What are some of the reasons to bus on mixdown? I am not talking about tracking. It seems to be a big pain in the arse for me for a couple of reasons and I cant see any advantage, so I need some big pros who have worked on big 16 or 24 bus consoles to explain in to me. My Mackies buses are noisy and obviously degrade the sound (extra noise even at unity) as opposed to just inserting a couple of compressors on individual channels.

Ethan Winer

Well-Known Member
Mar 19, 2001
New Milford, CT USA

> What are some of the reasons to bus on mixdown? <

The main reason is to be able to control several tracks with one fader. If you put all of your drum tracks (snare, kick, overheads, etc.) onto a bus, you can then use the bus fader as the overall drum volume control. This works for background vocals too. If you have four tracks of oohs and aahs, assigning them to one bus makes it easy to ride the levels during mixdown.

> My Mackies buses are noisy and obviously degrade the sound <

That shouldn't be! Either you have less than optimum volume levels going through the board, or maybe there's something physically wrong with your Mackie.



There are a number of reasons for busing during mix, one of which is audio subgrouping (already mentioned) to control a group of vocals or instruments with one or two faders. This works well if you have no fader grouping on your mixer, but anytime you send the signal through additional electronics, you theoretically degrade the signal. The degradation may or may not be something that is desired.

I like to use audio subgrouping for dynamics processing. With the kit (or BGV's or Strings or etc.....) grouped to a mono channel or stereo pair, I can do over-all compression and eq to get it to sit in the mix better.

Another reason might be to do sub-mixes to a DA-88 or back to the multi-track so re-mixes are easier. For example, a client may want a re-mix with just the BGV's louder. If you have the mix sub-mixed to four stereo pairs (one being the BGV's), it is much easier to give the client what he/she/they wants without spending a whole day re-mixing.

Dave g Link removed