Effects channel routing

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dek
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Effects channel routing

Post by dek »

Watching CLA mixing on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc3SxgT4uCw and notice he has his outboard gear\effects routed to the left side of his console using the volume sliders as effect gain on the track he's working on.

Can i set this up in Cubase to work like that?

If i have 60 tracks and 15 reverb presets i would like to have accessible on each track and feed the selected track with the reverb from a single fader, is that even possible? I need a ton of audio channels? or is there some smart routing i could manage this with? How would i do it?

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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by svennilenni »

That´s a basic send Fx setup, even explained in the Cubase manual.

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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by SuperG »

The terminology you're using might be a little off. If you want to "feed" each track with a reverb - do that with an insert on each channel and use the reverb's wet/dry mix control.

Now, what I think you're actually aiming for is to feed a reverb from multiple tracks. Yes - that's what send FX channels are for. No - you can't do 15 of those FX sends, one for each reverb, as we are limited to a total of 8 send slots.

But where there's a will, there's a way, with a little sleight-of-hand.

Cubase pro will let you direct (output) route up to eight channels simultaneously in summing mode. You could route outputs to an additional seven additional FX channels in this case. This exactly matches your 15 reverb requirement. What you lose is, of course, the signal *is* and can only be post-fader, and you have no send-level boost/cut gain in addition to the post-fader level. (In many cases you may find yourself leaving a post-fader send level adjustment at 0db anyway - it might not be a problem for you). The reason this works is because we are holding the 8th output as our normal, everyday dry output.

A point to note: in a standard send-FX channel, you generally set your reverb's wet/dry mix to 100%, and then you can use that FX channel's fader as an overall reverb level. This is because the output of that FX channel is summed at the master output. You still have the send levels on each track for fine tweaking individual inputs to the send-FX channel. For the seven outputs routed as other FX channels, you also set the reverbs wet/dry mix to 100% wet and use the those group-as-FX-channels' faders to adjust reverb levels.

(Were we to consider 16 reverbs or FX's , this would eliminate that *one* dry output we're holding in reserve. You'd have to consider using the reverbs/effects own wet/dry mix and not the group-as-FX-channel's fader to adjust overall dry/wet ratio, to get any dry signal at all. Very messy, screws up your existing single-output routing scheme, and you might as well go back to inserts on all channels.)

Basically, HW console guys have managed to live with a fixed number of send buses for a long time, and 15 reverbs as FX's is kind-of "out there" as a requirement.... if they needed a different reverb setup for a different group of tacks, they'd probably bounce the current setup to a new track first.

Modern DAWS get away with murder, because we can reuse the same VST effects as many times as we like, keeping in mind the limit of 8 sends and eight outputs maximum per track in Cubase Pro, and noting that the number of plugin instances *does* affect real-time performance.


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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by dek »

Super...

So what do i do with 30+ effects processors set up and running in the background?

The idea is if i run to track 1... i want wet signal ratio on a fader for the 1st reverb preset 1 on track 1, run up the effect fader, set, add some flanger, compressor... set.... run to track 2, plate reverb preset 2 on track 2, run the wet signal up... eq... comp... track 3... and so on...

I gotta swap out effects with max 15 effects slots without assigning each effect to an insert on each respective channel?

i could bounce, but even then i am limited by the amount of slots available and back to same routine of swapping in and out effects.

i'm sure you understand what i want... but is it possible... maybe not Cubase? Another DAW? Outboard gear? Metagrid... whatever.. just trying to find a solution, maybe im overlooking something?

What they are not showing on that video is what time he uses to patch in his outboard gear and the setting up on it, hes just using a fader to gain an already set up preset.

8 sends max on each track is a limitation, and i see running 30+ effects as inserts on 60+ tracks as not a viable option either... how to get around it-

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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by stingray »

dek wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:24 pm
i'm sure you understand what i want...
I for one do not really understand what you want... but if you are running out of slots try Blue Cat's PatchWork.

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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by SuperG »

dek wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:24 pm
Super...

So what do i do with 30+ effects processors set up and running in the background?

The idea is if i run to track 1... i want wet signal ratio on a fader for the 1st reverb preset 1 on track 1, run up the effect fader, set, add some flanger, compressor... set.... run to track 2, plate reverb preset 2 on track 2, run the wet signal up... eq... comp... track 3... and so on...

I gotta swap out effects with max 15 effects slots without assigning each effect to an insert on each respective channel?

i could bounce, but even then i am limited by the amount of slots available and back to same routine of swapping in and out effects.

i'm sure you understand what i want... but is it possible... maybe not Cubase? Another DAW? Outboard gear? Metagrid... whatever.. just trying to find a solution, maybe im overlooking something?

