Audio Masterclass Recording Studio Tips

Routing in mixing consoles

A description of the technology and function of routing as found in mixing consoles.
Routing in mixing consoles
By David Mellor, Course Director of Audio Masterclass

A mixing console will have several or many inputs and a lesser number - usually - of group and main outputs (also known as 'master' or 'mix' outputs).

In a professional mixing console, any input can be routed to any output. Also, inputs can be combined in any manner.

The allocation of inputs to outputs by the engineer is known as 'routing'.

A semi-professional mixing console might have 32 inputs, 8 group outputs and 2 main outputs (1 pair). The 8 group outputs will feed the multitrack: group outputs 1-8 feed tracks 1-8, 9-16 and 16-24. The main outputs feed the stereo mix recorder.

Channel 1 can therefore be routed to any of the following:

  • Group 1
  • Group 2
  • Group 3
  • Group 4
  • Group 5
  • Group 6
  • Group 7
  • Group 8
  • Main output left
  • Main output right

Often the routing switches and panpot work together. The routing switches are labelled as follows:

  • Groups 1-2
  • Groups 3-4
  • Groups 5-6
  • Groups 7-8
  • Main

The panpot is used to select between odd and even-numbered groups, and between the left and right sides of the main output.

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