What does a mixing console do?
02 June 2012
It doesn't matter how big is a mixer or how expensive it is they all do the same job.
The audio mixer brings all the parts of the performance together, landing and processing so that the final sound makes sense to the audience and easy to listen to
Until you get to know how to use the mixer it can seem very confusing because of knobs and faders.
When building a home recording studio one will need to decide what is going to be the center of the studio.
There are 4 main options:
Analogue mixing board
On an analogue mixer each of several inputs (microphones, keyboards and others)have a fader or volume control that feeds into a master amplifier, the master amplifier also has fader that controls overall loudness.
Sounds are combined, routed and modified as electrical signals.
Digital mixing boardA digital mixer takes each sound signal input and converts it into a rapid stream of members. This is called analog-to-digital-conversion (ADC).
Going mixerless, do you really need a mixer?If you have a multi input audio interface and are doing mixes in the digital domain of your computer with a professional sequencer like Logic, Sonar or Cubase, Nuendo, Digital Performer or Pro tools LE, it’s easy to simply connect your sources to the interface and your outputs to a monitoring system.
The audio interface does all the functions of a sound card but adds input and outputs.
Even many professional studios are now mixerless. With a control surface like Mackie you can have a mixer-like surface to control all the leveling, affecting what you’re doing in your software. All you need are pre-amps for your mic, if your audio interface doesn’t have them.
What is a control surface?
A control surface is a hardware device that controls the functions of the software mixers in your computer application.
A control surface is not a mixer, when you move a fader or knob, the control surface generates midi data which the software recognizes.
More articles about how to set up your home studio
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