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All right, so I'm going to close this Podcast file I've been working with up to this point in this chapter. I'm just basically going to select everything in the Files panel and click the Trash icon to clear that all out. And let's open up another multitrack session. I have one on my Desktop, and I'll use the Media Browser in this case just for a change. Out on my Desktop I've got a Breakdown Mode folder, and in there is a Breakdown_Mode session file. I'll open that up. So this is a rough mix of a complete song, and it comprises 31 tracks. I'll just compress this a little bit so you can see all the tracks in here.
So we've got drum tracks, bass guitar, keys, vocals, background vocals, and so on. Let me go ahead and play about a minute of this for you. (music playing) Switch over to the mixer.
(music playing) So as you can see, we've got a lot going on here in this multitrack session.
Let me scroll down a bit here in the Multitrack Editor. Now here under the Lead Vocal track is where I'll find all the backing vocal tracks. We have some tracks that double the lead during the course. We've got Verse background tracks, Verse BLs. We've got tracks labeled Oohs and we've got Chorus background vocals. Now in this particular session we have separate tracks for the left and right channels of all the backing vocals. Notice how each one is either hard panned left or hard panned right. Scroll up a little bit so you can see, for example, Oohs L and Oohs R, they're panned hard left and hard right.
Let me use these as an example. I'm just going to Solo both of these tracks, and I'll play a little bit so you can hear how each one is panned hard left and hard right. (music playing) So that's just the right. This is just the left.
So these vocals are pretty much meant to sound nearly the same as each other, and chances are I want to mix both of them at the same level relative to the rest of the song. So if while mixing I wanted to bring them up or down, I'd have to first adjust the volume of one of them, maybe I drag that down 3 or 4 decibels, in this case -3.6 dB, and I have to use the same thing to the right track. You can see I kind of have to nudge to this or maybe I even might come in here just type in that value, so I can match them exactly. Now even worse if I wanted to add an affect to this backing vocals, may be I'll switch to the Effects track here and to this track I want to add some Reverb, so these Convolution Reverb, I'll just use that default setting.
But the point is I'd first have to figure out the setting for the Reverb that I want to apply, and then I have to do the same thing for the second track, like so. And maybe after listening to the overall effect, I don't want to make other adjustments. So any adjustments that I want to make, I'd have to do twice as well. So you can see how this would become really tedious and would be a really inefficient way of working. I'm just going to open up my History panel here, and let's go back to the way it was when it opens. When it opens I can undo these effects. Now here's an easier way.
I'm going to switch over to view the Input/Output control for the tracks and I'm going to expand the height of my tracks, so I can see both the Input and the Output menus. Now you may recall from earlier that the default output of each track is the Master Channel. All the tracks are mixed to the Master Channel which you can then use to adjust the overall volume, add effects to the entire project, and so on. But you can also route the audio from any track elsewhere before it heads over to the Master track. So for Oohs L I'm going to choose Bus > Add Bus, and I'll make this a Stereo Bus.
That creates what's called a Bus Track or Bus Group. Right now, it's called Bus A, but I'm just going to rename this, let's called this the Oohs Bus. Now these Bus Tracks are special tracks, you can't drag audio files to them and you can't record directly to them. Notice there's no Record Enable button here. Also notice it's a slightly different color and it has a different icon up here next to its name. It kind of represents multiple signals coming into one track. So Buses are used to control multiple tracks at once. And now you can see that instead of going to the Master Channel, the audio from Oohs L is being routed to the Oohs Bus.
I'll scroll down and do the same thing for the Oohs R track. I'll send that to the Bus and now I can send it to the Bus that already exists, right there. So now both the Left and Right Oohs tracks are being sent to the Oohs Bus. Now I'm just going to drag this down so it's below both the Left and Right channel, but that's just a personal preference of mine. So you can see we have Oohs L, Oohs R, and then Oohs Bus. So now any effects volume level changes and so on that I make to the Bus Group will be applied to every track that's sending its output through it, in this case the two Oohs tracks.
So I'll hit Play again, and then I'm going to increase the gain of the Bus Track and you'll hear both Oohs coming up. (music playing) So it's much easier to control the volume of these two independent tracks now. I can still go to each individual track and make changes, like if I wanted to push the left vocal back a bit for some reason, I can still do that and now they'll still maintain the relative level to each other, but I can still control both of them using the Bus Track.
Similarly I can now add effects to the Bus Group and that effect will be applied to any tracks going through it. If I switch to Effects, I can go back in, add my Reverb again, and now you should be able to hear that effect applied to both tracks. (music playing) And I want to bring that up again now. (music playing) I can toggle that on an off for both tracks. Another nice thing about Bus Groups is that you can quickly Mute and Solo all of the tracks going through the group.
So I can Mute them both simultaneously or even Solo them simultaneously. (music playing) So that's how to create a Bus Group. Just route the output of any tracks you want to group together into the same Bus and then the Bus sends its output to the Master Channel. So you can see right now the Output is set to Master, although you could also send it to yet another Bus if you need to. Some people create submixes this way. For example, I've got three other types of backing vocals in this session, each one is split to left and right channels.
I can make things easy on myself by creating a Bus for each one and then route all four into a Master backing vocals Bus. Or maybe I want to create a submix of all the drum tracks, so I'll be able to mix the drums, but then just have one fader on the drums Bus to bring all the drums up and down in the mix. I'm not going to do that right now, but I think you can see the advantage of a workflow like that and if you have access to the exercise files, you're welcome to take this multitrack session and try creating a couple more Buses on your own.
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