Sound Advice: An Interview With A Pianist

piano4Let’s take a quick break from the mixing articles for an article about me!  I get asked about my piano playing all the time.  So, in an effort to help others either thinking about learning the piano or those already a piano student, or simply for the curious, here are the answers to my most asked questions regarding the piano and me…

Q) How long have you been playing the piano?

A)   I started taking piano lessons at about age 7.  But after really enjoying piano for the first few months, it quickly became like a job, especially for a young boy that really started to hate it.  But, my parents–especially my mother–made me sit at the piano EVERY DAY during my mandatory 30 minute practice time.  Whether I played it or not was seemingly not a big deal to her.  She told me that I had asked to learn to play the piano, they bought me a piano, and so now I was going to learn to play it, or sit there and cry the time away!  So, I sat there at that piano daily, for 30 minutes, with probably more crying than playing for the next few years.  I also think I went through 3 or 4 different teachers during that time.  Around the age of 13, I finally met a teacher from the Beulaville area, Mrs. Sumner, that made the piano fun, at least for me.  See, I had seen the way the piano players in gospel quartets played and that’s what I wanted to do.  She finally taught me what the other teachers had failed to do, which was really learn music structure, chords, and improvisation, and see the piano as more than sheet music and classical theory.  So, I instantly began enjoying the piano again!  I continued to take lessons until around age 17.

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Sound Advice: Channel Faders and the Main Outputs

In the previous article, you received your first mixing assignment using just a microphone and an audio mixer.  We discussed the proper techniques for getting audio into your audio mixer’s channels and properly setting the channel input gain.  Now that we have the correct amount of audio in the channel strip, let’s discuss where the audio goes once it leaves the channel strip, headed to the output section of the mixer.

Looking at a typical channel strip as shown in the figure on the right, the audio that we properly adjusted coming into the strip via the gain, or trim, setting now visually flows through the channel strip from the top to the bottom, eventually arriving at the channel fader.  During the audio’s journey through the channel strip, there are usually options for sending it to auxiliary outputs, as well as options for altering the way the audio sounds, which we will cover later.  But, for now, we are going to simply focus on the channel fader control and it’s function in sending the channel’s audio to the audio mixer’s various outputs.

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