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Equipping Your Home Recording Studio - A free download from Audio Masterclass

An Introduction to Compression: Basic Compression - A free download from Audio Masterclass

An Introduction to Equalization - A free download from Audio Masterclass

Clipping and compressing a drum recording to achieve an exciting sound texture

When using a drum virtual instrument, should you record each drum to its own individual track?

A simple 8-mic drum mix, with video

Recording acoustic guitar in stereo - should you use spaced or coincident mics?

Setting the recording level control in GarageBand

What is production? Part 1: A&R

A microphone with FOUR diaphragms! Really?

How to double track easily and efficiently

Setting a noise gate for a bass guitar with amplifier noise

The difference between minimum-phase and linear-phase EQ on transient signals such as snare drum

VCA grouping

A description of the technology and function of VCA grouping in mixing consoles.


Many large consoles offer a function known as VCA grouping.

Subgrouping is a technique by which several channels can be routed through groups, which are then in turn routed to the main outputs.

For examples, the eight or so channels of a drum kit are balanced to give a good mix, then they are routed to two group faders (used as subgroups) for convenient overall level control of the kit, without disturbing the internal balance.

On a console with VCA grouping, all the channel faders have a small switch that can select one of (usually) eight VCA masters.

When a VCA master is selected, that controls the overall level of all channels set to that group. So, the level of the entire kit is controlled by one fader.

With conventional subgrouping, the audio is mixed through the group fader(s).

With VCA grouping, the VCA fader simply sends out a control voltage to the channel faders.

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By David Mellor Tuesday February 1, 2000
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