I Connect the Microphone to the Computer, Then What??? | ­čÄÜChannel Strip | Podcasting Technology

I Connect the Microphone to the Computer, Then What??? | ­čÄÜChannel Strip | Podcasting Technology


Oh, boy, we about to get juicy. We’re going
to insert it, we’re going to send it, we’re going to EQ it, we’re going to pan it, and
then we’re going to crank it up. Well, hey, podcast people. Welcome to the Pod Sound School.
I’m Studio Steve and if it’s your first time here, you should know that we are a channel
packed full of resources for podcasters, for those looking to start a podcast, and for
entrepreneurs who are wanting to leverage the power of podcasting to grow their business
or their brand. You name it, if it’s about podcasting, we’ve got you covered. So if you
haven’t yet, please hit the subscribe button, that way you can stay up-to-date on the free
resources that we post every week. On today’s episode, we’re going to discuss
the channel strip. The channel strip is probably the most used tool by audio people to manipulate,
mix and route their audio signal. So at the end of this episode, you will know how a channel
strip works, what it does, and your mixing is going to improve, and your recording are
going to run smoother and hopefully sound better. Okay. So let’s get to it. Okay. So
first, let’s take a look at this PreSonus 16 channel mixer and check out a channel strip.
Let’s focus in on track three. Starting at the top of the track, you’ll notice we have
two input options. The first is an XLR jack with three little holes, this is our mic input
for a microphone. The next is a quarter inch jack, this our line input. This is for devices
that are already at line level like keyboards or the output of an external preamp. For a digital channel strip that we’ll look
at in a moment, you won’t see this option because this is something you’ll see set-up
on your audio interface that has an AD converter to go into your computer. So the next stop,
also something that is generally controlled from our audio interface and not our digital
channel strip, is our gain knob. This is where we will adjust the gain of our microphone,
our instrument or our line input. This mixer automatically adjusts the volume of the mic
or the line depending on which is plugged into the channel. Some mixers or interfaces
will have a mic line switch that you will toggle between. And moving on, we get to our
EQ section. This is technically an inserted section and you won’t see this section on
all mixers. It is very common because it is something that audio people are constantly
using. Here, you’ll notice the frequencies printed
125 kilohertz, 140 hertz, and 80 hertz. This is where you set the frequency that you’d
like to cut or boost. And now we move to the aux section or the send section. Aux or A-U-X
stands for auxiliary, which means copy. So here on the channel strip we can copy our
signal and send it somewhere else without affecting the original signal that is going
down the channel strip. This is most often used for setting up headphone mixes, submixes,
and especially, effect sends. You’ll see here we have three sends listed: mon one, mon two,
and effects. If we zoom back out and take a look over at our master section, we’ll see
the corresponding outputs for these sends. We can take the copied signal from these outputs
and send them into headphone amp, an effects unit, or anything we can imagine. Okay. Now back to our track. After the aux
or the send section, we reach a pan knob. You’ll notice on one side a printed L, and
on the other side an R for left and right. We can adjust this knob here to determine
what percentage of our signal will be sent to the left side or to the right side. For
podcast voices we almost always leave this in the center. And the last bit we’ll cover
for this channel strip is the large fader. This is the nifty and famous slider of our
mixer. You’ll also see this referred to as the LF. Here we determine the final output
volume of this track by sliding it up or down. The output path of the signal at this point
is most commonly sent to the master section, which is our studio monitors or speakers are
plugged into. And there’s a quick overview of a basic mixer. Now, let’s jump over to
a digital mixer inside of a DAW or a digital audio workstation. Today we’ll take a look inside Pro Tools first.
Already you can see the similarities. We have audio tracks, a couple of aux tracks, and
a master track. Let’s look at track three here, too. The first place this track comes
in contact with our signal coming from the digital cable that’s coming from our interface
is the input. This is the section labeled IO, or input, output. The top box here is
is the input. Here you can select what input you’d like this track to be. Now, something
we see here that we didn’t see over on the basic PreSonus is this insert section. Many
analog mixers don’t have this section. The other thing you’ll notice missing on these
tracks is the EQ section. Remember I said that most digital mixers don’t default with
those? Well, this is where we can insert plug-ins or the virtual versions of audio equipment
onto our channel strip. By selecting an empty box here, we open our
DAW’s plug-in options. I’ll select an EQ, and now we have a beautiful EQ unit ready
to use on this track. You can see the range of frequencies and different bands here that
have very similar controls to the mixer we already looked at. Okay. So now we move on
to the sends section. Here we are allowed to customize our own sends. By clicking on
an empty box, I can see my output options. I’m going to select bus one. When I make the
selection, a small fader pops up. This fader has the same function of the aux knob we saw
on the last mixer. This is the send, so this is how loud I want the copied signal to travel
to my submix or effects bus. Now we simply move over to an open aux track and I give
it the corresponding input for the send we just set up. I’ll do that here on aux one. You’ll see now
aux one has an input of bus one, and track three is being sent to bus one. Now, I can
send any of my tracks over to aux one using bus one. And if I want this aux to be reverb
or echo for example, I would simply insert an effect onto the aux on track. You’ll notice
I can set up multiple aux sends by repeating the process with bus three, four. Okay. There’s
our inserts and send options, now let’s move down to the panning section. Just like our
mixer, we can pan left to right here. And after our panning knob, we move to our large
fader, or LF. Here we adjust the final output of our channel, and ba-boom ba-bing. Well, there you have it pod-prenuers, I hope
you learned a lot. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below, or better
yet, hit us up on social media. And don’t forget to hit the subscribe button, that way
you can stay up-to-date on all of the free podcasting resources that we post here once
a week. And come say, “Hi,” to us on social media. We just started an awesome Facebook
Group called Podcasting for Bosses, a lot of good resources for you over there, and
of course you can find us at PodSoundSchool.com. Happy casting.

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