Aux Sends, Buses and Panning

I am having trouble with the following question and can’t find an answer :thinking:

I have the following setup:

Track 1: Dry Guitar Left
Track 2: Dry Guitar Right
Bus: Effects for Guitar

My goal is to only use the effects once in the effect Bus as to safe processing powers.
My problem is, that i can’t control the panning: Panning (of the wet signal) is controlled by the Bus but i want to control it by the track. So I only want to create a kind of “effect loop” where the wet signal is sent back and after that panning is applied:

Track 1 → Bus (Effects) → Panning Track 1 → Master
Track 1 (panned) → Bus Effect (leave panning) → Master (panned as in Track)

Any hints how i can accomplish this? I guess there is some kind of “standard way of doing this kind of things” … But i cannot figure it out :see_no_evil:
Thx Benjamin.

Well, if you mix the signals in a bus you cannot split them back again. Why don’t you put the panning directly in your tracks before they get mixed in the bus? Would any of the effects not have the result that you want in that case?

Also, if your tracks are mono, maybe try creating a stereo bus, not sure what options you’d get there. Maybe you can keep the tracks separate in the bus.

I don’t get what you mean i think. I already tried to set the tracks hard left and right but when I send them to the bis (mono or stereo bus) the panning of the bus is overwriting the panning of the tracks .
So that would result in the case that i need to make one bus per track and that does not make sense because then I could put the plugins directly on the tracks…thanks for replay…!

Here is how you could setup your routing. Add 1 Bus track and insert Reverb. Insert 1 extern send on each guitar track and route them to your REV Bus. You then have separate PAN control for the REV send for each guitar track. Doesn’t affect your regular PAN on each track, doesn’t affect the PAN of the REV Bus.

Is that what you want?


I already tried to set the tracks hard left and right but when I send them to the bis (mono or stereo bus) the panning of the bus is overwriting the panning of the tracks .

I just did a quick test and I don’t get the same result:

  • Imported two files as separate tracks (mono).
  • Panned them, one 100% to the left and the other 100% to the right, just to be clear as to what I’m hearing.
  • Created a stereo bus, connected both tracks the same way (L to L, R to R).
  • Did not touch the bus panning.

I can clearly hear the track panned to the left in my left speaker only and the track panned to the right in my right speaker only.

Check the routing grid in case you have not connected track/left to bus/left and track/right to bus/right.

This observation is not correct. If you create a send (regardless of pre or post fader) from Track1 to a stereo bus it will by default be linked to the track’s panner.
If you now hit play and move the panner of the track, you can hear (and see) the signal moving through the stereo field accordingly.
So, if you now pan Track1 hard left it will only be heard in the left channel of the stereo bus. If you subsequently add a send from the hard right panned Track2 to the same bus, its signal will only be fed to the right channel of the receiving bus. Both signals will be perfectly separated in the stereo field of the receiving bus.

If you now want to send a different panning to the effect bus, you can unlink the track’s panner by right clicking the send icon and check “Send Options > Unlink Panner” in the context menu. After that double click on the send icon and the appearance of the Fader section of the strip will change. You can now adjust the fader and the pan of your send indepently. Double click the send icon again and you’re back in “Track Mode”.

This way you could pan the track’s output to Master (or whatever intermediate bus you use) hard left and the sends output to the effect bus hard right for crossover effects (delays, reverbs, whatever).
For all that you would leave the effects bus panner completely untouched (centered).

Be aware of the fact, that there are two panners: One for the track signal going to the master, and one for the send you created. If you move the send panner only the signal of your send will be affected, and it will send your git track wherever you want it to be in the stereo field of your bus track.

And check: Have you routed your git tracks to the bus? If so send them to the master output, not to the bus! Only use SEND to send your git signal to the Reverb bus.

You are right. Ardour works as expected. But the problem is the Plugin itself!
I use the tonelibe gfx for guitar amps and stuff. And when i put that plugin on the Bus it seems, that the panning is controlled by the plugin itself.
How is this possible?
Any ideas how to solve this?
Thanks for your help!

