What does the ST button do on an audio mixer? We’ll look at what the ST button does, where you’ll find it on the mixer, and how and when to use it. We’ll also discuss the 2 types of ST buttons you might come across.
Quick Answer: Traditionally, the ST button signals that you want to send audio from that channel to the main stereo outputs. If the ST button is off, you can route audio to a group or aux instead and keep it out of the main mix.
The Two Types Of ST Button On An Audio Mixer
In the accompanying video, we look at the Yamaha MG10XU and Yamaha MG12XU audio mixers. They each have a different version of the ST button.
The MG12XU features a more traditional implementation of the ST button, which we’ll talk about for most of this article. The MG10XU’s use of the ST button is optimized for live streaming, and we’ll go over how that works at the end.
What Is The ST Button?
ST stands for “to stereo”; it’s a way to let your audio mixer know that you want to send a channel straight to the stereo output, as opposed to a group or aux instead.
Where Is The ST Button?
Typically, you’ll find the ST button near the fader or rotary knob that controls the level for each channel. It often takes the form of a red toggle button and is situated with other numbered buttons that’ll we’ll mention again later.
How To Use The ST Button?
99% of the time, we want the audio from our channel to go to the main stereo output, so we use the ST button a lot. We fit it into our workflow like this:
- Start with the mixer in a reset state
All faders and gain/level knobs turned down and all buttons in the up position.
- Click the PFL button and test the audio source to set the correct amount of gain
- Turn on/unmute the channel
- Click the ST button if you want to send this audio to the main stereo output
- Raise the channel level
When To Use The ST Button?
Click the ST button on whenever you want that audio to be part of the main stereo mix. We press this button 99% of the time.
When To Avoid The ST Button?
Avoid using the ST button when you don’t want the audio from that channel sent directly to the main stereo mix. We’ve got 2 examples for you.
Grouping audio sources
When you have multiple mics coming into the mixer from a drum kit, it can make more sense to send all of those channels to a group where you can control the overall sub-mix with a single fader.
This is where those numbered buttons we spoke about earlier come in. You click those down to send the channel to a group and then click the ST button for the group to send that sub-mix to the main stereo output.
Complex audio routing
If you’re using a mixer in a church, school, or theatre, you may have audio sources running through your mixer that you don’t want coming out in the main mix.
It’s possible to configure your audio mixer so that a group controls the output of speakers in the lobby or another part of the building. For example, you may only want to make announcements to the lobby.
To do this, connect a mic to your mixer and press the group button. The channel and group ST buttons both remain turned off so that the announcement is not heard in the main auditorium.
Yamaha MG10XU Mon/ST Button
As we touched on earlier, some mixers like the MG10XU use the ST button slightly differently; it has a TO MON/TO ST button that toggles between sending audio to monitors/headphones and the main stereo mix.
This ST button deals solely with the USB input and is designed for live streaming with the Yamaha MG10XU. You don’t want to send audio coming from the computer back to the computer via the stereo output, as this would create a feedback loop.
Setting the ST button to TO MON will allow you to monitor the audio from the computer while preventing this feedback loop from occurring.
What Does ST Button Do? Featured Equipment Pricing
- Yamaha MG12XU: https://currentprice.io/mg12xu
- Yamaha MG10XU: https://currentprice.io/mg10xu
- EV RE20 Dynamic Microphone: https://currentprice.io/re20-black
- Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro Headphones: https://currentprice.io/beyer_dt_990
- XLR Cable: https://currentprice.io/xlr_cable
- TRS Cable: https://currentprice.io/trs_cable
- Mic Stand: https://currentprice.io/desk_stand
- Rode PSA1 Boom Arm: https://currentprice.io/boom_arm