Parallel processing: Grouping vs channel sends?

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Parallel processing: Grouping vs channel sends?

Post by Panason » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:38 pm

So I have a few selected channels in my project that I want to feed to a single instance of u-He Satin, rather than putting the plugin on the master channel. I also don't want to just throw the plugin on a group. I want to process in parallel by putting the plugin on a send/ return bus and then use sends to feed those tracks to the plugin, so that I get a mix of the dry signal with the processed.

Is there a preferred way of doing this? Is it better to use the sends on the individual tracks, or put those tracks in a group and send from the group?
I'm guessing just go with what sounds better?

I haven't RTFM...

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Michael O.
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Post by Michael O. » Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:34 pm

For your purpose the best practice would be to use the individual channels’ auxiliary sends. It would be somewhat redundant to bus them to a group, because an auxiliary bus is in essence and in practice a group bus with per-channel-variable send amounts.

If you were to use a group bus rather than an auxiliary send the relative amount of signal from each channel would be fixed, as most consoles’ groups operate as a sum of the post or pre-fader channel signals bussed to them. It would however make sense to use a group bus if you were using an inline processor inserted into the group bus, like a dynamics processor for instance, and were not planning on additionally sending each individual channel’s signal to the master bus (i.e. serial rather than parallel processing, and in other words all wet no dry).

Having said all that, any way would work. It’s ultimately dependent on context, the limitations and capabilities of gear on hand, and personal preference.

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Post by Soy Sos » Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:31 pm

Great breakdown Michael.
Panason, I know you think Ableton is rubbish, but here's a technique I use all the time.
I group a track, then create an effects rack. I can then create multiple parallel processors where I can set or automate volume and pan.
I'll often give them creative names like smash, sizzle, grit, lolo, mud or whatever and play with the various colors. Like Michael O said,
this is assuming you want equal levels of all the grouped tracks
in the parallel processor. If not, than use an aux.

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Post by Panason » Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:20 am

Excellent, thanks for both replies.... still on Ableton but won't be long now :guinness:

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Post by BenA718 » Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:37 am

Like Michael O said above, it really comes down to your workflow and the mix template you have set up.

I prefer using bus groups, with groups sending to an aux for an effect, over individual sends, mainly so that I can get bundled effects and gain staging sorted prior to the aux effects. (There is a limit to how much signal you can, and should, be sending, regardless of whether it's a hardware effect or a plugin).

Example: my template typically has three reverb aux's ready to go (room, hall, and plate). But since I usually mult certain instruments (like bass) and treat them separately, I use buses to combine them to a single fader, and then apply the overall compression for the bass bus which is then sent it to the room reverb -- just as a for-instance.

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