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Mixers and Equalizers: Refining Your Sound

Mixers and Equalizers: Refining Your Sound - Radio Transmitters - Broadcasting Equipment, Sound Mixer - Progressive Concepts - 1

In previous posts, we’ve outlined the equipment you need to get your low power FM radio station up and running. But before you start purchasing the different pieces of your broadcast puzzle, you should first understand the function of each component and get a better grasp of its affect on your production. Often, it takes more than just assembling the required equipment to produce a high quality broadcast, so you should be sure that every individual component is tailored for your intentions. Mixers and equalizers (EQ) are great examples of components that can have a huge impact on your sound. Once you know about the mixers and EQ equipment available to you, you can choose specific pieces that will have the best impact on your broadcast.

Mixers and Audio Interfaces

A mixer, or audio interface, combines the individual inputs and “mixes” them into controllable outputs. In other words, a mixer takes the individual audio signals and mixes them together to make a better sounding end result. The simplest mixers have at least one volume control on the output, but most have volume controls for each input, or channel. They can also, of course, be much more complex and feature a variety of signal processors.

If the plans for your broadcast only involve using a single microphone with a USB interface, then you don’t need to worry about purchasing a mixer or audio interface, but if you need to use multiple microphones or the microphone you’ll be using has an XLR input, then you will need a mixer. You should make sure the mixer you purchase has a USB interface so that you can edit your shows on your computer. Also, if you’re using a condenser microphone, you need to find a mixer that is equipped with phantom power. Another important thing to consider is how many channels you need to accommodate the number of inputs your broadcast requires. If you intend to produce a radio show that only involves you speaking or playing music, then you don’t need a lot of inputs. But if you plan on including other speakers or broadcasting live music, your mixer should have more available inputs.

Equalizers

An equalizer is often a built-in component of the mixer, but they can also come in the form of a digital plugin or a separate piece of hardware. EQ controls, or shapes, the frequencies to achieve a better sound or eliminate unwanted noise. Since each sound is comprised of many frequencies, there can be an overlap when more than one sound is combined, and this often results in a “muddy” final product. Through EQ, you can shape the two sounds so they complement one another and produce a more cohesive sounding whole. EQ is a very valuable tool that can transform the sound of your broadcast, but you should beware of becoming too reliant on it. When recording something for later or delayed broadcasts, you should always try to record the best possible sound without EQ, and then go back and correct the spots that sound muddy. This practice will ensure that you produce the best possible final product.

Put simply, EQ shapes each input while a mixer combines the inputs into a cohesive final product. Depending on how you intend to broadcast, both components can vastly improve the quality of your productions. Whether you’re just starting out and need to find the necessary equipment to get your low power FM radio station off the ground, or you want to upgrade the equipment you already have to improve your sound quality, contact the experts at Progressive Concepts for the lowest prices and the best equipment for broadcast.

 

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