An Overview of Live Sound Audio Mixers
Live sound mixers let you control different audio levels for concerts, performances, and more. They improve overall sound quality and allow precision when it comes to balancing various audio sources.
What Does a Live Sound Mixer Do?
There are a few different kinds of sound mixers available, but they all serve the same purpose. Sound mixers receive signals from sources such as guitar cabs or vocal mics, they mix and process them, and then send the new signal out to other destinations. Common parts of a mixer include the channel strip, an EQ area, faders and group faders, auxes, and buses. Recording mixers and mixer boards offer more groups, aux and effects outputs, as well as other features that make them suitable for studio use.
Digital Mixers vs. Analog Mixers
All audio mixers are either digital or analog. Digital mixing consoles are more compact and lightweight than analog versions, as they replace clunkier analog components with streamlined digital signal processing chips. Some can handle more complex signal routing and grouping, offering increased flexibility with mixing options. On the other hand, analog versions are less expensive than digital mixers, and signal flow is straightforward. Analog mixing consoles also affect the resulting audio with a process known as "summing," a term that refers to the combination of all signals across the channels. The result is a unique audio characteristic that many frequently want in their sound, and try to replicate.
Different Sound Mixer Accessories
Some devices frequently used in conjunction with mixing consoles are audio direct boxes or "DI" boxes. Their job is to convert an unbalanced, high-impedance signal to a balanced, low-impedance signal before sending it directly to a mixer. There are a few different types to choose from, such as passive, active, mono, or stereo direct boxes. Other handy digital and analog mixer accessories include stands, lights and lamps, covers, cables, and more.
Find live sound mixers, direct boxes, and accessories to kick up your audio a notch at B&H Photo and Video.