What is a Bus?

A bus is a signal path onto which one or many audio signals are combined to arrive at a common place for further processing. In the earliest days of analog circuitry, a “bus” was simply a wire onto which a number of signals were summed together, and then directed to the next stage of processing.

In digital audio, the electrical wire is replaced by a series of numbers representing a signal that is the arithmetic sum of a number of individual signals. This final value is then passed to the next processing stage.

Buses are typically used for these fundamental mixing tasks:

  1. Combining multiple signals onto the “master bus”, or main mix which feeds your speakers or headphones.
  2. Making a monitor mix, similar (but not necessarily identical) to the master bus, in which an artist can hear themselves and other musicians.
  3. Combining a subset of similar signals into a subgroup or “group bus”: for example you can make a bus that combines the drum tracks into a Drum Bus.
  4. Developing a secondary (effects or aux) mix, which is then processed with an effect such as reverb. For example you can “send” multiple signals to a single reverb effect, with varying levels.

How do I use buses in Mixbus?

Mixbus has a built-in bus summing structure that is very similar to an analog mixing console. Visit Sends Section to learn more.

Mixbus also has the ability to create an arbitrary number of “buses” ( some DAWs call these Aux Tracks, or Inputs ) from the “New Track/Bus” dialog. You can connect these buses in various ways via the the channel input, outputs, and “sends” mechanism. You can learn more about this in the DAW-Style Mixing Buses section.

However, we encourage users to focus on the provided mixbus summing architecture, which operates like an analog console. In most cases, this will result in the easiest, fastest, and best-sounding operation. This bussing structure is what makes Mixbus special.


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