Yamaha | AW 16G | AW16G Signal Flow

Music Production Studio
INPUT Channel/TRACK Channel
Signal Routing: the Basic Concept
Phil Clendeninn
Product Support Group
©Yamaha Corporation of America
MASTER: the process of burning finished stereo
mixes from your HD to a CD-R or CD-RW disc.
The AW16G has a special Library of Mastering
effects to make your CD a masterpiece. When you
select the MIXDOWN screen under the [RECORD]
button you can select the LIBRARY to recall the
Mastering presets. These can be tweaked and are
applied to the STEREO bus. Select the STEREO
channel and use the CH VIEW to see the routing
of the Stereo channel. The MASTERING effects
configure the Stereo channel’s 4-band EQ and the
Dynamics processor on the overall Stereo out.
AW16G Sorting out Digital Recording
What are the principal functions that a digital
mixer/recorder/burner like the AW16G performs?
There is BOUNCING. There is MIXDOWN. There is
CD MASTERING. This can be a very confusing
subject for the beginner but you can break it
down by tackling the fundamental signal flow. This
article will get you started by detailing the signal
flow during the Recording process. Gaining an
understanding of the different roles of a Channel
during the setup for a recording will help the
understanding of a Channel in any possible
scenario. And that is what it takes to feel
comfortable with the unit.
What you monitor at any given time will depend
on what you are doing. During the RECORD
process, for example, you may be recording
optimum level on each input, but you monitor a
separate, more musically balanced mixed. During
the MIXDOWN process, however, the stereo mix
you listen to is the business end – it is what
becomes the final mix.
RECORDING: the process of putting INPUTS to
TRACKS. We will learn in this article that while
you are inputting data to the tracks you can
monitor (listen to) the signal separately – even
experiment with reverb and other effects with or
without recording those effects. Assignment
during RECORD can be “DIRECT” or what is called
“MIXED”. Direct – you assign an input to a track
directly. In MIXED you can combine signals from
many inputs onto a pair of tracks via a bus (Bus
Recording). Signal is carried (bused) to a pair of
To get started understanding all of this let’s start
with the RECORDING process and see how signal
flows through the AW16G in this initial
fundamental function.
Signal Flow
Knowing how the signal travels through the
mixer/recorder will help you sort out what you are
seeing and hearing (or sometimes ‘seeing’ but not
hearing). Once you step through this guide and
relate the screens that you see in the AW16G to
the SIGNAL FLOW Chart you will have a stronger
understanding of the recording process and will be
well on your way to mastering the AW16G as a
creative tool. An audio channel is a series of
devices that the signal will traverse on its way
through console. In the AW16G a channel
consists of several devices: both the input jack
and the mic/line gain/trim are in the analog
domain, the AD converter (a high resolution 24bit Delta/Sigma converter), an attenuator, a
phase reverse, an insertion point for an effect
processor, a 4-band EQ, a configurable dynamics
processor, a pre-fader send, a fader, a post-fader
send, a panorama potentiometer (pan pot), and
then an output. And at various points along the
way you will find metering positions so that you
can determine the level of the signal as it passes
through each device. A Meter will appear after
each device that could apply a change to the
signal level. You can select the metering position
either PRE or POST a device so that the bar graph
will reflect the level at different points along the
signal path.
OVERDUBBING: the process of putting some
INPUTS to tracks at the same time monitoring
playback of tracks that are previously recorded.
BOUNCING: the process of moving and/or
combining previously recorded tracks to other
track locations. The AW16G has a special LR bus
for this purpose. A bus is a vehicle for carrying
signal from one place to another. In this case you
select which tracks you will ‘bus’ to a new
destination (Bus Recording). This can be used to
free up tracks or simply to make control at
mixdown easier.
MIXDOWN: the process of creating a ‘final’
stereo mix. This can mean bringing live inputs (8),
hard disk Tracks (16), Sampling Pad audio
channels (4 stereo channels), 2 stereo effect
returns and an assignable stereo Digital input all
into the AW16G and creating a stereo mix. The
stereo mix is stored into one of eight possible
virtual locations – this means you can store 8
different mixes of the song data and choose from
among them which will be THE ONE to master.
This step was traditionally handled by an off-site
2-track like a DAT or external machine. The
AW16G has a special Stereo track for mixdown
eliminating the need for external machines.
The routing in the AW16G is so flexible you can, if
you choose, monitor the actual record signal from
any of the input channels, at anytime> this allows
you to troubleshoot and to compare (A/B)
between what you are actually recording and what
you are monitoring (trying out). We will have
more on this feature in just a minute.
