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Can someone explain BUS to me?
Old 14th September 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
Can someone explain BUS to me?

I am obviously new to recording, but I am/have always been curious about sending things to and from a BUS channel. I only record a few tracks when I record. A vocal track or 2 with a miced acoustic is usually all I'm dealing with. I usually just individually eq, compress, add reverb to each track and mix it. I like the results but I always here people in posts say things like "just send it to a BUS" or "place the reverb on a BUS". I've read a few books and even tried to set up a BUS track with reverb and send stuff to it but it always gets a little over my head. so my question

At the most basic level what is a BUS channel (even sure if that is how you phrase it) and what is the basic use for it? What plugins do you usually put in this channel? Is it poor form not to use them if you are only dealing with a few tracks like me? and what benefit do they give you in mixing?

Thanks
Old 14th September 2011
  #2
A 'BUSS' is simply a destination for audio signals. It can come from 1 or many sources. You can have a mix buss, aux buss, sub-buss, for example, but all are destinations. Think a funnel into a jar. You 'pour' audio into it. Now you can 'pour' this collected audio into another 'jar' or buss if you want to, or you can 'pour' the audio from the 'jar' (buss) into a final audio file and you're done. This would be a mix buss. The power and flexibility of all this is that the audio in the 'jar' (buss) can have processing added to it that would have been too difficult or impractical to add to every track or channel otherwise. You can also send, let's say, drums tracks to a sub buss, and control and process that buss easily which then feeds a mix buss.
Make sense?
Old 14th September 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 
quadrafunk's Avatar
 

In a daw, a buss is a "track" you create that you can "bus" or "send" audio tracks to.

As Bill was saying, you can have a drum bus (track) that you "send" all of your individual drum tracks to for "group" processing. That may be some additional eq or compression to tighten up those elements to sound more together.

The Buss is often called an "Aux" or a "Group".
Old 14th September 2011
  #4
Gear Maniac
Love the explanation! thanks. It makes good sense to me now and I will have to play around with this.

Just so I have a starting point. What do people usually put on an aux or BUSS track? Or what are some of the most practical/helpful uses for these tracks? Specifically related to recorded acoustic guitar tracks and vocals as that is pretty much all I track.

I would imagine reverb or delays? I use cubase 6 and record a couple vocals tracks and an acoustic with 2 mics. total of 4 to five tracks so not many.
Old 14th September 2011
  #5
Gear Addict
 
rynugz007's Avatar
 

Well, you have a couple mics on yer acoustic, right? You could send the main outs from both of those acoustic tracks to a stereo bus (or group track as it's called in cubase). Then u could control both acoustic tracks w one fader and apply processing to the group track (which would affect every channel that's being fed into it). same w vocal harmonies, u can control volume,EQ and process all your background harmonies w one bus (group track).

An effect bus (or effect track/effect channel or whatever its called in cubase) is similar except that u would use your channel sends to send signal to it (instead of channel outputs). This way the dry signal from your original track is still going into the mix and u have control over the wetness via the channel/track send level.

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Old 14th September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Hi,
You're right, reverb for example is very common on an aux track.
Let's say there's a plate you like and want to apply to many tracks on your session, just put it on an auxiliary track as an insert, make sure it's 100% wet (so just the effected signal will come out) and set a bus as input (let's rename it "plate bus"). Then if you want the FX on your lead vox, just put a send to the "plate bus" from you lead vox track and set its level to adjust the intensity. With the send level at -inf your vocs will be dry and at 0dBFS they will be 50dry/50wet (as you'll have the same level on both tracks, lead vox/plate).
Then just use sends on any track you want.
That's a great way to save some CPU power, as you only use one reverb plug to deal with multiple tracks, it's also very useful for parallel compression, etc...
Hope this helps,
A.
Old 14th September 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
I would imagine reverb or delays? I use cubase 6 and record a couple vocals tracks and an acoustic with 2 mics. total of 4 to five tracks so not many.
Can be useful with a few tracks also, you could split the signal and apply different EQ/FX (lows and highs on your GTR takes for example), bring in some heavy compression blended with the original vocals... imagination is your limit!
A.
Old 14th September 2011
  #8
Gear Maniac
Can't thank you all anough for the your time and info. very useful information for me
Old 17th September 2011
  #9
Here for the gear
 
CtotheT's Avatar
 

This is a good thread, i have always had issues with understanding a bus. But i still don't understand too well. Is there any advantage of putting tracks onto the bus and processing them that way to simply copying processes onto tracks that you would have put into a bus?
Or do i still not understand this? :P
Old 18th September 2011
  #10
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quadrafunk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CtotheT View Post
Is there any advantage of putting tracks onto the bus and processing them that way to simply copying processes onto tracks that you would have put into a bus?
Let's say you have 6 mono tracks of background vocals. It's 3 parts sung twice and panned L/R. You most likely will do some eq to each track and maybe a little compression, but this a perfect opportunity to create a BG_vox "buss" and send the output of all 6 background vocals to this buss.

Placing a compressor on the buss will help to "tighten" up all the backgrounds vs and individual comp on each background.

Another advantage is being able to increase/decrease the volume of the BG_vox group all at once as well as the individual channels. Helps a lot with fine tuning in relationship to the lead vox.
Old 19th September 2011
  #11
Here for the gear
 

BUS-a common signal caring path, AKA routing matrix on a mixing desk. In pro tool a "bus" is an aux pre/post fader
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