Exploring Mixbusses

6 distinct applications of mixbusses

In this week's edition, we're diving into the world of mixbusses. Every mixer has them, but sometimes they have a slightly different name. Mixbus, Mix, Aux, Sends are just a few ways to name the mixbus.

Let's explore six distinct applications of mixbusses:

  • Monitors (floor wedge, IEM’s, etc)

  • Speaker Sends (lobby, front fill, balcony, etc.)

  • Subwoofer Sends

  • Streaming Mix / Recording Mix

  • FX sends

  • Subgroups

Most consoles have a Pre-Fader and a Post-Fader tap point for the mixbus.


Pre-Fader sends audio from the channel to the mixbus before the channel fader. This allows for a set level to the mixbus regardless of where the channel fader is set to.

This is useful for:

  • Monitor Mixes


Post-Fader sends audio to the mixbus from the channel after the channel fader. This allows the mixbus to be adjusted as the main mix (LR Mix) is being adjusted.

This is useful for:

  • FX Sends

  • Subwoofer Sends

  • Speaker Sends

  • Streaming Mix

  • Subgroups* (see below)

1. Monitors: Personalized Audio for Performers

  • Tap Point: Pre-Fader

Mixbusses shine in creating individualized monitor mixes. By assigning each performer's mix to a separate bus, you can cater to their specific listening needs, ensuring they hear exactly what they need to deliver their best performance. This personalized approach not only improves onstage comfort, but also enhances overall sound quality.

This mixbus can handle a floor wedge/monitor, hotspot, in-ear monitor, etc.

Having this set to pre-fader will give you the ability to mix in the room without affecting the levels going to the musicians.

2. Speaker Sends: Managing Different Spaces

  • Tap Point: Post-Fader

Utilizing mixbusses for speaker sends, such as front fills or lobby speakers, allows for tailored sound distribution. You can manage audio levels and content specific to each area, ensuring clarity and consistency, whether it's the front rows or the peripheral spaces of your venue.

The front fill is a speaker that sits on the front of the stage pointing out toward the audience. Having a send just for this speaker is helpful. If you have drums on stage for instance, you might not need to amplify them in the front fill, but you can turn the rest of the mix up in that speaker to help fill in what is missing in that spot.

Another example of this would be a lobby, balcony, or mother’s room. Having a adjustable mix to these locations can give you the ability to sculpt more or less of certain channels for just this location.

3. Subwoofer Send: All About that Bass

  • Tap Point: Post-Fader

Dedicating a mixbus for subwoofer sends offers precise control over low-frequency management. This is often called an Aux Fed Subwoofer. This targeted approach allows for fine-tuning the bass response of the channels, ensuring it complements the main mix without overwhelming it. It's particularly useful in venues where managing low frequencies is challenging.

It gives you the ability to send only the channels you want to the subwoofer. Bass Guitar, Kick Drum, and Tom’s for instance are channels that produce a lot of low-frequency content, so you would want to send these to the Aux Fed Subwoofer.

4. Streaming Mix: Crafting an Online Experience

  • Tap Point: Post-Fader or Pre-Fader

With the rise of virtual events or online viewing, having a mixbus for streaming mixes is invaluable. This separate mix can be optimized for digital platforms, ensuring the home audience receives a balanced and clear audio experience that mirrors the energy of the live event.

Setting this send to Post-Fader will allow the mix from your FOH board to be translated online in your streaming mix. If you set all of the channels to +0dB for the Streaming Mix, any of your mixing moves from the channels will translate to the stream mix.

If you set this to be Pre-Fader, you can define a dedicated mix just for the online experience. This would be best if you have a dedicated person to monitor and mix this, as any of the channel fader movements would not affect the Streaming Mix.

5. FX Send: Creative Effects Use

  • Tap Point: Post-Fader

Mixbusses are ideal for effect sends, in fact most mixers have some already programmed for this use or dedicated for only effects. Whether you're adding reverb, delay, or other effects, routing channels through a dedicated FX bus allows for cohesive and controlled application of these effects, enriching the overall sound texture without cluttering the main mix.

The ideal setup for this is to have the mixbus set to Post-Fader as you would want your channel mixes to translate to the effects send. This way if Vocal 1 was leading and Vocal 2 was turned down, the FX Send would have this mix. If you set it to pre-fader, you would have to manually do this mixing on the FX Send.

6. Subgroup: Simplified Control

  • Tap Point: Post-Fader or Subgroup

Subgroups are a lifesaver for managing multiple inputs as a single unit. Grouping similar instruments or vocals on a mixbus lets you control their collective volume and tone, making it easier to maintain a balanced mix. It’s particularly effective during live events with numerous inputs. The benefit of a Subgroup is that you can add a global compression, an EQ, or an insert on this group.

Some sound boards allow for the mixbus to be set as a subgroup, but if your board doesn't have this you can do the same thing by setting the channel to post-fader and placing the mixbus send at +0dB.

When setting up channels to be a Subgroup, make sure you take those channels out of the Main LR on the channel strip, and then assign the Subgroup to the Main LR. This way the audio from the channels goes through the Subgroup then to the Main LR.

If you wanted to see how to Mix with Subgroups, check out my YouTube video on it!

Wrapping Up

The versatility of mixbusses offers endless possibilities to enhance your live sound mixing. By understanding and creatively employing these six applications, you can elevate your mixing skills to new heights, ensuring each element of your performance is heard exactly as intended.

Remember, the key to effective use of mixbusses lies in understanding the specific needs of your performance and venue. Experiment with these techniques to find the perfect blend for your next event.

Happy mixing, and until next time, keep exploring the potential of your audio tools!

Until next time,


Whenever you're ready, there are three ways I can help you:

  1. I created a range of Preset Library Downloads that will help your team get professional quality audio without the hassle of starting from scratch. Each product includes .pdfs with full documentation on how to use the preset and why each setting was made.

  2. If you’re looking for a start-to-finish way to get mixing on the Behringer X32, join my X32 Fundamentals Course. In this 6 hour self-paced video course, I’ll guide you through the five fundamentals that will help you go from overwhelmed to confident when mixing on the X32.

  3. For hands on help, schedule an Online Coaching Call with me, personally. Online sessions provide the flexibility to access personalized support while sitting in front of your own equipment and working in real time.