02 Jan 2012

Mixing Console: A Sound Engineering Basic

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No gig, no recording, no performance can go with no proper sound mixing console. This is something which is required in order to ensure that the performers are all happy and that the crowd is definitely obtaining the best show on Earth. Usually, smaller venues have audio mixes managed from a console right in front of house area. Larger shows at larger venues rely on separate front-of-house and monitor mix setups that cater to the requirements of both audience and the performers, respectively. Audio signals from the performance on the stage are split between your two setups, and also the performers hear the entirety differently from the way the audience hears it. Otherwise, everything won’t sound nice. This is exactly why you see a wide range of speakers spread all through venues more often than not, and these speakers don’t necessarily turn out the same kind of sound.

What audio mixers do is, basically, combine and adjust different audio input from various sources like the mics and instruments and even computers. The mixers are adjusted and tuned so that the performers will be able to hear themselves over the din and also the performance will go smoothly for this reason. Each performer, from the singer to the lead guitarist to the drummer, should have that individual mix that will allow everyone to perform properly. The sound desk have small dials that represent the different channel faders, and these are what the sound engineers use to control and adjust the different monitor mixes needed by the performers as well as the front of house setup. Obviously, there’s also separate monitor desks and front of house desks for dedicated use. Speaking of monitor mixes, there’s really no formula to it. It’s all about coming up with what works the best for the performers. Which setting sounds the most pleasant or up to par with the goals is the one that should be used. Because of this, careful assessment by the sound engineer and also the performers is what’s required.

In any show, the sound engineer and also the performers need to be in constant communication to guarantee that everything is in sync and that the audio mix is handled properly for each segment. For recordings, how pleasant the entire song or sequence sounds to any listener will depend on the precision of the mix used to broadcast or record the piece. It’s that important of a factor.
A sound mixing console is one thing that’s used by a wide range of industries, not just in live performances and concerts. Public address systems use them, TV programs use them, your local theater likely uses them. Post-production for movies, musical recordings, news broadcasts, and all sorts of other media rely on mixers to produce the audio you need to hear what it is you need to hear.
Indeed, audio mixers are indispensable tools when it comes to any performance, whether it’s live or on broadcast or recorded. There are actually too many things to consider to set everything to chance, and everybody depends upon the perfect mix to ensure that everything will fall into place and sound perfectly.

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