want is a way to bus several tracks to an effect (or rack of effects) and modulate the wet/dry ratio of the resulting signal from 0 (dry) - 100 (wet), retaining each track's volume fader.

Similar to how a DJ mixer with built-in effects works.

Not the "InstaFX", but the main effects section, top-center:
Image

It's convenient, it's intuitive, suitable for live performance. And it's easy to bus several audio tracks in and modulate the wet/dry globally, continuously from 0 (dry) to 100 (wet), using the LEVEL/DEPTH knob. Meanwhile, the volume fader for each track still works, but it's the volume for the post-FX signal of each individual track. This is the functionality I'm attempting to reproduce in Ableton Live.

Switching Ableton Live track routing back and forth between Master and Sends Only is probably not an option for live performance -- it's not possible to map to MIDI and (I'm told) re-routing live can cause audio glitches. And for production, it's not something you can automate. And besides, it's clumsy as hell when a simple wet/dry knob would do the trick.

I understand that this isn't how Ableton Live's signal routing currently works. This is a Feature Request. Hope that's clear.

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Bussed wet/dry effects

Post by Stromkraft » Tue May 19, 2015 8:05 pm

driven wrote:OP here...

What I want is a way to bus several tracks to an effect (or rack of effects) and modulate the wet/dry ratio of the resulting signal from 0 (dry) - 100 (wet), retaining each track's volume fader…

…the volume fader for each track still works, but it's the volume for the post-FX signal of each individual track.
You can't expect to send multiple tracks to one return and get individual post-FX signals of each individual track. What you will get is the mixed effect signal of all tracks sent to the return. This is what you want?

I do of course accept your feature request, but it's a bit hard to understand the details for what the increased volume is supposed to accomplish. I can't help thinking maybe you have given the wrong suggestion for what you want.

It seems to me what you're suggesting with the sends is going beyond 100% signal volume, yet even if we implement that feature — which is possible now with the help of Utility to raise the volume on an intermediate track — this would still not achieve the wet(dry balance you're talking about.
To me it sounds like you want what you get when you place effects in the track. There you get individual wet/dry balance naturally.

If you send pre-fader to the return it gets 100% signal and you can mix between the return, set as "B", and the tracks, set as "A" with the help of the Live crossfader. The balance wouldn't be individual dry/wets of course, though you can control multiple knobs at once with mapping.

Please try that one out and explain how it's different from what you want.
Make some music!

driven
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:08 pm

Re: Bussed wet/dry effects

Post by driven » Wed May 20, 2015 1:19 am

I can't believe I'm having such difficulty explaining this. Maybe a screenshot will help.

Image

So if I'm jamming along, playin' my loops, and I want to mess with some effects. I have this lovely Reverb/Delay effect that'll sound good both on my Synth and on my Vocals, and using it on both will tie them together, musically, within the overall mix. Seems simple enough.

I would like to, say, turn the Synth track's A knob to 75% and get a 75% wet, 25% dry Reverb/Delay Synth signal coming out my speakers. I might turn the knob slowly to introduce the effect over several measures. The total Synth volume remains the same.

At the same time, I would like to turn up the Vocal track's A knob to, say, 90% and get a 90% wet, 10% dry Reverb/Delay Vocal signal coming out my speakers. The total Vocal volume remains the same.

In this context, don't think of them as Send knobs. Think of them as wet/dry knobs.

It's an easy way to apply the same effect(s) to multiple tracks.
You can't expect to send multiple tracks to one return and get individual post-FX signals of each individual track.
My mixer does this, albeit globally -- the 75% wet setting would apply to both the Synth and the Vocals, in the above example. (And I'd be happy enough with this -- but I see no reason the wet/dry settings couldn't be different for each input track.)

I would like to reproduce this functionality within Ableton Live. It would be very handy both for live performance and production.
What you will get is the mixed effect signal of all tracks sent to the return. This is what you want?
No, that's not what I want. I recognize that what I want cannot be done within the current architecture. This is why I'm making a Feature Request.
I do of course accept your feature request, but it's a bit hard to understand the details for what the increased volume is supposed to accomplish. I can't help thinking maybe you have given the wrong suggestion for what you want.

It seems to me what you're suggesting with the sends is going beyond 100% signal volume, yet even if we implement that feature — which is possible now with the help of Utility to raise the volume on an intermediate track — this would still not achieve the wet(dry balance you're talking about.
No, I want to change the functionality of the Send knobs. Replace them with Wet/Dry knobs. Offer a toggle between the Send/Return architecture and the Wet/Dry architecture. (Or add in the Wet/Dry knobs as a new section and FX tracks as a new track type, to sit along-side the Send/Return stuff.)

