Pre-Fader vs. Post-Fader

This tutorial will hopefully help clear up any confusion about the difference between Pre-Fader and Post-Fader Sends and when it’s best to use them in your productions.

I get a lot of questions about routing, and specifically a lot of them have to do with working with Sends, Busses and Aux channels. One of the bigger reoccurring questions centers around the confusion regarding pre and post fader routing options. I will do my best to break this down as simple as possible here so everyone, regardless on experience level, can understand it and benefit from it immediately. Basically the difference is where the send is in relation to the channel’s (the channel which is sending the audio) fader, or volume slider. Let’s take a look at some examples.

Here is a basic beat you could hear in a club.

Now here is the same beat with some reverb added to it. It’s rather extreme so you can here the differences as we progress through the steps of this lesson.

As you can see in this image, the reverb is being introduced through what is called parallel processing. This is achieved by Sending audio from one channel to another Auxiliary channel through a Bus. I know, that’s a lot of labels to keep track of. Don’t worry, most DAWs make this very easy for you to manage without too much effort. We are sending 100% of our audio to the Aux channel and on that channel we have inserted a basic reverb effect.

Pre-Fader vs. Post-Fader Tutorial by OhmLab 1

Here you can see that there are a few options we can choose from, in regards to how the Send is routed, once it is set up. We will just focus on the Pre-Fader option for now. Below is an audio example of what happens when we turn down the volume of the main channel.

Pre-Fader vs. Post-Fader Tutorial by OhmLab 2


Now let’s set the Send to be routed Post-Fader and see what happens when we turn down the volume of the main channel.

Pre-Fader vs. Post-Fader Tutorial by OhmLab 3

So here’s what’s happening. In Pre-Fader mode, the audio is routed to the Aux channel and affected by the reverb at a level of 100%, regardless of what level the volume of the main channel is set to. In Post-Fader mode, the audio is sent to the Aux channel after the volume setting of the main channel is registered. Therefore, if the volume of the main channel is lower, so is the amount of audio being sent to the Aux channel. This is because we choose to send a percentage of the main channel’s overall volume, rather than the untouched signal. Make sense? I hope so!

If you have more questions about this kind of technique, or just have a tutorial request for us, please let us know by sending a message our way. Thanks for stopping by!


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