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The primary function of a sound mixer is to take multiple audio signals and blend them into one combined output signal. For example, each member of a band produces an independent signal from their instrument which is introduced to a mixing desk or console and assigned its own ‘channel’. Each channel can then be controlled independently, allowing the user to blend the volume of each instrument to produce one well-balanced ‘mix’ of all of the different channels. 

Mixers come with different amounts of channels and varying levels of control, but are ultimately of two types - analogue or digital. Analogue mixers rely upon voltage changes to alter sound signals and tend to be simpler to use, often featuring basic controls such as volume, panning and simple EQ of your channels. Much like analogue valve amps, they add an almost indescribable ambience to the signals they process. 

Mixers that use digital technology to shape signals can offer much more intricate control over every aspect of a sound signal, to the degree that all manner of effects can be added to said signals before they are blended and output. Quick, consistent and efficient to use, digital mixers tend to be a little more clinical than their analogue counterparts.