The Levels of Console Operation

Learning to mix can be a lifelong journey. Most end up becoming familiar with a limited number of hardware units that they have access to in their careers. Some take the initiative to rent hardware or studio time. Still, the access is limited and far few in between.

With SoundcheckPro, one could gain the experience with multiple hardware technologies that one would otherwise have to wait for the opportunity to be physically present with the gear and to have to freedom to explore.

There are are close to 6 console types with varying sizes. Each one offers a distinct workflow that differs from next. This offers a challenge to using the software to become familiar with multiple styles of mixing rather than just one. This article breaks down 3 different levels of console operation, what skillsets are involved and what consoles are associated.

“Know ONE console really well”, they say…

While this is certainly true… “How well do you know this one console?”

Most students don’t get the adequate time they need to become familiar with the flexibilities of the console and signal flow of the environment. Students end up spending more time away from the studios or labs. Which isn’t so much a bad thing unless the time isn’t used to be productive. SoundcheckPro enables students to use their opportunity at home to become familiar with more hardware technologies and workflows.

…But Be Exposed To Many

Knowing one console workflow and not being exposed to another could influence some ignorance and lack of flexibility when working with unfamiliar hardware or environments. Perhaps, an engineer should get to know one console really well but, they should be exposed to multiple in order to understand different workflows and/or naming conventions that could be found across technologies. They don’t need to master the workflow of all hardware but they should be able to know what’s next.

Levels of Console Operation

These are just a collection of examples that we use to break down some of the skills-sets needed working at different levels of audio engineering:

Basic

  • Audio Playback
  • EQ (basic)
  • Pan
  • Gain Staging (basic)

Mid

  • Bussing
  • EQ (Int)
  • Inserts
  • FX Send > Return
  • Monitoring
  • Patchbay (basic)
  • External FX
  • Subgroup
  • Pre/Post Fader

Advanced

  • Multiple Busses
  • EQ (adv)
  • Master Section
  • Stereo Return (adv)
  • Multi-Mix Monitoring
  • Patchbay (adv)
  • Track Bus (pre/post/pan)
  • Master Dynamics
  • Stereo Bus Compression
  • Gain Staging (adv)
  • Inline vs Split
  • Patchbay Normals

What consoles best represent these levels?

Basic

  • Yamuka
  • Xena

Mid

  • Maggie
  • SZF

Advanced

  • AWX
  • Audyssey

Basic

Yamuka
Xena

Mid

Maggie
SZF

Advanced

AWX
Audyssey

Start practicing on multiple consoles now!

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Sam Fisher

Always looking for challenges to grow in respect to sound, Sam is the Founder of AudioFusion and the designer of SoundcheckPro and VirtualStudio.