Avoid these 5 pitfalls, and you’ll have nothing to worry about. They control transients effectively, which can initially make a mix sound tighter and more balanced. Depending on the software, it’s also called the master bus or stereo bus. There’s no need for three EQs, several saturators, and a few compressors. Same thing applies. Mix bus compression is the act of adding compression to your entire mix. The master fader could be assigned to adjust the level of anything. Sometimes, this can help. It could be controlling a secondary mix or hell, what can you dream up? Throwing processing on tracks for no reason. This way, you can ensure you’re hitting them at a proper level. But for the most part, this advice will hold true. They are related but different, and you just get used to the way people talk about it because at the end of the day a hit single doesn't care about which term you use. If you do mix into compression or limiting, keep a close eye (and ear) on it. In practice folks talk about them as if they are interchangable: "throw a compressor on the master fader", which is semantic nonsense. The mix bus is another name for the output of your DAW. Small moves make a massive impact. You think you’re making things better, but you’re actually making them worse. What processing do YOU like to use on your master bus? But in most cases (especially when mixing into compression) slower attack times are a better choice. Stuff you do there affects the whole mix. So again, normally the mix bus is assigned to the master fader. It’s the channel that all of the audio from a session flows into. The stereo/main mix might not necessarily go to the 'master' fader. Let me know by leaving a comment below! A bus is a a way of grouping signals (routing). Instead, apply master bus processing early on. Multiband compression has serious downsides. Try not to think of a bus and a fader that is controlling it as the same thing. I see. They’ll annihilate punch and impact, leaving you with a mix that’s flat and one-dimensional. Gearslutz members passionately debate it. For example, there will be a "master" strip for the master buss, and there will also be a master Aux section (often not a strip, but a section at the top of the mixing board) with an aux output and input and level control. But the circuit can have inserts and sends and all sorts of other fun things. It will quickly become impossible to remove, since all of your decisions will be molded around it. Somewhere along the way, engineers started thinking heavy-handed master bus processing was the key to achieving radio-ready mixes. A bus is a a way of grouping signals (routing). If you spend any time around a newer digital console this will be perfectly clear. The most popular mix bus is the basic main stereo mix bus (also called the "master bus"). In fact, mistakes made here can easily tank a great mix. To add to what you've already covered - "buss" means "circuit", and a fader is a potentiometer. Sometimes, this is what you want. Stick to conventional, single-band compression instead. If you have a spare iPad handy, you can use it as a second screen to keep key plugins open. The stereo/main mix might not necessarily go to the 'master' fader. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, More posts from the audioengineering community. This is crucial when mixing into dynamics-based processing like compression, saturation or tape emulation. Click here to get my, 5 EQ Mistakes That Are Destroying Your Mixes. You solve one problem, but create half-a-dozen others. Your Gain Staging Is Incorrect. Make sure you hit them at the correct level. You’ll get all the benefits, while avoiding unwelcome surprises down the line. And in general, the more processing you send a mix through, the smaller it will sound. There’s no reason to strap a multiband compressor across your master bus. It is most common that the primary mix bus is routed to the 'master' fader. A fader (a controller) is a way to adjust the level of a signal or a bus. In this case one (fader) controls the output voltage of the other. Whenever you’re mixing into processing, keep an eye on your gain … It had something to do with FX and automation. So if those mastering guys use it across a mix, we should too…right? A fader (a controller) is a way to adjust the level of a signal or a bus. Products, practices, and stories about the profession or hobby of recording, editing, and producing audio. Meanwhile, the mix bus is a separate group of channels that can be used for any number of reasons. Is an aux always an fx send? That is the honest answer. You'll find it on every single mixing console (usually as the last channel on the right side). I get it—the master bus is seductive. And where’s the one place you’ll likely add the most? Mix into it. For instance, the lead singer could probably care less about what the lead guitar is doing; they just want to hear themselves. I know that sometimes in broadcast, consoles get set up in very bizarre ways. Adding master bus processing at the end of a mix can upset the delicate balance you’ve spent days crafting. Whenever you’re mixing into processing, keep an eye on your gain staging. When a mix is messed up and a remix isn’t possible, mastering engineers use multiband compression to fix it. You would control the main mix (master fader) and the monitor mix (mix bus) separately so that the you (and more importantly, the audience) can hear the guitar, and the singer can hear himself through his stage monitor. It won’t turn a crappy mix into a great one. Don’t slam the master bus. In fact, many pros don’t use master bus processing at all. However, you (the sound guy) want to hear the guitar in the mix. You’ll get the benefits of dynamic control, while retaining the punch and impact of key tracks. Remember—many plugins (particularly those that model analog gear) have a sweet spot. Ready to learn how to use mix bus compression like a pro? Longer answer: The master fader, on most analog boards, controls the sum of individual channels.