In audio mixing and recording, and audio reinforcement systems, there is a mixing board, which is an electrical device used to combine sounds of various different audio samples. The various sources of the sound can be recorded into the input device. One of the most common types of mixing boards is a line mixer, which allows the input and output signals to be separated. Other types include insert and master mixes, which allow the user to manually control the mix of one signal source. A mono signal input or output is created by using an amp simulation effect.
There are many manufacturers that manufacture audio mixing consoles. Each type of mixing console has its own advantages and disadvantages. A popular choice is the USB powered mixer. These mixers run on batteries which need to be charged on a regular basis. They have the same functionality as any other kind of mixing console, but are small and require less space.
An audio mixer may come in a portable design and some have additional features such as a MIDI interface. The MIDI interface enables the user to input MIDI messages into the mixing board to play musical instruments. Some of the MIDI message controls available include pitch bend, note bend and modulation wheels. Some of the knobs and buttons on the mixing board may change the sound of the instrument.
An amplifier is required for a laptop-based audio mixing or recording device. An amplifier can increase the signal level from low levels to full signal levels. This means that an amplifier will be required when recording from an acoustic or electric guitar rather than from an isolation interface. The output of the amplifiers is then sent to the recording interface.
A computer based audio interface has several advantages over traditional hardware mixers. The software of a computer interface controls the volume of each channel. Therefore, if you do not have individual knobs or buttons to control the levels of individual channels, then the software performs all of these functions. Also, most computer interfaces have a large number of inputs and outputs which means that they can handle signal routing for high-quality audio recording or mixing.
It is also important to choose the right kind of Audio Mixer. If you will be using a headphones, then it is necessary that the headphones do not pick up background noise. Many inexpensive Audio Mixers have large front speakers with sub woofers. If you will be using a set of headphones, then you should select a mixer with a sufficient mid-range frequency range to adequately handle the output of your headphones.
The level of output and input control is one of the key factors when selecting a mixer. In general, you should select a mixer that has large volume controls and a large amount of input/output options. The larger the volume control, the better quality the mixing board will produce. Also, the input and output jacks should be relatively lightweight to eliminate accidental damage to electronic equipment. Some common functions of the volume control on mixers are: lock/unlock mid-range sounds, switch between multiple sources, skip forward/ backward, and adjust volume.
It is important to be familiar with the different functions and operational concepts of the Audio Mixers before shopping for a mixer. For example, most mixers have a "stereo" mode with one input (or speaker) and several outputs (or speakers). Some basic functional concepts are: panning/phasing (muted output), compression (level adjustment), equalization ( amplitude adjustments), and direct monitoring (listening position). The volume controls are often found on the front panel near the trigger. If you are a sound engineer, you should consider learning more about electronic signal processing and how to design and operate mixers as part of your career training.