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Setting up DAW Returns when Summing OTB Digital Converters
Old 5 days ago
  #1
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Setting up DAW Returns when Summing OTB

I'm trying to figure out how to properly setup my return tracks in Ableton so that I can use them when summing OTB. I have it kinda working, but it's not an ideal setup and want to see if there's a better way.

Each of my tracks are set to their own external out channels to go to the summer mixer, and the only way I can get the returns to work is if it set the returns to the same out channels as the track that's sending to the return. For example, I have a track that is going out to channels 15/16 and I'm sending the same track to the reverb return, but the reverb return has to be set to go out to channels 15/16 as well for it to work. Great, but the problem I run into is if I send a different track going out to different channels to the same reverb return, the reverb effect for that channel will be going out to 15/16.

Any ideas on how I can setup the returns so that I can use them for all tracks?
Old 4 days ago
  #2
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you have to monitor your hardware summing through the DAW
Old 4 days ago
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyMac View Post
you have to monitor your hardware summing through the DAW
But how do I setup the return tracks? What do I send the return tracks to? Ableton defaults them to the master track, but I don’t use the master track since I’m summing OTB.
Old 4 days ago
  #4
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zvukofor's Avatar
So you can’t “assign” a HW output for fx busses in Ableton?
Maybe you can create an empty track and assign it’s input from say reverb bus?
Old 4 days ago
  #5
I sum OTB with Ableton and have my Returns on their own channels. I can send whatever I want to them via the Sends and the Return is 100% wet in its own lane.

You're saying the Return only works on a channel already in use? Share a screenshot, maybe I can be more help.
Old 4 days ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zvukofor View Post
So you can’t “assign” a HW output for fx busses in Ableton?
Maybe you can create an empty track and assign it’s input from say reverb bus?
I can, but to hear the effect, I have to assign the fx buss to the same channels as the track that's sending to the buss, so I can only use it for that specific track. I'd have to setup duplicates of the FX buss to use for other channels. I want to have just one reverb fx buss that I can send all tracks to.
Old 4 days ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripripstabstab View Post
I sum OTB with Ableton and have my Returns on their own channels. I can send whatever I want to them via the Sends and the Return is 100% wet in its own lane.

You're saying the Return only works on a channel already in use? Share a screenshot, maybe I can be more help.
So you're sending the returns to their own channels on your summing mixer?
Old 4 days ago
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by drainyoo View Post
So you're sending the returns to their own channels on your summing mixer?
Correct. In my case this is usually 27/28 or 29/30 to my Burl B32.
Old 4 days ago
  #9
Hi,

I do this in Logic but the principles should be the same..

I have 16 outs, 8 stereo buses. I route to groups as follows
Drums
Kick/Snare
Bass
Vox
Guitars
Keys
Other
FX

... each of those buses is sent to Output channels(1-2,3-4,5-6, etc)

I then create Effects channels and route sends to them. Then all the effects get sent to the FX bus ... which goes out a dedicated stereo output in my I/O.

It may seem that you are sending the signal around a bit but it allows me to have a template and expected I/O combinations across all projects.
Hope this helps
Old 4 days ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripripstabstab View Post
Correct. In my case this is usually 27/28 or 29/30 to my Burl B32.
Ok great. I’m using a B32 as well. Going to try this. Are you monitoring through the DAW or straight from the Burl to your monitors? Are you using the master track in Ableton?
Old 4 days ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javamad View Post
Hi,

I do this in Logic but the principles should be the same..

I have 16 outs, 8 stereo buses. I route to groups as follows
Drums
Kick/Snare
Bass
Vox
Guitars
Keys
Other
FX

... each of those buses is sent to Output channels(1-2,3-4,5-6, etc)

I then create Effects channels and route sends to them. Then all the effects get sent to the FX bus ... which goes out a dedicated stereo output in my I/O.

It may seem that you are sending the signal around a bit but it allows me to have a template and expected I/O combinations across all projects.
Hope this helps
This is very helpful, thanks! Seems you and riprap are doing similar setups. Basicallly the returns get sent to their own out channels. Any reason why you’re using a buss for FX and not just set the FC returns out to channels?
Old 3 days ago
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by drainyoo View Post
This is very helpful, thanks! Seems you and riprap are doing similar setups. Basicallly the returns get sent to their own out channels. Any reason why you’re using a buss for FX and not just set the FC returns out to channels?

I found that the reverb tails, etc sound clearer with their own output .. same deal with the Kick/Snare. It also makes it easy to create 8 stereo stems when projects are complete, one of which is the FX bus .. client can then do what they want, remix dry etc.. I don't have to start doing vocals with, vocals without, etc etc.

By the way, I am also bringing up to 4 stereo effects returns in parallel into my summer which has 24 channels (RND 5060). I have the patch bay set up so that I can take any of the 8 stereo outs and pass to an outboard chain and bring back in parallel. So these fx loops are happening in the analog domain after the D/A conversion so I don't have to worry about delay compensation.
Old 3 days ago
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by drainyoo View Post
Ok great. I’m using a B32 as well. Going to try this. Are you monitoring through the DAW or straight from the Burl to your monitors? Are you using the master track in Ableton?
After things get summed in the B32 it gets sent to my B2 ADC and then back to my RME UFX (which is mainly used as a hub for my ADAT INs and OUTs) via AES. This way I can use my Solaris DAC to monitor both the live feed from the ADC as well as any system audio that defaults to outputs 1/2.

