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Drum Bus Routing

Postby siderealxxx » Wed Jan 20, 2021 2:48 pm

Halo there.

I typically don't work with a huge amount of drums/beats so don't have huge experience with mixing them (Logic user). I'm curious how people route when mixing in relation aux/sends/busses.

Typically I will have layers of drums on individual channels with EQ and effects etc. I will then bus sections (kick/snare/toms/metal) into aux channels and apply any group specific effects and most likely a send for reverb.

However where I'm not sure what's best is how to send all those aux and reverb channels back to a single aux where I can apply master effects (EQ/Compression/Saturation etc), ie superglue to knit it all back together.

Obviously I can just set the output of each aux channel and effect return to a new aux and i's fine, but it gets difficult to keep track of everything. Is there a better way? How do people do this?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Drum Bus Routing

Postby desmond » Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:25 pm

Summing track stacks in Logic are a pretty good way of managing this.
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Re: Drum Bus Routing

Postby blinddrew » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:12 pm

Hmm. I can tell you what I do, but I'm not sure I'd take my advice on anything so I'll wait until some of the better brains arrive! :)
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Re: Drum Bus Routing

Postby The Elf » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:12 pm

I find Logic's terminology confusing, but...

I typically route all my drums to a 'Drums' sub-group. I sometimes will sub-group my snare mic's, and sometimes my toms to sub-groups too, but then these groups will also be routed to my overall 'Drums' sub-group.

I find it pretty easy to keep track of this, at least in my DAW of choice. But then I do find the routing in Logic mind-bogglingly strange.
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Re: Drum Bus Routing

Postby desmond » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:14 pm

Logic can do all that too, but some of the newer features like track stacks have some workflow advantages...
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Re: Drum Bus Routing

Postby The Elf » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:16 pm

Oh, I know it can do it - it's just strange.
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Re: Drum Bus Routing

Postby Luke W » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:34 pm

I too find the world of Logic to be a rather odd place. I'm using it a lot more these days so I'm getting my head around it more and more, but it still makes me frown more than it makes me smile at the moment. :lol:
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Re: Drum Bus Routing

Postby CS70 » Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:44 pm

Generally I send individual tracks to individual buses "kick", "snare", "overheads", "toms".. the kick bus may receive from the dry kick, a parallel-compressed kick, and maybe a sample reinforcement generated by a synth. Same with snare, there will be the top and bottom "dry" mics but also any specific processing I want to control separately, such as a reverb - all these buses go into a "Snare" bus.

Similar to the Elf, I end up sending everything to a "Drums" bus which then contributes to the master and has a send to the glue reverb. If I have a room mic, it also contributes directly to the "Drums" bus. Nothing fancy and as I would do in a real desk.

After many attempts (read: messes) I've come to a reasonable workflow for related work as well: corrective effects are made on the tracks (hi-passes, for example, but also any little equalization for resonance or stuff I don't like and stuff like console/tape emulations), and so is overheads panning (snare and others, on the buses). "Creative" work is usually done on the summing buses and so are rides. If I want more edge on the drums, I can then process the drum bus as a whole.

Finally, I tend to color-code all related tracks (drums are, for some reason, pink) so it's easy to work on the large number of buses by just glancing.
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Re: Drum Bus Routing

Postby siderealxxx » Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:50 pm

desmond wrote:Summing track stacks in Logic are a pretty good way of managing this.

Thanks, I'll take a proper look at this. At some point a few years back I stopped paying attention to half of the new features in Logic. I must be getting old...
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Re: Drum Bus Routing

Postby desmond » Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:01 am

Track stacks are simply a way to have one self-contained channel strip that consists of multiple other channel strips inside it.

(A bit like having a bunch of channels, say individual drum mics all outputting to one aux/group channel - the whole drum bus).

As an example, let's say you have a nice synth sound - it consists of three plugins, on three different channels, and some of those are bussed to an aux channel with some reverb. You have four mixer channels - three instruments, and an aux channel, to make that sound.

A summing track stack simply means that you have one channel in the mixer, that contains the output/mix of all those four channels (hence the "summing" nature - you can have non-summing ones that behave a bit like folders too), and can be treated like one channel in the mixer (plugins put on it, routed etc just like any other audio channel).

A click of the disclosure triangle reveals the channels "inside" the track stack, so you can process them individually too.

And you can save that as a Patch, so you can with one click call up your three synths + reverb sound.

It's convenient as it lets you hide the clutter of the individual channels that make up the track, and treat them as one thing, while at the same time, easily letting you reveal and get at the individual channels inside

Image

Logic has all the usual buss/aux routing, VCA faders and so on just like the other DAWs if you prefer to work that way. I use a combination of both, but track stacks are nice as they let you simplify the clutter of multiple channels to a bus, and keep related tracks together in a self-contained way, while losing nothing of the flexibility of the individual channels.
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Re: Drum Bus Routing

Postby siderealxxx » Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:34 am

desmond wrote:Track stacks are simply a way to have one self-contained channel strip that consists of multiple other channel strips inside it.

Thanks for the explanation and example. This does look neat (my OCD likes organistaion!). I will def give this a go.
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Re: Drum Bus Routing

Postby siderealxxx » Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:35 am

CS70 wrote:(drums are, for some reason, pink)

Drums are blue! Pink?! Whatever next.
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Re: Drum Bus Routing

Postby siderealxxx » Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:35 am

Nice there's a still a forum where you can ask sensible questions and get sensible answers btw!
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Re: Drum Bus Routing

Postby CS70 » Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:13 pm

siderealxxx wrote:
CS70 wrote:(drums are, for some reason, pink)

Drums are blue! Pink?! Whatever next.

I would tend to agree, and nevertheless... :lol:
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Re: Drum Bus Routing

Postby Matt Houghton » Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:41 pm

siderealxxx wrote:Drums are blue! Pink?! Whatever next.

You're both wrong, of course...
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