An important aspect of understanding a mixing Music Production - Improve Your Sound - The rise in popularity of work-from-home studios has significantly impacted the music production landscape in recent years, driven by the increasing availability of tools and technology. This growth has led to the emergence of mobile recording rigs, making it possible to record full band performances anywhere. While one might anticipate a wealth of high-quality music,… system is comprehending how and where the signal flows within it. Being able to visualize the invisible signal and trace it with your finger on a mixing system will give you a clear advantage. The input strip is the first component of the mixing system, and once you understand one strip, you can confidently navigate a 42-track system. Remember, the signal starts at the top and moves down the input strip.
The first small knob in the input channel is the gain knob. It may be referred to as trim or have other names depending on the mixer’s design Carpet making - Here's a very interesting article on the Art of carpet making, written by Alhan Keser. Alhan is in in charge of communications for Tip Top Design, a company that specializes in interior design with oriental rugs. He has lived in Turkey and France, working as a freelance journalist and documentary maker. Carpet making The story… . Regardless of the name, its purpose remains the same. The gain knob increases the signal strength of inputs to a level that can be processed and mixed. It’s important to set the gain levels appropriately to avoid clipping. A useful technique is to practice with the loudest part of the recording and set the gain levels just below clipping.
The boosted signal then moves to the auxiliary sends. The sends route the signal to external effects, monitor mixes, output sends, or any other destinations. While most signal flow moves vertically from top to bottom, auxiliary sends’ signal moves horizontally across all input channels to create a submix of selected inputs. The input channels affected by the aux sends are the ones with the aux knob turned up. For example, you can increase the auxiliary sends of a guitar input on one channel and a keyboard on another channel, and route those signals to a reverb device.
After passing through gain and auxiliary sends, the signal reaches the EQ section. The EQ may vary in its design depending on the mixing system. Typically, it consists of four frequency controls with variable bandwidth and the ability to boost or cut frequencies by +/- 18dB. When using EQ, a useful feature is the in/out switch, which allows you to bypass the EQ quickly and compare the signal with or without EQ applied.
The signal then proceeds to the pan knob, fader, and bus outputs. The pan knob moves the input signal within the stereo spectrum, allowing you to position the signal between the left and right speakers or any point in between. The fader controls the overall volume of the input signal, which has now passed through all components of the input channel. During recording, it’s a good practice to start with faders at zero and make adjustments to the gain knob first if you find the signal too loud or too quiet.
With experience and experimentation, using a mixer becomes truly exciting. Understanding how the signal flows through a mixer makes learning and operating it much easier. Remember, the signal flows from the top to the bottom, and auxiliary sends move horizontally across the system.
Manuel Marino is a seasoned Senior Producer, Music Composer, and Artist with over a decade of experience. He specializes in branded entertainment across various mediums, including video games, films, and advertising campaigns. With 20+ years as a game music composer, Manuel has worked on numerous platforms, creating diverse orchestral soundtracks. HIRE ME