An introduction to using an audio mixer

//An introduction to using an audio mixer

Learn the basics of a professional audio mixer and amplify your audio for the best quality possible. We are using the Saramonic MixMic which has 2 inputs.

Audio in film is sometimes forgotten, even though it’s the other half of your result. Therefore we decided to give a quick introduction to the use of an audio mixer. An audio mixer sits between your microphone and recorder (usually the camera). It’s main purpose is to amplify the signal from the microphone which then can be recorded. A mixer also has great benefits for when you’re working with multiple microphones. It can work on each input separate and outputted to different channels.

In this tutorial video we’re taking the Saramonic MixMic as an example. It’s a very affordable basic mixer with included microphone. Every mixer has 3 basic settings which we need to deal with before starting.

  1. The input type: From here you basically select what kind of input you have connected. Either that is LINE, MIC or Mic+48V. Line is a weak input and mostly used when you have a signal connected that is already amplified. typically this could be an output cable from a DJ at a concert. The MIC connection is to connect a sensitive mic to that doesn’t need extra power to work. Think of those microphones which news reporters usually use. Finally the MIC+48V send a voltage to the mic, also called Phantom Power. This is for shotgun microphones are very popular for dialogue.
  2. The Gain: This is to increase the volume of your input. It happens digitally, so you want to be careful with this setting. The more gain you give, the more noise you will hear.
  3. The Volume: Like the gain, this will of course also increase the volume but analogue. This means it won’t give you extra noise. Typically you want to increase the volume as much as possible and if you need more, then increase the gain.

 

So as you can read, an audio mixer amplifies the microphone. It does a great job at this and so you want to make sure it’s not amplified by another device. If you have your mixer connected at your camera, make sure that the input gain of your camera is turned all the way down. Let the audio mixer do all the work 😉

Once you understand these basic rules you’ve already come pretty far. Weather you have one channel or twenty channels. All of them work the same.

To wrap this article up I want to leave you with a final tip that could greatly improve your audio if you’re starting out. But for that, I’m linking to the video 😉

2018-04-17T15:05:21+00:00August 30th, 2016|Audio Tutorials|3 Comments

About the Author:

Graduated in 2012 from filmschool, I immediately started as freelance cameraman for commercial work. Quickly I was noticed by educational platform Tuts+, where I made over 25 online courses about film making and video editing. Here is where the passion started for sharing my experience on Youtube since 2014.

3 Comments

  1. Vaibhav August 31, 2016 at 7:30 am - Reply

    What are the actual placement of Mic ( Shotgun ) while shooting interviews ??

    • Jordy August 31, 2016 at 9:17 am - Reply

      You could mount it to the top of your camera, but don’t stand too far away then (max. 1.5m/5ft). In other cases, you can use a longer cable and let the speaker hold the microphone or use a boom which an assistant has to hold above the speaker. What you can also do is use a lavaliere mic.

  2. Ary Mirochnik August 31, 2016 at 1:35 am - Reply

    Thank you for this great tutorial.

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