In our last post, we discussed the best practices for using reverb in audio production. This time, we’ll outline how to create auxiliary (“aux”) sends and returns in Apple Logic Pro X. This tool not only works for reverb, but other effects like chorusing, flanging, pitch shifting, and parallel compression. Even though we’ll be using Logic Pro X, the same concept applies to other DAWs and can be done quite easily.
Once you have your desired audio file loaded onto a track in Logic, open the mixer, or press “X” to toggle the mixer view.
Find the desired track you’d like to use for reverb, and select click its aux send output slot (as shown below) and select “Bus 01”. This will automatically create a new aux track with bus 1 routed to its input.
Upon clicking “Bus 01” a new aux track will be automatically created with Bus 01 as its input. By default, this aux track’s outputs route to the main Stereo outputs.
Next, option-click the aux send knob to send the signal level at unity gain (0.0 dB). We’ll reduce the gain, later on, this just allows us to test that the aux track is receiving signal correctly. Playing audio with the aux send knob at unity should simply double the level of the original audio track.
Now load a reverb plugin as an insert on the aux track by clicking it’s “Audio FX”. For this example, we used ChromaVerb. Playing audio should now give us some reverb sound, although the reverb level will probably be a bit too much. Close the plug-in window and return to the mixer.
On the original audio track, bring the aux send level all the down. Now with the audio playing, slowly bring up the level of the send and mix the reverb level to taste.
With practice, you should be able to do this is in a few seconds and begin experimenting with even more effect sends and returns. For tips on how to optimize sound for reverb, see our last blog post. Try practicing this technique on a regular basis and adding it to your mixing repertoire.