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The Dry, The Wet and The Group Bus - understanding channels in a mix

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The Dry, The Wet and The Group Bus - understanding channels in a mix

Postby george_vel » Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:20 pm

Guys,

I am trying to understand better how to control the contribution of different channels in a mix.

In Mike Senior's book I read about a technique for balancing compressed track that goes like this:
1. uncompressed channel is send to a bus for parallel compression
2. now we have two channels of the same track - one uncompressed (dry) and compressed (wet) that are audible in the mix (depending on their levels)
3. if dry or wet need to go up, dialing with channel faders will increase also the loudness of the track in the mix
4. the suggestion is to send these two channels into a third one (a group channel), where with one fader both dry and wet signals to be used for balancing in the mix

Now, my question is how do I prevent the dry and wet channels to continue be audible in the mix, but use only the group channel for the purpose?

At the end, I am having already 3 channels for the same track.
The ideal situation would be that with the dry and wet faders I manage the mix of uncompressed with compressed sound, while how much of this blended sound goes in the mix is decided by the group fader. But I am not sure how to achieve this.

Do I need to control this with the volume knobs of dry/wet channels telling what levels go to the group channel (and then turning their faders way down to exclude them from the mix)? Or this can be managed with pre-faders? Or combination of both? :roll:
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Re: The Dry, The Wet and The Group Bus - understanding channels in a mix

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:32 pm

The easiest way of doing this is to use a compressor plugin that include a mix control, so you can adjust the wet/dry compression balanced (ie, how much parallel or uplift compression you have) from the plugin directly. The channel fader than controls how much of the processed signal appears in the final mix.

An alternative simple solution is to duplicate the source track. Route the original (dry) track direct to a bus, and the bus to the final mix. On the duplicate track channel, insert the compressor and route that (wet) channel to the bus. You can now adjust the wet dry balance using the two channel faders, and the overall contribution of processed channel to the mix with the bus fader.
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Re: The Dry, The Wet and The Group Bus - understanding channels in a mix

Postby george_vel » Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:43 pm

Hmm, then maybe it’s an Audition case, because when I send a channel to a bus, the original continues to be heard along with the bus (not a full send so to say).

Definitely I’ll bet on Reaper. :D

I’ll check for dry/wet settings in my compressor, maybe I’ve missed it...
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Re: The Dry, The Wet and The Group Bus - understanding channels in a mix

Postby desmond » Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:47 pm

george_vel wrote:Hmm, then maybe it’s an Audition case, because when I send a channel to a bus, the original continues to be heard along with the bus (not a full send so to say).

Set the output of the channel to the bus, don't use a send to a bus.

If you're not sure of the difference, it's a fundamental mixer routing thing, play with it because you should understand this. :thumbup:
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Re: The Dry, The Wet and The Group Bus - understanding channels in a mix

Postby george_vel » Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:52 pm

desmond wrote:
george_vel wrote:Hmm, then maybe it’s an Audition case, because when I send a channel to a bus, the original continues to be heard along with the bus (not a full send so to say).

Set the output of the channel to the bus, don't use a send to a bus.

If you're not sure of the difference, it's a fundamental mixer routing thing, play with it because you should understand this. :thumbup:

:headbang: :thumbup:
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Re: The Dry, The Wet and The Group Bus - understanding channels in a mix

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Mar 01, 2021 5:11 pm

george_vel wrote:Hmm, then maybe it’s an Audition case, because when I send a channel to a bus, the original continues to be heard along with the bus (not a full send so to say).

Audition's multitrack mixer isn't entirely straightforward, and its bussing scheme is more like an aux send. So, you need to set the bus send to pre-fade, and then turn down the source channel's fader to prevent that channel's output being routed to the master as well as the output from the bus.

Reaper handles bussing in a far more conventional way...
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Re: The Dry, The Wet and The Group Bus - understanding channels in a mix

Postby blinddrew » Mon Mar 01, 2021 5:15 pm

On Reaper (sorry Desmond!) there's a little tick box in each track routing box that says 'send to master' and you just un-tick that if you only want the output that goes from whatever send(s) you have set up.
Not sure if audition has something as simple?
Otherwise, follow Desmond or Hugh's advice.

This is usually a good move. ;)
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Re: The Dry, The Wet and The Group Bus - understanding channels in a mix

Postby CS70 » Mon Mar 01, 2021 6:15 pm

george_vel wrote:Guys,

I am trying to understand better how to control the contribution of different channels in a mix.

In Mike Senior's book I read about a technique for balancing compressed track that goes like this:
1. uncompressed channel is send to a bus for parallel compression
2. now we have two channels of the same track - one uncompressed (dry) and compressed (wet) that are audible in the mix (depending on their levels)
3. if dry or wet need to go up, dialing with channel faders will increase also the loudness of the track in the mix
4. the suggestion is to send these two channels into a third one (a group channel), where with one fader both dry and wet signals to be used for balancing in the mix

Now, my question is how do I prevent the dry and wet channels to continue be audible in the mix, but use only the group channel for the purpose?

Most DAWs will allow you to route the track to buses - as opposite to set up a send and keep routing them to master.

"send" is used often both for routing and an actual send (with a separate level and panning control) since it's usually clear from the context.
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Re: The Dry, The Wet and The Group Bus - understanding channels in a mix

Postby george_vel » Mon Mar 01, 2021 6:24 pm

Thanks for all advices - you’re great as usual!

At the end, it’s a device (human) driver error for not knowing well its DAW :mrgreen:

I am at the end of my current project and don’t want to change the DAW now, but after it’s finished, I am moving to Reaper.
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