When you hear a song, you hear the melodious end product of the combined work of all the musical instruments and the singer’s voice.
But have you ever thought that how do we not hear each instrument separately from each other? How all these musical tools produce something that seems like one sound but is actually made up of several sounds within.
This is possible due to a process known as blending. Each instrument’s sound is blended into one another along with the singing voice, by using one of the important music tools, an audio mixer.
Audio mixer, without a doubt, is the most wanted component of any music gear, especially in recording studios and at live concerts.
At its core, an audio mixer works by bringing all the recordings at the same level, blending them, and tweaking the end product until it becomes a finely balanced tune and the desired output is achieved.
Audio mixing involves the treatment of each musical tool individually for the purpose of good quality and picking out any disparity in the sound quality. Once all the individual sounds have received complete treatment and the volume of each instrument as well as the vocalist reaches a level where each sound stands out, yet somehow sound as if they are blended into each other, then the track is considered as a final product.
An Audio mixer comes with many technical features that are not only complex to handle but they also look so unintelligible when you go to buy it. So, without having any clue of what you are spending your hard-earned money on, it is essential that you first know at least the basics of an audio mixer.
So, in this guide, we will take you through the details of the features of an audio mixer, and will equip you with enough information to buy a good product for your live streaming session.
Live or Studio Mixer
When you go shopping for an audio mixer, you first have to decide the purpose of buying it. If you are to use it live, you would have to buy a live audio mixer. But, if you are looking for your studio, then you will have to go towards a studio audio mixer.
Both differ in functionalities because of the nature of the product. In-studio mixers, the quality of the volume goes through intense scrutiny which makes it a fit option to record the tracks. There are also certain features that the studio mixer comes with that are much more advanced than that of an audio mixer. So always make sure that you get the right type depending on your requirement.
Simply put, the more the better. The more there are channels on the audio mixer, the better streaming experience you will have. You can install as many different audio sources as the number of channels allows you.
So if you can plug in all the high tech tools such as preamps, amplifiers, and other line-level widgets, your streaming experience will enhance by leaps and bounds.
Since the video games streaming can go on for hours and the sessions can prolong to even a whole day, the audio mixers tend to die down during the last hours of the game. This hampers the entire fun and worsens the quality of your streaming.
Even though the video quality might seem like an important component for any live streaming, the recent researches are revealing more and more the importance of audio quality too.
If the audio quality is bad, then users find good video quality entirely useless. So, if your audio mixer has low power and dies soon, it will leave a bad impact on the audio quality.
Make sure that you buy a mixer that comes with strong power and can last the long gaming sessions.
Build of the mixer
The good technical features must be your first priority to look for in an audio mixer while shopping for a new one, but it is equally important that you also see the build of the mixer.
There can be several purposes for using an audio mixer, you might need to take it with you on a trip to carry it to some other place. In such a case, what if the build of the audio is lousy and couldn’t survive the bumps and jolts during the trip? It would mar the functioning of its components that would ultimately affect the quality of the audio.
A sturdy mixer can also endure the shock if it, unfortunately, falls off the gaming desk which is a likely occurrence as typically any gaming desk gets cluttered with entire gaming gear, leaving very little space for the attachable stuff.
The audio mixer comes with varying numbers of output. You have to make sure that the audio mixer you are buying has all the required output. For example, if you are buying it for video game streaming, then you might need a monitor, headphones, and speaker outputs.
You can also go for a mixer that comes with additional channels for outputs. These outputs can be used for communication purposes.
It might seem like a small feature, but it creates a big impact. Sudden unwanted loud noise on any of the outputs can cause a huge disturbance in the streaming experience.
You have to check if the on and off buttons are there and are they working swiftly. Because, if there is one slight delay in muting or opening the output, bam! Your entire session is ruined.
Be it any musical fest or video game streaming, where there is sound involved, the audio mixer becomes a must-have for fine-tuning of the sound quality. Stay careful of the above-mentioned features, and you will surely get your hands on a good deal.