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How to bus an effect to a bunch of tracks?


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I'm not sure about you guys, but a lot of the time, when I'm recording vocals, I tend to duplicate vocal tracks to have a consistent sound. For example, take a chorus. I'm recording a chorus, and there's 5 or 6 vocal tracks for it. Each of them obviously have their own EQ settings, but there tends to be a couple of common plugins on each one which have the same settings (take plate reverb, or compression). The thing is, I don't want to have to duplicate all of those tracks with all the same effects. It wastes CPU, and eventually causes Logic to overload and stop playback if there's enough going on.


I don't want to put those effects into a send though either. I'm not trying to mix wet with dry—I'm trying to get the same sound as putting the plugin directly ON the channel. When using a send, it tends to sound as if it's mixing it in with the dry signal, which is not what I want.


I'm kind of having a hard time explaining this, but does anyone who gets what I mean know what to do?

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Some backstory on the two different approaches...


When you host (say) a Space Designer in an Aux, Logic automatically sets its wet/dry mix to 100% wet. This is a bit of intelligent programming within Logic, wherein it assumes that you'll only ever want to hear wet signal coming out of the Aux. For 99% of applications that is indeed the case, so it's a good approach. Now, when you turn up the send on a channel to get signal to that reverb, you continue to hear the dry signal from the channel itself + some amount of reverb (and only reverb) from the Aux. So your observation is correct about what happens when you use this approach. For comparison...


When you host that same Space Designer directly on an audio channel, its DRY signal is automatically set to 100% and the wet amount is (I believe) set to -18 dB by default. Again, this is a bit of intelligent programming in place, where it's assumed that you want to maintain the same dry signal strength + some relatively small amount of reverb.


The resulting sound between both scenarios may be exactly equivalent though. You're always hearing the full strength DRY signal with some amount of added reverb.


If your goal is to hear more reverb than dry signal, or maybe even 100% reverb, then simply setting the output to the bus feeding the Aux hosting the reverb (as Eric suggested) is the way to go. But if that's too wet, you can still choose to mix in some dry signal by turning up the dry amount in the reverb plug itself.

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One small point that may help you understanding the signal flow and make it easier to set up what you want...


Your thread title is "How to bus an effect to a bunch of tracks?" Really, it's the other way around (and no other way): "How to bus a bunch of tracks to an effect". Signal flow is always a one-way street, where outputs go to inputs. It's never the other way around. By taking your tracks and outputting them to a bus, you are sending them (outputting them) to a common destination, that being the input of the Aux hosting the reverb (per my example above).


This approach will give you the CPU savings you're looking for. However, the downside is that it will be very hard (if not impossible) to judge the quality or sound of the dry signal you're recording.





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