Your mix usually ends up sounding smaller. So if those mastering guys use it across a mix, we should too…right? In fact, many pros don’t use master bus processing at all. The most popular mix bus is the basic main stereo mix bus (also called the "master bus"). 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. If you crush things, there’s often no way back. What is a master bus? There was a reason he assigned all the tracks to a mix buss aux instead of the master. Regardless of how many busses are present on a mixer, there will always be a master-level control somewhere on the board. The master fader could be assigned to adjust the level of anything. Multiband compression has serious downsides. It’s the channel that all of the audio from a session flows into. I know that sometimes in broadcast, consoles get set up in very bizarre ways. And where’s the one place you’ll likely add the most? Yes—mastering engineers use multiband compression. If you spend any time around a newer digital console this will be perfectly clear. Ready to learn how to use mix bus compression like a pro? You solve one problem, but create half-a-dozen others. When a mix is messed up and a remix isn’t possible, mastering engineers use multiband compression to fix it. “What’s on your master bus” has become a pickup line among engineers. If you have a spare iPad handy, you can use it as a second screen to keep key plugins open. Is this ringing any bells? It’s also one of the best places to screw things up. If your mix sounds bad, figure out what’s wrong. In this case one (fader) controls the output voltage of the other. So again, normally the mix bus is assigned to the master fader. Press J to jump to the feed. Remember—many plugins (particularly those that model analog gear) have a sweet spot. no. In practice folks talk about them as if they are interchangable: "throw a compressor on the master fader", which is semantic nonsense. What processing do YOU like to use on your master bus? You think you’re making things better, but you’re actually making them worse. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. I see. Let me know by leaving a comment below! New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, More posts from the audioengineering community. On the other hand, don’t hit it too quietly. A bus is a a way of grouping signals (routing). Depending on the software, it’s also called the master bus or stereo bus. They’ll annihilate punch and impact, leaving you with a mix that’s flat and one-dimensional. Splitting a mix into multiple bands and processing them independently can create phase problems and artifacts. Meanwhile, the mix bus is a separate group of channels that can be used for any number of reasons. You’ll get all the benefits, while avoiding unwelcome surprises down the line. Whenever you’re mixing into processing, keep an eye on your gain … But since posting this I found a video on youtube (can't find it now) that was talking about the mix buss. To add to what you've already covered - "buss" means "circuit", and a fader is a potentiometer. It had something to do with FX and automation. In fact, mistakes made here can easily tank a great mix. Avoid these 5 pitfalls, and you’ll have nothing to worry about. You’ll get the benefits of dynamic control, while retaining the punch and impact of key tracks. Sometimes, this is what you want. Your Gain Staging Is Incorrect. It can also destroy the natural dynamics of individual tracks. Try not to think of a bus and a fader that is controlling it as the same thing. They control transients effectively, which can initially make a mix sound tighter and more balanced. Small moves make a massive impact. Every guest on Pensado’s Place gets asked about it. If you do mix into compression or limiting, keep a close eye (and ear) on it. And in general, the more processing you send a mix through, the smaller it will sound. Levels often creep up during a mix, which can quickly lead to over-compression. A fader (a controller) is a way to adjust the level of a signal or a bus. There’s no need for three EQs, several saturators, and a few compressors. Stick to conventional, single-band compression instead.