I have no desire for increased volume. Not sure where you're reading this. In fact, I see that as a downside of using the existing send/returns for effects -- when you turn the Send up, you have to tweak the volume faders to compensate. (And the resulting signal is only a maximum of 50% wet anyhow.)

Rather, I would like the volume of the resulting signal with effects to be identical to the original dry signal -- just like if the effect was on that individual track.
To me it sounds like you want what you get when you place effects in the track. There you get individual wet/dry balance naturally.
I want to have multiple tracks given one common set of effects -- Synth and Vocals given the same Reverb/Delay effect, for example, in whatever wet/dry balance I choose.
If you send pre-fader to the return it gets 100% signal and you can mix between the return, set as "B", and the tracks, set as "A" with the help of the Live crossfader. The balance wouldn't be individual dry/wets of course, though you can control multiple knobs at once with mapping.
I've tried it. It works, and I may go with this, but it's a hack. Surely the crossfader was not intended to serve as a wet/dry slider for bussed effects.

The upside is that it's all MIDI-mappable, so I can use an external controller. And I never use my crossfader for mixing anyhow.

The downside is that I'm using a crossfader for my wet/dry, which will take a bit of mental remapping and practice. And it's limited to one bus of effects.

Sorry I wrote a book; just wanted to cover everything. Let me know if it still doesn't make sense and I'll make a video or something.

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Bussed wet/dry effects

Post by Stromkraft » Wed May 20, 2015 2:20 pm

driven wrote:
I want to have multiple tracks given one common set of effects -- Synth and Vocals given the same Reverb/Delay effect, for example, in whatever wet/dry balance I choose.
This seems to be the most distinct description. A Wet/Dry configuration then would send 100% signal volume by default to the effect and you would balance the effect with the wet/dry configured knob? However, if you don't want the wet signal from both tracks coming back to these, then what you are suggesting must by definition involve multiple instances of the effect(s) on the return, right?
So, in this Wet/Dry configuration multiple instances — one per track involved — are abstracted away? If so, this is a more complex feature request than what your initial post would allude to.
Make some music!

driven
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:08 pm

Re: Bussed wet/dry effects

Post by driven » Thu May 21, 2015 2:35 am

Stromkraft wrote:
driven wrote:
I want to have multiple tracks given one common set of effects -- Synth and Vocals given the same Reverb/Delay effect, for example, in whatever wet/dry balance I choose.
This seems to be the most distinct description. A Wet/Dry configuration then would send 100% signal volume by default to the effect and you would balance the effect with the wet/dry configured knob?
Yes. Then bounce it back to the source track so the resulting signal can be modulated with that track's volume fader.

I don't see a use for the volume fader on effects track in this setup -- if a user wants that detailed functionality, they can use the more "advanced" send/return.
However, if you don't want the wet signal from both tracks coming back to these, then what you are suggesting must by definition involve multiple instances of the effect(s) on the return, right?
It may internally need to make multiple instances of the effects. And I imagine it'd chew up more processor, which is a shame. (I don't know the internal architecture or details on the object classes; can only guess.) Logically, though, it's one common set of effects that can be used by multiple tracks.

This should route after each individual track's effects, by default. But you might include a dropdown to allow the signal to route to the common effects before the individual effects.
So, in this Wet/Dry configuration multiple instances — one per track involved — are abstracted away? If so, this is a more complex feature request than what your initial post would allude to.
I can see how this could be internally complex. But it's logically very intuitive and simple for the user. And awesome for DJing. You could even call it Simple Bus mode or DJ FX mode or whatever.

Can't tell you how wrapped around my own axle I was trying to get a 50-100% wet total signal using the send/returns. I know it's old hat to audio professionals, but I was about to put my fist through my macbook. Hardware always takes the blame, doncha know...

And with all the workarounds that have been developed to approximate this ("magic sends", most notably), I gotta think this would be a popular feature.

edit: While we're at it, why not include envelope dummy clips in the Effects track? (Also would be a good addition for Return tracks.)

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Bussed wet/dry effects

Post by Stromkraft » Thu May 21, 2015 10:50 am

driven wrote:why not include envelope dummy clips in the Effects track? (Also would be a good addition for Return tracks.)
Agreed. I would love that.
Make some music!

Skrooch
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:08 pm

Re: Bussed wet/dry effects

Post by Skrooch » Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:12 pm

For anyone who comes across this thread that is not happy with the solutions or their wording, an easy 2 nob trick I found is to make your track 'sends only' and just create a dry return track for your desired level of dry signal.

Post Reply