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Mixing with a Back Buss
Old 6th August 2014
Gear Addict

Mixing with a Back Buss

I haven't found much info on this technique. Even if you have links/articles that would be great.

I have read in a few interviews lately that some mixers use a "back buss" on their mixes. From what I gather, this is a parallel buss that you feed in whatever tracks you want, and EQ/compress in a different way...then blend it in. It seems it is often "drums and bass" in there. This is for rock band mixes.

My questions are, what does this achieve, how much blend is often used, and how extreme are the EQ/compression settings?

For example, do you feed in only the drum shells to this buss, and the bass guitar...then compress like mad so that the drums "pop" more for attack and suck down the bass for a moving and pumping feeling? Do you take the low end off this buss so that it doesn't de-stabilize the bass of the mix? Or is it used for distortions and weird vibe in there? I know these may all be possibilities, but if anyone has had success/failure with these ideas I'd love to know where to start.

As well I have a workflow question. If you send tracks to this buss post-volume pot, then when you bring up the buss volume then those instruments would be louder in the mix. So you turn them down at their source...which reduces their send to the buss. An annoying balancing act. If you get around this by sending to the buss pre-volume knob, then your fader rides won't translate to the buss. What is a good workflow?
Old 7th August 2014
Lives for gear

Well I have never heard "back buss" used...but if it is in fact parralell processing then generally you would do that with specific "like" instruments
ie. keeps drums together...don't add bass or anything else.

There are many ways do use this technique but usually I see it used on drums...and you would send the entire drum mix to a stereo buss and compress the crap out of it...just crunch it down to a point where you would never use it that way on its own...then start blending it in to taste with the original drum mix...the goal in this particular process is to get the drums sounding really punchy while still maintaining the dynamics of the original drum mix.

Same could be done for guitars and vocals if you wish. But generally speaking though, I wouldn't put the bass in with the drums...but you could always try it and maybe you'll like it.
Old 7th August 2014
Gear Addict

Here's a couple of the interview things I was talking about, both are from David Ben. I know he's a member here so if you see this thread I'd love to hear a little bit more...I love the energy you get on such thick mixes!

The Modern Producer | David Ben: Interview

David Ben : SonicScoop – Creative, Technical & Business Connections For NYC’s Music & Sound Community
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