The Signal Path for Recording/Monitoring
A channel carries either INPUT (signal from one
of the inputs on the back panel) towards the
output or it carries signal from a TRACK (on the
hard disk) to the output. Understanding this
difference is the first step toward mastering any
recording mixer. When you set up to record you
route signal from the input on the back panel
through a mixer channel (called the INPUT
channel) to the hard disk recorder (HD). And
then, in order to monitor (listen to) it, you route
the signal from the hard disk recorder track
through another mixer channel (called the TRACK
channel) and on to the stereo bus. Ultimately, the
Stereo (monitor) output signal will be routed to
your studio monitors (speakers). This is the
complete trip for an audio signal in a situation
where you, as engineer, are setting up to record
signal and monitor (a separate mix) when
necessary. With this signal path and a selector
that let’s you listen to either the direct signal as it
goes to the recorder or the signal post the
recorder, you can decide which you need to
monitor at any particular time.
Let’s Route some Signal
Let’s follow some actual signal through this signal
path from the INPUT to the RECORDER. For the
sake of following the signal through the path
please pull down all the Channel Faders except for
the STEREO fader. Set the Stereo Fader to its
nominal position 0dB. Plug the outputs of the
Motif synthesizer (STEREO L&R) to the AW16G
Inputs #3 and 4.
Why would you want to listen to anything other
than exactly what is being recorded? If you are
asking yourself this question then welcome to the
world of multi-tracking. When you multi-track you
are recording maybe one or two instruments at a
time and are building the entire song in segments.
You may not want to commit to anything as
severe as effect processing until you can hear it in
the context of all the instruments. By monitoring
the signal post the recorder you can try out EQ,
effects, etc. without committing them to your
You can PAIR a set of AW16G inputs for stereo
operation by holding down the INPUT 3 and
INPUT 4 buttons simultaneously.1
You can PAIR a set of target TRACKS in the
same fashion.2 Let’s assign the Motif to tracks 1
and 2. You could choose any odd/even pair of
tracks. PAIR the TRACK buttons by holding
down the TRACK 1 and TRACK 2 Select buttons
To assign the paired inputs to the paired
destination tracks, press the [RECORD] button on
the left side of the machine to select the “DIRECT”
screen. All the INPUT and TRACK select buttons
will flash RED. Touch INPUT [3] and then touch
the TRACK [1] button to connect the INPUTS to
the TRACKS. This will assign inputs 3&4 to track
1&2, respectively. This is easy and highly graphic.
The signal that you typically listen to (monitor) is
post the recorder.
Input Æ Input channel Æ HD REC Track Æ Track
channel Æ Stereo output Æ monitor speaker system.
Right now you have done enough to start
recording! That’s right, you have connected the
audio input to the tracks of the hard disk recorder.
However, you may not hear anything yet.
Remember it is not necessary for anyone to listen
(monitor) any recording process. Think about
it…when you have a simple handheld cassette
tape recorder, you press the record and play
buttons simultaneously and you trust it is
recording. You may even get a flashing indicator,
but there is no monitoring facility. The point I’m
In this routing above we would consider the
INPUT CHANNEL as “pre” the recorder and the
TRACK CHANNEL as “post” the recorder. It will
always be true that any changes you make to the
TRACK Channel’s devices during the record
process will not be documented in the recorded
data – this means you can monitor with reverb,
you can try out EQ, effects, etc., as long as you
make those changes on the TRACK CHANNEL, not
the INPUT CHANNEL. You can strike a mixing
balance that is comfortable to listen to (a
subjective mix) without disturbing the data as it is
recorded (the ‘scientific’ mix).
The 8 INPUT select buttons are located above the
AW16G screen.
The 9/10, 11/12, 13/14, & 15/16 tracks are paired.
The TRACK select buttons are located below the
AW16G screen.
making is you have routed input to a track on the
recorder and you could record at this point.
Obviously, we want to hear what is going on. But
not just yet…4
them here. This is how you reallocate the EFF
processors – the pop-up box will identify where
they are currently assigned. When you release
one of them they will be used here on this INPUT
(until you need them somewhere else – it is like
patching it in.)
We have LEVEL (which can be recorded) but we
have no VOLUME (volume can be perceived). You
can see the Level moving your input Meter but
you don’t hear anything. This is because the
routing of the signal has not been completed – we
are only half way. Next we will route the signal
after it passes through the electronics of the
recorder, through another set of devices before it
goes to the output – this will allow us to strike a
separate mix from what is recorded. Before we
proceed to the ‘Track’ channel. Let’s learn about a
bit more about the INPUT SETTINGS.
