Is there a way bypass all plugins on a clip?

Is there a way to bypass all plugins for a clip at once to A/B whether I’m improving things? I am using ABLM2 to do this at the moment, but I’m wondering if there is a built in way to do this?


Yes. You can use the button shown in my first image to bypass or enable all the clip effects in one click. Keep in mind that any Montage Track effects, Montage Output effects, and Master Section plugins will still be active.

A better method in my opinion would be to use a Reference Track to put an unmastered version on. You can create a Reference Track and using the options in the other two screen shots, create a copy of one or all selected clips on the Reference Track.

The clips will be perfectly in sync with the working version on the normal Audio Montage track, and you can select the options that will ignore any gain changes, plugins and automation envelopes you may have added so you can perfectly hear the unmastered version by pressing the ear button on the Reference Track. This bypasses any Montage Track effects, Montage Output effects, and Master Section that would normally be in the path.

You can also route the Reference Track to a different stereo output so you can do the comparison toggle on your monitor controller instead of within WaveLab.

I have a shortcut assigned to this (in my case 'B"). To me a simple key stroke is ‘quicker/easier’ than switching a controller (which I have). However, as Justin points out, if you have effects in the master section as well as the montage, then the master section effects remain active unless separately bypassed. In that case the Reference Track is probably more convenient.

Right. I guess I’ve never made a shortcut for that because for me, there are always Montage Output FX involved too which is why I love the new(ish) Reference Track feature for doing comparisons.

@Justin_Perkins I think the shortcut bypasses all montage effects … clip and output.

I pretty much only use Output effects.

@Paul_Rat_Blakey Interesting. I’ll have to take a closer look.

I think I found the shortcut in the shortcuts list. See attached. Now I need to see if I can find it as a button in the Audio Montage. And also, see what it does with Master Section plugins if any are in use.

Sorry … time zone differential … I’ll check when I get to the studio

That looks like it for the Montage effects … I have attached my assignment of ‘B’

The button is attached (which you would know anyway but for other readers)

As you have pointed out, the Master Section needs to be separately bypassed if there’s anything inserted there as well. I have a shortcut for that as well (F12) but …in my case, there almost never is. I work differently to you: setting the sound up in Master Section and doing the edits with that (to better judge things like sibilant attenuation etc) … then creating a montage from the file/s and importing the master section plugins. It’s all pretty fast …Shift+T and one click on the import master plugs. I’m almost always ITB these days. If I was more hybrid I’d probably do things more like you.
Master Section Bypass Button

Shortcut - Montage Bypass

Wow thank you both this is so useful! And I really appreciate the screenshots.

When you bypass the plugins in clip effects, are they truly bypassed? Or are they still using CPU?

I seem to “bypass” them but when I have clip effects applied to other clips in my montage, my CPU is still being hogged by them.

I have long since requested a feature to fully disable plugins and put them “Offline” like REAPER does so they are no longer taxing your CPU, but can be put back Online again if you need to redo any work involved with them.

I believe with normal bypass, plugins still need to be active in the background for a more seamless A/B toggle during playback.

I know PG commented on a potential change of behavior in this area but I’m not sure if that made it into the 11.2.0 update.

There are a few places to bypass plugins. Did you try this button?

Normal. "Bypass " means bypass the processed signal, not bypass processing. If you want plugins to be OFF (no process), then use the ON/OFF function.

You mean, to put them offline after rendering them to an audio file?

Perhaps. But more realistically:

After sending audio from a Reference Track, through analog gear, and recording back to a normal track, it would be nice to put all the plugins that are on Reference Track clips OFFLINE. We often have some (or more than some) plugins on each Clip before going analog and once the audio is captured back to digital, we don’t need these plugins to be active anymore. Having them active can eat up CPU and affect delay compensation and playback buffering times.

However, we want these to be able to be made active again very easily in case we have to redo a new mix of the song.

In REAPER it’s very fast/easy to toggle all the plugins of an item OFFLINE or ONLINE. When plugins are OFFLINE, the GUI is not visible and it’s as if the plugin is not even inserted, but if you bring it back ONLINE, all the settings are retained.

Deactivating the entire Reference Track could work too, as long as it can easily be brought back online.

A command to simply put all plugins of a clip or track OFF, would be very easy to add.


As long as that removes all CPU tax and latency/buffering that would work, and there is an easy way to toggle the plugins back ON too.

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Hey PG, while searching the forum for this issue, I found your comment. adding the possibility for using a shortcut for bypassing clip FX would would be insanely awesome.

Bypassing all is already possible in WaveLab 11.2
Deactivating all will be possible in WaveLab 12.

I see now you mentioned “shortcut”. This is not yet possible indeed.