I've been talking with some good folks in the Cakewalk Facebook user group. I was wondering if anyone knew of a way to bypass all instances of any given plugin across all tracks in a mix. In particular, this would be very useful for anyone using Channel Strip plugins, where it is the overall cumulative effect of the plugin that has such an amazing analog sounding impact on the final mix. Being able to A/B the before and after by bypassing all instances of the channel strip plugin as a group would allow the user to hear the full effect. ProTools and Reaper both do this, I'm not certain about other DAWs. Cakewalk has several unique ways of bypassing fx, but they all amount to the same thing, which is bypassing all plugins within an FX Rack on a single track, or bypassing all FX altogether, either via the Bypass all Audio FX button in the control bar, or the Bypass All FX Racks of This Type function within any of the FX Racks. It seems to me that perhaps the latter one is either a bug, or is entirely redundant. Would it be possible to create a Bypass All Instances of This Plugin function?
I found one workaround, which involves adding an FX Chain module within the ProChannels and adding the channel strip plugin there. In this case, I am able to bypass all FX Chain Modules together by selecting all affected tracks and doing a ctrl-select bypass on the FX chain module. This is far from ideal, obviously because where the plugin sits in the plugin chain matters. To do it right, I could add a second FX chain module either before or after the one I am using for the Channel Strip plugin and move all the plugins from the FX Rack of each channel into the FX Chain of their respective ProChannel. This is an extremely convoluted way of doing something that should be simple and easy straight-away from the FX Racks of the Channels.
One idea I thought of would be to add the ability to add multiple FX Racks to individual tracks. This would then give us the ability to use the Bypass All FX Racks of This Type function perhaps the way it was intended? It would solve the issue, in any case and would add the ability group plugins together and separate from other groups of plugins. I can see where this might also be useful for enabling the bypassing of groups of stem limiters, or groups of saturation plugins, or groups of compressors to hear how they are impacting the mix cumulatively.
Anyway, one kind and knowledgeable user in the FB group mentioned this discussion forum as being a good place to suggest the idea. I had no idea this forum even existed until today, and I've been using Calkwalk since it was acquired by Bandlab, lol. I look forward to hearing others thoughts, and whether or not this is a doable or desirable addition to Cakewalks already impressive array of functions. Cheers.