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Integrating External Hardware Effect Processors into1820/1820M/Emulator X Studio

Published: Thu April 28, 2005  News Feed

PatchMix DSP offers a lot of routing flexibility and one of the more powerful tools at your disposal is the Send/Return insert. This PatchMix insert allows you to send audio from any PatchMix strip or bus to a physical output which you can patch into a external Hardware Effects Processor then back to an input where it is merged back into the strip/bus and to your recording application and monitoring path. This is the classic \"effects loop\" and will allow you to integrate the power of external hardware effects into your PC DAW environment.

You may be asking... \"That\'s cool but why do I want to do this?\"

   Although not as convenient as plug ins, external hardware effects have many benefits. 
   They usually sound very good... as good as if not better then many plug ins.
   Many have a very unique character... especially older effects.
   They don\'t consume any CPU or other PC resources... always a good thing.
   You probably have one lying around collecting dust.

Stuff you\'ll need...

  • A pair of unused inputs and outputs on your Digital Audio System.  
  • an external effects processor 
  • 4 ¼\" balanced or unbalanced cables. 

Wiring and setting up...
 1.  Find a pair of outputs you aren\'t using on your Digital Audio System and connect them to the inputs of your effects processor. (If you are not that experienced with editing PatchMix, use the 3L/3R outputs)

2.  Connect the outputs of the effects processor to a pair of spare inputs on your Digital Audio System. (If you are not that experienced with editing PatchMix, use 3L/3R inputs)

3.  Power up your effects processor and dial up an effect. (Reverb or Delay would be best for this example)

4.  Open PatchMix by clicking on the \"3 blue bars\" icon your System Tray.

5.  \"Save as\" the current session(3rd button from the left on the top row of the TV screen) if it\'s something you want to keep.

6.  Create a \"new session\" (1st button on the top row of the TV screen). From the New PatchMix DSP session dialog pick the \"Product Default\" session.

 7.  For this example lets patch the processor in on the PatchMix Aux 1 so that anything coming into PatchMix can use the effect. (Tip: this is very good for things like Reverb/Delay which will be useful for almost any instrument)

8.  Select and Delete the Stereo Reverb that is already in the PatchMix Aux 1 insert (under the TV screen), then Rt. Click on that section and choose \"Insert Send/Return(Physical Output and Input)\" from the popup list.

9.  You should now be looking at the New Send/Return Insert dialog. For Select Send output: choose Dock Out 3L/3R. For Select Return input: choose Dock 3L/3R (Phono). (if you decided to patch into different outputs/inputs then you will need to make some edits to PatchMix, if what you want is in the list but greyed out, that means it\'s being used. Find the strip in Patchmix and delete it then repeat this step)

10.  Now play some audio either via the physical inputs or from software. Turn the Aux 1 level just below the panners on that strip up... You should now be hearing the effect on your audio. By adjusting this Aux 1 level you can customize how much of the effect you want per strip. (Tip: you might want to check the Wet/Dry mix on your effect processor and set it to 100% wet, and use the Wet/Dry mix in the Send/Return insert which you can edit in the TV screen)

11.  To apply your effect processor to a single input source for recording, as opposed to the above Aux scenario, just drag the Send/Return insert and drop it ABOVE the ASIO/WAVE send. If you want it just for monitoring on a single input drop it BELOW the ASIO/WAVE send.

Now that your effects processor is patched up, it will be available anytime you want it and you can now treat the external effect just like any PatchMix effect. Just drag and drop it wherever you want it... Have Fun!

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