Create a Professional Set-up with a Broadcast Mixer
A broadcast mixer is a radio broadcasting equipment that offers multiple pro-broadcasting features, such as cough muting, automatic monitor cut-off, external communication management, and external equipment automation. These mixers come in multiple varieties, which help cater to individual requirements, budget, outreach and size of the broadcast.What are the things to consider before buying a broadcast mixer?
Before you go to eBay looking for a broadcast mixer, consider the following attributes:
- Budget: Broadcast mixers come at different prices. The most advanced mixers would run into quite a few thousand pounds, and the most inexpensive ones can be bought for even less than £100.
- Digital vs analogue: An analogue mixer is a traditional mixer that is low-cost and easy to use. However, it can degrade audio and at times creates a “hissing” sound, particularly if the mixer is low quality. A digital mixer is more capable and versatile with signal routing, thereby offering integration with computers.
- Features: A broadcast mixer typically comprises multiple channels, connection types, buses, and multiple effects, such as reverb, delay, and compression. An analogue or digital mixer may miss out on a feature on two.
The following are mixer terminologies you should have a basic idea about:
- Channel: A channel accepts line level signals or microphones. You could liken it to your computer’s USB port.
- Bus: A bus is basically the path routing one or multiple audio signals to a pair of headphones, speaker, effects processor, or any other destination.
- Group: A group is an assortment of channels. There are multiple groups with different channels assigned to them. For instance, one group can be assigned for microphones and another one for a phone connection.
- Preamp: A preamp or preamplifier helps amplify a microphone signal. This signal is sent by phantom power, which supplies enough processing capacity and electricity for the signal transmission.
- Output: Output feeds the pre-amplifier of a broadcasting desk to a third-party audio interface on your computer.
A digital mixer usually offers pre-set effects, such as laugh tracks and drum beats, which help with spicing up your shows. Also, software plugins are available to update your broadcast mixer with additional effects and enhanced compatibility with mixing tools.