I’m confused as to how the mixer in Acoustic Agent functions. How do I control the effects sends?
Each instrument (or set, as in toms) is assigned its own channel which has 4 Aux sends. Where do those sends go?
Clicking on Kit Mix brings up a list showing Aux FX 1-4, Kit Mix and, under a line, Master and Out 2-16. What are these for?
Then there are tabs for Aux, Kits and Master - what are these for?
I can’t find a guide to how to use the Groove Agent/Acoustic Agent mixers anywhere online , and the Steinberg manual is as always deeply unhelpful. If someone could point me to a guide or a video, that would be marvellous.
In general, auxiliar sends are used to create secondary mixes. Some [secondary] mixes are used: for effects (audio signals that are mixed with the main mix—for example: reverb), and other mixes are used for monitoring (are used to make the performer mainly hear himself/herself at a concert or recording session).
At the “George Enescu” University, while I was a student, Dan Spînu—my Music Technology professor—insisted that we learn how analog devices work first, before learning about DAW’s. DSP’s (Digital Signal Processors) are replicas of what analog devices did a while ago. In an analog mixer you have on each channel at least one Aux Send (or labeled FX) knob. Using a cable, you would connect this single Aux Send output to a Signal Processor. The sub mix that this cable would carry to the Signal Processor would get processed and with the help of another cable you would return the signal back into the mixer (to a AUX RETURN input). The same thing happens here. Every so-called channel in the AUX page* (in Groove Agent SE 5) is a signal processor. That’s where sends go. Then, the signal these processors generate is mixed with the dry output of each kit component/instrument channel.
Groove Agent SE 5 is a VST (Virtual Studio Technology) instrument – VSTi. Think of it like it’s a digital piano where you have multiple outputs (for example: L/R out and Headphones out). The beautiful thing about VSTi’s is that you can route different patches (sounds, kits, programs, instruments – all valid terms) to different outputs. To answer your question, those menu items that appear when you click on “Kit Mix” are outputs or sub mixes that eventually will end being mixed with the master signal. Out 2-16 are outputs different from MASTER (see gif below).
GIF (VSTi secondary output)
If you had Groove Agent 5 (not SE), you could load (drop) more kits into the rack, and then in the KITS tab you’d have more channels. “Kit Mix” is the name of a group channel that appears there. Usually groups “flow” directly into the MASTER output channel. This is why you can’t route the output of the channels in this tab.