In this video, we show you how to use an audio mixing console and its basic features. More specifically, we show you how to connect a condenser microphone, dynamic microphone, and a line-level input such as a cell phone to the condenser.  We demonstrate this on the Yamaha MG10XU, which is a basic 10 channel analog console/audio mixer.

Setting the Master Output

Before you connect any microphone/input device, you need to turn up the master/stereo output until you reach the triangle position or zero/unity mark. This is where you’ll get the most Volume out of your audio mixer with the least noise.  

Since this is the master volume, you can adjust it throughout your project, depending on your needs.

Connecting a Dynamic XLR Microphone to the Console

Shure SM58 Dynamic Microphone

1. Connecting the mic

Plug one end of the XLR cable into the bottom of the microphone (SHURE SM58 in our case) and the other end into the first channel of the audio mixer.

2.  Setting the level

Turn up the level knob on the audio mixer all the way up to the zero/unity position. 

3. Setting the gain

When we increase the gain, it activates the preamp, which in turn boosts the audio signal. But, increasing the gain also means there will be some artificial noise and audio degradation.

For this video, we’re setting the gain at about 12 o’clock. 

4. Setting the compressor

The compressor raises the volume on the quiet parts and lowers the volume on the loud parts. However, over-compressing can make the vocalist sound dead. 

For the purpose of this video, we show you the effect of the compressor at about 12 o’clock. But, if you’re mixing a live mic at a corporate event, you can increase the compression. 

5. Setting the 3 band EQ and using the high pass filter

Yamaha MG10XU has a basic 3 band EQ with a high, mid, and low knob. If you turn up the high knob, you’ll get a more crisp sound, whereas if you decrease it, the sound will be flatter. If you increase the mids, it’ll enhance the vocal presence in the core of the voice. 

When you turn the low knob down, it’ll reduce the lows on the vocal to clean it up. To remove the lows (up to 80 Hz), you can also use the high pass filter.  

6. Using the Effects and AUX send

Start with turning the FX return knob on the console all the way up to unity and then turn the FX engine on. Next, turn up the FX send on the channel and increase or decrease the parameter of the pitch change as you see fit.   

If you don’t want to use the FX return, you can use the AUX return for a monitor channel, etc. To do so, turn the FX return knob down and turn off the FX engine. Next, increase the FX send on the channel, which will create an AUX send.

7. Panning

Generally, it’s best to have the pan knob/vocals in the middle, but if you’re panning drum of guitars, etc., you can pan left or right as per your needs.

Connecting a Condenser XLR Microphone to the Console

Audio Technica AT2020 Condenser Microphone

1. Connecting the mic

Connect the microphone to the console using an XLR cable. In this video, we’ve connected the mic to the second channel of the audio mixer. 

2. Turn on the Phantom Power 

Turn on the phantom power only after you’ve plugged in the microphone.

3. Setting the level

Turn the level knob up to the unity position.

4. Set the gain

Increase the gain until you see the level at -6 on the meter on the console. 

5. Other settings

You can then set the compression, EQ, set the high pass filter, etc., just like we did with the dynamic microphone (see the tutorial above).

Connecting a Line Level Input

Headphone Cable

There are two ways to connect a line-level input, such as a cell phone, but before that, you have to buy a suitable cable.

Selecting the right cable

To connect a device like a cell phone, laptop, PC, etc., to the console, you’ll need a 1/8 inch to dual ¼ inch stereo audio splitter cable. However, this cable is not balanced, and if you’re running it longer than 6 feet, we recommend using a DI box.

Using the Combi Jack Inputs

1. Connect the cable to the console

Connect the 1/8 inch end of the cable to your device and the two ¼ inch plugs to the console (plug into the microphone inputs on the Yamaha MG10XU).  For the purpose of this video, we’re using channel 3 and 4 on the audio mixer.

2. Use the 26dB Pads 

Since we’ve plugged the cable into the microphone inputs, we’ll have to use the 26 decibels pads on the console. 

4. Set the level and the gain

Next, set the volume/level and gain on both the channels.

Using the Stereo Inputs

1. Plug the cable

Simply plug the 1/8 inch to dual ¼ inch stereo audio splitter cable into the console.

2. Turn up the Volume 

Set the volume as per your needs, and that’s it! You don’t need to use the pad or set the gain.

Connecting the DI Box

Radial ProD2 Stereo DI Box

1. Start with connecting the two ¼ inch plugs to the DI box.

2. Take an XLR cable and plug one end into the DI box and the other end into the console (combi jack input on the Yamaha MG10XU).

3. Turn up the volume and set the gain. You don’t need to use the pad.

Audio Mixing Console Pricing

To give you the most up-to-date prices of the equipment used in this video, we’ve linked the current price from a variety of online retailers below

How To Use An Audio Mixing Console Topics

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:33 – Master Volume
  • 1:09 – Connecting A Dynamic XLR Microphone
  • 2:00 – Volume & Gain Structure
  • 3:29 – One Knob Compressor
  • 4:42 – 3 Band Equalization & High Pass Filter
  • 6:04 – Effects & Aux Send
  • 7:03 – Panning Left & Right
  • 7:22 – Connecting A Condenser XLR Microphone
  • 9:03 – Connecting a Line Level Input (Phone)
  • 10:45 – Connecting a DI Box
  • 11:40 – Final Thoughts

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