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Audio Mixers

From small to very large, anaologue or digital, mixers are an important component in any live sound reinforcement system. Sometimes called a sound board, mixing desk or console all audio mixers are primarily designed to combine signals from two or more sound sources (such as microphones, electronic instruments, and recorded audio devices) and send the resultant "mix" to amplifiers and speaker systems.

A typical audio mixer has several input channels with each channel (often called a channel strip) including microphone and/or line inputs, equalisation controls (EQ), a level control and a pan control (for stereo mixers). Larger mixers will usually have multiple AUX sends (for effects, foldback etc), multiple mixing busses (often called groups) and multiple outputs as well as more sophisticated EQ and metering and monitoring capabilities.

Digital mixers are now very affordable and becoming increasingly popular and offer incredible flexibility in terms of signal routing, signal processing (eg many include parametric EQ, compression and noise gates on each channel as well as digital processors and EQ on all mixing busses) and convenient memory settings, on-board stereo recording, remote control (eg via iPads and laptops) and muti-channel recording.

See also - Powered Mixers (Mixers with power amps)

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