The SP box is a special Guitar Amp Speaker
Simulator – based on Yamaha’s Physical Modeling
technology (developed during the making of VL
technology). There is a 4-band parametric EQ and
a configurable Dynamics Processor. Next you have
a SEND (direct out)7. The rotary control
represents the INPUT channel FADER (notice it is
set to nominal 0.0dB) – means the normal
operating position during a recording. After the
fader you will see a path to the STEREO Bus
(going up to ‘ST’) and a path straight on to the TR
(track) assignment we made a minute ago (TR 1).
Let’s break these options down.
Press and hold the INPUT 3 button for 3 seconds.
It will call up the INPUT SETTING pop-up
screen.5 Reading from left to right you will see
what looks like a small upside down Baseball
Home Plate. This denotes a place for you to view
the METER function. Here you are testing the
signal that is adjusted by the MIC GAIN/TRIM6
associated with the INPUT. If you set the METER
here and it CLIPS – the signal will be distorted
from this point on. Turning down the FADER will
not cure an input overload problem. This is why it
is usually never the FADER that determines
whether a sound distorts – it usually happens here
at the input stage.
If you assign an EFFECT to this input channel you
are inserting it ‘in-line’. This will mean that the
entire signal will run through this effect. You will
need to set a balance between the “wet” (effect)
and “dry” signal by editing the effect itself. If you
released EFF1 for this purpose you can call up the
Edit parameters by pressing the EFF1 knob in the
SELECTED CHANNEL KNOB area to the right of the
screen. You can un-assign or ‘release’ an Insert
effect by pressing the EFF Knob to see the SEND
assignment screen, highlight it (it will appear as a
darkened box when active –INS- and then
pressing [ENTER].
In the Input Channel Library are some 40 different
tried-and-true preset setups for Electric Guitar
(25), Acoustic Guitar (5), Bass (5) and Vocals (5).
If you highlight this box and press enter you can
select from these different setups. What they do is
combine and program 4 devices; the Effect
Processor, the Speaker Simulator, the 4-band EQ
and the Dynamics Processor together. If you
choose not to use this Library you can set them
up yourself, manually. The AW16G’s Library
function is a powerful tool that will help the
beginner get in the ballpark. From these setups
you can tweak, as necessary, any and all of the 4
components. They are extremely useful. They get
you within a tweak of perfection – plus they are
great to learn from! But feel free to recall them
and then tweak to your personal taste. That is
what it is all about. However, always mind your
levels when you have decided to record the
Next inside a special LIBRARY section (large
dotted line) you have the special INPUT Preset
Selections. The small dotted box signifies a place
to INSERT one of the two available Effect
processors. If you place your cursor on the
LIBRARY box or the small dotted box and press
ENTER it will ask you if you want to release EFF1
or EFF2 from their current duties and reapply
Of course, we could route the signal both to a track
and to the stereo bus – this would let you hear exactly
what you are recording on each input. We will learn
about this option in a minute.
The POP-UP nature of this screen is important to note.
The buttons and functions underneath this pop-up
screen will still be active without leaving this pop-up.
The MIC Gain/Trim is the last control in the analog
world and is used to prepare the signal for the input
channel. If you distort the input you can damage the
electronics so learn to work this function.
This gives you an option to route signal to the auxiliary
output for other possible uses (headphone mixes, etc).
when you have these professional “leveling
amps”8 on the job, they can make recording and
getting excellent level a breeze. If a single device
can be said to be the difference between “home”
recording and professional recording, at the top of
the list would be Dynamic Processors. They allow
you to maximize record level – you are not fast
enough as a human being to react when a signal
is shooting to the red overload zone. A
compressor can be artfully set so that it
automatically “pulls” signal back preventing it
from overloading or clipping on your recording.
Since you have dynamics on every channel you
need not worry about should you use it now or
later. These devices are used to control unruly
signals and keep noise from getting into your
recorded signal. Next you have an opportunity to
send the signal away before it goes to the FADER
(pre-fader). This particular Send point can be
used to route signal from the INPUT to a track
without going through the Input channel Fader
effects. The INPUT SETTINGS Library is a
combination of all these different components
If you select the LIBRARY for the INPUT
SETTINGS, the unit will ask you would you like to
release EFF1 or EFF2. If you say select one of
them and say OK you will be releasing the EFFECT
processor from its previous duties and applying it
SP Speaker Simulator:
Small Type: Single 12-inch open back guitar amp,
i.e., Mesa Boogie type.
Real Feel: Creates amp realism by adding grit to
picked attacks. This is an excellent modeling
High Range: Cabinet with boosted high frequency
Stack Type: Classic 4-12” cabinet, i.e., Marshall
stack type.
Mid Range: Simulation of cabinet with distinctive
mid-range characteristics.
