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Using sends and returns

From: Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

Video: Using sends and returns

So, no song is complete without adding reverb and creating a sense of space. In this video, we'll learn how to use sends and return tracks, so that multiple tracks can access a reverb or delay plug-in device. Now, effects placed on audio or MIDI tracks only affect the signal output from that track. That's great for effects like EQs and compressors, but other effects are more CPU intensive and are more effective when shared between two or more tracks. I can do that using a send. A send is a virtual wire that allows us to copy signal from a track, or tracks, and pick it up at a different location.

Using sends and returns

So, no song is complete without adding reverb and creating a sense of space. In this video, we'll learn how to use sends and return tracks, so that multiple tracks can access a reverb or delay plug-in device. Now, effects placed on audio or MIDI tracks only affect the signal output from that track. That's great for effects like EQs and compressors, but other effects are more CPU intensive and are more effective when shared between two or more tracks. I can do that using a send. A send is a virtual wire that allows us to copy signal from a track, or tracks, and pick it up at a different location.

In this case, the send A connects over to return track A. I can copy signal then by just turning up the knob here on that track, and that will be copied onto a virtual wire--by the way we call that a bus--and then that will dump over onto this return track and run through any effects that are placed on that track. So let me go over here into my Reverb Audio Effects category. I'm going to grab one of these and drop that on the track. So we can see the reverb down here. And importantly, you want to make sure that you set the Dry/Wet percentage to 100% wet.

That means that we'll have only process signal coming out this return track. That's good because the dry signal, or unprocessed signal, will come through the tracks themselves, and then we can balance the amount of reverb we want by turning up the send and then adjusting the master return level, which is going to be the fader on the return track. I can also differentiate between how much reverb I want from one track to the next by simply sending more signal from a track that I want to get more reverb on.

So let's turn up this #4 track here that far, and we'll turn up this one about like that. When I hit Play, we should see level on this track. (Music playing.) And we do. So if I want more or less, again, I'll just turn up more or less send on that track. And then in the end, if I've got too much total reverb, I can just adjust that by pulling that down--or if I want more, pushing it up. Now delay effects are frequently used in the same manner.

So I've got a B return track over here, and I'm going to go into my effects. Again, let's go into the delays. Find Ping Pong Delay. So I'll grab one of those. I'll just grab the default and drop that on the return track. And again I need to make sure that my Dry/Wet percentage is set to 100% wet. Now, I'll use the B send for the tracks that I want to delay to. So if I want to add some on the Robo Scat track and the pad #6 track there, I'll do that.

Again, when I hit Play, we should see now a signal on the Ping Pong Track. (Music playing.) There you go. Also, note that I've set the Ping Pong Delay. I've got Sync on, which means that it's sinking to the tempo of the session. And then I'll set the delay time in this one by choosing one of these numbers between one and 16. That's in terms of 16th notes. So if I want an eighth note delay, I'll put it on two, and that will give me two 16th notes. Now if I want to use additional sends, in Ableton they are essentially glued to the return track.

So if I create a return track, I'll get its associated send. So now you'll see that I've got a return track C, and I've got an additional row now of sends on all the tracks that are labeled C. You can do that for a total of 12 return tracks. So now that you know how to set up a send and return track for use with effects, experiment with adding reverb and delay to your Live Sets.

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This video is part of

Image for Ableton Live 8 Essential Training
Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

69 video lessons · 16964 viewers

Rick Schmunk
Author

 
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  1. 1m 30s
    1. Welcome
      49s
    2. Using the exercise files
      41s
  2. 8m 43s
    1. What is a digital audio workstation?
      4m 13s
    2. Choosing the right gear and setting up a system
      4m 30s
  3. 12m 59s
    1. Setting up audio preferences
      3m 54s
    2. Setting up MIDI preferences
      3m 31s
    3. Optimizing performance
      5m 34s
  4. 35m 42s
    1. Understanding Session view
      8m 7s
    2. Working with Live browsers
      5m 3s
    3. Working with Live clips
      7m 57s
    4. Understanding clip properties
      7m 52s
    5. Working with Live scenes
      6m 43s
  5. 28m 16s
    1. Building Live Sets and projects
      4m 25s
    2. Learning Live file management
      4m 2s
    3. Exporting content from Live
      7m 32s
    4. Importing and exporting Live Packs
      3m 17s
    5. Searching for and auditioning clips
      4m 58s
    6. Setting up frequently accessed folders
      4m 2s
  6. 23m 3s
    1. Preparing to record MIDI
      5m 51s
    2. Recording and overdubbing MIDI
      4m 32s
    3. Working with alternate MIDI entry methods
      6m 49s
    4. Using multi-output virtual instruments
      5m 51s
  7. 24m 26s
    1. The MIDI Editor
      4m 49s
    2. Quantizing MIDI data
      6m 6s
    3. Advanced MIDI editing
      6m 49s
    4. Setting up groove in editing
      6m 42s
  8. 9m 18s
    1. Preparing to record
      5m 0s
    2. Recording audio
      4m 18s
  9. 22m 37s
    1. Understanding Arrangement view
      3m 41s
    2. Recording in Arrangement view
      3m 51s
    3. Recording from Session view to Arrangement view
      5m 21s
    4. Reworking clips
      9m 44s
  10. 27m 57s
    1. Understanding Live's mixer
      12m 38s
    2. Using sends and returns
      3m 47s
    3. Building headphone cues
      3m 49s
    4. Grouping tracks
      7m 43s
  11. 43m 14s
    1. Working with effect devices
      4m 56s
    2. Understanding EQ and filters
      7m 14s
    3. Using compressors and dynamic processors
      7m 28s
    4. Building interesting effects with delay effect processing
      8m 18s
    5. Using reverb effectively
      8m 22s
    6. Setting up side chain effects easily
      6m 56s
  12. 15m 37s
    1. Creating rhythmic patterns with the Arpeggiator effect
      8m 38s
    2. Building background parts with the Chord and Scale effects
      6m 59s
  13. 25m 24s
    1. Building automation patterns
      8m 44s
    2. Editing existing automation information
      5m 3s
    3. Using fades to mask audio pops and clicks
      4m 10s
    4. Understanding the power of clip envelopes
      7m 27s
  14. 20m 17s
    1. Understanding the basics of looping
      6m 54s
    2. Creating tracks that loop smoothly
      7m 50s
    3. Using warp features to quantize audio
      5m 33s
  15. 17m 47s
    1. Using the computer keyboard to control Live
      6m 39s
    2. Mapping device controls to the MIDI keyboard
      4m 36s
    3. Using Live's instant mapping feature
      6m 32s
  16. 10m 44s
    1. Exporting audio
      5m 37s
    2. Freezing tracks
      5m 7s
  17. 20m 45s
    1. Building with the Impulse virtual instrument
      11m 35s
    2. Working with the Simpler virtual instrument
      9m 10s
  18. 36m 22s
    1. Overview of Live racks
      10m 13s
    2. Combining instruments and effects into a single device
      8m 22s
    3. Adding effects with Drum Rack
      11m 28s
    4. Assigning rack parameters to macros
      6m 19s
  19. 13m 53s
    1. Setting up ReWire with Pro Tools
      7m 3s
    2. Setting up ReWire with Logic
      6m 50s
  20. 33m 43s
    1. Preparing audio clips with the Warp tool
      14m 31s
    2. Triggering clips using follow actions
      8m 9s
    3. Using Live as a sound source
      11m 3s
  21. 7m 21s
    1. Working with video files
      7m 21s
  22. 37s
    1. Further Recommendations
      37s

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