What they are not showing on that video is what time he uses to patch in his outboard gear and the setting up on it, hes just using a fader to gain an already set up preset.

8 sends max on each track is a limitation, and i see running 30+ effects as inserts on 60+ tracks as not a viable option either... how to get around it-
You should approach this with a considered attitude. You need to determine what can/should run as an insert FX, and what can/should run as a send FX. A good starting place is Cubase's own channel strip. Those types of effects are placed there because, in the large, you'd run those effects as an insert. A reverb, OTOH, is a good choice for a send FX as it works well in non-complicated FX channel. I think many would agree that 30 inserts on multiple channels is overkill.
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mr.roos
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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by mr.roos »

In reference to the Blue Cat's Patchwork plugin, it seems to benefit the Mac world more than PC, specifically PT users.
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dek
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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by dek »

SuperG wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:23 pm
dek wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:24 pm
Super...

So what do i do with 30+ effects processors set up and running in the background?

The idea is if i run to track 1... i want wet signal ratio on a fader for the 1st reverb preset 1 on track 1, run up the effect fader, set, add some flanger, compressor... set.... run to track 2, plate reverb preset 2 on track 2, run the wet signal up... eq... comp... track 3... and so on...

I gotta swap out effects with max 15 effects slots without assigning each effect to an insert on each respective channel?

i could bounce, but even then i am limited by the amount of slots available and back to same routine of swapping in and out effects.

i'm sure you understand what i want... but is it possible... maybe not Cubase? Another DAW? Outboard gear? Metagrid... whatever.. just trying to find a solution, maybe im overlooking something?

What they are not showing on that video is what time he uses to patch in his outboard gear and the setting up on it, hes just using a fader to gain an already set up preset.

8 sends max on each track is a limitation, and i see running 30+ effects as inserts on 60+ tracks as not a viable option either... how to get around it-
You should approach this with a considered attitude. You need to determine what can/should run as an insert FX, and what can/should run as a send FX. A good starting place is Cubase's own channel strip. Those types of effects are placed there because, in the large, you'd run those effects as an insert. A reverb, OTOH, is a good choice for a send FX as it works well in non-complicated FX channel. I think many would agree that 30 inserts on multiple channels is overkill.
thats ok, you have the right to your opinion, but lets say cubase had unlimited sends then we wouldn't be having this conversation in that you tell me that i have to adapt my attitude towards it. i just asked if its possible man and i dont work like that, i would like to use a tool that serves me and not that i start to weight out and balance my workflow because of some limitation, that defeats the whole purpose of choosing that tool in the first place, for creativity to flow there has to be no limitations and not to work within a box of considerations. thanks.
Last edited by dek on Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by stingray »

mr.roos wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:48 am
In reference to the Blue Cat's Patchwork plugin, it seems to benefit the Mac world more than PC, specifically PT users.
Not really. PatchWork is of benefit on PC within Cubase and it has no issues. And of course PT users can use it too. It's a good way to greatly expand the number of available plugin insert slots for those who need that.

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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by dek »

stingray wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:42 am
mr.roos wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:48 am
In reference to the Blue Cat's Patchwork plugin, it seems to benefit the Mac world more than PC, specifically PT users.
No not really. PatchWork functions fine on PC and within Cubase with no issues. It's a good way to greatly expand the number of available plugin insert slots.
Its not really the lack of a channels insert that's hindering me, the problem is the track to effect that has to be routed somehow, more sends would fix it, or rerouting and bouncing tracks for each time you want a new effect...

We know that we can feed a reverbs setting to multiple tracks by gain, seperately, and that we dont have to multiply the process but feed multiple channels through the reverbs setting so that they all have its effect. Now lets take that one step further, you have 15 reverb "streams" that you want to have available on all of your tracks, 1 plate reverb with small\medium\large preset, 1 ir reverb s/m/l and an algo reverb with s/m/l, they are just there, loaded in the background, and how are you going to route them....

The regular workflow is creating a track, adding the reverb, either as an insert, not talking reverb specifically, or on an fx channels insert to be accessed as a send on your track. All you have to think about now is that you have 10 of your favorite plugins, they all have about 4-5 presets that you want to have available to all of your tracks on your mix at all times, not loading what you need, but having a fader for each one them to determine how much of each one them is being fed to the audio signal\track that you are currently working on, vocals, drums, bass, whatever...

