The mixing desk
The purpose of any mixing desk, whether hardware or software representation within a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), is to combine any number of audio/instrument channels into a single stereo file. This chapter discusses the theory and application behind a mixing desk’s internal bus structure along with processing and effects chains. An audio/instrument signal from the arrange page will first enter into the inserts of the mixing desk. Effects and processors can be inserted into a mix channels insert, but traditionally inserts are reserved for processors rather than effects. A preferable approach is to employ mix sends to access effects. Using sends, a percentage of a channels audio signal can be routed into an auxiliary bus and onto any number of auxiliary channels in the mixer. Many hardware controllers for hands-on mixing will feature a limited number of faders. The development of the DAW has made the manual approach almost obsolete due to mixer automation.