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Status buttons

A description of the technology and function of the status buttons in mixing consoles.

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The status buttons are the important master controls that set signal routing for all channel modules.

Record: used when recording basic tracks

  • Record from microphone inputs to the multitrack recorder.
  • The multitrack recorder is switched to Sync output so that the output signals are synchronized with the signal being recorded. (In an analog recorder, the output is taken from the record head, not the playback head).
  • The channel inputs are routed to the small faders via the multitrack routing matrix to the multitrack.
  • The large fader carries the group output or the multitrack return signal as selected locally on the channel module. (A 'group' is a mix of signals, or single signal, sent to one track of the multitrack. There are as many groups as channel modules. The first 48 are accessed via the routing matrix on each channel).

Replay: used for playback of basic tracks

  • As Record status except that the multitrack is switched to the normal playback output rather than sync, which offers slightly improved quality in an analog recorder.
  • The studio loudspeakers are switched on so that the musicians may hear the playback.
  • All large faders are switched to Tape, overriding any local Group selections.

Mix: used for mixing to stereo

  • When recording is complete, the console is switched to Mix status.
  • All the channel modules are switched to line input, to which the outputs of the multitrack recorder are normally connected.
  • The signals are routed via the large faders to the stereo mix.
  • The small faders are now fed from the Group/Tape selection buttons, and send signal via the multitrack routing matrix. The small faders can be used to feed additional signals to the mix, or as additional auxiliary sends.

Record + Mix (Overdub): used when adding overdubs to basic tracks

  • When the Record and Mix status buttons are pressed simultaneously, the multitrack switches to sync output, if available.
  • All channel modules go into Mix status, unless the module's Group or Tape switch is pressed, in which case that channel goes into Record status.
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By David Mellor Tuesday February 1, 2000
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