MainStage Mondays: How To Create An FX Bus

MainStage works just like a pro-grade DAW, and it’s possible to pull off many of the techniques studio engineers use. One of the most useful studio techniques is bussing. Bussing allows several instruments to send audio through a signal effect, reducing CPU usage and creating a more “glued” sound (yes, that’s super unspecific. Bear with me). Here’s how to make one: 


1. Open MainStage. Select a template.

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2. On the Electric Piano default patch, there’s already two busses mapped. I’m going to add a third bus FX by clicking directly below the two other busses, and selecting “Bus 4” from the drop down menu.

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3. In my channel strip window, Aux 4 is now my bus 4. 

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4. Now I’m going to bring the send up on Bus 4 on my channel strip. I’ll set it at 0 DB. 

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5. Now I’ll add an echo FX on Aux 4. 

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6. When I play the electric piano, I now hear the echo FX. 


Bussing can get really complicated, but it’s a ton of fun. Try exploring with combining multiple busses, routing them into each other and more for sonic coolness.