Routing Send FX to a Mix Channel

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NekujaK
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21 Nov 2016

Just curious how many of you routinely route send effects to their own mixer channels. By default, Reason routes sends/returns within the Master Section, but many other DAWs use dedicated mixer channels for send effects. The advantage is clear - it enables the affected signal to be easily processed independently of the dry signal and keeps all audio elements accessible from the mixer.

Just wondering if there's a potential disadvantage to doing this, and how many other Reasonites favor this method over Reason's default send effect routing... :question:
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rcbuse
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21 Nov 2016

I do it to create complex feedback mechanisms, like route effects 1 into 2 and 2 into 3 then 3 back to 1, etc, etc..

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QVprod
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21 Nov 2016

The functionality is almost exactly the same. You can easily put effects before or after any send effect with the default Reason routing. In most DAWs and on hardware mixers, a send will be patched (pre-fader) into an aux (DAW) or mixer channel for parallel processing, but since Reason has parallel channels it negates the purpose of doing that. The only advantage of routing a send effect to a mix channel in Reason is to use the SSL channel strip EQ/Dyn and/or send that send return to another send. The downside to using the mix channel for send returns is that it's no longer solo safe.

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Bloma
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21 Nov 2016

I do that for all the reasons you said, it keeps everything organised and easily manipulated, and I actually keep all my devices on every channel inside the mix channels to keep everything neat and organised.
rcbuse wrote:I do it to create complex feedback mechanisms, like route effects 1 into 2 and 2 into 3 then 3 back to 1, etc, etc..
What the hell, I've heard of that kind of stuff before but I didn't really understand it and still don't, will give that a try. Do you mean you take the output from one effect and plug it into the input of another?

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rcbuse
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21 Nov 2016

Bloma wrote:I do that for all the reasons you said, it keeps everything organised and easily manipulated, and I actually keep all my devices on every channel inside the mix channels to keep everything neat and organised.
rcbuse wrote:I do it to create complex feedback mechanisms, like route effects 1 into 2 and 2 into 3 then 3 back to 1, etc, etc..
What the hell, I've heard of that kind of stuff before but I didn't really understand it and still don't, will give that a try. Do you mean you take the output from one effect and plug it into the input of another?
Well, Each Fx Return has its own channel strip, and each channel strip has send fx.
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Bloma
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21 Nov 2016

Oh ok, I never would of thought of doing that.

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NekujaK
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21 Nov 2016

QVprod wrote:The downside to using the mix channel for send returns is that it's no longer solo safe.
Oh yeah, I forgot about this one. Usually it's not an issue, but there are times when it's a pain. But still, I like having the effect returns available on the mixing board.
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selig
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21 Nov 2016

If you want to go down this rabbit hole further, you can use this routing for delays, and then you can EQ or filter or saturate the return. THEN, you can send the delay back to itself, being careful to avoid 'runaway feedback'. You can also insert filters with resonance and do filter sweeps on the delays for more dynamic effects. Plus if using dual (stereo) delays you can create cross feedback by flipping the cables coming into the returns and adding feedback. Or use two delays each on their own channel feeding delay 1 into delay 2 and delay to into delay 1. OR use three delays instead of two - well, you get the idea, just start exploring!
;)


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Kenni
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22 Nov 2016

I've been routing effect devices into each other since Reason 1.0.

Most common use case for this was the missing EQ on the RV-7 Reverb, throwing a EQ in between the reverb and route back to fx return did the trick. Same with delays obviously, and the liquid delays as I call them, reverb on each delay cycle :)
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DJMaytag
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04 Jul 2017

QVprod wrote:
21 Nov 2016
The downside to using the mix channel for send returns is that it's no longer solo safe.
Bump. Has this changed at all since the OP? IIRC, there weren't direct outs and parallel outs when I last regularly used Reason, back when 6.5.3 was current (I did upgrade to 8, but didn't use it much because of popping out a bunch of kids and being a bit busy).

I'm trying some routing options to get solo to work correctly on the mix channel method, but not having any luck so far.

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Wickline
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04 Jul 2017

I use mix channels it for reverb and delay sends. Been making true stereo setups in a combi. I DON'T use them for the Mclass compressor. End up with some weird fucking phasing sounds. Unless they've fixed it. Or you're into that kind of thing. I won't judge you. Lol
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Wickline
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04 Jul 2017

Kenni wrote:Same with delays obviously, and the liquid delays as I call them, reverb on each delay cycle :)
Don't know why I never thought of this. And I'm a habitual overuser of reverb. Every time I get feedback on a near finished track from a producer friend it's "too much reverb... On everything". Will try this immediately. It'll give them something else to complain about hahaha

Joking aside this is a pretty good idea.
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selig
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04 Jul 2017

DJMaytag wrote:
04 Jul 2017
QVprod wrote:
21 Nov 2016
The downside to using the mix channel for send returns is that it's no longer solo safe.
Bump. Has this changed at all since the OP? IIRC, there weren't direct outs and parallel outs when I last regularly used Reason, back when 6.5.3 was current (I did upgrade to 8, but didn't use it much because of popping out a bunch of kids and being a bit busy).

