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Buses, Auxes, Sends, Returns – what is it and how are they useful?

12 May , 2016

Aux Bus

Buses, Auxes, sends and returns – what is it and how are they useful? In this article we will try to simplify the information so that each element is easily perceived. We use them in every mix.

Bus is one of the paths that collects tracks into a group. The most popular bus channel with which everyone is dealing is the master bus.

What is it convenient:

  • you can create separate “channels”, such as: kick, drums, vox, etc.
  • You can process different groups of instruments in one channel (make transitions, frequency processing, compression, and more).
  • you can adjust the volume of each group, thereby quickly build, for example, the ratio of the barrel / bass with percussion.

Aux = send / return. In working with music, this channel allows you to create a separate Aux “bus” on which you can put an effect (for example: delay or reverb), which is convenient to mix with each track in a percentage ratio.

— See also: 5 different types of reverb —

This output signal can be heard in solo mode and processed regardless of the main sounds (for example: remove unnecessary frequencies of any effect). When using the Aux bus, less computer resources are used (less CPU load), lighter and warmer mixing.


– The bus bus allows the engineer to collect tools in one track, which can be controlled separately. By compressing and equalizing a drum group, you can assemble a drum kit. This will sound more comprehensive than “collecting” instruments in different tracks.

– Aux is a promise. This bus allows you to mix reverb, which does not need to be put directly on each track. You can create some general reverb values ​​that can be mixed into each track and get a unique shade. You can also adjust the amount of reverb on each track (see your program settings). It is worth noting that it is convenient to use parallel compression on the Aux bus to compact the mix as a whole.

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