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Subject: aux sends ... fader mystery solved ...
Posted by: ClipMan
Date: 10/26/2015 6:21:13 PM

We rarely produce music with more than 6 to 8 tracks so we didn't mind putting insert effects on each track and we had plenty of computing power to handle it. That meant inserting a reverb maybe 6 to 8 times and making volume adjustments as necessary and adjustments to the dry/wet returns in the reverb as well. Then we got real busy and doing this became annoying. So we set up an aux send (assignable FX) bus and set the wet return to 100% in the plugin because we still had the separate dry tracks in the mix pumping out music. We did this in the middle of a project. We removed all the reverb inserts from the plugin chains and sent some dB's into the FX bus from the relevant tracks. Sounded great. No problems. But there were 2 (two) faders on the FX bus. One above and one below the meters in the mixing console.They had to be there for a reason and we couldn't really figure it out with everything else going on in the mix.

We opened a new project with only one track and hid the master and preview track so only the track and the FX bus was showing in the console. We stuck a guitar loop on the track and inserted a really heavy delay effect in the FX bus so we'd hear clearly what was happening when we played with the 2 faders. We set the track level to -10 dB and a send to the bus at -5 dB and set everything to "post fader". The FX bus defaulted with both faders at 0 dB. We saw the -5 dB coming through on the FX bus meters as expected. Then we played around with the 2 mysterious faders on the FX bus and came to understand what was happening.

The 'bottom' fader on the FX bus boosted or lowered the track level AND the FX level (the send) TOGETHER in the same ratio as the -10/-5 input. Doubling the track level also doubled the send level. But what if you only wanted to boost the FX level without the track level going up? That's correct, sir! That's what the 'top' fader is for. This is your dry/wet mix outside the plugin. Most of you already know all this but it's a revelation to yours truly. We love Acid Pro when we know what it's doing (and what we're doing) especially when the scrawny unlit "top" meter gives no clues whatsoever. I guess it's too late to put in a support ticket for that. Just foolin'. Anyway, maybe this can help someone still struggling with aux sends.

Brian
www.JazzHouseBlues.com

Subject: RE: aux sends ... fader mystery solved ...
Reply by: Silamanagic
Date: 10/26/2015 10:55:34 PM

This is very helpful to know! I've been using volume envelopes to bring the volume down to compensate the the added boosts when sending fx buses to those tracks. Looking forward to trying your discovery out.

Subject: RE: aux sends ... fader mystery solved ...
Reply by: ClipMan
Date: 10/27/2015 8:07:59 AM

Glad we could help. If I described the fader behaviour correctly, there would be little reason for a volume envelope to make that adjustment. It was a mystery for us because there were no visible clues on the 'top' console FX fader. Normally, if you move the faders on the track headers, the corresponding faders on the channel strip move as well. This was not happening and there was no visible signal coming through the 'top' meters. Not very intuitive. It could be that it works in older OS's like Win XP. or older graphic cards or it could be they simply implemented this feature poorly/hastily. Just one thing. It is critical that you set the controls to 'POST' fader. I you don't, even though you turn the track level all the way down, you're still gonna get the processed FX send/return pumping into the mix.

Brian

Subject: RE: aux sends ... fader mystery solved ...
Reply by: pwppch
Date: 11/1/2015 7:51:04 AM

Pre and post on a track send to an assignable fx bus is useful depending on your goals. It will give you a separate gain stage external to the track's gain stage.

A pre fade to an aux bus is useful if you want to create a sub mix for say a cue mix.

Note there is a difference between an aux bus and an assignable fx bus.

Peter

Subject: RE: aux sends ... fader mystery solved ...
Reply by: ClipMan
Date: 11/1/2015 9:53:42 AM

@" Note there is a difference between an aux bus and an assignable fx bus"

Difference duly noted, Peter. Hopefully it doesn't affect how we set up our projects as indicated above.

Brian

Subject: RE: aux sends ... fader mystery solved ...
Reply by: pwppch
Date: 11/2/2015 6:55:30 AM

A assignable fx bus is modeled after a send - return on a mixer.

"Send" to the fx
"Return" from the fx

Each stage has its own gain

And aux bus serves two purposes:
- a stem mix when routed to master(drums, vox, etc) and tracks are routed directly to it
- a cue mix when routed to external hardware (not part of the master mix) when tracks are "sent" to it.

Actually one more...
As a send to an external fx process when a input bus is then used as a the return.


Peter


Message last edited on 11/2/2015 6:57:55 AM by pwppch.
Subject: RE: aux sends ... fader mystery solved ...
Reply by: ClipMan
Date: 11/2/2015 9:23:09 AM

@ ... when a input bus is then used as a the return.

When we first started out, we used an M-Audio 4 channel I/O. Not bad but we had to set up input buses inside Acid for the talkback mic system. Worked well when we remembered to turn on the mics. Then we got our hands on a Roland 16/10 Studio Capture and a 6 channel headphone amp from A.R.T. No need for input buses anymore. Not sure why but the Roland unit (or the A.R.T. unit) is handling the whole thing including the reverb feed to the musicians if they want it. None of this output is being dumped into the mix. Sure, it's all in the signal flow diagrams but that's like trying to read a plate of spaghetti that splattered on the floor. Anyway, we appreciate the time you're taking to help us understand this stuff.

Brian

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