Out of the box, say you had a rack of outboard gear on your wall behind your desk, 20 effects processors, everything from, delay units, flangers, compressors, reverbs, whatever, pultecs, fairchilds, lexicon, tc's... now in practicality, hook each one of those up to a channel strip on your mixer, assign each channels fader to its gain and route every one of them to the ins on each and every one of your audio channels on your mixer. So, you end up with 20 faders on the left side of your mixer hooked up to your wall of processors, each one of the faders controlling the amount of effects that are applied to the track on the right side that you are working on... if you dont get it, then i have no other way of explaining it, maybe i think too far, 8 sends is massive and more than anyone could need, yea, for some.

and i should have a considered attitude towards it? no man, i want to work, but i dont want to work patching cables and routing signals every time i want to have access to something, i want to have access to everything at all times. if there is limitation, fine, i jump to where there is not. keep on adding features but were not really expanding in that what we have. why 8 sends tho, is it too complicated to have 32 sends? does that sound silly? i dont know.

I know for a fact that Logic has an option to route send to fader, that is just why, this is how people work, not entirely sure how many sends Logic has, if it has 30+ i would jump boat just for that feature alone.

people just dont get it, they design their workflow around its limitations, and sooner than you know you are that and thats how life is, how are you even gonna compete with anyone if you cant even express yourself, the only way any thing ever is going to evolve is for it to go beyond its limitations, need to rethink your priorities or get thrown in the bin when your competitors have evolved beyond you, or are more current.

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Re: Effects channel routing

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dek wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 3:47 pm
and i should have a considered attitude towards it? no man, i want to work, but i dont want to work patching cables and routing signals every time i want to have access to something, i want to have access to everything at all times. if there is limitation, fine, i jump to where there is not. keep on adding features but were not really expanding in that what we have. why 8 sends tho, is it too complicated to have 32 sends? does that sound silly? i dont know.

I know for a fact that Logic has an option to route send to fader, that is just why, this is how people work, not entirely sure how many sends Logic has, if it has 30+ i would jump boat just for that feature alone.

people just dont get it, they design their workflow around its limitations, and sooner than you know you are that and thats how life is, how are you even gonna compete with anyone if you cant even express yourself, the only way any thing ever is going to evolve is for it to go beyond its limitations, need to rethink your priorities or get thrown in the bin when your competitors have evolved beyond you, or are more current.
I suppose if there was much demand for 32 sends per channel in a DAW someone would build it. Considering all other feature requests plus any time a new feature is added it can introduce new bugs, I don't think the demand is there. You have X amount of resources. Choose what you do with the resources wisely. I don't think adding more would be much more complicated, but based on forums I have never seen much demand for more.

I would think you know that having technical limitations is usually an advantage?

Users who want more will use what is suggested in above posts, or better yet Kore or New Sonic Arts FreeStyle...both of which go far beyond just providing additional inserts. Your complaint is that it should be included in the DAW. I disagree. I think a DAW should focus on rock-solid functions of DAW tasks that are not available from 3rd parties. You want more, buy more from the 3rd party.

If you have all this amount of outboard do you not have any patch bays/midi patch bays? I have 19 outboard hardware units interfaced by 4 MOTU MidiTimePiece for a total of 32. I have never used more than 10 at any particular time on any given project. And even if I did, I could change configuration in real time.

Personally I don't compete with anyone. Cubase, or any other DAW while they all have limitations, allows me to achieve my objectives. With Serban, CLA or any in-demand mix engineer, their advantage is experience, not workflow limitations. They work with what they feel are the best tools, they have learned them inside out, and combined with their experience, achieve their sonic objectives that others seem to appreciate by repeat business.

If you can't express yourself with others tools, then I guess it's time to build your own.
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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by dek »

Well that's true, and its true for each individually, but if we talk about amount, and back support, we have such a thing as sends, the limit here is 8, there is probably a reason for not expanding it at this point, but that limit is holding back that functionality, for whomever would need more, that's all.

What i end up with, is working around the music and the mixing process with having to dedicate my work around whats possible, if i would need more i'm stuck with trying to figure out ways to work around it, then that becomes a part of my work and i become restricted and adapted to work like that, if thats a good or bad thing that is again up to each individually, but at this point it is holding me back and im trying to figure out a way around it so i dont have to think about that.

When i say compete, i dont really mean compete in the way of competing against others, but if you look at where things take you then the limitations are going to predict how far you can get with something, and it would take more hours for you to reach a place to be fully expressive in that what you work with, obstacles for some, workaround for others. i dont want it to be like that, and if we are all reaching to some place, the tools that we have needs to support the path that you want to take.

