Aux Send – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Recording Techniques Glossary

I. What is an Aux Send?

An Aux Send, short for auxiliary send, is a feature found on mixing consoles and audio interfaces that allows the user to send a portion of a signal from one channel to another destination. This destination can be an external effects processor, a monitor mix, or a separate recording track. Aux Sends are commonly used in recording studios and live sound setups to add effects, create monitor mixes for performers, or route signals to different outputs.

II. How does an Aux Send work in a recording setup?

In a recording setup, an Aux Send works by sending a copy of the signal from a channel on the mixing console to an external destination. This destination could be a reverb unit, delay pedal, or even a separate recording track. The amount of signal sent to the Aux Send is controlled by a knob on the channel strip, allowing the user to blend the original signal with the processed signal.

III. What are the different types of Aux Sends?

There are typically two types of Aux Sends found on mixing consoles: pre-fader and post-fader. Pre-fader Aux Sends send a copy of the signal before it reaches the channel fader, allowing the user to control the level of the Aux Send independently of the channel fader. Post-fader Aux Sends, on the other hand, send a copy of the signal after it has passed through the channel fader, meaning that changes to the channel fader will also affect the level of the Aux Send.

IV. When should Aux Sends be used in recording?

Aux Sends should be used in recording when adding effects to a signal, creating monitor mixes for performers, or routing signals to different outputs. For example, if you want to add reverb to a vocal track, you would send a copy of the vocal signal to an Aux Send that is connected to a reverb unit. This allows you to blend the dry vocal signal with the wet reverb signal to achieve the desired effect.

V. How can Aux Sends enhance a recording mix?

Aux Sends can enhance a recording mix by allowing the user to add effects to individual channels without affecting the original signal. This gives the user more control over the sound of each channel and allows for creative effects processing. Additionally, Aux Sends can be used to create monitor mixes for performers, ensuring that each performer hears exactly what they need to deliver their best performance.

VI. What are some common mistakes to avoid when using Aux Sends?

One common mistake when using Aux Sends is sending too much signal to the destination, resulting in a muddy or overpowering effect. It’s important to carefully balance the level of the Aux Send with the original signal to achieve a natural and cohesive sound. Another mistake to avoid is neglecting to check the phase relationship between the original signal and the Aux Send, as this can result in phase cancellation and a loss of clarity in the mix. Finally, it’s important to label and organize your Aux Sends properly to avoid confusion and ensure a smooth workflow during recording sessions.