What Does An Audio Mixer Do? (2 Minute Read!)

Audio mixers allow you to record all of your sounds together, combine them into one stream, and add effects. They let you record multiple tracks simultaneously and mix them in a way that’s pleasing to the ear. 

There are many different types of mixers, but the basic setup is the same. The audio from your different sound sources is mixed together and then sent into an output. Most mixers have a headphone jack to monitor what you are recording and listening to or so that you can listen to the sound as it is coming along.

Why You Need An Audio Mixer

If you take a single instrument and record it, the sound will be dull. 

To make a song more interesting, you have to mix in lots of instruments and effects so that the song does not sound plain.

It can make them sound monotone if you are recording your songs using just one or two tracks.

Upgrading your equipment to include an audio mixer can add variety and depth to your music.

What Is An Audio Mixer?

In the recording industry, an audio mixer is a tool used to mix two or more sounds together. You can even mix in effects on top of these sounds to make something completely new. This allows you to create many different styles and genres of music.

A control panel typically controls a mixer with dials and switches that are used to control each one of the tracks. Although the exact parts of a mixer vary, all audio mixers contain:

There are several different types of mixers that you may come across. Some mixers are designed for recording music, drum machines, and electronic instruments (these are sometimes called individual recorders). Other mixers are designed for DJs. Each type has its unique features. For example, DJs have an added feature called crossfader that is used to switch between tracks.

How An Audio Mixer Works

Audio mixers contain signals for each track, which are then mixed in a process called summing.

The summing process is used to mix the audio in a way that’s pleasing to the ear. This can be done by:

The exact process will depend on the type of mixer that you have. Most mixers are like an orchestra, with each channel playing its own part. The mixing process is controlled by the mixer operator, who has full control over what parts go where.

How To Use An Audio Mixer

Your audio mixer is really just a tool that you can use to make music. To use your mixer, you will want to understand what it does and how it works. 

The audio mixer will allow you to record dozens or even hundreds of instruments at once. Once they are recorded, they can be combined into one comprehensive song.

Some mixers are designed to allow you to add effects on top of the recording.

The different types of audio mixers

There are three types of audio mixers which are: analog, digital and powered mixers. Let’s try to talk about them one by one.

Analog mixer

Analog mixers are the old fashion audio mixer that you will see every day. They are very good for live performance, and each control performs a single function in an analog mixer. They are easy to understand, and you can clearly see what each knob and controllers do, making it easy to control your music. 

Analog mixers are cheaper than digital mixers, but they do not have the automation and programmability functions that a digital mixer has. 

Audio mixers will have fewer audio effects than digital mixers, and you will probably need extra equipment if you want to have good audio effects. 

Digital mixer

Digital mixers are the new way of mixing sound in the industry today. Unlike analog mixers, there are very few knobs and faders that are used in a digital mixer. A digital mixer has different functions which you can use to create your own music. It also comes with built-in effects and features, which are useful for live performance. 

Digital mixers are the more expensive type of mixer as they have lots of automation and control features. With a digital mixer, you will easily import loops into your system that you can use during your live performance.

Powered Mixer

Powered mixers are a new way of mixing audio. They use high-power amplifiers instead of having transistors or integrated circuits for audio input and output. Powered mixers are the more recent type of mixer which have really come into the later. The main advantage of a powered mixer is that it can have bigger audio and sound quality range. 

Best Audio Mixer for Beginners

For beginners, getting an analog audio mixer will be the best choice. If you want to get a feel of what an audio mixer can do but do not want to spend too much money, then you can check out the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10.

The Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX is a beginner-friendly analog mixer, perfect for small bands or live sound mixing. It features 4 mic/line inputs with separate XLR and TRS jack sockets; 4 stereo inputs with TRS jack sockets; 2 guitar DI high impedance inputs, eliminating the need for additional DI boxes; and lo-cut filter for cleaning up unwanted low frequency noise. The ZEDi-10FX is a USB audio interface and can be used with DAWs like Cubase, Pro Tools, etc.

Conclusion – What Does An Audio Mixer Do

Mixing is a skill that comes with practice. The more you learn about it, the better your mixes will turn out. Besides, since the possibilities are endless now, you can always try to find a way to include special effects in your mixes.

Want to know more about Audio Mixer? Have questions? Let us know below! We will be happy to help!

Jacob Miller

Hi, I'm Jacob Miller, and welcome to AudioOver, a platform designed to help aspiring music producers create music from home. With a musical background inspired by my award-winning father, I've been passionate about music since I was young.

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