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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by stingray »

dek wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 3:47 pm
Its not really the lack of a channels insert that's hindering me, the problem is the track to effect that has to be routed somehow, more sends would fix it, or rerouting and bouncing tracks for each time you want a new effect...
You could try using Group channels. Group channels can be used in a similar manner to FX channels and you have 256 of them. Just insert the desired effect(s) on the group channels or use each group to send to an FX channel. Use the channel output routing to route to the group channels, or use Direct Out to send to up to 8 group channels at the same time... or use the send slots to route to the group channels, or use all of these options in any combination.
Last edited by stingray on Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by SuperG »

stingray wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 8:41 pm
dek wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 3:47 pm
Its not really the lack of a channels insert that's hindering me, the problem is the track to effect that has to be routed somehow, more sends would fix it, or rerouting and bouncing tracks for each time you want a new effect...
You could try using Group channels. Group channels can be used in a similar manner to FX channels and you have 256 of them. Just insert the desired effect(s) on the group channels. Use the channel output routing to route to the group channels, or use Direct Out to send to up to 8 group channels at the same time.
Maybe it's not a good idea to point out that there's "only" 256 group channels....bc, inevitably, someone's gonna complain it's hindering their creativity.... :roll:
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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by dek »

stingray wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 8:41 pm
dek wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 3:47 pm
Its not really the lack of a channels insert that's hindering me, the problem is the track to effect that has to be routed somehow, more sends would fix it, or rerouting and bouncing tracks for each time you want a new effect...
You could try using Group channels. Group channels can be used in a similar manner to FX channels and you have 256 of them. Just insert the desired effect(s) on the group channels or use each group to send to an FX channel. Use the channel output routing to route to the group channels, or use Direct Out to send to up to 8 group channels at the same time... or use the send slots to route to the group channels, or use all of these options in any combination.
Are you are saying that i can add for example 8 effects on a group channel, then set 1 of the sends from the track to that group channel? In a sense i have a buss to another series of effects?..... Did not think of that.... how would i control the level of the insert on a group channel? Can it be routed to a fader?
Last edited by dek on Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by stingray »

Yes, you can do that. But you may be approaching the whole thing from the wrong angle.

Thinking about this further... yes you do have only 8 sends BUT you also have 64 FX return channels. You could set up all the FX as required on a number of these FX return channels and then use group tracks to send to any combination of these effects via the sends of each group track. In this scenario the group faders manage the send level to the effects and the FX channel faders manage the return level. Use the sends, or output routing of your regular tracks in any combination to route your signals to an appropriate group channel and thereby to the desired effect(s). In this manner you could have 64 effects set up simultaneously assuming that your computer can handle this kind of thing... and you'd be able to send to these effects in more or less any combination.

P.S. In the world of DAWS limitless doesn't really exist. It's often about compromise.
Last edited by stingray on Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by dek »

Stingray, i dont get it, i know too little about fx return channels, never used it.... i cant grab what you are saying... is there a way you could maybe route it on a template with a track and a couple effects and so i could see how it works, or screenshots?

i will look into fx return channels, never used that, i just got this idea of having everything running in the background and accessible i just dont know the ways around cubase to set it up...

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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by stingray »

Right click. In the popup menu select Add Effect track/channel. Add effects on the effects channel in the standard manner using the insert slots or select the effect in the Add dialogue at the time you add the track. Look up FX channel in the user manual.

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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by dek »

i know about fx channel buddy, but in the standard way of adding an instrument to a fx channel the fx channel fader (purple one) will mute the signal when i have the instruments out running to the effects channel...

the other explanation you made to run it through group tracks made me think there is a different way... as you said You could set up all the FX as required on a number of these FX return channels and then use group tracks to send to any combination of these effects via the sends of each group track.

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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by stingray »

dek wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:34 pm
i know about fx channel buddy, but in the standard way of adding an instrument to a fx channel the fx channel fader (purple one) will mute the signal when i have the instruments out running to the effects channel...
I don't think that is standard at all, if I understand what you have written, which I probably don't... I'd suggest you attempt to give more clarity if you want others to take the time to help you out on here.

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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by marQs »

Check out these 3 projects with different routings applied:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xerxc8ginbl2 ... RszKa?dl=0

If I get the idea you want to have 15 instantly accessible FX per audio channel and use the FX track/return faders to blend. The example projects would work that way for a single channel. For each further channel you'd need another 15 FX channels if you restrict yourself to blending with the FX return faders. Doesn't seem too ergonomic to me. That's why we have sends.

