I've been using the abbreviations for quite some time now but I don't know why they are called DX, FX, and MX. (Well, FX I can understand.)

For me, it's practical because it shortens the track name on my DAW and helps with my organization. Just curious how this came about. :) Anyone willing to share some history on it?

I've tried googling it, but nothing really explains it. Thanks guys!

  • Most of those abbreviations seem to be used mostly in the American movie industry. In 30 years of doing PA and the occasional radio broadcast (in NW Europe), I've never come across DX and MX.
    – Hobbes
    Commented Oct 25, 2019 at 7:20
  • Can you give us some more context? Where have you seen these acronyms, and what were they connected to? I only ask because, in addition to all to answers offered here, I have also seen them used in recording studios to denote "Direct (box)", FX, and "Mix" or "Mics" (dependent on the engineer/producer). Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 19:44

3 Answers 3


They are abbreviations that deduce from the pronunciation of the words

  • FX: Effects
  • MX: Musics (Musix, MSX)
  • DX: Dialogues (Dialox)
  • Much better with the new edit.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 1:20

It is an interesting question. I worked in film music for nearly 30 years. We always called them MX, DX, FX. My assumption is it started with effects, as FX sounds just like "Effects" from there it found its way into music and dialogue. Also, in music we have used the "VOX" for vocals for as long as I can remember.


VO: VoiceOver M: music SF: Sound effect D: dialogue

x is nothing else that a visual mark, a separator between category and title.

VOxMark DxJohn SFxBomb MxIntro

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