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DrRighteous

Unexpected Routing issue with Y-splitter (dual mono)

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I have a signal routing that goes like this: 1) Stereo Limiter 2) Y splitter so that Left channel goes full to A and right full to B .
I have a mono delay on channel A, mono effect on channel B, then they merge back in and there is a stereo reverb at the end.

Where they merge, I have the panning less harsh, so it's slightly left and slightly right instead of full left full right.

When I have the mono delay and the effect on, this works exactly as expected. The Y splitter sends 100% of the left signal to one and Right signal to the other, and I can control their pan position where they merge back into the stereo signal going into the final reverb.

But as soon as either A or Channel B effect is bypassed, that dry signal does not remain Left or Right, it hits the final reverb in the center.

It shouldn't work that way should it?

Essentially if I bypass the channel A effect, that signal should remain hard left, and then get merged at whatever pan setting the merge block sets.

But it doesn't do that.

 

Is there something I'm doing wrong?

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I don't think it's doing quite what you think it is, but regardless, this is likely your problem: when you use the Y splitter and pan A full left and B full right, it splits the stereo input signals out to those channels, like you'd expect. BUT, those signals remain stereo after the split, so now on path A you have a stereo signal with the right channel silent, and on path B you have a stereo signal with the left channel silent.

Since you have mono effects on A and B, when you engage those mono effects, it collapses the signal back to mono after the effect. When you bypass the effect, it goes back to stereo as explained above.

So the end result is, where you merge those signals back together, you're not getting the same thing into your reverb with the effects active vs. bypassed. The reason I said I don't think it's doing quite what you think it is, is that with the mono effects bypassed, you're taking a signal that is already hard-panned left and right and panning it even more (it won't do anything except increase the volume when you do this). When the effects are active, you now have two mono signals that won't have any stereo image unless you pan them L/R at the merge. Thus as  you've described it, with both effects bypassed you'd be getting a volume-boosted stereo signal into the reverb, and with both effects active you're getting a stereo image like you're expecting, but only 'slightly left' and 'slightly right' because of how the merge is panned.

 

Option 1: You can change those effects to be stereo ones, which will make the bypass/non-bypass behavior consistent. However, when they merge you'll have hard-panned L/R stereo (with L being the A path, R the B path), which is a wider stereo image than you want, so you'll have to pan them opposite to merge them together for only 'slightly' stereo.

 

Option 2: You can put a 'dummy' mono Gain block right after your A/B split, with the gain set to zero, which will collapse both A and B to mono immediately after the split (this gain block must stay active, not bypassed). Then you can use your mono effects and it will sound consistent whether they're active or bypassed. Bear in mind though, if you do this, you have to pan A and B somewhat left and right at the merge to get a stereo signal again; otherwise you'll be mixing two mono signals on top of each other.

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Thanks for the info - that totally explains what is happening.
Although I think it's an unintuitive implementation - I"m so glad it's a consistent repeatable and fixable situation, not some weird bug.

Thanks again for the explanation, I didn't find anything about this in the manual.

 

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I agree it can be confusing, but once you understand how it works, it also can be a benefit (not being limited to mono in between signal splits & merges). It'd be really nice if L6 added a feature that somehow indicates for each segment of the signal path whether it is stereo or mono, maybe by color-coding the path lines, or somehow displaying them differently for mono vs stereo (dashed vs. solid line? single line vs. double line?)

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