When do I need to bypass the plugin?




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    Andrea Caneparo

    If I bypass the whole plugin and not simply press the bypass button inside the plugin, my mix receives a 6dB boost which was unintended and could even end up clipping, isn't that wrong?

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    That's the result of bypassing the "avoid clipping" safeguard. If you disable it in the plugin, max out the volume fader, the volume of plugin being active, with bypassed calibration and bypassing the whole plugin should not change.

    The same thing happens with limiters. If it does any peak limiting, bypassing it completely will clip your output.

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    The probability of occasionally forgetting to bypass is almost 100%.

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    Steve - this is also something that we are working on at the moment: auto-bypass function.

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    Ivan Lekic

    Im doing crazy thing.. i love what the plugin does of my mix, but dont like when i bypass the plug before mixdown .. I implemented sonarworks into my master, and i have amazing results .. am i crazy !?

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    Gaspar Acevedo

    My DAW (Reaper) has a special channel for monitoring plugins. I put R4 in this channel just once and it becomes a global plugin appearing in all my projects and being automatically bypassed when mixing... the plugin is the little green rectangle on the top right corner... pretty cool :)

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    Jeff Harris

    what is the status on auto-bypass?

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    Kārlis Stenders

    Hi Jeff!

    We're working on auto -ypass and it will be released with 4.2 update. Not all DAW's though, it's proven to be extremely difficult for certain platforms. At the moment, these are looking pretty good for auto-bypass to be implemented for:

    Cubase 8.5, 9.5
    FL Studio 12
    Ableton Live 10
    Logic X Pro
    Pro Tools 12 (on Windows)

    There will probably be more, but we don't want to make any promises yet.

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    Claes Swierkosz Weicher

    Hello I've got a similar question to the thread.

    How do i compensate the change in sound when bypassing the session for export?

    I design sounds based on an active SW plugin with a flat EQ room response which is obvious when using the software, but when i need to export my session I have to bypass the plugin and while that happens the sound will change and be either slightly or completely different from what i worked on.

    How do i compensate this?

    I am new to the SW plugin and fairly confused on how to properly utilize it.

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    Gaspar Acevedo

    Hey Claes,

    The active SW app is compensating the coloration (modification) that your particular speakers and room create on the sound coming out of the sound card of your computer or your interface.

    Think of it as if you did not have SW, but your room was perfectly engineered and built for flat EQ response. This is how the signal flow would look for both cases:


    * Signal flow in a sound-engineered room:

    (your DAW)-->(your computer sound card/interface)-->(your speakers/headphones) = (flat sound)


    * Signal flow in a non sound-engineered room:

    (your DAW)-->(your computer sound card/interface)-->(your speakers/headphones) = (not flat sound)

    (your DAW-->SW)-->(your computer sound card/interface)-->(your speakers/headphones) = (flat sound)


    So, sound-engineered rooms are engineered not to bend sound coming out of your speakers. Your room (such as mine) is not engineered that way so it will bend the sound. SW learns how your room (or headphones) bend the sound so it bends it the other way around first so when your room (or headphones) bend it, it will sound flat.

    When you export your mix, you do not want the mix to be bent (EQd) by SW in a way that will only sound flat in your room/headphones. That would sound awkward. When people hear your mix somewhere else, they will hear it with the coloration of their own sound system and environment and it will be different from what you hear with SW in your studio... no way around that. The only way they will hear exactly what you hear is if their room is sound-engineered or if they use SW at their end.

    The idea of us using SW is to be able to make good decisions while creating sounds and mixing. So, if you hear that the bass is too low, is because it is really too low and not because the rug in your room is dampening it. This way, the decisions you take while creating your sounds will be based in what is really coming out of your DAW and this is the best chance you have for your work to sound great (though different) in any other environment.


    I hope I did not confuse you any further :D








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    Per Nielsen

    I just received my sonarworks today with my beyerdynamic dt 880 pro headphones calibrated.

    I think I am just as confused as Claes.

    I found out that I can turn off the safe headroom, and boost the sound a little.

    What I don't get is, am I supposed to put sonarworks on the masterbus when I start producing and click the turn on button so it is enabled, and delete sonarworks from the masterbus when I am done with the track?

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    Janis Hiestand

    Do I need to bypass the Plug-in when I'm freezing a track in Ableton?

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    Kārlis Stenders (Edited )

    Hey guys, 

    You're exactly correct Per, the Reference plug-in has to be engaged from the very beginning of the project you're working on, then bypassed for exporting the finished mix. It's a little counter intuitive at first and might take a while to get used to, but once you get the gist of it, it will all start making sense, (especially when you play the track back on other playback systems, which is the essence of the entire concept).

    You don't need to bypass the plug-in when freezing tracks in Ableton though. Frozen or not, the routing doesn't change and you still want Reference enabled on your master channel to hear the mix correctly. My guess is that you're being confused by a bug that has just been reported by a couple other users too - it looks like the render-bypass notification is falsely recognizing freezing as rendering. 

    We have yet to do  proper investigation on that for a fix, but just to be clear - if the render-bypass notification pops up when freezing tracks in Ableton, that is an issue of the software misinterpreting 'freezing' for 'rendering' - the Reference plug-in should stay ON. 

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