Why the difference between audio track routing and return track routing?

I've just learned how audio track / return track routing works, and was in particular interested in how return tracks can send audio to themselves for feedback effects, and was wondering why audio tracks don't have that capability. With audio tracks, you can't split your output between multiple other audio tracks (unless you add a lot of indirection and accomplish this with lots of extra return tracks), but rather you have to choose a single audio output (or input). But if return tracks have this capability (albeit they're constrained to only fanning out to other return tracks), why don't audio tracks have it as well?

In other words, the way routing works for audio tracks lets you choose one-to-many (by having N tracks choosing 1 track is their input) or many-to-one (N tracks choose 1 track as their output), but you can't do many-to-many in the same way you (sorta) can with return tracks.

I'm not complaining, just wondering if perhaps I'm missing some aspect of Live's design that would explain this.


machty 1 year ago | 0 comments

1 answer

  • Near Earth Object
    820 answers
    821 votes received
    1 vote

    return tracks are something that was mainly used in old studios, but still has its use in this environment. Several advantages: sending multiple tracks to one single effect, so less cpu usage and a more coherent sound.  You could do the same on separate tracks though; using the dry/wet function or by adding an audio fx rack and use that as a send effect. Just add channels internally. So anything you like can be done, in different ways. It is more about having the option you prefer (or use them all at once) rather than already having one way to do it. 

    1 year ago | 0 comments

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