Send FX Channels are channels which contain effects plugins which you can route other audio to. They are very useful for a number of reasons; they allow you to save CPU by only using one instance of a plugin for multiple signals, they allow you to process the effects separately to the original signal and they open up options for routing which can be used for creative effect. This tutorial shows you how to set up some send FX channels in FL Studio.
In this video I show you how to create and use send FX channels in FL Studio. I’d recommend watching full screen at 1080 resolution.
Setting up Send FX Channels
The send FX channels are exactly like any other channel with the key difference being that the main effect on the channel does not allow any of the source signal through. This is known as 100% wet and 0% dry, where the ‘wet’ signal is the effect and the ‘dry’ signal is the original source audio. This is what defines it as a send FX channel so you need to ensure that you are only allowing the wet signal through whatever the main effect is on your channel.
In this example I set up two send FX channels; one with Fruity Reverb 2 on it and another with Fruity Delay 2 on it. Every effect plugin should give you the option to adjust the levels or balance between the dry and wet signal. In the Fruity Reverb you can adjust them separately, so should turn down the dry and set the wet at 100%.
In the Fruity Delay 2 you can adjust only the dry volume. So this should be set to zero.
You will find that different effect plugins deal with the wet/dry balance in different ways so if it’s not obvious right away I’d recommend checking the relevant documentation. Once you have a channel with and effect on there which is only allowing the wet signal to come out, you have essentially set up a send FX channel. You can still add more effects to the signal after the main effect, for example some EQ and compression. These additional effects do not need to be 100% wet as they are being used on the signal coming from your main effect.
Using Send FX Channels
To make use of a send FX channel you need to route a signal to it. In my example I have a pluck track which is totally clean. To route it to the send FX channel simply select the source channel then right-click on the send switch below the send FX channel you wish to use and select route to this track (do not route to this track only as you need the source to continue going through to the master track). You can also do this by left-clicking on the send switch.
You will now have the source still on the source channel and the effect on the send FX channel. You can change the volume and panning of the send FX track independently of the source as well as route it to other tracks if you desire. In this example I route the delay send FX channel to the reverb send FX channel to add reverb to the delay. Be careful you don’t cause a feedback loop as that could lead to some horrible noises… I’ve not tried it myself and it may be that FL Studio won’t let you do it. Probably best not to try!
So there you go…
You should now have no problem setting up, routing and using send FX channels in FL Studio. Go ahead and experiment. I use them all the time for reverb and delay especially but they can also be used for adding distortion without affecting the source audio or clever stuff like parallel compression. Please do let me know how you got on with this tutorial in the comments below, on my Facebook page or on Twitter and I’d love to hear of other ways of using send FX that you may have come up with.
Please do check out my other FL Studio related articles and tutorials if you found this one useful or interesting.
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