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Print FX Returns

Print FX Returns

Print discrete copies of your FX Returns!

Created by ARIA nominated mixer and engineer, Tristan Hoogland here's a script that provides you with an elegant solution to printing your FX Returns (or any element utilizing sends and aux returns).


  • Bounces discrete FX returns of selected track(s) with send assignments

  • Create multiple groups of various tracks (i.e. LEAD VOX, BVs, etc)

  • Reassigns the original aux return output paths to the newly imported printed FX return tracks

  • Makes inactive the original send assignments to ensure proper, identical pre-bounced playback

How to use the script

1 - First select if you are bouncing offline or in real-time.

2 - You will be prompted to select a target track to import the bounced files of the FX Returns. This can be any track in the session, anywhere that helps keep your session organized the way you see fit.

3 - At this point you will be prompted to Create Groups by selecting the source tracks that feed the FX Returns. As per the dialog, keep it open and select all the tracks you want to group together and have all their corresponding fx returns printed. An example of this would be a situation where in your session there are 4 or 5 tracks that comprise all the Lead Vocals, they may have differing bus sends, or all the same - it doesn't matter - but you want to print all the FX of that one lead vocal. Simply select all those tracks and press "Create FX Return Group". Here you will be presented to then name the group - i.e. Lead Vocals". Carry out this process as many times as you like (BV's, Dbls, etc). At any point you can review groups already created which will allow you to also delete/remove any groups you may have created by mistake.

IMPORTANT: This script works by soloing the group of tracks created and bouncing them. Be sure to select and group all audio and aux tracks that might be relevant (if for instance you're bussing a bunch of individual audio tracks to a LEAD VOCAL aux, that also has sends going to effects, you will need to include both all audio tracks and aux tracks as part of your selection so it can store both tracks and sends). If the Aux doesn't have any sends of it, then it's not necessary to include it.

4 - Once you've completed creating your groups, select "Done". You will then be prompted with a final confirmation dialog with a list of the groups created. You can create more groups or review groups here, too.

5 - After confirming you will be asked to make a Bounce Selection. It is recommended in most cases that you select the entirety of the song to ensure all groups are printed. You can make a selection with two methods, either follow the prompt to select your start and end markers, or as I prefer - make a selection in the timeline by highlighting and select "Use Manual Selection". In either cases, you will eventually be asked to confirm the selection before proceeding further.

6 - Let the script do its thing!

After the script has completed, it will go through and make inactive all the sends on all the tracks used to print the returns. This is by design and in effect (no pun intended) should be helpful in keeping the session sounding exactly how you had it before committing the returns, but also by allowing other instruments or elements still feed the original FX returns.

Known Issues / FAQ / Notes

  • Due to some limitations in the soundflow/javascript environment there are a handful of prompts that don't include a cancel button to abort the script at every step. It is recommended you proceed through until a cancel button is presented before aborting as there are a handful of 'while' loops that can be difficult to break if you cancel. In the event that happens, you should be able to click the soundflow icon, swipe over to the right panel and Restart Soundflow. I will attempt to make a more robust version in the future to mitigate this problem.

  • The script works by interrogating a tracks' sends state (i.e. bypass/inactive etc). It works on sends that meet the following conditions: Unmuted and Active. Any other state (inactive, bypassed) is ignored and not included as part of the process. As of version 0.9.0, the script only works on sends that are statically assigned and so if a send as part of the gathering process has mute automation at the top of the session (or wherever the bounce selection starts) it won't be included because it's reporting to soundflow that it's bypassed. To circumvent this potential headache it's recommended you avoid using mute automation on sends altogether and instead rely on volume automation to accomplish the same (which in my opinion is better practice anyway).

How do I get Print FX Returns?

Print FX Returns  is a package built on the SoundFlow platform. To get it, please follow these steps:

  1. Sign up as a new SoundFlow user if you don't already have an account.

  2. Install the SoundFlow app on your Mac.

  3. Open up the SoundFlow app, click the "Store" tab

  4. Locate the 'Print FX Returns' package by searching in the search field.

  5. Click the Install button.