Effect send or insert. What's the difference?

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Member Since: Jan 13, 2010

I'm not sure what the difference is between an effect send or insert. How does this effect the overall sound or mix?

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MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Member
Since: Aug 05, 2008


May 21, 2010 12:16 am

A send sends -- You use it to add something to a signal (usually reverb, delay/echo, modulation, etc.). An insert runs the original signal through something -- You use it to affect the entire signal (usually compression or EQ).

edit0r
Member
Since: Aug 17, 2004


May 21, 2010 12:42 am

I'm guessing you mean in a DAW situation?

Say you have a mix. You want to put the same reverb on the vocals and the guitar. You could either 'insert' the same reverb plug in on each track, or you could create a separate track with reverb (mix 100% wet) and send some of the vocals/gats to it.

Its more versatile having reverb on a seperate track. You could take out all the lows/highs with an EQ plug in to make your mix clearer, modulate it etc.

If you insert it on say, the vocals track and use the mix function to add the reverb, the more reverb you add, the quieter your vocal track will be. Also, this might only allow you to have a mono reverb where you might want stereo.

Things like compression, EQ, will have different settings for each instrument. Better to insert on a track.

Member
Since: Sep 30, 2009


May 21, 2010 07:58 am

Quick question to go along with popo, i've thought about using a send for the reverb a lot, but i worry that running a bunch of instruments threw the reverb send track might have a different effect than using the same reverb setting as inserts across the board. Is this a legitimate worry, or am i just an obsessive, paranoid, OCD-ish freak

Member
Since: May 21, 2010


May 21, 2010 08:03 am

Insert effects process the signal from the source and returns it processed to the next part of the chain.
Send effects are sent as a different signal to a bus. Usually, send effects are pre-processed by insert effects on the channel. You either may select whether the signal is send after the fader processing or before by selecting the post and pre option. It depends of your DAW software. This apply to analog consoles too.

http://www.reverbnation.com/2ndg
Member
Since: Nov 27, 2007


May 21, 2010 08:22 am

thing is, if you run an insert with say verb youre having to use the unit itself to get the desired vol, its kinda like a cold fart compared to what it is capable of doing.
where as using as a send, you basicly turn the mix level of the effect right up and then bring in the fader to the desired vol.

Doing this shows the reverb for what it is, and allows you to hear everything about what its doing, settings etc. then you can adjust accordingly.
kinda like setting the levels correctly when you record. if they arent right, then you'll never know whats really going on and you wont be getting the most out of it.

Typo Szar
Member
Since: Jul 04, 2002


May 21, 2010 10:42 am


Inserts are basically running ur signal straight through the effect, while a send is like if u duplicated ur signal and effected that and then used it in parallel with ur original unaffected signal.

@Fragile: The effect will be different if ur running several tracks into a single bus, atleast from how ive used it in my DAW (cubase). Its especially apparent when using a single compressor. I use to parallel compress my entire drum set through a signal bus, the obvious result was the compressor was triggered by all the different pieces if they ever overlapped and made it hard to dial in, especiall in terms of attack and rlease since somethings would be attacking or needing release at different times. I got much better results doing my compressing on different individual busses. The same is most likely true for something like reverb but probably less apparent.

neither is more or less useful to me, their completely different animals with different uses. For one thing, a bussed effect will never really be 100% wet, unless u turn down ur original signal to nothing, at which point ur buss becomes an inserted track. Having more control over the wet/dryness of ur track is ofcourse useful and requires a send, on an insert, everytime u adjusted the wet to dry ratio ur also kind of tinkering with the volume.


MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Member
Since: Aug 05, 2008


May 21, 2010 11:50 am

Quote:
i worry that running a bunch of instruments threw the reverb send track might have a different effect than using the same reverb setting as inserts across the board. Is this a legitimate worry, or am i just an obsessive, paranoid, OCD-ish freak


It's not a "worry" -- It's a feature.

Picture the mix as a 3D entity -- All the instruments gathered around themselves in front of you on a "stage" somewhere around the width of your speakers.

Now - Do you want each one of them in their own little room with a bunch of reverb signals clashing against each other - or do you want them all in the same room?

It *does* have a different effect if you insert them individually (not only on the amazing amount of drag on the CPU and RAM and the terrible loss of DSP power available for everything else). And it's generally far more 'natural' to allow the unit (or plug in this case) to react to the sum of what's it needs to react to.

Member
Since: Sep 30, 2009


May 21, 2010 01:10 pm

Hmm, makes a lot more sense now. Especially MM, thanks man. So, is it common place to just use one verb send track for everything? Are there any cases where I would want one sort of reverb on the guitars, and another verb on the vox, drums, etc?

MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Member
Since: Aug 05, 2008


May 21, 2010 01:42 pm

Sure - It happens.

Not a "rule" - just a rule of thumb. Plenty of guys use different verbs on the toms than on the snare for that matter (but they still almost exclusively use sends for such a purpose - It's very rare to wind up with an inserted additional effect). From workflow to tweakability, there's no comparison.

http://www.reverbnation.com/2ndg
Member
Since: Nov 27, 2007


May 21, 2010 08:20 pm

i tend to use the same verb but with different decay and tone settings fo diff inst.

geez i coulda really said what i wanted to say in my last post alot quicker and less confusing if i was awake more. Luckily no one paid much attention.

could someone clear that up for me though?
If you use say verb as an insert, are you not really driving it hard enough to get the most out of it if your having the mix level of that plug at say 56%??

edit0r
Member
Since: Aug 17, 2004


May 24, 2010 07:50 pm

Quote:
If you use say verb as an insert, are you not really driving it hard enough to get the most out of it if your having the mix level of that plug at say 56%??


Thats fine in the digital world. Reverb plugs don't need to be 'driven'.

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