Send/Insert/Plugin explanation


could someone please explain the basics of how the send/insert concept works?
I created a bus with a send [send 1], added a plugin to it.
then created a send [send 1] on a track.
after activating everything I was able to control the level of the effect plugin
output via the [send 1] fader on the bus.
I proceeded to exit ardourvst.

now, when I try to open the session I get a loading error.
it states that I cannot have two sends with the same name [send 1].
I tried renaming the send by editing the session xml file but
ardourvst still cannot open it.

how do I know which sends work together if they don’t have the same name?

there exists nothing in the manual about this and other information on the web
doesn’t help much.

find the session xml filess here:

biff rmx.history

biff rmx.ardour


most excellent!! :smiley:

I grasped the basic concepts, you made it much clearer.
only problem is ardour keeps crashing all the time when using plugins.

do you use the plugins internally or via some external app?


there’s something about it this forum. Basically, don’t call you insert or send the same name the bus or tracks it targets is called. The only workaround I found was to DELETE the send or insert in the xml file. Renaming it by hand won’t help for some reason.

thx for the tip.

I searched the forum before posting and found some info.
now I am able to use sends to redirect the out of an audio track
to a bus with a vst plugin.

ardourvst is consistently crashing after a few minutes of usage,
so far I’ve tried 30-40 vst-s.
when using ladspa plugins ardour is much more stable.

what is the difference between a send and an insert, how do they affect
the signal path?

to my knowledge, a send is a “going out” signal. An insert is a “going out - coming back in” signal, a bit like a detour from the main road that would eventually come back to the main road. On this detour, you have processing, e.g. I have an insert using jamin’s outs and ins on my master bus post-fader. So the audio is redirected to jamin’s ins, processed inside jamin, and comes back through jamin’s outs to my master bus. If there was no insert, the audio would flow straight through the post fader area.

In a way, any plugin instance (LADSPA, VST) you put in your post or pre-fader area is an insert but plugins remain sorta internal, whereas external processing (jamin, or jack-rack, or whatever that is not ardour) can be plugged to your tracks using inserts.

A send is as its name indicates to send part of the audio somewhere else. I think the audio is duplicated so if you mute the target bus or track of the send, your original track (source of the send) is unchanged to your ears. You can actually control how much signal you want to send (there’s a fader in the send conf window). This is typical if you want to add reverb or something else without affecting the original track. You can adjust the mix between the original track and bus target of the send containing the reverb thanks to their respective faders until you get a nice blend.

I hope this is clear enough :slight_smile:

I use certain plugins internally (EQ, filters like high or low pass, compressors and a bit of reverb here and there) but non of them are VSTs, just LADSPA. I use jamin as an insert, as I said. But overall, I don’t use many software effects. In fact, most of my special sound effects are hardware made. And this reminds me that I need to save up some money in order to acquire a few gears that shall end up in my rackmount. It’s not that I think software effects are bad, I think they do a good job, I am just a tiny bit old school and I like to have external gears that don’t require a computer for being driven. Plugins can cause undesirable effects (host crashes, intense CPU usage, whatever …) you know what I mean :slight_smile:

Have you tried compiling the LADSPA plugins yourself? I find this makes a big difference to stability, but I’m at a loss to explain it.

I did compile the plugins, but haven’t noticed much of a difference. What I am using is quite stable, except for occasional clicks. I think the worst I experience is when I define a playback loop. I hear loud cracks if I happen to have a TAP plugin somewhere (or is it CAPS ? I don’t remember). So I avoid loops, which is annoying because it is handy when you want to fiddle with a plugin parameter during a certain passage before you can think of automating all your efforts.