#1
I'm a recording newbie, can someone explain to me what busses and auxiliary tracks are, what are their purposes and how they differ from each other? In easy terms please, I've looked for a tutorial but all of them go into more than I can understand.

Thanks
#2
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

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#3
Essentially, as far as most use is concerned, they're the same thing. If we're talking about in a DAW (the digital domain) they just refer to additional tracks you can send the output (or an extra output) of a channel to, so you can process it separately or use it for other stuff.

For example, if you want to use the same reverb on several tracks - maybe you've got the perfect reverb/delay for your lead guitar tone, but have a centre track and then a left and right track for a harmonised section elsewhere in the song… well, you could just apply those plug-ins to each track and then copy the settings across for it; or you could send a signal from the three guitar tracks to a new track (aux track) where you have the reverb/delay just once, but it will effect all of the tracks sent to it… that is more efficient on your computer's CPU but also more efficient of your time, if you're working to a deadline.

You can also create another track to send the three lead guitar tracks' main outputs to, and the output of the reverb/delay track, so once you have your levels set for each track and the verb, you now have them all assigned to one fader (called 'Lead Guitar') and for the rest of the mixing session, if you need to lower or raise the volume of the lead guitar tracks at all, you just need to play with one fader/channel.


If you want the in-depth history, well it all comes from the days of analogue mixing consoles (as with most terminology in DAWs) where you would have limited equipment so you had to be intelligent about your routing/signal flow, and if you wanted to use a particular reverb or compressor for several things but only had one of that outboard device, you would place the desired tracks into an 'auxiliary group' (usually additional output buttons on the channel strip of each channel, next to the main fader and the output 1-2, and mute buttons for that channel) that you could then send through your outboard equipment, and back, with a fader for that aux group usually located next to the main output faders on the far right of the console.

An 'aux' referred to an additional sub-group you could send stuff to, as described above, and any area where you could send tracks to would typically be called a 'bus' e.g. the summing bus (where all the individual channels' outputs were 'summed' together, before becoming the main output of the console.


Hope that has helped more than it has confused you
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#4
Thanks both of you. I think I have a grasp on it now. I've actually been using this in my songs, I just thought there was more to it/didn't know exactly how it worked

How would I go about doing this; I have 2 different tracks, I want them compressed using the same setting but I want 2 different reverbs on them. I want to put reverbs on the compressed signals. Is this possible? Or can I only put reverb on the original (not compressed) signal using a pre-fader bus (I think that's the right one)?
#5
What DAW are you using? In Reaper you can set a compression VST to be triggered by another track using advanced routing.
So you would have two separate compression buss tracks, both driven by one input track, but each one handling it's own track, then to the seperate reverbs.
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#6
Quote by DaLelo
Thanks both of you. I think I have a grasp on it now. I've actually been using this in my songs, I just thought there was more to it/didn't know exactly how it worked

How would I go about doing this; I have 2 different tracks, I want them compressed using the same setting but I want 2 different reverbs on them. I want to put reverbs on the compressed signals. Is this possible? Or can I only put reverb on the original (not compressed) signal using a pre-fader bus (I think that's the right one)?

If it's only two tracks, I wouldn't bother with advanced routing. Just copy/paste the compressor onto each, then bus them to different reverbs. Of course, if you want different amount of the same reverb, you can just adjust the mix into one bus instead of making two.
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#7
Quote by MikeBmusic
What DAW are you using? In Reaper you can set a compression VST to be triggered by another track using advanced routing.
So you would have two separate compression buss tracks, both driven by one input track, but each one handling it's own track, then to the seperate reverbs.


I'm using logic. I think I kind of have an idea of what you're talking about. I'll try to find a way to do this in my DAW.

Just to clarify, you're saying this:

There are 2 tracks, Track 1 and Track 2. Track 1's signal triggers compression on bus 2, whilst also being sent to bus 1. Both busses have the same compression parameters despite being different tracks. The different busses then have different reverbs for further processing of the two different signals. Track 1 is assigned to bus 1 and track 2 is assigned to bus 2.. Is this right? Because surely then having the different effects parameters on the different tracks is easier? I must have not understood correctly.
#8
Quote by Sid McCall
If it's only two tracks, I wouldn't bother with advanced routing. Just copy/paste the compressor onto each, then bus them to different reverbs. Of course, if you want different amount of the same reverb, you can just adjust the mix into one bus instead of making two.


This is purely hypothetical. If I were to do this with 5 tracks, would advanced routing be the way to go? COuld you quickly explain that to me if you've got the time?
#9
Quote by DaLelo
This is purely hypothetical. If I were to do this with 5 tracks, would advanced routing be the way to go? COuld you quickly explain that to me if you've got the time?

It would and I don't have the experience with logic to explain it to you without the program in front of me, sorry. Someone else around here probably can though!
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#10
Quote by Sid McCall
It would and I don't have the experience with logic to explain it to you without the program in front of me, sorry. Someone else around here probably can though!


No worries, I'm sure someone else will.

One more question to anyone that can answer since I'm on this topic. I have a drum loop which is being sent on 2 buses with different effects. I also have a snare sound which is being sent to 1 of the same 2 buses. For one part of the song, I want to apply a high cut filter VST to both tracks. I want to apply it to both since the snare plays at the same time as the loop in order to compensate for/enhance the snare sound of the loop. Now, I want to filter the signal as if it was still being sent to the buses. In other words, so that the original sound still has reverb when being filtered.

How could I do this? Ie send the mix of the original signal and the bus signals to a filter for both tracks?

I realise this is quite wordy, so if someone doesn't know what I'm going on about I'll try to explain it better.