The Difference Between Buses, Auxes, Sends, and Returns


How do returns contribute to the audio signal process and how are they different from buses, auxes, and sends in PAA?

Understanding the different terminologies in the world of audio mixing is critical to achieving excellent mixing results. Among the terms that are often used in audio mixing are buses, auxes, sends, and returns. While they play crucial roles in the mixing process, their functions can get a bit confusing, especially for beginners. In this article, we’re going to break down these terms, discuss their functionalities, and how they relate to each other. Let’s begin!


A bus, in audio mixing parlance, is best defined as the path through which audio signals flow inside a mixer. You can visualize it as a highway that carries audio signals from one point of the mixer to another. There are different types of buses; each dedicated to a specific purpose. For instance, there’s a bus for all the output channels, a bus for all the input channels, and so on. Each bus can carry multiple signals concurrently without each signal affecting the other.

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