+ CHANNEL STRIP THE SIGNAL FLOW THROUGH AN ANALOG MIXING BOARD
+ WELCOME Hello my name is Lafayette Larrimore and I am from the sunny city of Miami Florida USA. Thank you for reviewing my simple project. It is a short journey into the amazing world of sound. We travel along the path a signal flows through a channel strip
+ The Channel Strip DiagramHere is a block diagram of a typical flow of sound through achannel strip. Keep in mind that there are several variation ofthis diagram but generally this is the path the signal will flow.
+ THE INPUTS A mixer has two general types of inputs: Microphone Line Input Input
+ INSTRUMENT/LINE INPUT A line input is a signal that is already at the higher level than that of a mic input (thus not need a preamp to boost the signal) A 1⁄4-inch male phone jack is most often found at the end of an audio cable commonly called an “instrument cable,” and on a mixer is the companion 1⁄4-inch female phone jack .
+ MICROPHONE INPUT A balanced XLR (3 pin) socket for the relatively low signal level from microphones. To accommodate differences between two types of microphones—a “dynamic microphone” and a “condenser microphone”— a feature called Phantom Power is often included on mixers. Mic inputs commonly need a preamp to boost the signal to a suitable level.
+ MIC PREAMP Microphones, which, by nature, produce only a small electrical current, need boosting to be compatible with the mixer. Such a device or circuit called a “microphone pre- amplifier,” is used for this purpose. Its task is simply to boost the microphone’s small electrical signal. Frequently, this “mic preamp” is called the Gain Control and is located at the top of each channel strip. Correct adjustment of the Gain Control is essential to reduce the ever-present noise of electronic components while producing a strong, clean audio signal from a microphone.. The boosted signal from the input section next travels to the channel strip.
+ INSERTS Inserts allow you to send the signal to an external device for further manipulation. These external devices include compressors, equalizing or even reverb. Again as with many components of the channel strip the insert can occur at different location on a mixer with after the preamp being the most common location. The insert uses both balanced and unbalanced cables After processing the signal is returned back to the mixer to continue moving along the channel strip.
+ EQUALIZATION Equalization is the process of adjusting the balance between frequency components within an electronic signal. The tonal adjustment section of the strip. Will usually be in the form of a two or three band EQ (lo, mid, hi frequencies). If, for example: To much can sound muddy either by itself or when mixed together with other instruments, deemphasizing the lower frequencies will clarify the sound. At the other end of the (frequency) spectrum, if a voice or instrument sounds “dull,” increasing the high frequency con- tent of that sound, using the high frequency control on the mixer, can add “sparkle” and “presence” to the sound. With respect to the mid-frequency portion of the sound spectrum—where most sound energy is located— equalization can be incredibly effective. Boosting the mid-range frequency content of an instrument or voice can add a sense of “girth” or “body” to sounds that may seem “thin.” Decreasing that same frequency content can often make a voice or instrument sound “clearer” with the other sounds traveling through the mixer.
+ AUXILLARY (AUX) SENDS This is where things start getting interesting... An Aux send allows you to send a copy of the channel signal somewhere else, often combining it with other channels to a separate output. Why? Well, this allows you to do things like send a different mix to a monitor system, or add effects to some of the channels but not to others. Tasty, and comes in two flavors: pre- and post-fader. Pre fader is what you will usually use for monitoring - the signal is taken before the fader changes the level (often before the EQ too - check your mixers block diagram). The reason for using pre-fade aux sends for monitoring is so that as you mix - changing the level of an instrument in the main mix - using the fader, the volume of the instrument stays constant in the monitors, keeping the musician happy. For effect send we use post-fade so that as you bring down the level of an instrument, the effect level also diminishes. Its nice if a mixer gives you the option to change an aux send from pre to post, but not essential. Some mixers have the sends preconfigured as pre or post and call them monitor and effects respectively.
+ VOLUME FADERS The fader is where you set the level of the channel - the volume in the mix of the instrument you want. Try to have the fader set somewhere around the 0dB mark or lower (usually marked clearly on the mixer). This gives you some headroom so that you can push the channel higher when needed (solos, etc.).
+ PANPOTS Positions the instrument in a stereo mix. Usually this is done by distributing the sound signal either left or right. Adjustments made in turning the knob changes our perception of the placement of the sound in the stereo field. Therefore adjusting the know to the right makes the signal to the right more prominent and vice versa turning the knob to the left
+ MUTE/SOLO SWITCHES Mute Switches - Allows you to turn a channel off completely. Useful to mute mics not being used for a particular song Solo Switches - Solo Switches - The opposite of a mute switch. Switches off all the channels not soloed. For setting trim levels and hearing one track in isolation
+ REFLECTION Well I tried to keep it brief as possible per the requirements. There are a lot more information that could be added but that would take us beyond the scope of this project. Again thank for taking the time to read this assignment and good luck in with the rest of the class.
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