Academy Dashboard Forum Production Digital Recording FX Send v Track FX

  • This topic has 5 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by Pedro Pitta Groz.
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    Kevin Coulter

      Hey all,

      I hope this post finds everyone well.

      As I'm working more and more with my DAW (Reaper in this case), I'm coming to an interesting questions that seems to have different answers depending on who you are talking to - and it makes sense depending on your style, how picky you are about processing music, or other nuances.

      The question is when do you use an FX Send vs a per track FX. In some cases I've heard things like "...I only use it for Reverbs, but prefer to keep compression per track" and others saying "...I use FX sends as much as possible to reduce my over DSP processing during mixing".

      Just wondering what all you takes are on it.

      When do you use an FX Send?
      When do you use track FX?

      I'm sure there are no hard and fast rules. This is more of getting a rough idea or if there are any "rule of thumb" anyone uses as I continue to hone my mixing and production skills.



        for me i always did better when i treat a mix like i used my analog mixer..delays and reverb via sends
        compressors on was how i could understand it and it was how i was taught

        probably just to old to learn another dont have to though

        Guido tum Suden

          I don't like having a track copy just for making a different sound which probably originates in the time when track count was still important because of the CPU you had.

          I even do Warren's vocal thickening trick completely with FX Sends. I've got an Aux for exciter, distortion, 8va, 8vb, whisper and micro shift.

          But now, that I work more and more with sub-busses, I have to be more careful, because if you use sub-busses and the effects are coming from the track's send, you can't simply change the volume of the sub-bus because that will change the amount of effect on the tracks.

          A benefit of FX sends is, that if you decide you want that same effect on a different track you simply dial in the send.


          Mark Warner

            Hi Kevin,

            I am also a long time Reaper user. I use FX sends for any process FX that needs to be in parallel or shared between multiple track groups. Classic examples are Parallel Compression for drums, unification reverbs. I will also use specific FX like EQ and compression on tracks alone but this doesn't stop me from also sending from these tacks as well or putting FX on a group buss. As most things need layers of processing and the processing layers are also intended to colour the sound. I do whatever combination acheives the results I am aiming for.
            Best regards Mark

            Kevin Coulter

              Thanks all for the replies so far.

              Thanks, Mark. Yes, I use FX on the buses, also. What I typically was doing was FX on each of the tracks, then on the bus, and eventually on the master (EQ and Compression used on just about everything, then add reverb/delay and/or modulation as needed). As I started working with some of the more complex mixes (L/R, Samples, Rooms, OH, etc) that have close to 100 tracks, my system starts to get a little laggy (it's a 2012 macbook air, somewhat expected).

              I was looking at ways to decrease the DPS and FX Sends (mentioned in many of Warren's mixes) seemed to be a way to route multiple tracks through a single FX and reduce the amount of processing needed.

              At some point, I'll upgrade my system and I know I won't have to worry about this at all - but was looking for how people were leveraging the sends in their mixes. Good stuff. Would be good to hear from others also. I never thought of putting FX send for compression as I typically would use a 100% wet mix on a send, and where compressors sometimes give the capabilities of wet/dry that I love, I stay away from it. I'll look at the Parallel Compression for drums and see if I can leverage it there (I know it can be done - just not sure I can do it

              Part of the fun is experimenting with the suggestions...

              Thanks again.


              Pedro Pitta Groz

                Hello Kevin and everyone!

                As ever, there's no right or wrong, just the path you take to get the sound you want.
                Anyway, other thing to consider, if you put a reverb on the track, you wont be able to process furtherly that reverb independent of the source and some times I like to add distortion or compression or anything to just that reverb.
                I've been fighting with cpu too, with this crazy track counts. The crazy routing I came up with sometimes, doesn't help either. The cpu is a problem as it forces me to parallel thoughts regarding, when to freeze a certain track, how will I get back if something isn't working, and stuff like that. That puts me out of the mixing mind set. Ideas and work stop flowing.
                I'm trying some ideas to minimize the problem but, as always, it raises new questions and more things to learn. In Reaper, one thing is to mono the plugins that are in mono tracks. Go to the plugin pin conector and check just 1 for the left input, 1 and 2 for the left output. Trying to do an automatic bypass on plugins thru parameter modulation but haven't dig into it a lot and I'm not sure it will be practical to use.



                • This reply was modified 7 years ago by Pedro Pitta Groz.
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