Home Ministry Tech Leaders Analog Vs. Digital Mixer – The Great Debate

Analog Vs. Digital Mixer – The Great Debate

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Analog Vs. Digital Mixer? Both an analog mixer and a digital mixer can deliver fantastic sound, but they represent different ways of thinking about the process and the finished result. There are some musicians who are die-hard analog enthusiasts who swear that they will never go digital. They believe the analog components sound superior to digital, i.e., that they give a warmer and richer sound. Yet others prefer digital mixers.

Analog Mixers

Analog mixers are still the mainstay on most audio systems.

They have quite a range in price and in features. Some additional signal processors will shape the sound of each instrument if you are mixing a live band. It is a fact that most analog mixing consoles have a built-in four-band parametric EQ that helps to balance the tonal sound and makes space for each individual instrument in the mix.

You rarely find analog consoles with built-in dynamics available on every channel. That means an all-analog set up will require several racks of gear. You will need gear to accommodate the additional signal processing that includes compression and gates for each channel.

With your analog system, you will need to have wedge monitors or some sort of stage monitors. These are most usually on the floor and angled up towards the musicians and singers. They offer a dedicated mix which allows the musicians and singers to hear themselves while they are performing.

You have to be aware that feedback can be a problem. Therefore, you will need graphic EQs to remove the frequencies that are feeding back. You will need to add in signal processors such as multi-effects, delays, and reverb. The analog set-up may sound better as the die-hards say, but it will cost more money with all of this signal processing.

See page two for a discussion of a digital mixer.