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Cosmosis on Dub Delay and Fx sends

By bagginz - Posted on 11 February 2011


It seems to me that using a send has a much different sound than if you were to use the same effect directly on the channel itself. For instance, a delay sent to itself sounds different than just two delays stacked on each other,

Do you have any other particularly cool send FX chains that you use often, or that sound unique in that the effect is only or more easily achieved via sends and not inserts on the channel?


A couple of things: generally speaking processors fall into two categories: "Effects" and "Signal Processors".The distinction being that with Effects you add a portion of the effect to the dry signal e.g. delays, reverbs, chorus, phaser...s , flangers etc. ( note that these are usually time based effects).

With Signal Processors you process the whole signal (e.q's, compressors, distortion, redux modules, saturators, bit crushers etc.) Time based effects work best on a send, Signal Processors work best as an insert.

There are exceptions - especially in experimentally based modern dance music one should feel free to experiment and break the rules... but the distinction generally holds true.

"a delay sent to itself sounds different than just two delays stacked"

Delays sent to themselves can also sound lousy, depends on the delay. In the hardware world my old Alesis Quadraverb 1 sounded fabulous with the delay sent to itself, as the input circuit was analogue and saturated in a very pleasing way. The Alesis Quadraverb 2 was a disaster in the same role - an awful squealing, comb filtered mess of uncontrollable feedback. (they "upgraded" the input stage as one of the improvements)

Can be the same with plug-ins too - try a few different ones, some plugs have a saturation input stage.

Another tip: if you're gonna do the dub delay loop thing in hardware or software make sure that you have the feedback control on the delay set to zero (or close to zero) and do all the feedback via the (re)send on the delay channel. It'll sound much nicer and you'll have more control that way.

I would love to pick your brain on your send FX/chains- Wouter said he uses two delays and two reverbs as sends, but you had mentioned in a prior video that you use something like 12 or so on each track!

That's 12 FX returns per "track" as in song or project, not per track/channel

They aren't all being used at once. Most are set up in my template mainly for convenience, so once I get started on a project and need to apply an effect to something, I can just choose the appropriate send, tweak it to suit and then (often) bounce the result.

Four or five function as sends proper, that is they're available for varying amounts of signal to be sent to from the channels. Three verbs and a couple of delays.

Spending time setting up a project template in your sequencer of choice is time well spent. The last thing that I want to do when I am in the flow of writing music is have to stop and think about setting up extra group channels, inserting fx, choosing fx patches and routing options. Oftend this can't be avoided but keeping interruptions into left brain thinking to a bare minimum I find helps with the creative process.

My using a lot of sends is probably also a hangover from having learned mixing on an analogue console.

Best wishes,
Billy Cosmosis

Quadraverb 2