Basic signal flow for the VM-7000 series mixers
When using an analog mixer, signal flow through the console is fairly obvious, as all buttons, knobs and faders are usually dedicated to a single purpose.
Typical signal flow would be as follows:
1. Inputs are received at a physical CHANNEL INPUT connector.
2. Input passes through a PREAMP, which provides additional gain and/or phantom power. Gain is a boost in the signal strength, and phantom power is a low current DC voltage supplied by a mixer to energize the source device's internal circuitry.
3. Input may then pass through or by a series of circuits, such as channel dynamics such as EQ, compressors, gates or limiters, for the purposes of reshaping the original signal in order to make it more suitable for recording or mixing.
4. The signal flow then passes through a pan control knob and channel output level control called a fader, and then onto the stereo mix bus. The pan control knob allows the signal to be selectively placed in the stereo LEFT-RIGHT field.
5. Access to various alternative signal paths, known as buses, are often included into the signal path. These bus sends are usually located just after the channel dynamics or EQ,called "Post-EQ" and before the channel output level control and referred to as "Pre-fader". However, their position in the signal flow can often be switched to "Pre-EQ" or "Post-fader". Common names for these buses include "AUX SENDS", short for auxillary buses, or "FX SENDS", short for Effects buses.
6. Once past the channel fader, all of the channel signals are combined onto the main mix bus and are routed to a variety of outputs, such as the main LEFT-RIGHT outputs, which then go to amplifiers and speakers, or to dedicated headphone outputs.