FX Envelopes


I’m getting into the program by bits and pieces, but it’s pretty good progress for a Ludite (ahem) like my own self- and I am actually getting results I dig. So today’s question is: How do you folks use the FX Parameters envelopes in n-Track?

The manipulation of this seems very stringent and not too forgiving. I realize that this may be because I need to get more ‘inside’ it, and I may be missing some basics that would predicate the use of this feature. So, who’s into sharing their particular procedure?

The scenario is I’ve got a mixed-down stereo track, and I want a reverb swell in one particular section of the whole mix. What would you do?


In your example we’d usually add a reverb effect to an AUX return (adjust the effect so it’s all wet) and use AUX sends from the tracks to it.

I’ve never had a need for using the FX param, and part of that stems from the effects I tried it with not working well. I think it’s very dependent on the effect.

You want a reverb swell on the whole track?

Well, here’s something to consider - that means you’ll might have to back off on the dry volume a bit, to avoid clipping. Anyway, what I do to get it right is I do it by hand first, and note the settings, and then automate it, then do a mix, then listen, then go back and fix it, then listen again, then fix it again, etc…

I gather from the number of working mixes phoo generates that he does this sort of thing too. To a greater extent, I think, that I do. :)

There are 2 different types of envelopes being discussed here…

Using the AUX send as suggested by phoo is probably best suited to adding the reverb swell you are looking for as that is “usually” how reverb is applied so as to retain the original signal.
This would require you to add the fx to the AUX channel, set it how you want it to sound and then draw the AUX send envelope to increase the signal sent to the AUX xhannel when you want the swell.

Effect parameter automation is a little different, but can also be used to achieve the effect you want and may be more suitable for other situations.
Effect parameter automation doesn’t change the signal being sent to the effect but changes parameters within the effect and will be dependant on the efect you are using.
eg. one chorus VST may have automation for the depth, another may not. It’s up to the effect programmer to build the automatino into the plugin.

In your situation you may have a reverb that allows you to automate the return or output level of the effect so you could put it onto the track or group you want the reverb on (instead of an AUX) and then use the output automation parameter to determine when you hear the effect and when you don’t…
As I said, depends on whether the plugin allows this sort of automation.

I use the effect automation parameters most in Jamstix as it lets you control a lot of parameters within the plugin (velocity, powerplay, percussion, probability of different drums etc. etc.)

A handy use for automatino would be a flanger/phaser that lets you automate the depth so you could vary that across a passage like what you do with an effect pedal when you turn the knob whilst playing.

Another would be a pitch shifter that allows automation of the pitch so you could vary the amount of pitch shift over a section to make it sound like you are speeding up or slowing down.

I guess the easiest way to think of the effect parameter automation is to think of it like when you manually play with the knobs on an outboard effect unit whilst the sound is playing, rathr than having to set the effect settings and leave it.


I think I pretty well get all that: The FX Parameter is basically a stomp-box approach, as configurable (flexible) only as the automation capability of the plug-in. The Aux Send is a more practical approach for something like Reverb anyway- that’s a basic!

Makes sense, I got kind of an awful sounding result so far!

Thanks for the help- I’ll have a new go at it.