An Overview of Sound Reinforcement Mixers
Sound reinforcement equipment, such as preamplifiers and microphone mixers, are used for live performances and recording sessions. Audio mixers are important components in these setups. They act as control centers for the sounds coming out of the other equipment.
What Are Sound Mixers?
Sound mixers are electronic devices that feature multiple inputs to collect different audio feeds. They combine the audio of all the inputs and balance the levels from various sound reinforcement equipment for concerts, plays, and studio recordings. Although the job is the same across most mixers, they all possess different features and specifications that make them more suitable for specific tasks. For example, a DJ mixing console may only need two channels, while a mixer used for professional recordings could have upwards of 20 channels.
Digital vs. Analog Mixers
Digital mixers and analog mixers are the two main types of mixing consoles. Analog mixers are fitting options for those just getting started. They have hardwired inputs, and the signal flow is very straight forward. Smaller analog utility mixers are compact and portable, good for traveling or casual recording. However, they don't offer the variety or complexity of digital mixers. These use digital signal processing chips, they are more lightweight, and they feature more advanced routing options.
Mixing Console Accessories
There are other products to keep in mind to improve the sound quality and function of your mixer. For example, audio direct boxes convert high impedance signals to low impedance signals. Pair them with live sound mixers to balance signals for better sounding audio. Cases and covers are useful mixer accessories, used for protection against dirt and scratches while on the road.
When it's time to upgrade your setup, head over to B&H Photo and Video for a large variety of sound reinforcement mixers as well as digital and analog mixer accessories.