Do audio effects alter the INCOMING signal, or the RECORDED signal?

I have scoured the manual and can't find the answer to this question. Maybe it's a stupid question, I don't know, but I was taught that there is no such thing. I also have significant cognitive impairment, so please don't reply "rtfm" or try to imply that I'm stupid. I AM STUPID. There. We got that out of the way.

What I need to know is exactly where in the signal path audio effect plugins modify the signal. Is it before the signal is written to the track or does the recorded signal contain the original signal as modified by the audio effects? In other words, does the incoming signal pass through the audio effects on the way to being written to disk?

It does NOT seem to be the case that audio effects are applied to incoming audio signals, otherwise disabling or modifying effects' settings wouldn't alter the output of an already recorded audio track, which they do. And now the gist of the question (my apologies for the lengthy post and opening rant, but in my experience most musicians are egotistical jerks who won't answer a question unless they perceive it as an opportunity to show off). . .

I need to apply a compressor to a patch which apparently has runaway transients, and yet is an absolutely lovely patch. I CANNOT get the thing to keep from causing clipping. I modified the patch itself, reducing both the patch volume from 100 to as little as 20 and the track volume to next to inf dB, scooped out the midrange which had about a +12dB bias, and it's still clipping. Do I need an external hardware compressor to deal with this?

2 followers

daniel_robert_lahey 2 years ago | 0 comments

4 answers

  • misa
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    2 votes received
    2 votes

    The signal is recorded clean and written as a file on your computer.  The audio effects then modify the stored audio, which can  be saved as another file later on.

     

    Without seeing your patch or sample, I would just suggest checking your gain staging between effect plugins and to consider putting a limiter on the track.

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • daniel_robert_lahey
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    3 answers
    3 votes received
    1 vote

    Thank you for your reply. That makes perfect sense given what I have seen/heard.

    I have Live Intro, which doesn't have any limiters per se, but if I'm not mistaken, a compressor is a type of limiter (or vice versa?), no? I probably just need to fiddle with a compressor until I can find the rogue frequencies that are causing the clipping. Meanwhile, I think I'll try to find a good tutorial on using compressors.

    Thanks again!

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • daniel_robert_lahey
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    3 votes received
    1 vote

    Just so that I'm clear about this, the signal coming into Live and which is written to the hard drive is completely unaltered by any Live effects, correct?

    2 years ago | 1 comment
  • daniel_robert_lahey
    contribution
    3 answers
    3 votes received
    1 vote

    Oh, and by the way, even though I am still curious about the questions above, I resolved the problem I was having with that patch. It turned out to be that the synth was over-driving the oscillators. Turned down the oscillator volume and presto! Bob's your uncle.

    2 years ago | 0 comments

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