Annual Request: Ability to insert plug pre-Sends

I often wish there was a way to add an eq or other effect before the -send- on a particular track, Eg. I often want to hi-pass various drums before they go to the reverb send.

Yes, I can create a group track, which -then- feeds that reverb. But that always feels Rube Goldberg.

It would be much -cleaner- if there was a way to patch an effect pre-send. And -no- I don’t need like 8. Even just -one- would be fine.


Im not sure if I got you, so one that NOT affect the normal path, and one different per send?
So I can have Hi-cut on one send and a Low-cut on a other? Seems useful, since this can then be part of a preset. But the send destination can not be part of the preset so it get a bit complicated…

I agree - assuming that’s the intention ?

Why not just use the EQ on the FX channel that the send feeds - or add another plug on that FX channel ?

That’s what I would do, just low pass the fx channel, but now that @suntower posted about it, I wonder what difference it would make to the sound.

(Sending an already LPed signal to processing and then leaving it at full spectrum vs sending full spectrum signal and then LPing the processed sound)

I’m not clear if @suntower intends the EQ to be applied ONLY to the send - or the complete channel ? If it’s the complete channel why not use post-sends ?

Then all channels sending to that channel will have the same processing.
Assuming you have a reverb that you want to share, but you would like to have a little difference on each track. Like some light delay create more complex image. It is nothing new it can be done with buses, but this can be more efficient and easer to work with.

@cubace - yes, understood

Totally valid request but if that’s the intention then maybe adds more complexity than it solves ?

I’m still not 100% sure I get it. Are we talking about having a second insertion point just after the point where the signal splits off to the 8 sends?

You might want a vocal to have full bandwidth into the verb, while the drums have frequency bandpassed.

While the thought would be to create a new Group channel or extra FX channel for the drums with the EQ on it… I think the OP is imagining the request in such a way that each drumkit element could have a slightly different pre-send EQ, creating differentials between the kick and snare for example… instead of summing the entire kit to a Group and EQing everything together.

It’s an interesting idea mix topology wise, but not sure how much practical use it would actually have…

I have done similar things using separate Group/FX channels, and imo, I think this would still be the best way to do it… It’s more accessible.

Before or after wouldn’t make much difference in terms of EQ, though for anything else… like compression… pre/post would make a difference so the insert would probably need a pre/post switch.

I think if anything, rather than have an insert, it would make more sense to just give people a standard hi cut /low cut per send just like the channel strip has. Inserts seems a bit over the top, and bad topology/session organization.

For sure it adds complexity for the user, but that is true for most functions. The important thing is does it improve efficiency? It might be one of the function that can separate artist from pro.

I don’t know. It’s not that far fetched to want a delay insert instead of a filter. It could cause mayhem conceptually (half jokingly I imagine there should be tabs (Channel, Send 1, Send 2 etc), lol) to manage it all, but on the other hand depending on how much control one wishes over the signal, you can still cause mayhem, albeit a more familiar one, with multed tracks and groups.

I guess it’s one of those things you need to try out on the spot to see if it’s good workflow or meh. I for one can’t decide by imagining only.

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One big draw with this function that likely would make me to still use a bus instead is the way buses are handled on remote controllers vs sends.

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That’s a good point!

I pretty much have this setup already with a bunch of groups dedicated to pre-send needs that are part of my template and are named so I can access them quickly when connecting a send or ‘Summing Mode’ Direct Out. I have 16 of them, and they are always available as they are part of every template and just hidden by default, the sends on this pre-send groups I’ve set pre-fader and all faders down by default, and then the sends on them are already connected to my template FX… all I have to do is turn off the send bypass.

1.)Vocal>Send 1>Search/Select: Grp Pre-Send 1
2.)Go to Group: ‘Grp Pre-Send 1’
3.)‘Grp Pre-Send 1’>Disable Send Bypass 1 (or whichever of the 8 is needed)

it’s very quick… if templated…

I would probably remain using my method even if this feature was added for a number of reasons. I have this groups binded to a bunch of PLE/macros for quick access/selection/visibility. I can use just the channel strip utilities/filters without touching inserts, I can bring up the faders for dry signal. I can send multiple things to a particular pre-send group if I decide so later.

As soon as I use one group, I append the name to describe what is being sent to it. I have a PLE/Macro to do this as well quickly.

If this is a way someone wants to work, then I would definitely just suggest making a template with the connections already made, and facilitated even if they aren’t going to be used.


Also, it’s nice in the mixer being able to access the channel strip utilities on my pre-send groups like the LC/HC filters.


What I would like is the equivalent of a patch point right -before- each of the Send slots with the ability to insert a single plugs, You could then use some sort of ‘chainer’ like Waves or SoundToys have.if you needed more than one plug.

The reason for this is FLEXIBILITY. I cannot -stand- ‘templates’. Virtually every mix I do is from scratch. It’s a philosophy and there’s no point in discussing ‘why’. It’s how I work.

What sometimes tends to happen is that I’ll paint myself into a corner. I’ll have an FX channel fed by Sends from 20+ tracks with all sorts of automation on the various Sends.

And I’ll find that one or two of the Sends need ‘something’… an EQ or a compressor or -whatever- ONLY on that one Send. I do -not- want it on the entire FX Channel.

So what I have to do, of course, is create a Group, apply the processing to that and then send the Group to the original FX Channel. And along the way I run the risk of breaking the automation or some other aspect of the signal path I worked so hard to develop.

But if I could simply insert a plug on the necessary Send, I risk nothing.

I have become quite minimalist with reverbs and delays. I know a lot of people use many reverbs/delays on a project, but I realised that I often need only -one- IF I can process the inputs to that FX track separately from one another.

I’ve come to see each FX channel almost as its own ‘mix’… you can use EQ and compression on all the individual ‘inputs’ (the Sends) to create its own 3D ‘world’… if that makes sense.

I’d also like to be able to filter a signal before the send and I might have an idea how this could be implemented by using existing insert slots since there’s already an overkill of 16.

First there are the pre-fader and behind the green line the post-fader inserts, as it is.
Now add another line (red or whatever) which marks the pre-send slots, whether this is pre- or post-fader is already set in the send section.
Add a small box next to the pre-/post-fader icon where you can select the insert slot you want to use as the pre-send for the send slot marked with the number of the slot.

This way you have a complete overview of the inserts and the routing within the same channel settings editor.

I had been thinking along the lines of a few channel matrix tools for all inserts, actually (including sends) that way you could do things like quickly change the source audio
make mono, use L or R, use mid or Side, and balance without the need for a plugin.
That would give the sends lots of options without using extra plugins.
But having an insert slot would let you do that an much more, also…

I like this idea. At -first- I thought it was bad UX because it’s on the wrong side of the screen, but I think if it was clearly labeled (unlike the current pre-post fader dealio) that would not be an issue.

Hurmpie wrote:

I’d also like to be able to filter a signal before the send and I might have an idea how this could be implemented by using existing insert slots since there’s already an overkill of 16.

I like this idea but it would actually require more than 16 slots, rather than repurposing some of the existing 16, as you seem to be suggesting (unless I’m wrong here). Why? It would break existing mixes that actually used all 16…and that’s something I know Steinberg would never go for. The number of slots would have to be expanded for backwards compatibility and that would make for a scrolling nightmare for this particular UI element.

I do find Suntower’s idea quite useful, though.

if going this route, why not just give each send its own Channel Editor?

imo that’s the proper UX/UI if this were implemented. The above mockup is imo, as you put it sometimes, very rube goldberg