Accessing External Effects

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Accessing External Effects

Postby CraigarS » Tue Nov 04, 2003 2:18 pm

Hi all,

I'm using Cakewalk ProAudio 9.03 with an M-Audio Omni I/O and Delta-66 card. I'm trying to access my external effects chain from within Cakewalk. My chain is currently: Omni Send to Alesis NanoCompressor, NanoComp out to Alesis MicroVerb4, MicroVerb Out to Aphex Aural Exciter, and Exciter Out back to Omni Returns. When I use the sends in Cakewalk (and the Omni) I can hear the effects being applied. However, when I 'bounce to tracks' or 'Export to WAV', the effects are not there.

I tried re-routing my effects chain such that the final Out (Exciter) returns to the Aux-In Insert and then using the corresponding Omni Source channel as the source for the new tracks (basically a manual bounce to track). I tested it by soloing the bass track to try bouncing it alone using only the compressor with everything else in bypass. I get an incredibly feeble signal doing it this way.

I'm obviously doing something wrong. My ultimate goal is to be able to record everything dry and then apply all effects in post-production. I don't see how using the returns alone (which allows me to hear the processed signal in real-time) will accomplish what I want since there's no real 'source' to select for the new track - plus it doesn't record the effects, as I previously noted. I've tried both dB setting on the Exciter (-10dB and +4 db), but nothing changes when using the Insert method. The new track is just weak! I don't use MIDI at all - just audio. Can anyone give me a clue as to how I should approach this?

Thank you for all thoughts you may have on this issue,


Re: Accessing External Effects

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Postby poprep » Tue Nov 04, 2003 8:11 pm

you're recording dry and processing it externally. is that it? once you have the dry sound processed to your desird effects, re-record it to another track with the effects. then bypass all the effects and listen or try to mix it down.

Postby CraigarS » Tue Nov 04, 2003 8:58 pm

Yes, the plan is to record dry (or in one specific case, I have an exisitng multi-track song that I'm trying to master), except where I specifically need compression (bass, vocals, etc) during the initial recording. The issue I'm having is that I can't seem to get a good signal using the sends-to-effects-to the AuxIn on the Omni, therefore I don't really have a useful effected track -- it's barely audible. I'm figuring I must be using my sends/returns (and/or Aux busses in Cakewalk) properly. When I listen to it before mixdown using the Sends/Returns (Not AuxIn) on the Omni, it sounds wonderful, but of course, that accomplishes nothing as far as saving it. Do you have an example of an ideal signal path, including Pre/Post, etc settings that I could use as a model?



Postby CraigarS » Tue Nov 04, 2003 9:23 pm

Let me correct what I took out with my delete key. The one sentence should have read:
"I'm figuring I must NOT be using my sends/returns (and/or Aux busses in Cakewalk) properly."



Postby CraigarS » Wed Nov 05, 2003 9:32 pm

I tried playing some more with this last night and the only way I can get a decent signal is to use the Omni's 'Monitor Out' as the sound source in CWPA for the track. I solo the track I'm trying to modify, apply the effects and can see all the LEDs reacting and the audio appears in the new track, but still don't hear the effect applied. I've got the sends and returns all cranked-up just to make it evident that it's working while I'm toying around. I'm using the AuxInserts on the Omni (when I use the Send/Return alone - no signal). I've tried it with both Pre & Post in CWPA, every channel available on the Omni as they appear in CWPA, and still no luck. I've tried all of the line-level inputs and switch setting combinations on the Omni, as well. Any clue as to what it is I'm missing?



Postby CraigarS » Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:02 pm

As an update:
According to Twelve Tone Systems themselves, the only post-production effects Cakewalk can use are DirectX software effects. I can only use my rack effects during the initial recording.

Bummer. :(

OT: I understand Cubase and ProTools supposedly allow for routing a track through an external effects chain after the track is recorded. Is that anyone else's experience? I don't want to have to hop ship in mid-stream, but may have to if there's no solution. :x

I can't believe that Twelve Tone Systems would ignore this need in their software -- or am I the only one who wants you use something besides what they can approximate with software for post-production? :? If so, what's equivalent to an Aphex Aural Exciter as a DirectX effect? That's one of the main effects I want to use (and not over-use).

Doing effects in pre-production, especially using the Exciter, I could end-up with an overkill of the effect when all the tracks are combined. Bouncing the effected track to another track would let me control that much better, IMHO. Even just using it as a tool for mastering would keep the overkill to a minimum.


Solution to Accessing External Effects!

Postby CraigarS » Mon Nov 17, 2003 10:16 pm

I finally got a great answer for this issue from the Tech Support Dept at Musician's Friend 8) and wanted to share it with you in case someone else was trying to accomplish the same things I am. While Cakewalk itself can't do it, the M-Audio Omni I/O can!

Basically, you go into the Omni Control Panel and make sure that Outputs 1/2 are mapped to the Monitor Mixer and Outputs 3/4 are mapped (in my case 3/4). Then, you use the direct outs on the back of the Omni (again, 3/4), instead of the Send/Returns/Inserts jacks, and route them back to the 1/2 Inputs on the front of the Omni. Then, for the tracks you want to process externally, you change their output source to 3/4, arm a new track that uses 1/2 as the input source (I used both for the stereo signal since the entire effects chain runs in two mono lines for stereo), get your effects tweaked and your levels right. Then hit the record button and viola! :D

Hope someone else finds this useful,


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