You may hear terms like “analog summing”, or “bussing out” or “routing” as techniques for mixing your songs. It doesn’t matter what DAW you use, most have the ability to group tracks together so you can process individual tracks, and groups of tracks together.
In Logic Pro X, these are called “Track Stacks” and you simply highlight the tracks you want to “buss out” to a “summing” track, click Tracks->Create Track Stack -> Summing Stack.
Here’s how I setup my projects and you can download a Logic Pro X template below.
Why I do this:
To process just the rhythm section:
- make a tight, punchy sounding rhythm section by using a transient shaper (Enveloper in Logic) to create more attack on all the drums
- ‘glue’ the drums and bass together
- soften the whole rhythm section
To make lead guitars stand out more:
- Side chain the rhythm guitars to the lead guitar summing track so the rhythm guitars will lower in volume whenever a lead part plays
- To automate frequencies during guitar solos. For example, I may increase the gain (boost) in the 1K to 4K range for the guitar solo track and lower the gain (cut) in the 1K to 4K range on the rhythm and acoustic guitar busses to make the lead stand out more
- Use any type of automation for effects, volume control, panning and more
To make vocals stand out more
- use Waves Vocal Rider, or side-chain compression to increase the volume of the lead vocals (or reduce the ‘instruments)
- to more easily blend the backing vocals and lead vocals
The possibilities are endless and despite what some Youtubers say, there is absolutely not a right way to do this. It’s up to you to find the workflow that fits your style and the type of music you’re creating.