Guide to Mixing Consoles

Mixing Console : What is it?

Mixing Consoles

Mixing consoles, also called audio mixers, are electronic devices used for altering the dynamics, levels, and tones of sounds. They can combine both digital and analog signals to produce the desired sound. They can be  connected to different audio sources including computers. They are available in desktop, 2-bus, 4-bus, 6-bus, and digital types. 

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Types of Mixing Consoles

Mixing ConsolesMixing Consoles

Kinds of Mixing Consoles include the following:

Desktop mixing consoles

  • Desktop mixing consoles have mono and stereo input channels with unbalanced and balanced jacks.
  • They have three-band level controls and equalizers.
  • They have outputs for the control room, master, and headphones.

2-bus mixing consoles

  • Two-bus mixing consoles consist of four mono and stereo input channels with unbalanced and balanced jacks.
  • Mono channels have three-band equalizers.
  • All the eight channels have AUX send controls.
  • They have outputs for the control room, master, and headphones.

4-bus mixing consoles

  • Four-bus mixing consoles consist of 20 channels – four stereo channels and 16 mono channel inputs.
  • They have up to 16 invisible microphone preamps and 16 channel inserts.
  • The mono channels have three-band equalizers.
  • The stereo channels have four-band equalizers and six auxiliary sends.

6-bus mixing consoles

  • Six-bus mixing consoles consist of 16 input channels and a seven-band equalizer.
  • They have over 10 mic preamps that produce minimal noise and excellent precision with phantom power.

Digital mixing consoles

  • Digital mixing consoles can have as many as 56 channels arranged in several layers for maximum mixing flexibility.
  • They have four-band equalizers and data libraries that can be expanded using the expansion slots.

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Choosing Mixing Consoles (Buying tips)

Power supply: To save space, choose a mixing console that comes with a compact power supply that can be mounted on a rack. A mounted power supply can also keep interference at a minimum.

Equalizers: For extra audio versatility, choose a mixing console with multi-band equalizers consisting of multi-level bands that allow efficient sound shaping to produce the desired sound.

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