I haven't used the Ableton master track since I got the summing to work properly because it sounds so much better summed. Hope you sort it soon, you'll love it!
Old 2 days ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripripstabstab View Post
After things get summed in the B32 it gets sent to my B2 ADC and then back to my RME UFX (which is mainly used as a hub for my ADAT INs and OUTs) via AES. This way I can use my Solaris DAC to monitor both the live feed from the ADC as well as any system audio that defaults to outputs 1/2.

I haven't used the Ableton master track since I got the summing to work properly because it sounds so much better summed. Hope you sort it soon, you'll love it!
Why use the B2 ADC when you already have an interface that can convert the signal? Any benefits? What are you using to convert from your DAW to the B32?
Old 1 day ago
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by drainyoo View Post
Why use the B2 ADC when you already have an interface that can convert the signal? Any benefits? What are you using to convert from your DAW to the B32?
Because the B2 sounds much, much better than my interface's conversion and, as an added bonus, doesn't sound like absolute **** when it clips a few dBs. I am thinking about switching to a Dangerous Convert AD+ so I can dial in the transformer sound instead of always having it there.

16 outs going to the B32 are via an Apogee DA16X. Pretty ancient but still very good, especially considering how you can pick them up for like $500 now. The conversion on the DA16X is also an improvement over the UFX's analog outs.

There's also a lot else going on with the second B32 outputs, my Solaris second pair of outputs, the UFX outs all to a patchbay so I can use different channels for different sounds.
Old 1 day ago
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripripstabstab View Post
Because the B2 sounds much, much better than my interface's conversion and, as an added bonus, doesn't sound like absolute **** when it clips a few dBs. I am thinking about switching to a Dangerous Convert AD+ so I can dial in the transformer sound instead of always having it there.

16 outs going to the B32 are via an Apogee DA16X. Pretty ancient but still very good, especially considering how you can pick them up for like $500 now. The conversion on the DA16X is also an improvement over the UFX's analog outs.

There's also a lot else going on with the second B32 outputs, my Solaris second pair of outputs, the UFX outs all to a patchbay so I can use different channels for different sounds.
Hahah. I did some reading on the B2 after I read your post and it seems like it does sound a lot better. I love the B32 sound, it’s just magic, so I’m really considering the B2 to convert the summed mix and to track through. I’m using an Orion 32+ to and from the B32, but is the better sound from the B2 worth the extra $2,500?
Old 1 day ago
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by drainyoo View Post
Hahah. I did some reading on the B2 after I read your post and it seems like it does sound a lot better. I love the B32 sound, it’s just magic, so I’m really considering the B2 to convert the summed mix and to track through. I’m using an Orion 32+ to and from the B32, but is the better sound from the B2 worth the extra $2,500?
I'd say you're plenty set with your Orion, which is far superior to my UFX in a number of ways. My rig was built piecemeal over a few years because I was very particular about the sound and I'd honestly rather have a single, highly capable unit than an entire rack filled with hardware and a veritable rat's nest of cables behind it. There's ADAT, AES, S/PDIF, DB25, BNC & XLR cables all back there it's ridiculous. But I'm in too deep now so screw it.

Anyways, I'm a big fan of the B2 but doubt it'd be a $2,500 improvement over your current AD. Maybe Sweetwater can give you a loaner to test out?
Old 1 day ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripripstabstab View Post
I'd say you're plenty set with your Orion, which is far superior to my UFX in a number of ways. My rig was built piecemeal over a few years because I was very particular about the sound and I'd honestly rather have a single, highly capable unit than an entire rack filled with hardware and a veritable rat's nest of cables behind it. There's ADAT, AES, S/PDIF, DB25, BNC & XLR cables all back there it's ridiculous. But I'm in too deep now so screw it.

Anyways, I'm a big fan of the B2 but doubt it'd be a $2,500 improvement over your current AD. Maybe Sweetwater can give you a loaner to test out?
Sweetwater gives out loaners?? Never knew that. Maybe I’ll try that. Thanks for all the advice. On another note, how do you connect the B2 to your interface, S/PDIF?
Old 1 day ago
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by drainyoo View Post
Sweetwater gives out loaners?? Never knew that. Maybe I’ll try that. Thanks for all the advice. On another note, how do you connect the B2 to your interface, S/PDIF?
One of the two AES outputs goes to my interface and the S/PDIF output (which works simultaneously) goes to one of my DAC inputs in case I want to monitor straight wired.
Old 1 day ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripripstabstab View Post
One of the two AES outputs goes to my interface and the S/PDIF output (which works simultaneously) goes to one of my DAC inputs in case I want to monitor straight wired.
Cool. The Orion doesn't have AES inputs, so I guess S/PDIF, or maybe there's a better way. Need to look into it more. I'll just clock the B2 with the Orion.
Old 22 hours ago
  #21
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e-are's Avatar
 

I have an Orion 32 and a Burl B2. The Burl is clocked by the Orion 32 and Spidf into the Orion from the Burl. Works great.
Old 21 hours ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e-are View Post
I have an Orion 32 and a Burl B2. The Burl is clocked by the Orion 32 and Spidf into the Orion from the Burl. Works great.
Thanks! That’s how I’ll set it up. Have you noticed a difference in sound in the B2 over the Orion?
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