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Understanding and using send effects

The Send effect can be added to any instrument or audio channel to route audio to an FX channel.


What is a send effect?

An insert effect is added directly to the fx chain of a channel and immediately manipulates its audio signal. A send effect on the other hand is placed on a separate channel (FX Channel in Soundation) to where any of the other channels can be sent. Sending from a channel we can choose how much of the sound will be sent to the FX channel to be processed individually, while our original channel (our dry signal) sounds exactly the same.

Effectively we end up with two channels - one with our dry sound and one where our original sound is processed by an effect (wet). This gives us immense control over the effect.

For example we can:

  • Quickly change the volume of only the effect and blend it with the original signal
  • Choose when and how much of a signal is sent to an effect using automation
  • Layer effects on the FX Channel
  • Send multiple channels to the same effect

Regarding the last point above, the FX Channel is a channel type that you can use to add effects to several or all of your tracks but still only use one effect chain. This is great for using the same overall effect sound without having to add and set up the same effects every time on every channel. It will also allow you to save precious CPU resources = more power to the other stuff!

How to use an effect's send and return

Originally the term send effect comes from analog mixers where you could achieve the same thing using dedicated send and return signal paths. The signal flow in Soundation is a little bit simplified compared to that of a mixer.

Return channels on mixers are used to bring the wet signal from audio processed by an effect back onto a mixer channel through a physical return jack. When you’re producing and mixing in Soundation there’s really no need for that, the return routing is done automatically.

When are send effects used?

Effects such as reverb and delay are most typically used as send effects rather than inserts because of how it allows you to blend the sounds together better, but you can also do some cool things like parallel compression and distortion using FX Channels and send effects.

You could for example use a reverb as an insert effect instead of as a send effect but that doesn’t allow you to control when and how much of the signal should be sent to the reverb.

How to use the Send effect

Using the Send effect you can route any sound to an FX Channel to make some quite complex and professional sounding mixes.

  1. 1
    Open Soundation and create a project.
  2. 2
    Click FX Channel under "+ Add Channel", press "+ Add Effect" in the bottom panel and choose any effect.
  3. 3
    On any channel you want to send to your FX channel, press "+ Add Effect" in the bottom panel and choose Send.
  4. 4
    In the drop-down menu of the upper right corner, select the FX channel you made in step 1.
  5. 5
    On your FX Channel, make sure it’s set to 0% Dry and 100% Wet. This will make sure the FX Channel doesn't play back the original sound that is already being played back, avoiding phase issues.
  6. 6
    Send controls how much of the original signal you want to send to the FX Channel, Pan controls the stereo balance of the effect and Output controls how much of the original signal you hear.
  7. 7
    Adjust the send volume of the original channel and the overall volume of the FX Channel to get the results you want.

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