A lot of recording manufactories have a mixer set-up in their control room. You know, those goods with tons of clods and faders. Incremental from looking enough majestic, what are the benefits of using a mixer in this day and age? ‘Why would I need a mixer in my factory?’
Back to the golden age
Let’s go back to the golden age of music. A time were recording factory’s recorded to vid as computers were nowhere to be factory. Recording music was an precious shot reserved for precious recording installations only.
Recording factory’s accustomed big and clumsy analog mixing divisions to mix down recording sessions to vid. The first 24 channel vid sundeck was released in 1968 so before that time all recordings demanded to made on 8 channel vid journalists, which only the bigger recording manufactories could go. Opinions had to be made on how to use this limited amount of available channels.
That is were mixers were used for. To reduce the amount of recorded channels into 8 tracks. Multitudinous analog mixers, therefore, have 8 machine channels. Stereo was n’t a thing yet so 8 tracks handed enough strictness at the time. Barrels could be mixed down to one track, bass on another, just like keys, guitar, and lyrics.
Back to moment
Back to the present, we are blessed with an nearly unlimited amount of tracks thanks to digital audio and modern computers. We ’ve now got audio interfaces which allow us to convert a microphone signal directly to a train onto our hard drives. We can mix our recordings directly in our DAW’s. Because of virtual synthesizers and sample libraries we do n’t indeed need to record presently. So why would you ever need a mixer?
Well, if you are a music product nerd like me, you presumably love the sense of real attack synthesizers, effect processors, guitar pedals and real instruments. Especially with the regeneration of exchange synthesizers, people are now playing live with their instruments further than ever. If you want to control all this attack you need a device that can manage it all in an organized way.
One central mecca
That is where a mixer comes in. A mixing office allows you to connect all kinds of outfit to one central mecca. Every channel is fluently laid out in front of you with EQ on every channel and lots of routing options depending on the mixer you have.
Utmost mixers have aux sends which allow you to route audio to effect processors like a dictionary reverb unit, a chain of guitar pedals or a modular synthesizer system. Multiple audio sources and effect returns can be mixed together to a machine, which in turn can be shoot to the inputs of your audio interface.
“ But, why ca n’t I just use an audio interface in the first place?” Well, you could. The problem is that it’s really delicate to easily trial with sound and to commit to your opinions. With a mixer, you could blend the dry affair of a synthesizer with a chain of guitar effect pedals. Once you ’re happy you can shoot it to a machine and record that sound. You ’ve now committed to this sound and ca n’t change it subsequently on which is actually a good thing. This prevents you from endlessly tweaking goods in your DAW and saves you lots of time in the end.
No further quiescence
On top of that, you now have a way of covering all your attack instruments quiescence-free! Ever tried to sing into a microphone and heard all kinds of phasing vestiges? That’s the comb sludge effect performing from your voice combined with a delayed recording of your voice. Monitoring in the analog sphere will help this from passing.
An analog mixer will also give you with a certain sound. The preamps, EQ, summing and all other internal circuitry of the mixer add some randomness and coloring to your sound. This is a good addition to the additional sterile terrain of a DAW. Maybe you ’ve got a attack compressor or EQ. You can now fit it into a group channel and shoot all your recordings trough that one compressor. You are now mixing like the recording factory’s back in the day used to do and by working this way you ’ll notice that songs start to take shape a hell of a lot hastily.
When you are done with recording all your sounds, all you need to do is make a rough balance in your DAW and you are actually presented with a mix! There is not a lot you need to do because you took care of it each when recording.
A mixer provides you with an intuitive way to control all the sound- making bias in your factory. Shoot midi notes to a synthesizer and you can automate goods during the recording process. You can produce dub detainments, distort the input preamps of your mixer and produce feedback circles, which is really delicate to do in the digital sphere.
You could indeed go back in time one step further and gutter the computer altogether. Get a cheap 2- track vid recorder or correspondence sundeck and perform your music live. Now every piece you record is a formerly in a continuance experience just like a live gig, you ’ll noway play like that ever again.
So, having a mixer is easily a great addition to your factory if you work with attack instruments and goods a lot. If you only record occasionally and work in the box ultimate of the time you do n’t need a mixer at all. Unless you want to add some analog flavor during the mixdown process of course.