I'm trying some routing options to get solo to work correctly on the mix channel method, but not having any luck so far.
Sadly no solo isolate still. Direct outs have been there since Record, but (also sadly) they mute/disable the main routing when used. On a "real" SSL you can use them AND still feed the mix bus.

There IS one possible workaround for solo isolate. The returns are solo isolated, obviously, so any solution would somehow need to utilize using the returns to eventually gain access to the mix bus. You can't use the Direct Outs on a Mix Channel, and you can't bus to a Mix Bus either. But you CAN use the insert "To FX" jacks to a Return (any Return). What you loose is the fader as a way to control the return level - but how often do you adjust the RETURN level anyway (never, for me)?

What this approach allows is using the dynamics/EQ, plus any other FX you want to route before patching to the FX Return (you can add additional FX pre/post the main FX, or you can put them in the insert so they are post EQ/Dyn). You also need to make sure to use the default routing with the inserts "post" EQ/Dyn or you won't hear any EQ/Dyn.

You also can't use the console sends (but you can create your own) because for some odd reason even the Pre Faders sends are actually "post mute" - which sucks because they disappear when you solo any other channel (the same issue that forces us to create the crazy workarounds in the first place). But with a few strategically placed splitters/mergers and a line mixer or two, you can create all the additional sends you want.

Just wish it was easier - maybe they will consider solo isolate for Reason 10/X/whatever it will be called.
:)
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dioxide
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05 Jul 2017

I have all my Send fx in Mix channels. Mainly for the HPF but also so I can see how much volume I am routing via the sends, as with custom Combis sometimes it is surprisingly high. Also I've started to bounce all channels to disk before starting to mix so I can identify any drum channels or aux fx that aren't actually being used in a song.

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dioxide
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05 Jul 2017

Also, you can group an Aux FX Mix Channel into a new bus group to get a second set of Inserts. This allows you to use EQ and Dynamics pre and post effects, or just to use a second set of Insert Effects on a send. For a single send you might have Pre-FX (EQ or distortion), FX (Delay) and Post-FX (EQ, compression) all using Mix Channel Inserts. You can do this with Combinator FX of course, but the advantage of this way is that the Mixer channels automatically maps to a single Remote controller. You can't do this with separate Combinators without creating Remote Overrides manually.

Of course it would be nice if Reason had multiple Insert slots, but for now this works and you get the added Dynamics and EQ per Insert as well.

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tobypearce
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14 Jul 2017

Selig, If I'm reading (and experimenting with) your workaround, this doesn't allow you to route the send to a bus, does it?

What I'm trying to do is have a room reverb for drums as a SSL send effect, but then goes through the drum buss.

I can do it, but am not managing to get around the solo safe issue in this use case. Is that right?

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tobypearce
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14 Jul 2017

Further work done: this is currently an imperfect solution anyway, even without the solo safe issue. If you re-route a send effect into a bus with other instruments (in my case a drum bus), it causes phasing. It's more noticeable when any effects are bypassed, of course, but it's still there even when they are not. Inverting phase on the mixer channel exacerbates the issue, wierdly. This problem disappears with regular routing.

I'm going to put this one down to experience and go back to the default configuration.

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selig
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14 Jul 2017

tobypearce wrote:
14 Jul 2017
Further work done: this is currently an imperfect solution anyway, even without the solo safe issue. If you re-route a send effect into a bus with other instruments (in my case a drum bus), it causes phasing. It's more noticeable when any effects are bypassed, of course, but it's still there even when they are not. Inverting phase on the mixer channel exacerbates the issue, wierdly. This problem disappears with regular routing.

I'm going to put this one down to experience and go back to the default configuration.
With reverb or delay, there should be no problem. But I'm guessing you're doing something else, and that's where the problem comes, right?
Is the effect also using a dry/wet control? There has to be some of the original dry signal in order to cause "phasing" in this situation.

Maybe you could describe what you're trying to accomplish by including the FX in the drum bus, as there may be another way to accomplish a similar thing.
:)
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tobypearce
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15 Jul 2017

Just reverb Selig. Not much phasing when wet, but phasing when bypassed. You might think: of course phasing, it's the same signal!!!! So I wonder why this doesn't happen using the regular send channel with a bypassed fx?

What I'm trying to do is include the drum reverb signal in the bus to accomplish a couple of things:
1 Compress and eq all drum sounds in the round, including reverbs
2 Filter the reverb sound itself at the end of the signal chain for the breakdown.

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selig
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15 Jul 2017

tobypearce wrote:
15 Jul 2017
Just reverb Selig. Not much phasing when wet, but phasing when bypassed. You might think: of course phasing, it's the same signal!!!! So I wonder why this doesn't happen using the regular send channel with a bypassed fx?

What I'm trying to do is include the drum reverb signal in the bus to accomplish a couple of things:
1 Compress and eq all drum sounds in the round, including reverbs
2 Filter the reverb sound itself at the end of the signal chain for the breakdown.
It's the return location that's the key - when you create a possible feedback loop, which you do when you return a send on a Mix Channel, there is a one batch (64 sample) delay inserted. You'll never notice this with a reverb, but when bypassed it because obvious. If you use the built in FX returns, there's no delay.
:)
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