Audio mixers are a certain type of equipment that is commonly used in the studio. There are different types and while they may differ in some aspects, they work with a single purpose, which is to receive inputs and send them to outputs. At Enhanced View Services, we offer a range of audio and visual equipment, including audio mixers. To help you understand what these are, will share with you an article about how audio mixers work. If you want to know more information, we urge you to keep scrolling below to find out.
How Do Audio Mixers Work?
An audio mixer, which is also known as a mixing console or mixing board, works by gathering different audio sources from its various input channels, processes the levels and attributes of the sound, and combines them to a fewer number of outputs. Take, for example, a live concert, the audio mixer will take the audio from the performers, edit, add effects, and combine them to become a mono or stereo output. This can then can be amplified using a PA system.
Inside a studio, an audio mixer works by receiving inputs from a microphone or other audio equipment in a live room, then directing them towards the input of your recording equipment. Through this process, mixing consoles can have a lot of outputs that can be routed to as they have inputs. The outputs are also known as group outputs or buses. In simpler terms, an audio mixer is a type of equipment that allows you to have a lot of audio sources, which can be edited and added with effects before routing them to output channels.
What Is The Difference Between Analog and Digital Mixers?
Analog mixers are not a new technology, as they have been used in audio recording equipment and PA systems. While newer, digital mixers are also not new, as have been used in the audio world since the 1990s.
These have increased in demand since they are widely available in terms of supply and in terms of affordability, which allows people to purchase them for their home studio setups. Software-based mixers have become popular as the technology evolved in the early 21st century; the software and hardware used in computers have been developed and improved to perform what analog mixers are capable of.
Analog mixers are still quite popular nowadays, even with the mass availability of digital mixers on the market. If you have a tight budget and you need a mixer, you can get an analog mixer and it is quite easy to use. The functions can be manipulated using the faders, knobs, and switches on the equipment. One disadvantage of an analog mixer is that they can be quite large, which can take up a lot of space, which can pose a challenge for a home studio set up. A mixer’s signal and hardware controls are easier to understand since everything you need is in front of you, unlike digital versions that can be overwhelming. Digital mixers will also require you to take more time to figure out due to the complexity of the digital mixer’s status screens and how some of its features and controls can be buried inside menus.
Both analog and digital mixers are capable of transmitting high-quality sound due to the quality and design of electronic circuits, especially mic preamps, which can be quite influential on the sound quality output. The distortion and coloration of mics and speakers can affect the sound quality. Excellent circuitry and the use of high-quality components in a mixer will help minimize the hiss that can typically occur in an analog mixer.
A digital mixer is a type of electronic equipment that uses digital signal processing that functions to combine, change the dynamics, equalization, and other aspects of multiple audio input signals. Digital mixers have digital audio samples that represent the analog inputs. A digital mixer is usually preferred to its counterpart to produce sound outputs as it gives the user better control, strong processing power, and produces high-quality audio effects.
Digital mixers allow you to easily use preprogrammed routing and effects, which are features that are impossible for analog mixers because you have to manipulate the different controls to achieve the same results. Digital mixers can save and recall mixes, so most users utilize USB flash drives or internal memory storages to save settings that you have used in your past performances. This feature makes it easy for you to pre-program your mixes and using your saved configurations to make your mixes on-the-go.
What Are the Things to Consider When Buying a Mixer?
When searching for an audio mixer, you may find it hard to choose the right one, especially if you do not know what specifics to look for. Make sure to check out our list so you will have an informed decision when you buy an audio mixer.
Why do you need an audio mixer? Do you need one to record in the studio, play live, or both? If you plan to use yours for recording, certain features such as mic preamp quality and the ability to connect to external processors must be considered.
If you need a mixer for a live setup, then there are plenty of factors that you need to consider, such as the mics, line and instruments, monitoring, headphone, and auxiliary outputs, etc. It will depend on your setup if you just want to keep it simple or complex.
Buses and Signal Routing
These aspects of a mixer are important as both of these will have an effect on the recording of a mixer. If you will use special-purpose mixes like feeds to recording gear, headphones, microphones, and external effects mixes, then you will need an audio mixer with more routing flexibility and signal paths.
Digital mixers are portable and compact. You can assign different functions to the buttons and knobs of the mixer. This will allow you to do work more complex than analog mixers. You can limit the number of faders while sustaining the same number of channels that you have access to. Some manufacturers produce professional-grade audio mixers in compact sizes which is great if you have a live band and are always on the road.
Effects and Other Sound Aspects
When using the audio mixer do you usually use external mic preamps, effects pedals, and other sound processors? You can disregard the internal mixer effects and sound processors. An audio mixer with effects and sound processing can be quite useful when you play in live shows. Always take the extra effects into account when you are comparing different audio mixer types.
If you prioritize the need of having an EQ for your audio mixer and you will be studio recording a lot, then you will need to look for equipment that allows you to fine-tune the sound to improve your mix. You will need multiband parametric equalizers to accomplish high-quality sound. However, if you prefer simple live-sound mixes, you should consider the control over bass, mid, and high frequencies because those are the only things that you will be needing when recording.
If you want a flexible audio mixer, a digital mixer can be a great choice for you. You have access to different types of AUXs, returns, and buses. A digital mixer can allow you to save settings so you can use it on a particular venue or live situation. These also come with a USB port or internal memory that allows you to save and recall scenes that you can use for different types of occasions.
Some digital mixers have a digital snake that is also known as a stage box. It works by connecting your board with a single cable and gives you to have the option of using it when you need it, which can make your workspace clean and tidy. A digital snake extends the reach of the channels on your board or to access the channels of the digital mixer.
A digital mixer will allow you to easily record live sessions, so you can just use a flash drive, record and you will easily get a mix of your live show. If the digital mixer has a USB output, then you can use your laptop and record directly to your digital audio workstation, giving you plenty of options to work with.
Input and Output Channels
How many mics will you be connecting to the audio mixer? If you want to use condenser mics, then you will need mic inputs that can provide the power that you will need for it to work. If your mixer needs stereo keyboards and other instruments, then you will need an audio mixer with stereo channels.
If you need to connect your musical instruments, such as bass or electric guitars or other equipment, then you will need direct inputs to accommodate them. You should make sure to get sufficient I/O and channels in case you will need them in the future, especially if you have a growing band and you will need to accommodate more instruments and gear soon.
If you will be using an audio mixer for a live performance, then you should get one that will be compatible with your current sound system and can process sound to handle the gear and instruments that you will be using. You must choose a sturdy one as flimsy and cheap audio mixers will easily break and will be a waste of your money.
The audio mixer is a type of equipment that combines different audio signals, performs a series of actions, then sends them to an output signal. If you need an audio mixer for your home studio, you should make sure to trust a professional dealer like Enhanced View Services. We carry different audio and video equipment, and we can help you find out that will fit your audio and video equipment needs. Please check out this link if you want to check out our shop. You can also contact us by filling up this contact form here.
Are you looking for audio mixers and other audio and video equipment? Make sure to choose a professional dealer of audio and video equipment like Enhanced View Services. We specifically locate, test, and check our products before we resell them to the public. If you are looking for a particular model or brand of video or audio equipment, please ask us and we will do our best to find them for you.
Contact us anytime. You can call us at 305-971-2916 or send us an email at [email protected]. Our physical store is located at 12080 SW 127th Ave STE B1-130 Miami FL 33186 USA. If you have any questions about our company or the products that we are offering please do not hesitate to approach us. We would love to help you out and we will do our best to meet your audio or video equipment needs.