Creating a Lay-back Mix In Pro-Tools (No More Bouncing)

January 24, 2014

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Today we are going to go over how to create a Mix Bus or Layback Mix inside of Pro-Tools.  It can also be done in a similar fashion in other DAW software.

This “In-Session Bounce” is useful because it allows interactive monitoring of a mixdown and a safety next from software crashes during a lengthy bounce.  It also provides an easy way to keep old mixes in the session for easy A/B comparison. Once you start doing your bounces this way, you will never want to go back!

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As you can see above,  I’ll start out with a basic mix.   Notice that the tracks and subs are routed to the Master 1&2 outputs.

Mix Bus Brian West AudioFirst, we’ll start by creating a new stereo audio track and naming it MIX or something of the like.   This will be final destination of our final 2 track mix.

Next, set the input of the newly created track to any stereo bus and name it something like Mix Bus.  This will be the bus that you will send all of your other tracks through(example below).

Pro Tools Mix Bus, Brian West Audio

Brian West Audio

Ok, now we will highlight all of the tracks and send their outputs to the Mix Bus as seen above(use option+shift click on Mac or alt+shift click on PC).  Make sure that if you have any tracks that are already bussed to an Auxillary Track you only send the Aux to the Mix Bus, otherwise you’ll lose all of the processing on the Sub.  Also, using the keyboard shortcut will not change the output on the Master Fader; you have to do it manually. (Example Below)

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Now, solo safe the MIX track and make sure that nothing else is soloed in the mix.  Hit the record-arm button and double check that everything else is the way you want it.

Mix Bus Layback Image 7

Image 8

The whole mix can now be recorded to a 2 track.   Any processing on the master fader will apply to the mix and you can stop and start any time.   Sometimes you may have to add a small cross-fade upon restarting the recording to prevent any clicks in the audio.   As you can see, this is a much more efficient way to bounces and can save a lot of headaches.  After recording is finished you can export the file using ctrl+shift+k on PC or cmd+shift+k on MAC.  You can also export using the clip list.   Enjoy!  Also, if you get a chance, check out a podcast that I’m producing at Drop by Drop Podcast


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