I figured it out :grin: – Within the plugin editor you can manage the pins. And here you can disconnect it from one of the sides…

Edit #2:
But this brings me back to the start – panning now is controlled by the plugin which is on the Bus :hear_no_evil: Because when I pin it to one of the sides, the other channel is quiet and stays when i connect Track 2 which should be routed to the otherside…Strange…
So the question remains: Why is the plugin overwriting the panning of the Tracks?

Are you sure the ToneLib plugins are stereo input?
Guitar stuff usually are mono in and either mono or stereo out, which could explain the issues you’re having.

If the ToneLib-Metal you’re showing is an amp it’s probably mono in so it should be placed on your mono guitar channel.
You also probably don’t want the exact same amp setting for all of your guitar tracks; one way of getting a fat sound is to have the amps tweaked a bit differently, to create a richer overall tone.

Benjamin, you could insert (only) a stereo reverb on your bus just to check if your setup works in general. Move the send panner and listen what’s happening.

That’s what i did – that is why i know, that the plugin is somehow overwriting the panning…thx

Thanks – I know I know about getting a fat tone, but I want it that way due to processing power - placing the plugin on every track gives me a high system load and my projects normally have like 15-25 Tracks with drums, guitar, bass etc. etc. That is why I want to use Buses as to safe some processing power…

Edit: The setup I am searching for is mainly a template when I am doing the creative stuff (quickly recording some new ideas and songs) not for the mixing in the end of the day (that is what the mixing engineer does :wink: ) – That is why i want to keep system load low as to record without any latency (low jack values as to minimize latency)…

I’m not sure what you mean by this. Tonelib GFX doesn’t seem to have any panning controls on the plugin itself, even when configured with Stereo.

I have Tonelib GFX and had a play. It appears it can act as a stereo plugin but, in general, most of the FX are mono so the sound is just duplicated on each channel. So, unless you are using Stereo FX, I would suggest just sticking with mono channels.

Regardless, I had a play and my tests don’t show anything I wouldn’t expect. I tried using both a mono and a stereo track into a stereo bus.

The test I did was to record a short, fairly stacatto, bit of guitar into each track. I put the external send on and linked it to the bus, and put a Hall Reverb on the bus.

I put Tonelib GFX and the Ext Send pre-fader. This allowed me to mute the track and still hear the reverb from the bus. I could then use mute and send levels to control whether I was hearing the original track, the reverb bus, or both.

I panned the tracks hard left with the track panner, and the reverb hard right through the send panner.

In both cases, when the track was unmuted I could hear it on the left, and when the send level was up I could hear the reverb on the right, which is exactly what I would expect to work.

I’m not sure I see any issue here.



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I’m not too sure that what you want to do is possible. At least not if you have mono in plugins.

You could try creating two mono busses, pan one left and one right, add your amp sim to each of those and send your guitar tracks to the appropriate one.
It’ll be twice as CPU intensive as what you’re aiming for but you should at least get the stereo separation without needing dozens of running plugins.

As far as I can see the problem (still) is that you are routing your sends to a MONO plugin! The stereo send from one of your git tracks can only work if they are being fed to a stereo bus.

Your plugin does not override anything, it does what it is supposed to do.

Maybe that helps:

What I want is only one Bus and use that as an “effect loop” – 2 buses for 2 tracks (RGIT → Bus1 (panned r) & LGIT → Bus 2 (panned l)) In that case I could directly put the plugins on the track…Does not safe my system load…thx…

I guess that is the problem within the link you just posted! I wonder that there is no possibility within Ardour as to handle this problem…
Okay so to understand it:

  1. Track LGIT (panned l) sends to Bus
  2. Bus is panned to center
  3. Within the channel the signal flows (from the left channel) through the Plugin.
  4. The Plugin is not capable of stereo so the signal is put into center (because the plugin makes the stereo mono and hence the output of the Bus is mono (=centered))
    Am I right?

…I hope i understood your reply. Try to put the tonelib not on the track but on the bus! Then you will see, that panning of the track does not work anymore.
…Anyway I think my problem is that 1.) I don’t understand much about mono or/and stereo plugins and 2. tonelib seems to be a mono plugin and hence does not work on the bus (for my usecase)…


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