When you make a major purchase like a live sound mixer, it's impossible to anticipate how your needs will change over the long haul. Things change, venues expand, or you start attracting different musical styles. That doesn't mean you can just go out and buy a bigger mixer. Fortunately, many of today’s live sound mixers have connectors to expand the limits of your I/O. The option to add even a handful of additional inputs can be a game changer. And since you can stop buying all that migraine medicine, your new I/O options pretty much pay for themselves.
One of the most common issues is simply running out of analog inputs. You can often work around this problem with a basic expansion card. This works great when you have sources that don't need a fully loaded channel strip with EQ, panning and whatnot. External stereo sources like CD players or laptops fall into this category. Pop those into your expansion inputs and save the full channel strips for sources that require hands on manipulation.
Now you're thinking okay, awesome, adding mixer I/O sounds like just what the doctor ordered. But then you take a gander at the back of your board and you realize the spot where the expansion connector would be is just a hole covered with a flat metal cover. You unscrew the cover and, yep, it's just a hole. Don't throw in the towel just yet, all you need is the expansion card for your mixer. We carry optional I/O cards for wide variety of live mixer brands and model. Installing one of these is usually pretty straight forward and sure beats throwing down for a new, bigger mixer.
We've been talking about inputs, but sometimes what you need is more outputs. One common scenario is where you've been using a couple of your mixer's onboard buses to provide your monitor mix. Now you want to take it up a level and break the monitor mix out to a dedicated mixer. This is a perfect time to make use of your live mixer's optional I/O capability to add additional send outputs to feed your monitor board.
Another great use of your optional I/O is setting up for capturing live recordings. You can add an ADAT card and connect directly to a recording interface. Some live mixers can even take a USB card for directly connecting A/D converters. You've got incredible performances going down at your venue every night, and now you have the ability to capture some of that magic. What a great perk to be able to offer your artists.
There are a million different ways to make use of the optional I/O ports on your live sound mixer. Some brands have proprietary breakout boxes that offer a ton of control. The best way to nail down your options and figure out exactly what you need is to pick up the phone and call us. We'll put you on the line with a Sales Engineer who can talk you through all the options and features. You're just one call away from expanded I/O bliss.
Sweetwater's Sales Engineers are regarded as the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the music industry, with extensive music backgrounds and intense training on the latest products and technologies. They are available to offer you personalized product advice any time you need it.