Difference between groups and sends?

If I apply an fx on a group containing 4 tracks… it’s the same as putting a send device on all 4 tracks in that group (or just on the group) and putting an fx on that corresponding send right?

So what’s the use of sends if I could use my fx directy on the groups?

Or am I missing something here?

Groups pool all the tracks within the group (including any sub-groups) and then apply FX to the entire blend of audio. Those tracks, technically, do not represent independent “streams” of audio.*

Sends are different—they are independent of groups. For example, if you set a Send to “Keep” then you can have your kick drum track and a send of your kick drum track playing at the same time. Put a compressor on the send and voila it’s NY Compression.

Also, sends can receive audio from multiple sources, regardless of group. This means that you can, for example, send the same frequency range from across all your tracks/groups to a single send (via Multiband Send).

I’ve always viewed Groups as more of an organizational tool, and Sends as more of an effects tool. As an aside, from what I understand Send tracks cannot be grouped.

Anyway, I hope this helps. If I have any (or most) of this wrong, someone feel free to correct me.

  • yes, I realize they are independent, but once they are grouped, they don’t play ALONG SIDE the group audio, they play AS PART of it

Still don’t get it.

I don’t see the advantage of puting a send device on a group and putting compression on that corresponing send track when I am also able to put the compression on the group itself directly.

there is no advantage until you find yourself in need of using the exact same effect chain on another track which is not part of the group on which you have put the DSP chain.

as a general rule, using send tracks will make your song more easily “extensible” in any future cases of track addition.

I’m not saying you should bloat your song with tons of send tracks, but it may be wiser to put some general purpose DSP items (such as reverbs and compressors) in send tracks and point groups or tracks to them

Say you have a group filled with your percussion. That group might have compressor on it.

You might want extend the tail of the snare using a reverb on, without any compression.

You can do this by putting a send device on the snare, select “keep source” and send the signal to your reverb on the snd track.

That’s one of the many advantages

Because things like NY Compression, which is essentially parallel compression, rely on having BOTH the original signal and a compressed copy at the same time. With NY Compression, you don’t compress the original kick signal*; you ADD an extra, compressed copy, to the original kick. This gives the kick a thicker, denser feel, while still keeping the full frequencies and character of the original kick.

Basically, you have a whole other signal to play with, independent of the original (the original, which can still be manipulated and processed on its own).

*except maybe if you are compressing the whole drum group with buss compression, but that’s different

Thanks for all the answers :rolleyes: