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Logic Pro: Sends, Busses & Auxes

Apple Logic Pro: Tips & Techniques By David Ricard
Published June 2024

Logic Pro: Sends, Busses & Auxes

Logic’s bussing options offer almost unlimited flexibility.

Logic Pro’s mixer has implemented busses for pretty much as long as it has been a digital audio workstation (remember, there was a time when Logic was only a MIDI sequencer). With an architecture based on that of analogue mixers, the Logic mixer is intuitive, flexible and robust. But every once in a while I need to remind myself that not everyone has been using Logic Pro for two‑plus decades, and that many Logic users aren’t dyed‑in‑the‑wool analogue console veterans. In particular, confusion can arise if you aren’t fully aware that sends, busses and aux tracks, while related, are three distinct entities in Logic.

Most hardware mixing consoles have several ‘aux send’ knobs on each channel. Each of these sends distributes signal from that channel to additional outputs on the mixer. During recording, these might feed musicians’ headphones. At the mix, they are usually connected to effects units such as reverbs. In this case, the (fully wet) reverb signal comes back into the mixer either through a dedicated effects return or into another channel, and becomes part of the mix along with the original signal. The benefit of using sends like this is is that multiple channels can access one effects unit, but with different amounts of each signal being sent to it. And, since this is how most music was mixed for the last few decades, Logic Pro adopted the same scheme in its own mixer.

Take The Bus

What’s left out of this explanation is that the pathway from the send to the reverb is called a ‘bus’. In an analogue console, these busses are hardwired to the sends, so when you turn up ‘aux 1’ you have no choice over which bus you are using. Technically you’re ‘bussing’, but the term is rarely used in this context. In the analogue world, bussing usually refers to sending a number of channels to a group, to be controlled by another ‘master’ fader.

In Logic, sends are not set in stone as they would be on a traditional mixer: each track can have a different number of sends, and those sends can have different bus assignments on each track...

DAW mixers are infinitely more flexible than their analogue counterparts. So, in Logic, sends are not set in stone as they would be on a traditional mixer: each track can have a different number of sends, and those sends can have different bus assignments on each track. The sends themselves are not numbered per se; they take on the numbers/names of the busses they...

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