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Ableton - External Audio Effect Question
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Software  
Author Ableton - External Audio Effect Question
SouvlakiPlaystation
Hey guys,

I have an analogue chorus pedal (not stereo) that I'm using as an external effect within Ableton. The setup: Running a cable from my audio interface's output the pedal's input, and the pedal's output is in turn going back in to the interface's input. I have this mapped out appropriately with Ableton's "External Audio Effect" plugin.

Next, I tested the pedal by putting the external audio effect tool on my master bus, but there's a weird issue...if the external audio plugin is on (with wet 100%) it's giving the track a mono sound, even when the pedal is TURNED OFF. The only way to remedy this is to the turn the wet/dry on the external audio effect to 0%, or to turn the Ableton plugin off altogether (IE: remove the pedal from the chain). Meanwhile leaving it on and setting wet/dry to 50% gives it a doubled sound.

For what it's worth I have the "mix" knob on my Behringer audio interface set all the way to the right.

So my question...will having this pedal in my chain cause everything to go MONO, whether pedal is on or off? Is there not a way to get the pedal's effect on my mix without it turning everything to Mono? Also, is the 50% wet doubled effect normal? Wondering if this is something to do with latency or the way I'm monitoring. Huge thanks in advance for any advice.
Richie Jape
hey

you shouldn't have the external effect plug in on your master bus, in this case it would work if you create a return track and put it on there ...

if you put the external fx plug in on the master it will effect everything whereas on a return it will only effect what you send to it ...

so

a) set up return track

b) put external fx plug in on return track

c) set up external fx routing ( taking care that you are sending from the mono out of your soundcard if pedal only has one input e.g 3 rather that 3/4) same for input if pedal has one output ....

d) after you set up the return track all of the other tracks will automatically get a 'send' knob, you can use this to send whatever you want into your lovely chorus pedal ... and adjust the gain to taste ... you might get a little latency depending on your hardware buffer ... this is a whole other problem, but there are steps you can take to make it better ...

e) i hope this helps, there are more ways to do this but this should work ... i think hah - it's early here ... the main thing that was causing you hassle was the fact you had external fx plug in on your master

hope that helps ! take care



w00t
SouvlakiPlaystation
Awesome - thank you! That is majorly helpful, and makes perfect sense now that I think about it. However using the mix bus route, while effective for feeding all my stereo tracks the pedal, doesn't seem to capture the effect when I "print" them. IE: Freeze and flatten everything so the effect doesn't go away as soon as I unplug the pedal. My workaround has been to just go manual and put the external audio plugin on each track. Not as CPU friendly, I would wager, but it does the trick.
s.l.o.w
When you have the mix at 50/50, or even, say, 80/20 dry, is the "dry" part stereo? (I'm not at my studio computer to check such stuff).

The doubling would have to do with the latency of the external audio effect (the sound needs to do an extra round trip through the converters with their latency). You should be able to compensate for this using the Hardware Latency parameter of the External Audio Effect plugin.
Richie Jape
SouvlakiPlaystation wrote:
Awesome - thank you! That is majorly helpful, and makes perfect sense now that I think about it. However using the mix bus route, while effective for feeding all my stereo tracks the pedal, doesn't seem to capture the effect when I "print" them. IE: Freeze and flatten everything so the effect doesn't go away as soon as I unplug the pedal. My workaround has been to just go manual and put the external audio plugin on each track. Not as CPU friendly, I would wager, but it does the trick.


hey

one way to solve this would be to get everything sounding great the way you want it with relevant channels going to your pedal ...

then route the output of the fx send channel back into ableton as an 'EFFECT CHANNEL' or something

then do one pass of your track recording whatever is going through the pedal onto a separate audio channel ...

now you have no need for the pedal anymore - you have an audio channel with the fx stuff on it which you can manipulate ...

in this case be careful for stuff like phasing / comb filtering that may be introduced by latency ....

again there is more than one way to catch a cat so there might be an easier way someone can help you with, but this should work too ...

it's all about finding the most efficeient way to work and people's workflows are different ..

over the years i have leaned away from that particular plug in and just record shit through my fx directly in, 'printing' on the way in, for me that turned out to be faster in the long run smile

but like i say everyone is different !

best of luck and have fun !
SouvlakiPlaystation
s.l.o.w wrote:
When you have the mix at 50/50, or even, say, 80/20 dry, is the "dry" part stereo? (I'm not at my studio computer to check such stuff).

The doubling would have to do with the latency of the external audio effect (the sound needs to do an extra round trip through the converters with their latency). You should be able to compensate for this using the Hardware Latency parameter of the External Audio Effect plugin.


Yeah, it sounds like the dry part is stereo if I put things on 50/50. You were also correct about the latency. I turned "delay compensation" on and set the plugin to 2 milliseconds, which took away the doubling.

That said even when I put the pedal on individual tracks it turns whatever that is to mono, even when the pedal's is switched off. IE: My nice, lush stereo split guitar track (via Guitar Rig) gets crunched down to flat mono. I guess I'm trying to figure out if I'm doing something wrong, or if that's just the nature of audio. The latter would make sense, considering I'm running said track through a mono pedal and back in to the computer.
SouvlakiPlaystation
Richie Jape wrote:
Valuable info


Thanks again, my guy! I'll give this a shot.
Richie Jape
SouvlakiPlaystation wrote:
s.l.o.w wrote:
When you have the mix at 50/50, or even, say, 80/20 dry, is the "dry" part stereo? (I'm not at my studio computer to check such stuff).

The doubling would have to do with the latency of the external audio effect (the sound needs to do an extra round trip through the converters with their latency). You should be able to compensate for this using the Hardware Latency parameter of the External Audio Effect plugin.


Yeah, it sounds like the dry part is stereo if I put things on 50/50. You were also correct about the latency. I turned "delay compensation" on and set the plugin to 2 milliseconds, which took away the doubling.

That said even when I put the pedal on individual tracks it turns whatever that is to mono, even when the pedal's is switched off. IE: My nice, lush stereo split guitar track (via Guitar Rig) gets crunched down to flat mono. I guess I'm trying to figure out if I'm doing something wrong, or if that's just the nature of audio. The latter would make sense, considering I'm running said track through a mono pedal and back in to the computer.


one last little tip !

yes you are right ...

it is always gonna be mono because it's a mono pedal BUT !!

try doing two passes of the same line through the pedal on separate channels and boom you have a sort of pseudo stereo thing going on ...

try changing the settings on the pedal or source audio slightly on each pass and pan away to your hearts content ...

OR just keep the original stereo track you have for width and use the mono channel to boost it to taste, again be careful for phasing - you might have to move audio a little to line up the stereo and mono tracks or something ...


hours of fun hah

Rockin' Banana!
SouvlakiPlaystation
Gotcha. OK! A little more work than I'd like to do, but it'll be worth it we're not worthy
SouvlakiPlaystation
Edit: Disregard Dead Banana
s.l.o.w
Yeah, you're never going to be able to keep stereo separation if you run both channels fully through a mono pedal. It all depends on what you want to do. If you absolutely want to use your pedal live, you may have to sacrifice stereo (or mix a mono pedal channel in with your stereo track). If you just want stereo chorus, you can use a plugin...
hamildad
use two Send and return channels with the external audio device in both, then pan each a little left and a little right will widen out the result?

or enable sends from your chorus channel to another return channel and pan those differently.

I have never heard of a mono chorus pedal, but then I havent exactly gone looking.

don't worry too much about latency as it shouldn't be too much and a chorus will have a level of delay in the algorithm anyway.
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