How to create a Dry/Wet balance setup to maintain equal volume?

I have an instrument that is routed to a Group. From the instrument track, a Send feeds an FX channel (compressor, reverb, whatever…). The FX channel is also routed to the Group to achieve a blend of the source and fx.

However, this blend is now louder than the instrument by itself. How can I setup a template that allows a final level of the Group that maintains the original volume (instrument only) without having to lower the Group fader? I want to keep the Group at unity gain. I’ve tried inverse polarity tricks (180 degrees), but this doesn’t seem to work. Any ideas? Thanks!

Lower the send to the FX , what you need to remember is every Fx will add gain to the original signal if mixed , you need to gain stage your fx with the original signal to achieve the desired group level . I personal don’t assign FX tracks to a group buss i sent them directly to a second mix buss which i routed to the Masterbus , that way you can adjust the original and fx tracks to suit

Or lower the return level…

The level of the FX return and the instrument channel reflect the relationship between the two signals. And of course the send level plays a role too.

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Thank you for the reply. The issue with lowering the Send is that the blend that I was happy with has now changed and gives me Less of the FX. You stated the problem well: the FX adds gain. I’m searching for a solution where I can achieve the blend that I want (more parallel compression or distortion or reverb, for instance), but keeping the final blend at the same level. One reason for doing this is to quickly compare the original signal with the new blend signal… at the same level. I’m trying to do this without the need for adjusting faders, bypassing utility plugins, etc. Cheers!

I don’t think what you’re asking for is possible. The only thing I can think of is if you create more than two sends and more than one group track so you’re basically switching between groups. But it seems clumsy to me.

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Any EDM producer would say ’ slap a limiter on the buss ’ and set to source level before blending :upside_down_face: :joy:

Yeah, I haven’t found an elegant solution as yet. I tried setting up a number of Sends and different Group combinations, pre- and post-fader configurations, etc. Nothing so far …

Hi !
Try this :

  • Send your instrument to an another FX channel. Reverse the polarity of this FX channel.
  • Link the fader of this FX channel with the first FX channel (the one that has your effect). The two faders should be at 0dB before linking.

100% Dry when the faders of the two linked FX channels are down.
100% Wet when the faders of the two linked FX channels are at 0dB.

Definitely a very interesting take on a solution @StephanJ , and one that really got me thinking!
My concern with this method is, depending on what effect you’re applying to the FX send (not the null track), you are likely to end up with a watered down version of the desired outcome. For example, let’s take the free compressor « Kotelnikov », since it has a delta button. Engaging the delta lets you hear only the difference between the original and effected track.
In your suggested scenario, if you’re using a gentle effect such as a transparent (digital) compressor with a low ratio, the null track doesn’t exist in a vacuum from the FX track. Wouldn’t this end up nulling the FX track also, thus producing effectively a delta track as opposed to a full wet track?

Among the two equalities below, which one do you think is correct @OldOakStudio ?

a + a’ - a = a’
a + a’ - a = ’

I understand mathematically and logically that statement one is the correct one (a + a’ - a = a’). For whatever reason my gut keeps telling me otherwise haha. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Go with your gut, they say…
maybe that’s why my gut is bigger than my brain :man_facepalming:t2:

You could add an additional Group Channel that combines the 2 signals and then sends it off to your current Group Channel. Then use the fader on this new Channel to adjust the level.


Why? I mean that fader exists for a reason, and it does what you want (assuming you are not feeding other Audio into the Group).

Hi everyone. I just wanted to share a technique that is related to the topic. I’ve known about this for some time, but never put it into practice. For now, it’s finding a place in my template. It’s interesting, for sure. Some of you may know about this, others may not. I think it’s worth your while to at least be aware of it.

The setup is well-explained in the SOS (sound on sound magazine) article by Matt Houghton, dated January 2017. It’s entitled “Recreating the BBC Echo Mixture Control.” He uses Cubase to demonstrate the setup. Check it out (the full article is free to access). Cheers!

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Great! Thanks for sharing!