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Unlock the Power of Impact XT's Multiple Outs

06/05/2022

We all know Impact XT is cool-but it's at its coolest when you use the individual audio outputs, because then you can add exquisite effects to individual drums.

How Multiple Outputs Work, Part 1: Impact Setup

Let's zoom out. Impact has 16 potential outputs, which can be mono or stereo. The reason for saying potential is that you can use as many as you want, in whatever configuration you want-all stereo, all mono, or a mix of mono and stereo outputs.

You assign a drum to one of the 16 outputs by clicking on the little number in a pad's lower right, and choosing from one of the 16 outputs, either stereo or mono. More than one drum can feed a single output. For example, fig. 1 shows an Impact layout for a recent song. All the drums go to their own outputs, except that Perc1 and Perc2 feed the same output because they're going to be processed, and have their levels adjusted, simultaneously.

Figure 1: Impact XT setup for sending 7 drums to specific outputs. Part 2: Console Setup

Now we'll have the drums show up in the console. Open the Instruments panel, click on the downward arrow, and choose Expand to see Impact XT's outputs. You'll see all the Impact outputs (you may have to scroll to see more than the 16 stereo outputs). They'll have an St (stereo) or M (mono) prefix, followed by the output number. Check the box that corresponds to each output that you're using. It doesn't hurt to check outputs you're not using, but they'll take up space in the console, and serve no purpose.

Next, simplify your life by renaming the console channels to reflect the drum names (fig. 2). The names will then show up in the Instruments panel. This lets you think of the console channels as sounds instead of just outputs.

Figure 2: The outputs have been named, and the drums go through a variety of processing. Part 3: The Payoff

So why bother doing all this instead of just using a stereo output? Because we can do all kinds of fun processing. In this example:

The Snare channel is going to a bus with Room Reverb, set for a loooong decay. It's followed by a Gate.

The Kick channel has a send that feeds the Gate's sidechain, so when the kick hits, it lets through the snare's reverb.

The Hat1 sound's Analog Delay adds some motion.

The Cymbal goes through another Gate, set for a long attack time to give an attack delay effect. This is followed by the Open Air convolution reverb, which uses the 8.00s Thin idealized reverb impulse from my Surreal Reverb Impulse Responses pack.

This processing transforms a dancehall-type beat into something more chill. The audio example's first half plays what the loop would be like without processing, while the second half includes the processing-and that's just the tip of the iceberg of what multiple outputs can do.

Impact XT Multiple Outs.mp3
LINK: https://blog.presonus.com/2022/05/06/unlock-the-power-of-impact-xts-mu...
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