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Why are mixers setup like that?

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  • Why are mixers setup like that?

    Mixers have XLR and line inputs, I get that. Mics have one wire plug, guitars use one wire plug, I thought keyboards had one wire plug. Why do mixers have a left and right line channel controlled by one set of knobs? What instruments output to a left AND right channel simultaneously to where it plugs into the left AND right channel on the mixers? I'm not talking about AUX left and right, I get that stereo can be mixed in from something else, but for the normal instrument lines?

  • #2
    Could be a stereo keyboard, lots of players insist on that. Could be a stereo feed for a guitar amp, some amps ARE stereo. Could be used for misc such as a CD player input. Could be used as patch in for another sub-mixer.

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    • #3
      Could be a stereo keyboard, lots of players insist on that. Could be a stereo feed for a guitar amp, some amps ARE stereo. Could be used for misc such as a CD player input. Could be used as patch in for another sub-mixer.
      Yep. Its nice not to have to burn up two channels in those instances.
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      • #4
        You're still burning up two channels when they make the last 8 channels of a 24 channel board stereo pairs, as with my Yamaha 24/14fx. My thinking is that setup isn't really a 24 channel mixer, but a 20 channel mixer with the last four being stereo.

        24/14fx Gripe: I don't like that the stereo pairs are all 1/4" and RCA inputs. Other than that, I really like my mixer.

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        • #5
          Devices that send a stereo signal typically do not have balanced stereo outputs, requiring XLR or balanced TRS connections. So stereo channels don't really need to be two XLR inputs into one channel. If you have gear like that, you are the exception. Mixer companies do not design solely for the exception.
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          • #6
            I prefer to return my effects sends to a stereo channel on a fader. And that's one reason I like the analog Soundcraft mixers I've got; when it says forty channels it has forty mic pre-amped xlr/line channels and several additional stereo channels on faders. I hate that BS of counting every input as a channel just to pad the channel count in the advertising.
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            • #7
              I hate that BS of counting every input as a channel just to pad the channel count in the advertising.
              This is what I'm getting at. Call a cat a cat.

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              • #8
                I understand. I would just rather have more than 16 mic inputs on my 24 channel mixer. I don't need more than 16 for what I'm doing, I just think it's odd how the stereo pairs are counted as two channels. They aren't two separate channels. It's a bit misleading.

                This is what I'm getting at. Call a cat a cat.


                They're not all "created equal". Example; Soundcrafts' small-format boards, like the EFX series, and MFXi series, actually give you all of the mono/XLR channels that the model names imply. The stereo channels are not included in the count. The EFX-8 for example, has eight XLR/mono channels. The EFX-12 has 12 XLR/mono,,, etc.
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                • #9
                  Devices that send a stereo signal typically do not have balanced stereo outputs, requiring XLR or balanced TRS connections. ... If you have gear like that, you are the exception. Mixer companies do not design solely for the exception.


                  ??? Any half-way decent fx processor built in the last several years is going to have balanced stereo outputs.

                  I understand. I would just rather have more than 16 mic inputs on my 24 channel mixer. I don't need more than 16 for what I'm doing, I just think it's odd how the stereo pairs are counted as two channels. They aren't two separate channels. It's a bit misleading.

                  This is what I'm getting at. Call a cat a cat.


                  Better consoles don't advertise themselves like this. This phenomenon mainly exists at the lower level of the market.

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                  • #10
                    Could be a stereo keyboard, lots of players insist on that. Could be a stereo feed for a guitar amp, some amps ARE stereo. Could be used for misc such as a CD player input. Could be used as patch in for another sub-mixer.


                    OK, because I want to learn something here, most stereo keyboards I've seen output 2 line signals. How do you get that signal the mixer, often 100 feet from the stage? I would hesitate to run an extra 100 feet of unbalanced line. If I use a stereo 1/4 inch to XLR Y cable at each end I could run it in the snake, but it would still be 2 long unbalanced lines next to each other. If I use a DI box, then it becomes 2 balanced lines, and I don't recall seeing stereo channels having 2 balanced inputs.

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                    • #11
                      Use a DI, run the XLR out through the snake. Many console with stereo channels have TRS jacks that are balanced inputs. Come out of the snake as TRS if possible or use an XLR to TRS converter. It will still be a balanced connection throughout. If the console does not use TRS, all bets are off, but many if not most do.

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                      • #12
                        I don't recall seeing stereo channels having 2 balanced inputs.


                        If it's got 1/4" inputs on the stereo channels, chances are pretty good that they're balanced.

                        -Dan.
                        <div class="signaturecontainer"><i>Well, I've been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones.</i></div>

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                        • #13
                          So are keyboards the only instrument with stereo outputs? Mixers commonly have MULTIPLE stereo inputs (as part of their normal input count, not the auxillary, etc), How many keyboards at once are they expecting to be played?

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                          • #14
                            So are keyboards the only instrument with stereo outputs? Mixers commonly have MULTIPLE stereo inputs (as part of their normal input count, not the auxillary, etc), How many keyboards at once are they expecting to be played?


                            Some guitar amps have stereo outputs, but all sorts of samplers and electronic instruments do, too.

                            Regardless, these inputs are usually used for outboard fx units and playback devices.

                            -Dan.
                            <div class="signaturecontainer"><i>Well, I've been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones.</i></div>

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                            • #15
                              You're still burning up two channels when they make the last 8 channels of a 24 channel board stereo pairs, as with my Yamaha 24/14fx. My thinking is that setup isn't really a 24 channel mixer, but a 20 channel mixer with the last four being stereo.

                              24/14fx Gripe: I don't like that the stereo pairs are all 1/4" and RCA inputs. Other than that, I really like my mixer.


                              Yep. I've got the same mixer and the same gripe. It's really not more than a 20 channel mixer as who is going to use the pan knob to "mix" between two channels, and without XLR inputs I'm having to attach transformers or whatnot to the end of the snake.
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