Topic: TotalMix FX - reverb send

I have read the appropriate section in both Babyface and UFX manuals, trying to obtain a better understanding before these units are available for evaluation.  I use quotes from the V1.1 UFX manual.  I understand that for reverb, the Babyface uses the host via an 'invisible FW path', whereas for the UFX it uses new on-board DSP.  But I assume the send arrangements are the same.

First of all, is the FX send mono or stereo, ie., one bus two (L and R)?   If it is stereo,is it taken from after the 'panpot' , ie., the L and R balance is the same as the selected (highest) submix.   Is there a different arrangement for channels selected as stereo?

The FX send point is described in 'Settings' as:

p.57 FX Send. ... To make this function as useful as possible FX Send is locked to the highest submix, thus imitating the Aux Post Fader function of a standard mixing desk.

But in the Preferences dialog there is a control option as follows:

p.67 FX Send follows highest Submix. Locks the FX Send knob to the channel fader. As TotalMix supports multiple routings per channel, a definition is needed which fader (only one is visible) is the one that FX Send will follow. This is always the one with the highest fader position, means the highest gain.

So what happens if this option is unchecked?  Which submix is then chosen as the one for providing the FX Send?

And if one lowers the channel fader on the highest submix, so that it is no longer the highest, does the FX Send automatically move to another submix (the 'next highest')?  I don't think this variability is helpful, and the 'unchecked' option should allow the designation of one particular submix as providing the FX send.

As ever, I await the opportunity to try these facilities in the 'real world' (alright - my world!).

De gustibus - et sonus - non est disputandum

2

Re: TotalMix FX - reverb send

Send is stereo, otherwise the Stereo Echo would make no sense. Taken from before the panpot. Same Mono/Stereo.

With the option unchecked the FX Send will not follow any submix.

It does move to a different submix, means when pulling down the fader it will stop to follow where the next highest fader is - if there is more than one routing.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

3 (edited by panatrope 2010-10-17 11:56:00)

Re: TotalMix FX - reverb send

Thanks for the response.

MC wrote:

Send is stereo, otherwise the Stereo Echo would make no sense. Taken from before the panpot. Same Mono/Stereo.

As I understand your explanation, it means that for a stereo channel, it will send the left channel only to the L  FX send bus, the right channel only to the R FX send bus.   But what about if the stereo channel, for instance, has reduced or enhanced width set in its control strip?  Likewise, if it is a mono channel, I assume that this means it is fed equally to L and R FX send bus, regardless of the 'pan' setting. 

Mind you, I think this is probably a small issue, because many reverb units work quite well by using a mono input signal to produce a stereo out.

MC wrote:

With the option unchecked the FX Send will not follow any submix.

Does this mean that no channel will be sent to the FX send?   If I read your explanation literally, this means that FX send is globally disabled.  Is this what you intended to say?

MC wrote:

It does move to a different submix, means when pulling down the fader it will stop to follow where the next highest fader is - if there is more than one routing.

I have difficulty with the logic of this.  Consider the situation where I have reverb from that channel added to a submix which is my main output.  I have another submix which is also receiving that channel, for example as a cueing feed, which is independent of the main output and has no reverb added (not needed).    If I fade that channel in the main mix to zero, I will still hear its reverbed output in the main channel feed, because the fader is still up in the cueing feed submix.  If the reverb is only being used in the main output, the FX send feed should ONLY be taken from the fader setting of that channel in the main output submix, and not according to the fader setting in another submix that is not having reverb applied at the output.

Perhaps there may be other fields of use with which I am not familiar where this approach is useful.   But from my experience, I cannot think of an application where this particular approach would not cause me operational difficulties such as to not use TM FX reverb and instead rely on external facilities.

Like the Trim Gain facility I think if TotalMix FX is to meet its aim of replacing the analog mixing desk, it needs the ability to decide by submix whether a channel is to use the FX send facility or not.

De gustibus - et sonus - non est disputandum

4

Re: TotalMix FX - reverb send

MC wrote:

Send is stereo, otherwise the Stereo Echo would make no sense. Taken from before the panpot. Same Mono/Stereo.

panatrope wrote:

As I understand your explanation, it means that for a stereo channel, it will send the left channel only to the L  FX send bus, the right channel only to the R FX send bus.

Yes.

panatrope wrote:

But what about if the stereo channel, for instance, has reduced or enhanced width set in its control strip?

Width does not affect FX Send.

panatrope wrote:

Likewise, if it is a mono channel, I assume that this means it is fed equally to L and R FX send bus, regardless of the 'pan' setting.

Yes.

MC wrote:

With the option unchecked the FX Send will not follow any submix.

panatrope wrote:

Does this mean that no channel will be sent to the FX send?

No, it means the FX Send is completely independent from any other fader.

MC wrote:

It does move to a different submix, means when pulling down the fader it will stop to follow where the next highest fader is - if there is more than one routing.

panatrope wrote:

I have difficulty with the logic of this. Consider the situation where I have reverb from that channel added to a submix which is my main output.  I have another submix which is also receiving that channel, for example as a cueing feed, which is independent of the main output and has no reverb added (not needed).    If I fade that channel in the main mix to zero, I will still hear its reverbed output in the main channel feed, because the fader is still up in the cueing feed submix.

Correct.

panatrope wrote:

If the reverb is only being used in the main output, the FX send feed should ONLY be taken from the fader setting of that channel in the main output submix, and not according to the fader setting in another submix that is not having reverb applied at the output.

Sorry, but that is much too complicated to implement. All you have to do is pull down the small FX send fader in the channel. Should be no problem.

panatrope wrote:

Like the Trim Gain facility I think if TotalMix FX is to meet its aim of replacing the analog mixing desk, it needs the ability to decide by submix whether a channel is to use the FX send facility or not.

