Audio equipment

How does a mixing console work? Basic guide

Know how to use a mixing console It is essential for anyone who wants to be a disc jockey, since through the DJ mixers A series of functions can be performed such as adjusting the treble or bass, increasing or decreasing the volume of the sound tracks, overlaying audio, adding effects or going from one song to another by fading in, among others.

What is a mixing console for?

Regarding the question of What is an audio mixer for?this device allows you to control and vary the parameters of sound sources, since they can operate through various processes such as equalization, insertion effects, send effects, panning for mono channels and balance for stereo channels.

On the other hand, there are other types of audio mixers which are combined through different channels into mixing groups and can thus be treated as a whole.

At the moment There are two types of mixing consoles: analog tables, which usually work only with analog signals, but also with digital ones, as well as digital tables, which are ideal for memorizing and storing information.

How does a mixing console work?

To understand the most appropriate way to use a mixing console, it is important to know its characteristics. DJ equipment, among which the following can be highlighted parts of a dj mixer:

microphone input

Each mono input channel offers a microphone input that is balanced with an XLR connector and +48V phantom power for the condenser microphones and is activated via the press of a button.

Before activating phantom power, the playback system must be mutedotherwise connection noise may be heard through the listening speakers.

Using the Phantom switch, phantom power is activated for the XLR jacks of the mono channels.which allows the operation of condenser microphones.

Besides, should not be connected microphones to the table when phantom power is activatedbut this has to be done before attaching the Phantom power.

The way to use a mixer when it comes to turning on the Phantom power is to wait a minute before adjusting the input gain so that the system can stabilize.


line input

Every mono input has a line input that operates through a Jack connector. However, when it comes to how to use a mixing console properly, you should never use both mic/line inputs simultaneously.

Gain or Trim

The GAIN potentiometer is a component of the mixing consoles for beginners or professionals who Allows you to adjust the gain (input amplification). This control should be located all the way to the left whenever a signal source is connected or disconnected from one of the inputs.


All mono input channels have a three-band equalizer: bass, treble or mid.

For the high bands (High) and the low bands (Low), shelving type filters are used.which boost or cut all frequencies above or below their cutoff frequency.

High pass filter

The mono channels have a high-pass filter (LOW CUT at 75 Hz) through which they can eliminate unwanted low-frequency signal components.

FX sends or auxiliary sends

If you want to learn how to use a mixing console, you must know how to use these components that allow you to take a copy of +-+ one or different channels and group them into an auxiliary output as if it were another output.


Panorama (Bread)

The PAN regulator serves to establish the position of the channel signal within the stereo field: left or right.

Level (Channel Fader)

The Level regulator is responsible for setting the channel signal level in the main mixwhich is very important to know if you want to really learn how to use a mixing console.

Clip or Peak

He Clip LED lights up when the input signal has a very high level and saturatesso in order to prevent this saturation from occurring, it must be adjusted from the gain.

line input

Each input channel has two inputs L and R. If connected to L the channel can be used as mono.

FX sends or auxiliary sends

The auxiliary shipments The stereo channels work the same way as the mono channels, except that the stereo signal is reduced by hand before it reaches the main bus because these sends are mono.

Panorama (Bread)

This is another component that must be known if you want to be aware of how to use a mixing consolesince it serves to determine the proportion that exists between the right and left input signals.

Level (Channel Fader)

The level control allows Set in the main mix what the channel signal level is.

Input level adjustment

The stereo channels have a switch to adjust the +4dBV and +4bBu input level.

Phones/ Control Room Out

The Phones outlet It is stereo and is used to connect some to the mixing console. headphones. Control Room Out unbalanced outputs They are ideal for monitoring the main mix with everything and effects. If you want to know how to use a mixing console, you have to understand the usefulness of these components.

Main Out

Are mono outputs that allow taking with a level of OdBu the main mix signal and can be used perfectly for live systems or recording.

Tape Output

These outputs They are connected to recording equipment and the level is regulated with the Main Mix fader.

Cd/Tape Input

These components of the audio mixing console They allow you to connect external signal sources (a computer or an MP3). It is recommended not to use these inputs, but to opt for the line inputs.

+48V (Phantom)

The red +48V LED lights up when the phantom power supply is activated.

Level indicator

It is responsible for providing a measurement that has the level of the respective signal. Knowing how to operate it is necessary if you are learning how to use a mixing console, which is why it is advisable to record all signals at 0 dB.


Main Mix

Determines the level of the main outputs.

Phones/Control Room

These components of the DJ mixer They allow you to regulate the output level of Phones/Control Room.

Cd/Tape to Mix

The CD/Tape IN input signal to the main mix bus is assigned so that the DJ mixer can be used with the players.

We hope that this article has allowed you to learn a little more about how to use a mixing console more effectively.

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Simon Müller

Simon Müller is the driving force behind UMusic, embodying a lifelong passion for all things melodious. Born and raised in New York, his love for music took form at an early age and fueled his journey from an avid music enthusiast to the founder of a leading music-centered website. Simon's diverse musical tastes and intrinsic understanding of acoustic elements offer a unique perspective to the UMusic community. Sporting a dedicated commitment to aural enrichment and hearing health, his vision extends beyond just delivering news - he aspires to create a network of informed, appreciative music lovers. Spend a moment in Mueller's company, and you'd find his passion infectious – music isn’t simply his job, it’s his heartbeat.