AM101: Audio Mixing Basics

Watch the video on the course overview and then take the quiz on the next tab.

Thank you for taking the time to learn the Audio Mixing course. The world of church audio is a place of great awe and wonder. It is a place of great responsibility where you are called to serve on His behalf to serve the congregation.

Church audio is more than adjusting volumes and setting up microphones. There is teamwork, servant-hood, creativity, and scientific knowledge. This course is intended to for you to learn all these important aspects of church audio and how you can become a great audio tech for our church.

The golden rules on cable use:

  1. Always use the shortest cables possible for improving safety and securing them with gaff tape when in foot traffic areas.
  2. Use color-coded cables to easily trace them.
  3. After use, promptly wrap them for easy storage.

The list below shows the typical cables used in our church. Click on the small image on the left column to enlarge it.

XLR Cable

The XLR cable, also known as a microphone cable, is the most common cable on the stage. It’s used for connecting microphones as well as connecting electronic processing units to the stage, via floor jacks. The XLR is known as a balanced cable. This means that it carries two audio signals where one is the mirror image of the other. The letters refer to Canon's (X)-series connector, with (L)ocking tab and (R)ubber ring.  More on this in the Advanced course

TRS Cable

TRS stands for Tip, Ring, and Sleeve. This cable can serve a dual purpose. They can work like XLR cables and carry a balanced signal. Or, they can carry a stereo signal. In the case of a stereo signal, the cable has one wire that carries a left-channel signal and one cable that carries a right channel signal. It is important to note that when you have a piece of equipment sending a stereo signal, it’s not the same as a balanced signal. More on this in the Advanced Course

TS Cable

The TS is short for Tip, Sleeve. As you can see in the below illustration, the additional ring is missing in the right TS plug compared to the left TRS plug and therefore, you now have a much less ideal audio cable. That is to say, you have a cable with limitations. The TS cable is also known as an instrument cable. You’ll see it plugged into keyboards guitars, guitar pedals, and the like. They are categorized as unbalanced because they do not carry that mirrored audio signal like the TRS and XLR. More on this in the Advanced Course


RJ45 Cable

Network cables aren’t essential to audio system work. However, with the introduction of Digital Mixer, the Stage Box communicates with the mixer using this cable. Network cables come in a variety of types, usually, Cat-5 being the most common. More on this in the Advanced Course

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