DME 2: Audio: Chapter 5 Mixing Consoles


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DME 2: Audio: Chapter 5 Mixing Consoles

  1. 1. Fundamentals of Audio Production Chapter Five: Mixing Consoles
  2. 2. Three Functions of the Mixing Console <ul><li>Amplify </li></ul><ul><li>Mix </li></ul><ul><li>Route or Direct </li></ul>
  3. 3. Amplification <ul><li>The “gain stage” is the first stage in the console. </li></ul><ul><li>Setting proper gain is critical for clear audio. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gain settings too low result in noise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gain settings too high result in distortion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Click to hear distortion from high gain </li></ul><ul><li>Click to hear noise from low gain </li></ul>
  4. 4. Gain Setting <ul><li>If gain is too low, turning up output levels will also increase the level of the inherent noise, as in the top illustration. </li></ul><ul><li>Proper gain settings maximize signal to noise ratio, as in the bottom illustration. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Clipping <ul><li>Setting gain too high may result in “clipping.” </li></ul><ul><li>The signal’s wave form becomes clipped when it exceeds the circuit’s capacity. </li></ul><ul><li>Clipping causes the wave to become “square” and distorted. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Gain Setting <ul><li>Many recording and live sound consoles provide “clip indicators” to assist in proper gain-setting </li></ul><ul><li>When the “peak” indicator illuminates, distortion will result. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Mixing <ul><li>Adjusting the relative levels of the audio signals leaving the mixer. </li></ul><ul><li>Mixing is accomplished using the console’s faders or potentiometers. </li></ul><ul><li>In most consoles, the potentiometers only cut or reduce levels. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Faders full up = no cut </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Faders completely down = full cut </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Potentiometers <ul><li>Most simple potentiometers use resistance to reduce levels. </li></ul><ul><li>As the wiper is moved further from the input, the output level is reduced. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Mixers Linear faders
  10. 10. Mixers Rotary Potentiometers
  11. 11. Mixing is aided by meters
  12. 12. Meters Calibration <ul><li>All devices in the recording chain must be calibrated to assure proper levels. </li></ul><ul><li>Using a steady tone, the console meter is set to 100% modulation or “0 VU.” </li></ul><ul><li>Then all device inputs are adjusted so their meters match. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Meters Calibration When all devices are calibrated, then maintaining proper meter levels on the console will assure that other devices are not over-driven.
  14. 14. Routing or Directing <ul><li>Sending the signal to a variety of destinations. </li></ul><ul><li>Signals are transported via “buses.” </li></ul><ul><li>Buses are simply wires or paths for the signal to travel. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Routing or Directing <ul><li>Typical console outputs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Main or stereo bus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subgroups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitor or foldback send to headphones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effects sends to outboard effects devices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Auxiliary sends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cue sends to headphones or cue speakers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Different manufacturers use different terms </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Routing or Directing Stereo Master Fader
  17. 17. Routing or Directing Subgroup Faders
  18. 18. Routing or Directing <ul><li>Signals may be routed to outboard devices either “pre fader” or “post fader.” </li></ul>
  19. 19. Routing or Directing <ul><li>The pan control routes the signal to the left and right stereo channels. </li></ul>
  20. 20. The Mixing Console Connections
  21. 21. The Mixing Console Connections
  22. 22. Mixers
  23. 23. Mixers
  24. 24. Mixers