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Help me understand Sends Outputs and Groups?


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I have been producing my own tracks, and tracks for other singers for the past few years. All virtual instruments. Equal amount of pop/synth/guitar and full on legit orchestra and string quartets. Only solo or duo vocal lines, no background vox. At the moment, there's nothing experimental, I am only after realism, and not concerned with surround possibilities or any experimental special effects. At the moment, I only use Logic X Plugins & guitar Samples and VSL Samples. I find myself with all instrument parts composed and panned, tweeked by using a few plugins and, i have recorded & Comp'd all vocals.

 

Can you guys help me understand how and when to utilize the Send, Output and Groups areas on the mixer window?

 

Here's my (perhaps limited) way of working:

 

The only only thing I do is SEND each orchestra element to Bus 1 which contains reverb. Bus 2 contains delay, etc. Bus 3 may contain something else, but not usually. Then I massage them into a good sound based on their seating positions. That's all I do with the send slots. Next, I will group strings, WW, BRass, Perc into their own groups and each group gets their own bus. Then I massage eq and reverb on those 5 channel strips based on their group proximity to one another onstage. Then I am basically finished with my mix. So, my process has me tweeking each instrument in it's personal channel strip, then these instruments have two pit stops (first as soloists, then as the entire section) before they get to the main output strip and my ears, right??

 

I think that's all I need to know in order to manage my arrangements, but maybe I have a knowledge gap? I have NEVER touched the output slots, so I'm a total dummy there. The Drummer in LogicX also confuses me, because when I add tracks, they are by default, bussed/routed in ways I don't understand.

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I have been producing my own tracks, and tracks for other singers for the past few years. All virtual instruments. Equal amount of pop/synth/guitar and full on legit orchestra and string quartets. Only solo or duo vocal lines, no background vox. At the moment, there's nothing experimental, I am only after realism, and not concerned with surround possibilities or any experimental special effects. At the moment, I only use Logic X Plugins & guitar Samples and VSL Samples. I find myself with all instrument parts composed and panned, tweeked by using a few plugins and, i have recorded & Comp'd all vocals.

 

Can you guys help me understand how and when to utilize the Send, Output and Groups areas on the mixer window?

 

Here's my (perhaps limited) way of working:

 

The only only thing I do is SEND each orchestra element to Bus 1 which contains reverb. Bus 2 contains delay, etc. Bus 3 may contain something else, but not usually. Then I massage them into a good sound based on their seating positions. That's all I do with the send slots. Next, I will group strings, WW, BRass, Perc into their own groups and each group gets their own bus. Then I massage eq and reverb on those 5 channel strips based on their group proximity to one another onstage. Then I am basically finished with my mix. So, my process has me tweeking each instrument in it's personal channel strip, then these instruments have two pit stops (first as soloists, then as the entire section) before they get to the main output strip and my ears, right??

 

I think that's all I need to know in order to manage my arrangements, but maybe I have a knowledge gap? I have NEVER touched the output slots, so I'm a total dummy there. The Drummer in LogicX also confuses me, because when I add tracks, they are by default, bussed/routed in ways I don't understand.

If you get the results you are aiming at, then that's pretty much it, since you are after realism more than anything else. Sends could also be used as sidechaining routing, in which case you would normally set the output of the created Aux to no output. Groups are mostly used to ease "massaging" the various tracks/channelstrips pertaining to the same group in one go as a whole, instead of tweaking each of them separately. In some case very useful, in some other case not. It's then a matter of enabling/disabling the group for the right task at hand. Outputs setting are there to route where the signal will go; to speakers, other Auxes, etc... You could also make it mono, stereo, surround, or binaural. But I retain that you are mostly aiming at producing stereo, so...

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Thanks Atlas! Sometimes it is so difficult to even know what questions to ask.

 

So, why, in all of my files since upgrading to Logic X, do I have what appears to be a bunch of busses all set up and assigned to various effects I know nothing about? I think Drummer might be creating a ton of channel strips that end up unused? In one of my files, there was something on every bus up until #40, and I didn't do that on purpose.

 

Also, when I click the plus sign to create new track, these new tracks are always hardpanned left and sent to Bus 14 and Bus 15. Is there a preferences setting for the creation of "NEW TRACKS?" I looked and can't find one.

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...So, why, in all of my files since upgrading to Logic X, do I have what appears to be a bunch of busses all set up and assigned to various effects I know nothing about? I think Drummer might be creating a ton of channel strips that end up unused? In one of my files, there was something on every bus up until #40, and I didn't do that on purpose.
This has to do with something new in LPX called patches. Its an extra level of library organisation allowing one to include the Sends/busse/Auxes pertaining to a specific routing. LP9 had channelstrip settings that you could save and and reload, which was including all the instantiated plugins on a given channelstrip. Now with patches it includes the Sends/Busses/Auxes, which can be saved and recalled (loaded back on). Normally LPX would manage to reassign the already used busses/auxes in the project upon recalling the selected patch. Drummer(s) are patches. You could control (up to a certain level) upon loading a patch what will be loaded. Which could be useful if you wish to keep the current Sends/Busses routing. Reading about how to control what is to be loaded from the Merge Patch settings with current patch could be enlightening

 

Also, when I click the plus sign to create new track, these new tracks are always hardpanned left and sent to Bus 14 and Bus 15. Is there a preferences setting for the creation of "NEW TRACKS?" I looked and can't find one.
I am afraid that is one of current LPX (numerous) bugs...
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Atlas, I can't thank you enough for breaking this down for me. Of course, midway through your paragraph, my head began to spin and almost explode, but if I keep reading it over and over, eventually I will understand.

Do not hesitate to query further about what you don't understand... I'll make my best to clarify.

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