Although the wide variety of routing and EQ controls may seem intimidating at first, the controls for each track are identical, so once you’ve learned one, you’ve learned them all.
Show or hide track routing and EQ controls
A. Editor panel B. Mixer
Dragging the right border of the track controls to reveal more or less detail
On the left side of the Mixer, click the Show/Hide triangle for one or more sets of controls.
In the upper left corner of the Editor panel, click the button for Inputs/Outputs , Effects , Sends , or EQ .
Tip: In the Editor panel, drag the right or bottom border of the track controls to show more or less detail.
For more information, see Vertically zoom tracks.
Assign audio inputs and outputs to tracks
From the Input menu, choose a hardware input.
From the Output menu, choose a bus, the Master track, or a hardware output.
The list of available hardware ports is determined by settings in the Audio Hardware preferences. (See Configure audio inputs and outputs.)
If a pair of stereo inputs such as overhead drum microphones are out‑of‑phase, you’ll hear duller sound and a narrower stereo image. To correct the problem, invert the polarity of one the inputs.
To understand audio phase, see How sound waves interact.
Routing audio to buses, sends, and the Master track
Buses, sends, and the Master track let you route multiple track outputs to one set of controls. With these combined controls, you can efficiently organize and mix a session.
To save the output of an audio, bus, or Master track to a file, see Export multitrack mixdown files.
A. Vocal B. Reverb bus receiving vocal and guitar sends C. Guitar D. Drums bus combining drum outputs E. Bass outputting direct to hardware F. Master track G. Hardware outputs
With bus tracks, you can combine the outputs of several audio tracks or sends and control them collectively. For example, to control the volume of multiple drum tracks with a single fader, output all the tracks to one bus. Or, to optimize system performance, apply a single reverb effect to a bus track, and then output sends from multiple tracks to that bus. (Individually applying the same reverb to multiple tracks would inefficiently use CPU resources.)
Although bus tracks lack a hardware input, they have all the other features of audio tracks. You can apply effects and equalization and automate your changes over time. For most mixes, you’ll output buses to hardware ports or the Master track. If you need to combine buses, however, you can even output them to other buses.
A. Drum kit bus B. Hand drum bus C. Combined drums bus outputting to either the Master track or hardware
Sends let you route audio from a track to multiple buses, creating tremendous signal‑routing flexibility. Each track provides up to 16 sends, which you configure independently from the track output. For example, you can output an unprocessed track directly to a hardware port, but output Send 1 to a reverb bus and Send 2 to a headphone bus. (A headphone bus lets performers hear a unique mix during recording. Drummers, for example, may prefer a louder bass track.)
A. Send 1 outputs to delay bus B. Send 2 outputs to reverb bus C. Master track combines vocal, guitar, delay, and reverb outputs
A session always contains one Master track, so you can easily combine the outputs of multiple tracks and buses and control them with a single fader. Because the Master track exists at the very end of the signal path, it offers fewer routing options than audio and bus tracks. The Master track can’t directly connect to audio inputs, or output to sends or buses; it can only output directly to hardware ports.
A. Editor panel B. Mixer
Set up a send
When you set up a send, you determine the volume and stereo pan it outputs to an assigned bus. You also place the send either pre‑ or post‑fader. Pre‑fader sends aren’t affected by track volume; post‑fader sends are. (For example, if you output a pre‑fader send to a reverb bus, the reverb continues after you fade out dry audio. If you instead output a post‑fader send, the reverb fades out in unison with dry audio.)
A. Input B. EQ C. Track volume D. Track mute E. Send F. Effects Rack
For more information, see Insert effects before or after sends and EQ.
Double-click the graph to access detailed controls in the Track EQ window. (See Parametric Equalizer effect.)
Click the EQ Power button to compare audio with and without equalization.