In this article, we will continue examining the audio flow through a typical audio mixer. In previous articles, we covered the path audio takes as it enters the mixer via the channel inputs, such as a microphone connected to one of the mixer’s channel inputs, and how to control its volume by using the channel fader, and then controlling the master volume of all our channels via the master fader, where it is then sent to the main outputs of the audio mixer. This main output would be considered our main mix and would typically be sent to the loudspeakers that project to the main audience. So, we now can adjust the volume of all inputs individually, using the channel faders for each input, as well as the volume of our main speakers using the master fader.
In some situations, the main mix is the only mix needed from the audio mixer, since you may only have a couple of main loudspeakers connected to the audio mixer that serve the audience. But, in most live performance setups, additional mixes are needed to feed additional loudspeakers. Examples would be monitor loudspeakers that sit on the stage to serve the singers, monitor loudspeakers that serve the musicians, monitor loudspeakers that serve the choir or an ensemble, and the list goes on. Interestingly, each one of these groups of loudspeakers will probably need to have its own mix which would be mixed differently than the main loudspeakers. So, how can we create a completely different mix for the stage monitors or the choir monitors since the audio mixer has only one fader to control its volume? Let me introduce you to the auxiliary mixes.