I skipped over the Insert socket in the previous articles because you could go on about how to use Effect Units for a really long time. With this article I aim to inform you on how Inserts works on a Mixer and how to hook up Effect Units to it.
The Insert Jack on a Mixer is used to add in external Effect Units into the Channel Strip. The Insert socket contains both the output and return connections so a breakout cable is needed to connect most external Effect Units.
In general the red connector (a TS connector) is connected to the input on the Effect Unit and the white connector (a TS connector) is connected to the output of the Effect Unit. The connector with the two black bands on it (a TRS connector) should be connected to the Insert socket on the Channel you want to add an External Effect Unit to. Although the above description depends on how the cable is internally wired together.
If you want to add more than one Effect Unit to a single Channel then you can daisy chain Effect Units in series. This can be useful if you wanted to run Effect Units like a Noise Gate and a Compressor together on the same Channel.
It is also important to keep in mind that the out on the Insert happens post Gain and the return is pre EQ. This means that any change that the Effect Unit makes to the audio, will be processed by the rest of the Channel Strip (although this depends on you mixer â you should consult your manual to see how the insert is wired internally). If you want to have some of the original audio signal come through to the rest of the Channel Strip, along with the effected audio then you will need to adjust the Dry and Wet ratio on the Effect Unit.
What types of Effect Units are good to use on a Channel Strip's Insert?
If you want to use an Insert on a Channel then you want to make sure that the effect that you are using is only going to be used on one Channel. If you find yourself with the same type of Effect Unit across multiple Inserts and each unit has the exact same setting then you should consider using and AUX send in Post Fader mode (I'll cover this at a later date).
The second deciding factor is: does the Effect Unit provide a useful tool on the channel, which assists in mixing? This is a personal choice and will depend on what is coming into the channel (a guitar, vocals, speaker and drums). Not all channels need Effect Units and Effect Units should only be used when the rest of the tools in the Channel Strip ( i.e the EQ, Aux send, low cut or high pass filter) don't solve a problem.
The most common types of Effect Units for Inserts that I like to use are Compressors and Noise Gates.
The term Wet is used to describe audio that has been modified by an effect. Wet is the antonym of Dry.
The term Dry is used to describe audio that has not been effected by an effect. Dry is the antonym of Wet.
Zach Radloff lives on the Gold Coast and is studying IT and Multimedia at university and is also a qualified Live Production, Theatre and Events Technician.
Zach Radloff's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/zach-radloff.html