• [KG3V] Added an Audio Mixer to My Shack

    From KG3V via rec.radio.amateur.moderate@21:1/5 to All on Sun Apr 3 08:33:00 2022
    XPost: rec.radio.amateur.moderated, rec.radio.amateur.equipment

    Kg3v Ham Radio Blog

    Added an Audio Mixer to My Shack

    Posted: 02 Apr 2022 06:48 PM PDT https://kg3v.com/2022/04/02/added-an-audio-mixer-to-my-shack/

    I was starting to get overwhelmed by all the audio sources in my shack,
    then I saw some contests are starting to require recordings of both sides
    of contacts. How the Hell am I going to do that??? So I started looking at options and thinking about the audio routing in my shack. I have two radios with soundcards, Computer audio in and out, satellite radio, my Phone for
    music and podcasts, etc. It never ends.

    I decided to integrate an audio mixer into the Shack and it was the best
    piece of non-Ham-specific equipment I ever bought. There are many mixers
    out there, I got a Mackie 802 VLZ4 8-Channel mixer. I have had others
    suggest different models, but this seemed like the one for me. This was a
    new thing for me, and I had to start from scratch. It did take some time to learn about how these mixers work. There are several different input/output types that are intended for various pieces of musical equipment,
    microphones, etc. I will provide a few suggestions and some things to be careful of, if you decide to go this route.

    One thing to be careful about is the number of channels that are supported.
    An 8-channel mixer sounds like total overkill for a Ham Shack, but some of
    the channels are only one side of a stereo input/output, so it is not.
    Believe me, I have utilized nearly all of the channels already, after only
    a few months.

    My other warning would be to actually read the manual. If you are new to
    this type of equipment, it takes some time to understand the lingo of the
    folks in the music business. You need to translate their language to your stations particular set of equipment. Mackie has a very good manual, which includes several example setups. I found this to be very useful in getting started.

    One other potential issue is all the additional cables. You may already
    have a mess of cables, and may not be desiring another set of
    audio-specific cables. I will just say it is well worth it. Here is a
    picture of mine.

    I keep it on top of a riser above one of my radios. The cabling has really
    not been a problem. I have thus far had no EMI/RFI issues either. You will
    need to buy a bunch of standard audio mixer cables to connect your

    I am using the tape input/output for the connections to the PC soundcard. I think this will support the required recordings for any contest.

    This particular mixer offers several outputs, so it is very flexible. I can route audio to speakers, headphones, my PC, and the Control Room which I
    use for the audio input to my microphones on the radios via my DX Doubler
    SO2R box.

    Now that I have this integrated, some nights like tonight, I run a Mode
    like FT8 and just fire-up the music. Since FT8 does not require any
    listening, I get to work some new Stations while enjoying a great concert.
    Not sure how you can beat that.

    Give an audio mixer a try in your Station, and you might be glad that you
    did. I cant even start to list the benefits and the flexibility it
    provides. If you have hearing-related issues, you will especially like the capabilities it provides to adjust the audio frequency response and balance between the Left/Right channels. I will not be without one again. Now, back
    to my concert. There is a UA6 calling me on FT8 and I want to work him
    while enjoying some great music. Maybe I will get to like FT8 more after

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