Audio Mixer – If you’ve ever been to a recording studio and seen how sound engineers work to mix hit songs, maybe you will be amazed and fascinated by how their “naughty” hands play the potential on the mixer, fader, volume, or other devices that may be rare. found in the home studio. If you pay attention, it is just like a painter who is expressing his idea on a canvas, or an orchestra conductor giving orders to his members. I’m pretty sure if some musicians are interested in pursuing a recording or audio field, one of them is to get to know the devices mentioned earlier, but in this article, I will discuss various types of mixers that are commonly used in home studios.
What Does an Audio Mixer do?
Mixers are an important aspect of live music and in the studio. For this reason, for musicians who often record their work at home, getting to know a mixer is an obligation, at least understanding the basic operations of using it. Simply put, the mixer has two functions:
- Mix and match incoming audio signals from microphones, musical instruments, and other audio sources.
- Audio Mixer will send engineered signals (volume and effects) and sends them to an amplifier, loudspeaker, or recording system.
The choice of the mixer to use in a home studio largely depends on the other devices and how big the budget is. Here are some examples of devices or systems that you might choose.
- Studio-in-a-box (SIAB) system: This all-in-one unit comes with a digital mixer – just plug in your instrument or microphone and it’s ready to go. The advantage is that it is practical and offers flexibility in terms of routing.
- Computer-based systems: All recording software includes a digital mixer controlled by a keyboard and mouse. Most of these programs also allow you to connect external hardware.
- Stand-alone components: Since everything is separate, with this system you can choose between analog or digital mixers, but unfortunately it’s a big investment to buy the right connection cable as a consequence.
You already know for sure, why the choice of a mixer is always related to the budget we have. But, don’t be discouraged, because no matter what system you use, the outcome will still depend on skill and knowledge. In general, there are three types of audio mixers, namely, analog mixers, digital mixers, and software mixers, which are still reaping the pros and cons.
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Types of Audio Mixer
Analog Audio Mixer
In terms of the price of this type of mixer is cheaper, this mixer is also easy to operate and versatile. Therefore, this mixer is quite popular. It’s possible to make cable routing easier because everything is physically visible. Visually, analog mixers tend to have many knobs, lights, and faders, usually, one set for each channel. That said, there are still many commercial studios that still use (and prefer) analog mixers for their mixing needs because they are considered to produce sound quality that is favored by many professional musicians and producers.
Digital Audio Mixer
The Digital Mixer is a wise choice for musicians who often record in a home studio, as it can perform the same functions as a conventional analog mixer in a much smaller space. Routing and the process of sending signals to various destinations are made easier. Another interesting feature is switching input and track channels without having to change a single cable.
Digital audio mixers are capable of handling all bushing, routing, and noise suppression tasks, and if they are present and enter the system, they will be easier to find and eliminate. One of the advantages of digital mixers that analogs don’t have is automation, meaning that you can adjust the faders automatically to accommodate the complexity and changing effects, making it very interesting to watch.
Audio Mixer Software
If you want a mixer that is more practical and doesn’t need to physically touch the faders and knobs, mixer software is the solution. Usually, this type of mixer is included in a DAW or other software for producing music. The advantage of this type is that it is economical because after having this, there are no more tools to buy. Functionally, the mixer software works in almost the same way as a digital mixer, you also have an almost unlimited variety of routing options without having to install cables again. However, some people may not be too keen on using a keyboard and mouse to complete their mixing work, preferring the sensation of turning knobs and physically shifting faders.
If after reading this article, you are still not sure which Audio Mixer is the right one, then immediately take the time to visit a music store so that you can feel the sensation of using these three types of mixers.
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