That confuses me - how does an analog desk do that?

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: TotalMix FX - reverb send

Thanks for the explanation - it is becoming clearer.

MC wrote:
MC wrote:

With the option unchecked the FX Send will not follow any submix.

panatrope wrote:

Does this mean that no channel will be sent to the FX send?

No, it means the FX Send is completely independent from any other fader.

If the small fader alone controls the FX send level, does this mean it then is effectively becomes pre-fade from that channel, and changing the big fader of that channel will not change the level of the signal to the FX send.  And the small fader setting will appear the same in that channel no matter which submix is visible?

If this is the case, what I read in the manual did not make this clear to me.

MC wrote:
panatrope wrote:

Like the Trim Gain facility I think if TotalMix FX is to meet its aim of replacing the analog mixing desk, it needs the ability to decide by submix whether a channel is to use the FX send facility or not.

That confuses me - how does an analog desk do that?

This is merely saying that an analog mixer has a number of auxiliary busses (as per the manual, the equivalent to sub-mixes in TotalMix) which may be prefade for Monitor, post fade for FX, or even on better desks selectable pre-or post fader by channel. Changing a channel's setting on one buss will not change the level on all the other busses/submixes. In other words, one knob per channel per bus, all independent.  At the expense of a whole lot of knobs, the routing is clearly set out in a Cartesian way, and its state is clearly visible at a glance, and is very flexible.  Important in live work, in my experience.

De gustibus - et sonus - non est disputandum

6

Re: TotalMix FX - reverb send

panatrope wrote:

If the small fader alone controls the FX send level, does this mean it then is effectively becomes pre-fade from that channel, and changing the big fader of that channel will not change the level of the signal to the FX send.

Exactly, but I try to avoid the term pre-fader as in fact it is just another submix output like all the others.

MC wrote:
panatrope wrote:

Like the Trim Gain facility I think if TotalMix FX is to meet its aim of replacing the analog mixing desk, it needs the ability to decide by submix whether a channel is to use the FX send facility or not.

That confuses me - how does an analog desk do that?

This is merely saying that an analog mixer has a number of auxiliary busses (as per the manual, the equivalent to sub-mixes in TotalMix) which may be prefade for Monitor, post fade for FX, or even on better desks selectable pre-or post fader by channel. Changing a channel's setting on one buss will not change the level on all the other busses/submixes. In other words, one knob per channel per bus, all independent.  At the expense of a whole lot of knobs, the routing is clearly set out in a Cartesian way, and its state is clearly visible at a glance, and is very flexible.  Important in live work, in my experience.

I know how an analog desk works and I know about the many limitations it has, that's why we have TotalMix. Point is that an analog desk can NOT decide by submix whether a channel is to use the FX send facility or not.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: TotalMix FX - reverb send

I am mindful of the semantic issues here because common terms are used differently in the two different worlds.   But in the analog world the (post fade FX) submix IS the FX send.  And only one knob per channel controls the level of the FX send.

In TotalMix FX, there appears to be two cases only for a particular channel in a submix which is (let us say) is designated as the main output, and where the Reverb FX is being included:

(1) without the option activated, the reverb send is derived before the channel fader.  This means if that fader is decreased to lower the level of the sound in the output mix, the reverb is not automatically lowered to keep the proportion of direct to reverb sound the same, and the FX send fader has to be adjusted separately;

(2) with the option activated, the reverb is derived after the channel fader, then lowering that fader will produce a corresponding decrease in reverb, as long as that fader is set higher than that channel's fader in any other submix.  If the fader is reduced below the setting of another submix's fader, the reverb send will not further reduce, and reverb level will be controlled by the fader in a submix where reverb may not in fact be used in its output.   In the extreme, that channel may be reduced to zero in the main output, but its reverb may still be heard.   

Neither of these options appear to be optimum, and prone to error in a live situation, compared to the use of a single post fade aux FX send bus on an analog desk.

To perhaps help better understanding, would it be possible to give an example of a foreseen operational situation that the FX send facility as implemented was designed to handle, and led towards the decision to include it in TotalMix in this particular manner?

De gustibus - et sonus - non est disputandum

8 (edited by Arjan S. 2010-10-28 14:14:22)

Re: TotalMix FX - reverb send

I too am intrigued about this functionality. I do not yet own a babyface or UFX, but might in the near future. wink  And I haven't seen any functionality like this in any other device I've come across in the past.

As for there being no such thing in the analog world is also not completely true. Nitpicking here though :-) Our SSL 6032 has aux sends in the echo/aux sends master fader section. Which are submixes from submixes!

I think that most pros who use or have used analog desks see all the ?submixes to HW. Outputs? as channels routed to the group outputs (while having full level control) or as a monitor mixer with lots of pre-fader auxes for foldback monitor mixes, while the reverb send (as we wish it) does have to be compared to the auxiliary (echo) sends of a mixing desk. (pre-post selectable)

I think that the only way to provide any ?workable? post fader send facility would be by linking  the post send to one submix per HW input or software playback only. The pre fader solution can then stay individual for all the submixes. I do understand the logic of thinking and the complexity of the problem. One has only one reverb and really should have one per submix for a nice solution.

Unfortunately the solution that has been taken now has a bit too much programmer instead of mix-engineer written all over it. I do understand that there is no perfect solution possible here. One can live with it but I wonder if the other solution might not be better. Although (programmatical) more complex!

My 2ct

Arjan S.
Pro-Found Recordings & SAE
Owns:Hammerfall9652,Multiface I,2xADI-8 Pro,Fireface UC.