Is it possible to use the FX sends completely wet or are they useless?

nothingbuterrors wrote on 6/16/2020, 5:09 PM

Hi, I'm trying to wrap my head around the FX send feature in Music Maker. I've been fiddling around with the FX Sends setting above the tracks as well as the automation curves tied to them. Is there a way to just use the send? It seems the minimum level I can go is 100% dry, 0% wet, as you'd expect, but the highest I can go is 100% dry... and 100% wet, as it doesn't seem to "send" anything anywhere but rather copy the dry signal over into the send track, doubling the volume to 200%.

The problem is I can't find a way to turn down the dry signal without turning down the wet, as they seem to be intrinsically linked without exception. I tried muting the original track as well as turning it down using automation, mixer channel volume, and gain effects, but all possible volume adjustments are placed before the FX send in the chain; that is, turning down the original track turns down the FX send as well. You can't get 0% dry and 100% wet. The most effective thing you can do is turn the original track/s down very very far, so they're almost inaudible, and then heap a bunch of gain effects on the send track to turn it back up. There you can get a wet > dry balance, but it's a very hacky workaround and it shouldn't have to be worked around at all.

This seems like an incredibly counterintuitive way of doing things. Why does using a send not decrease the volume of the original signal as well, the way any other DAW would do it? This makes it useless for a lot of effects, and for the ones it isn't entirely useless for it still robs the user of control. Say I want to use the FX send to compress a few elements together to glue them into a cohesive sound (like a set of drum samples I want to make sound like a kit, a group of instruments playing the same thing, etc). I can't do that because I can just hear the original sound as well. I can use it for parallel compression, sure, but that's about it, and that shouldn't be a concession anyway. Say I want to distort specific elements together, like two or three guitars, creating a blend without affecting the vocals or the bass or drums. Say I want to distort everything except the vocals. Say I want to distort only the bass and vocals together, creating that SoundCloud rap style vocal distortion blend. I can't, because I can always hear the original signal too. Reverb works, sort of, as long as I don't want it to be really really wet.

Is there something obvious I'm missing or is this just a huge limitation of the software? Do I have to resort to my hacky solution mentioned above?


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