Don't know about your world, in mine it's easier to choose 8 fx (out of the total count of fx in my projects) than creating lots of weird routings by default. In any case I need more than 8 sends - which happens - I'll just send the specific channel to a group to add another 8.

I agree that having 16 sends (or 24 or 32 or just unlimited) would be useful in some scenarios and can't imagine a major technical reason to not add another 8 or so in the future, Steinberg did it with inserts (from 8 to 16 which is a big relief).
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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by dek »

marQs wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:30 am
Check out these 3 projects with different routings applied:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xerxc8ginbl2 ... RszKa?dl=0

If I get the idea you want to have 15 instantly accessible FX per audio channel and use the FX track/return faders to blend. The example projects would work that way for a single channel. For each further channel you'd need another 15 FX channels if you restrict yourself to blending with the FX return faders. Doesn't seem too ergonomic to me. That's why we have sends.
Yep, that's what i want. And i have 100+ channels so that's not a way, 15 effects on 100 tracks and will end up with 1500 fx faders.

Not 100% sure yet, but at this point what i gather, people either dont understand what i mean or its being setup as a limitation to 8/15 to each channel. In some way its just duplicating the process in another way of adding it to the 16 insert slots that's available, same limitation, only that we added blend to faders.
marQs wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:30 am
Don't know about your world, in mine it's easier to choose 8 fx (out of the total count of fx in my projects) than creating lots of weird routings by default. In any case I need more than 8 sends - which happens - I'll just send the specific channel to a group to add another 8.
That's my world too, and that's what i do.
The idea here is not the quantity of plugins i need on each track but the availability of them for each channel.
Would probably be about 30 effects plugins that i would want permanently on all projects. A predefined set of effects.
Thought it would be clear from that cla video in how he fed his audio with his outboard gear on the track with a fader.
marQs wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:30 am
I agree that having 16 sends (or 24 or 32 or just unlimited) would be useful in some scenarios and can't imagine a major technical reason to not add another 8 or so in the future, Steinberg did it with inserts (from 8 to 16 which is a big relief).
Only think it's possible through sends at this point, limited to 8 sends though...

I was thinking something like summing tracks, that i dont route the fx track to stereo out but in a way a real time fx bounce track... i dont know enough of that, but i feel that the limitation is in the path the affected audio channel has to have some other path to take so that the other audio channels are not affected... i dont know...

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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by mr.roos »

Dek, I do get what is being said. In a studio you could easily have 30 outboard processors in a few racks that you could physically patch into, pieces you knew and used all the time. But not multiple channels simultaneously unless they were on a bus, right? But then 8 bus's is pretty typical in a good hardware studio and you're back to 8 of anything. So C10, ITB, already offers more than this with 16 sends and multiple duplicate efx along with multiple bus's - but you want more. And no cables...

Ok, so if you had a channel preset that had 16 plugins on it, and you had 30 instances of it.... Good lord, haha, would this even fly? I doubt a project with 30 tracks with 16 plugin efx running could even work, forget the efx bus's or Group channels. I have a pretty OK PC and I wouldn't even try it.

I definitely hear what you are saying though. In a Perfect World scenario it's fun to imagine such excess. However, whether by what's been my experience or by my shortsightedness, Cubase 10 is a lot of kit.
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marQs
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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by marQs »

Acutally any current digital desk would make it possible using 'sends on fader'. As long as a channel is solo'd and the thing is in sends on fader-mode it'd work like in the CLA video.

Connecting a digidesk with a DAW, utilizing plugins as fx processors (instead of the desks own fx), requires plenty of I/Os and some extensive routing work. Those I/Os could be analog or digital (ADAT, MADI, whatever), in case of digital proper clocking/sync'ing is obligatory.

It's a bit nerdy but definately doable. I for myself am very happy mixing ITB without all the fuzz I remember from working with analog consoles, wouldn't want to trade the fast/easy/reliable workflow of a DAW for messing around with all sorts of extra trouble.
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dek
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Re: Effects channel routing

Post by dek »

I am just left wondering if 8 is a number they have settled on or if it's a limitation of the software.

And roos, the thing is, if i would want more than 8 THEN it becomes and obscene amount of processing requirement. The 8 sends limit dictates it. I am actually asking for more sends so that i dont have to duplicate effects on each channel to save workload on the system. Save processing, less clutter, better overview, availability, by shared signal. I dont understand the decision, maybe there is a fee involved? maybe Sony wants their money.
Last edited by dek on Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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