Mixing Consoles Explained – Part 3

mixing consoles

Mixing Consoles Explained – Part 3 of 3

In this episode I’m going to take a look at the routing inside of a mixing console.

The signals on our mixing console run through the channel-strips, the way these are built up is pretty much an universal standard.

We will look at the channelstrip and the master section of a Solid State Logic console and take a further look at the signalflow.

Smaller mixers will offer fewer features than a mixing console of this caliber, but still there will be a lot of similarities as we will find out later this season.

Video text:

0:00:02.4 –>
so let’s take a look at an example of how we can use these groups in a mixdown session so let’s take a channel 1 to 8 and instead of routing that to the main bus we’re gonna be routing that to group 1 2 which is a stereo group on this ssl we don’t have the group faders or else we would be able to send that group to the mix bus from there which is commonly found on this particular console the groups are directly connected to their physical output but they do have a knob to control the volume of the output for each group that is so we could now physically connect the output of Group 1 and 2 and connect that to 2 available channels on our console again let’s use a channel 23 and 24 for that so channel 23 now contains all of the left information of the group 1 and 2 and channel 24 contains all the right information of that group from here we can send the channel 23 in 24 to the mix bus and we have the drums back into the mix we got to make sure that we pan 23 all the way to the left and 24 all the

0:01:01.2 –>
way to the right to have them back into their stereo image so now that we’ve seen the channel strip let’s take a look at the master section in the master section we control the mix and this is basically the heart of the console here we can control things like the master fader we’ve got a mono switch which allows us to some our left-right bus into a mono mix which is really helpful to check any face problems and we can control the group channels we can control the effects sense or the auxilary sense and we can control the monitor level and we can set the source for the monitor level it also usually allows us to use external things like for example a CD player which can be really helpful to play some reference music while mixing we’ll usually find a talkback section which allows us to plug in a microphone to talk back over the headphone mix so the musicians in the other room can hear us from there and we can usually find a couple of tools there like for example an oscillator this particular SSL model does not have a dynamic section on each of the

0:02:00.2 –>
individual channels instead it only has two dynamics which we can assign to any channel this dynamic section has a expander/gate and a compressor and we can assign that to any of the channels that we have on the board and this brings me back to one other complexity that descanse has looking at the channel strip and all of the modules that we’ll find on there we basically have a dynamic section which we can assign to it we have an equalizer and we have an insert point but as we’ve seen in earlier tutorials the order in which these processes take place is really important and this console actually allows us to put the insert point before or after the EQ or put the dynamics before or after the EQ so this allows us to do some really complex routing which means that there’s a lot of wiring going on inside this console to actually make this possible as you can imagine a 200-dollar mixer won’t have all these capabilities and all these cool features that a console of this size has so now let’s take a

0:03:00.5 –>
look at some complex routing stuff of how we’re going to be running our signal through this board and let’s just start off with a regular recording setup we can also visualize a audio interface instead of a tape machine so let’s use that so to use the full capacity of this mixing board we need to be able to at least record 24 tracks preferably at the same time this means we need to get a 24 track tape machine or we need to get audio interfaces which allows us to connect 24 different inputs to so we probably want to be recording two direct outs from each channel this would mean we would have to get behind the board constantly to connect and patch all the different incoming and outgoing signals but instead of doing that we usually use a patch bait and a patch Bay allows us to route all the different in and outputs that we have in the studio to that patch Bay which allows us to just easily connect all the different channels with patch cables instead of going behind the console and behind our gear I’m not gonna be drawing the patch Bay into the situations that I’m gonna

0:04:00 –>
be creating right now to keep it a little bit simpler to understand so we’re gonna be connecting the direct outputs from each channel to the inputs of our recording device we’re gonna be plugging in some microphones for the band that we’re gonna be recording and these are gonna go into the microphone inputs onto the console so these signals now will be outputted into a recording device over the direct outputs of each channel we’ll be feeding the output of the recording device back into the console over the line connection we try to record at an optimum so we need to do some mic jacks if you record tracks too soft it means that we have to amplify them a lot during mixing and this will bring up the noise if we record sounds too loud we get the risk of clipping and over driving so before going into the recording device we try to get our signal at an optimum recording level I try to do the most of the work with the gain op and I try to keep the faders at zero if possible when we are actually recording it is wise to monitor the level and the signal which comes from the recorder back into the

0:05:00. –>
console so we can see if it’s been recorded properly we’re then actually monitoring the line levels which come back from a recording device the most asked question from behind a mixing console is why don’t I hear any sound when all the cables are connected properly there’s a small checklist of things that we can check why there’s no sound the first is to check the metering on the channels to see if there’s actual signal coming into these channels a quick check to see if we’re working on the instrument input or on the microphone input then we need to check if the fader is up and if the fader is up is the channel not flipped it’s a channel microphone preamps gained already open or in a mixed situation is the line level already open if we’re working with a condenser microphone is the microphone power perhaps we have an insert on the channel which is turned off are we actually sending this channel to the mixbus then we’re gonna head over to the monitor section also good to check if the speaker’s or a monitors are actually on that we’re gonna check if the monitors are actually listening to

0:06:00.3 –>
the mix bus is the master fader up is to control room volume actually up as you can see there’s quite a big checklist before we can actually get sound out of out of a console like that and therefore it’s really useful to know the signal flow of a console so this was it for today I hope you’ve enjoyed it I’m definitely going to be looking at some more mixing consoles in the next episode but I hope you’ve learned something today as always this was a wick for Wikimedia tutorials if you haven’t please subscribe to my channel and I hope to see y’all soon [Music]

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