There’s more to what makes a good audio production.
While you might be more into choosing the best-in-class audio instruments, at the bottom line, the quality of your audio processing is more defined by how correctly your setup is connected.
This is most important in a speaker to mixer connection.
So how do you establish the tightest and smartest connection for dynamic range scalability and audio signal quality refinement?
On this blog, I will show you how to connect powered speakers to mixer like a pro even if this is your first time.
Note that the guide shared here is also for the experienced audio producer who is looking to improve on audio quality by taking a professionalism approach toward setting up their mixers with an active speaker set.
First thing first. Before drilling into the step-by-step process, have a skim-through over what a mixer should be, the advantages of audio mixers, and the advantages of powered mixers below.
What Are Powered Speakers And What Are They For?
Call them active speakers or simply portable speakers, powered speakers are portable small speakers with built-in amplifiers which make them the holy grail for gigging as a DJ or a vocalist in a band. These speakers are space-management-wise, therefore you’ll more than often find them in studios than you would locate a set of mounted speakers.
What are they great for?
Why Choose Active Speakers Over Others?
- They consume less power and can be used for heavy-duty production in a big timeframe without running out of power
- They have an intuitive control panel which makes them easy to control to the beginner DJs
- They connect directly to source components such as your stompbox, DJ controller, effects processors, guitars, keyboards, drum sets, and other musical units
- Active speakers are relatively budget-friendly, making them a perfect choice for virtually everyone
- Powered speakers are safer than the conventional amplifiers in the sense that they don’t burn mixers neither are they susceptible to hums and buzz.
And now…to the other side.
What Are Mixers And What Are They For?
Audio mixers are the control panel and the main components of a PA system. The main purpose of an audio mixer is to allow you to dig into the depth of your signals, add effects, boosts, and volume to your production in dynamic ways. Mixers have a home in the studio, local radios, televisions, and event locations. They are primarily utilized by professional DJs.
What are audio mixers for?
Why Choose An Audio Mixer?
- A mixer is a must-have whenever adding color to your signals is a priority
- With a mixer, you are more in control of the hows and the whats of your audio timbre and dynamics
- Mixers establish a stable volume control, facilitating the room for speakers’ loudness tweaking
So how do you set up your mixers and active speakers more correctly to lay the foundation for a studio-quality production?
The Step-By-Step Guide On How To Connect Powered Speakers To Mixers
To avoid self-noise and secure the best interaction between your powered speakers and mixer, follow this easy step-by-step process.
- Step 1; get to know your connection
With an exception to a wireless connection, a cable-based connection is either balanced or unbalanced and knowing which of the two you’ve in place is important.
Balanced connection; balanced TRS and XLR cables are less susceptible to induced noise. Therefore, they can be used for long cable runs connection without exposing your signal transmission to unwanted distortion.
Unbalanced Connection; unbalanced cables are an ideal choice for a short distance connection as they are more prone to induced noise.
- Step 2; Positioning Your Geras Rightly
The arrangement of your gears has a lot to do with the quality of your sounds. Here’s how to do it right.
- Position your active speakers at the front of your microphones to avoid interference which may cause buzzing, humming, and phasing out of mics.
- Ensure that the speakers are facing your audience for maximum audibility
- Position your mixers to be behind the powered speakers and should in no way touch the powered speaker.
- Step 3; layout the speaker cables and test-drive
First, connect the two units with your cable of choice. Finally, test-drive every feature on your mixer including the EQ, and the master volume. See if those tested effects are amplified in the speaker.
- Step 4; connect your source components with the mixer and set channel buttons
This is quite straightforward. Right?
- Step 5; Check the sound output for adjustments
This too is self-explanatory. Upon connecting your headphone to the mixer, listen to the output as you test-drive for sound output adjustment.
Over the last 5 minutes, I have illustrated how to connect powered speakers to mixer. I hope you’ve been able to follow the step-by-step guide above and now have a stable mixer-to-speaker setup.