TR-8: Working with FX and Individual Channels

Tags: effects,aux,ableton,tr-8,delay,reverb,fx on tr-8


The TR-8 offers up to 14 channels of audio at 96kHz. By using the TR-8 as an Audio Input Interface, drums can be routed to their own individual channels. It is important to note that the individual channels start on channel 3. That is because a Full Mix is used as a stereo channel for inputs 1-2. Setting up all available channels for recording will look comparable the image below. Keep in mind this is an Ableton screenshot, your DAW may appear different: 



Notice the first channel uses stereo inputs 1-2, and the rest are mono channels.  


Level Balancing

Using individual channels, as opposed to a stereo mix, creates an increase in dynamic range. Instead of the overall output being scaled by the master "Volume" knob, you now have every instrument capable of playing at their loudest volume. The Kick and Snare drums are most noticeably effected, due to additional parameters such as compression, snappy, and attack. Use the meters on your DAW to monitor your loudness, and to keep an eye on any clipping that might be happening. 


Where do the FX go? 

The TR-8's effects are not routed to individual channels. Instead, they are routed to the Full Mix on channels 1-2. It might seem counter-productive to have Dry drums AND FX on the Full Mix. However, by doing a bit of level balancing, we can limit the amount of dry signal we hear while raising the volume of the FX.

When you use the TR-8 without individual channels, turning the Reverb and Delay effects up all the way might sound unbalanced and uncomfortably loud. However, if we turn Delay and Reverb up all the way while using individual channels, we can turn the Full Mix channel into an FX send.

Set the Reverb and Delay levels to 100%, and adjust the overall volume of your Full Mix channel by using the master Volume knob. Dry drums are still heard, however it is drastically reduced in volume, allowing the Full Mix to be a usable FX send.