I used to have a mixer back in my earliest days of podcasting (circa 2007) but I got rid of it because I didn’t really understand it. When I gave up my mixer I started using Audio Hijack from Rogue Amoeba to do everything I needed. I asked Anthony Lemos of Audio Aperture Media to come on Chit Chat Across the Pond to explain mixers to me and to see if there was a reason for me to need one.
Even if you’re not into audio recording, I think you’ll enjoy learning about mixers from Anthony. He doesn’t use a lot of jargon, rather he breaks things down into simple terms that are easy to understand without a background in audio. I’ve never been able to figure out the difference between gain and volume, and Anthony’s simple explanation finally clarified it for me.
You can find Anthony on Twitter as @ethancaine. If you’re interested in getting started in podcasting, he’s very interested in bringing more diverse voices into podcasting and is willing to help you get started for free or very little money, or if you need assistance with a more advanced show he’s also very interested in helping.
Mixers have LOTS of dials and sliders and buttons that were always mysterious to me. Anthony used the Yamaha MG10XU Mixer as an example and walked through just about every dial and button to explain what each one was for. When we were done, I’m pretty sure I could do an adequate job of using this mixer!