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FX tracks are special Cubase channels to which an audio signal can be sent. What makes them different from other audio tracks is the fact that they play host to VST plug-in and DirectX plug-in (PC only) effects. An FX track is a host for audio effects that are assigned through inserts . In other words, just as you assign an insert to an audio channel, you assign an insert in an FX Track. With Cubase SX, you can create a chain of up to eight plug-in effects (five with Cubase SL). Each FX track has its own channel in the Mixer panel and offers most of the settings found in an audio track/channel.
You can't choose the input bus for an FX track because all FX tracks will receive their signal from the sends of audio channels (including VSTi channels, but not its MIDI counterpart ). This also means that you can't record any audio into an FX track, but you can certainly record the output of an FX track. Because the main purpose of an FX track is to provide a way to add effects to a project, you can't send an effect to a send effect either.
To add an FX channel track to a project:
Right-click(PC)/Control-click(Mac) in the Track List area of the project window. You can also select Add Track > FX Channel from the Project menu.
From the context menu, select Add FX Channel Track.
In the Add FX Channel Track dialog box (see Figure 6.21), select a track configuration from the drop-down menu. This will determine how the effect will process the signal going through the effect. Keep in mind that most current plug-ins are configured for stereo audio processing.
Select the desired plug-in from the drop-down menu. If you are not sure which plug-in you want to use at this point, you can leave the plug-in field to "No Effect" and change it later on. This will simply create an empty FX channel, which can also serve to send an audio signal to an external source.
The controls found in the FX channel's Inspector area (see Figure 6.22) that can also be found in audio tracks will play the same role in both cases, so you should refer to the section above to find out more about them.
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