Using sends is a step towards to songs which sound bigger and better. In the tutorial below, you will learn how to create and use sends, in order to get a clean and professional sounding mix.
But first, let’s see where and in what situations we can use them. Generally speaking, if you don’t want to affect an original sound or sound source, you can use sends to route the original signal. In this way, you can apply your desired tweaks to the sound, having a parallel signal from the main source to work on. Also, if you want to save time and have different sound sources grouped for an easy workflow, you may use sends.
In a brief explanation, the chain is simple: a mixer track receives audio data from a plugin or audio clip, then all the signal goes to master. When you route signal from a mixer track to another mixer track/send, the master will receive audio data from both sources. But what’s cool, is that you have full control of each of the both mixer tracks, for example you can bypass the original sound and leave only the processed sound from the send, or adjust the amount of signal the master receives from the mixer tracks etc etc. Going further, the signal cumulated into a send can be directed or diverted to another send, and so on, which means the possibilities are endless.
Watch the video to understand the whole thing about sends. After this, you’ll have to apply everything you learned from this video tutorial in an example involving drums.
Video tutorial: How to Create and Use Sends
Now that you learned how to create sends, here is an example of everyday use:
You have a drum beat with each of the drum sounds having its own mixer track.
Route all the drum tracks to a single channel. Here we resent their signal to a mixer track (send) called “ALL DRUMS”.
Mute the audio sent by each of these tracks to master (except track “ALL DRUMS”)
Now we can process all drum sounds at once. Use compression, filter, an equalizer, distortion – anything you consider your drums need – add the effect plugins in the “ALL DRUMS” mixer track.
But how about some reverb? Create a new send and rename it “REVERB”. Route “ALL DRUMS” to “REVERB”, insert a reverb effect plugin (don’t forget to turn off the “Dry” fader) and voilà!, now you have reverb applied on all drums.
As a recap, we just got a drum mix with each drum sound on its separate channel (but audio signal to master completely disabled), then all drums routed to a send for compression, which finally is linked to a new reverb send. It may sound difficult, but really isn’t. Just experiment again and again, with this method you will get better and better results, and you’ll even discover new ways of working with sound.
Hopefully this tutorial was useful, happy producing you all!
P.S. Download the FLP file used in the Youtube tutorial here.