Now that I’ve added some satisfying junk to my drum sound, I’m going to render the processed signal to an audio file. (I’ll discuss why in a moment.) Remember that all of the processing from the prior tips is happening in Return A:

Picture 6

To Print Return A to an audio file, open up the Export Audio/Video window and set Rendered Track to “A-Junky Bus”…

Picture 7 


Note: You might be tempted to create a new Audio track, set Audio From to “A-Junky Bus,” and record into it instead.

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My experience is that Live’s delay compensation can’t handle this particular routing and you’ll end up with the audio being out of sync. Also, exporting is faster than recording (which happens in real time). After exporting, drag the resulting audio file into the set.

There are two advantages to rendering the return.

First off, when doing the final mix, the volume of the drums will change. If I leave the junky bus set up as a Return, this will impact the compression and distortion coming out of the track. This could be good, but it could also be bad. Printing the audio preserves the sound exactly as I dialed it in. The Return track is still there, so I still have the option of using it after the drums are more fully mixed.

Second – rendering return tracks is fun, and that goes for any sort of processing – reverb, delay, whatevs. Once that effect is in your set as audio, you’ll come up with new ways to chop and process it as part of the final mix. Give it a whirl and I guarantee* you’ll come up with something cool.

* not a guarantee