Mixing Consoles Explained – Part 1

mixing consoles

Mixing Consoles Explained – Part 1 of 3

In this tutorial I am explaining mixing consoles.

What types of consoles are there?

What is the signalflow in these consoles?

What are Busses and Auxes?

We’re going to take a look at all those in the first part about mixing consoles, and we’ll need all this knowledge to really understand mixing.. (Which we will find out later this season…)

These first few episodes will first explain all about mixing consoles, so enjoy!

Video Text:

0:00:05.1 –>
hey what’s up it’s week four Wikimedia tutorials and today I’m going to take a look at mixing consoles we’re gonna learn the basics of a simple mixer like this right here but we’re also gonna learn how to work with a really huge console like this here and we’re gonna see that the software mixers that we use are actually pretty much the same at first they might look intimidating because there’s so many knobs and functions on them but that we’re gonna strip them down and we’re gonna take a look at the most commonly found functions so let’s take a look at a basic overview the simplest task that a mixing console has is to mix down several mono tracks into a stereo track as the name mixer in a professional recording environment there will be two main situations when we’ll be running our signal through to console during the recording process and during the mixing process during the recording process we’ve tried to have a clean signal path and we try to record a signal at an optimum level we also want to return to signal from the tape so that we can

0:01:01.4 –>
monitor or listen to it has actually been recorded during the mix down process we’re getting our signals back from the tape into the console where we can actually mix them as you can see for the recording there’s really a need for two different types of signal paths into one console routing wise we’ve got treat different types of consoles we’ve got a split console an inline console and a hybrid console the split console is split into different sections we’ve got an input section a monitor section and a master section with this type of console you can clearly understand the different signal paths that we have during recording and during mix down on split consoles we will often find subgroups which have their own master faders the disadvantage of split consoles is that they’ve got so many channels so they’re relatively big and there are quite expensive an inline type of console actually has two monitors section into the channel strip that means we have two separate level controls on one channel strip one for the channel path itself

0:02:00.9 –>
and one for the monitor path on many consoles were able to flip these two channel paths during mixing we’re normally want to work with the lower fader so that’s why it’s helpful that we can flip them inline consoles normally have subgroups – but they don’t have a dedicated subgroup master fader an advantage of an inline console is that there are a lot smaller than split consoles because they only have one channel for the monitor and the recording path a hybrid console is basically a combination of both of these types of consoles so they only have one channel strip for the monitor and a channel paths but they also have subgroups with their own dedicated master faders so most of the consoles that we will run into normally have a whole section for all the channels with the so called channel strips and that we have a whole section for the mastering and that’s where we will find the master fader let’s take a look at the general signal flow that will find in a lot of consoles vertically we’ve got the channels and we can kind of visualize our signals going in from the top and going towards the bottom a mixing console also has buses which can be seen

0:03:01.9 –>
as horizontal connections throughout the board so in other words a bus is a summing line where different channels can be summed together the main bus that we have is our mix bus or our left/right bus where we sent channels to the main bus it means that we’re sending them to the mix in the studio we’ve got the monitors connected to the monitor output of the console we can select the source to be the mix bus so we can actually monitor and listen to our mix over the speakers we also have the regular mix output which we connect to our master tape recorder that means that we’re recording the left-right output of all the signals that are being sent to our mix bus which is actually the way to record our mix but we also have group buses this allows us to actually group tracks during recording when we have a limited amount of tracks available during mix down it can be used to control the level of a whole group of tracks that’s been routed to that group so we could for example route all the different drum channels into one group track where we can apply the level

0:04:01.6 –>
changes and even maybe EQ or compression on the whole drum group we normally talk about sub grouping in that situation an auxilary bus can be used for alternative mixes but they’re also being used to send two effects or sometimes for creating headphone mixes it’s just a simple horizontal connection which is available on all the channels that we have and we can just send a portion of the signal to this extra bus I’ll show some practical examples in a second auxiliary channels are not to be mixed up with inserts on the channel but we’re gonna take a look at that right now on the channel strip this was going to become a very long tutorial so I split it up in three sections in part two I’m gonna do a detailed view on the channel strip you can check out the second part right here.

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