The 4-band parametric EQ> the significance of the
EQ at this point in the chain is that it will be
recorded to the hard disk. Any change you make
on the INPUT portion of the CHANNEL will be
printed to the hard disk and recorded.
The Fader during Input record acts like a valve on
a pipe. It is set to the 0.0dB position (valve open)
and it allows signal to flow through on to the
recorder. You would only move the INPUT FADER
while recording for very special occasions. For
example, if you actually need to fade a sound in
or out during a recording session. In most multitrack situations once you have optimized the
record level with the MIC/LINE GAIN TRIM control,
the level is NEVER adjusted during the actual
recording processes. Even most fade-ins and
fade-outs and are done later at mixdown. The
INPUT fader usually is asked only to pass signal
without boosting or cutting the level. When you
have leveling amps (dynamics processors) there is
no need to try and “ride the faders”. As a human
you are not quick enough to react - by the time
you notice something is going to overload and
react – it has overloaded. In our example, Input 3
is being sent to TR1 REC.
The Dynamics processor can be configured as a
Compressor, a Limiter, a Gate, an Expander, a
Compander, or a Ducker. Basically a Dynamics
processor helps you automatically control the level
- dynamic range of incoming signal.
It is like a set of magic hands that, when setup
properly, can react quickly enough to incoming
signal to make a meaningful change. For example,
Compressors and Limiters control how loud a
signal can get – allowing you to get maximum
record level without overload. A Gate and
Expander control the background noise – allowing
you to keep the signal you want far from any
background noise or unwanted signal. In general,
You can route the Input signal to the STEREO
OUT. This will let you hear it via the Stereo bus.
When you need to troubleshoot the incoming
Leveling amplifiers is a great term when describing
what a Dynamics Process is all about. They help you
automatically contain the signal level.
signal, adjust its level, etc., you could connect this
‘ST’ point. You would also use this STEREO OUT
connection when you want to compare the signal
to your Track Channel sound. When you connect
this to the Stereo Out, you are hearing exactly
what is being sent to the HD Recorder. This is
where you check EXACTLY the sound that is being
recorded – it is your ‘scientific’ signal. For now,
leave this set disconnected (switch open). This
connection to the stereo output would also be
used when you were using the AW16G strictly as
a sound reinforcement mixer and not as a
recorder9. For our exercise, we will NOT connect
to the STEREO here at this point, (leave the
switch OPEN) but will follow the signal through to
the RECORDER (REC) output to track 1. Then we
will take the signal from the track 1 and run it
through “Track” channel 1 – this will allow us to
setup a separate ‘monitor mix’ POST the recorder.
This very fundamental difference is huge. Stop
and digest this point. Anything we do to track
channel 1 is post the recorder and therefore part
of the ‘subjective’ mix.
available to control the separate monitor mix
without disturbing the levels going to the
Here are your two main scenarios:
You hear actual Recorded levels: When
you want to check on the recording. This
reinforcement/Live music mixer, you want
the positions of the faders (as Input
Channels) to be the ‘scientific’ output (the
business mix). Short route:
Input Æ Input Channel Æ Stereo Output
Set the Fader Flip preference to INPUT. The
Faders control incoming signal.
A mixer used strictly as a sound reinforcement
front-of-house mixer does not necessarily need
the TRACK CHANNEL (post recorder channel)
routing.10 For simple sound reinforcement
purposes just route the signal through one set of
channel devices to this stereo output and set the
“Preference” FADER FLIP to INPUT. But in the
tracking (record) process, you route signal post
the recorder through the Track Channel before
going to the stereo outputs and the “Preference”
for FADER FLIP will be TRACK. The assignment of
the faders can be changed to accommodate the
selected function. The Fader Flip parameter is
found on the “Prefer” screen under the [UTILITY]
button. By having this selection you can use the
AW16G in many different mixing scenarios.
You hear ‘relative’ monitor levels: Like in
a tracking scenario where you want to use
the faders (as Track Channels) to setup a
separate monitor mix that is comfortable
to listen to in the control room. A post
recorder scenario lets you setup monitor
mixes and separate headphone mixes post
the recorder:
InputÆ Input Channel Æ HD REC Track Æ Track
Channel Æ Stereo output
Set the Fader Flip preference to TRACK. The
Faders control the ‘Tracks’ on the HD.
Let’s concentrate on this second more complex
routing because it will let us setup a separate
Control Room Monitor mix – the ‘subjective’ mix.
You can hear the ‘scientific’ mix (what is actually
being recorded) in this scenario by disconnecting
the TRACK CHANNEL and connecting the INPUT
directly to the Stereo bus. This can be seen in two
When setting up to “RECORD and MONITOR”, the
STEREO connection on the INPUT SETTING screen
should be broken (disconnected) because it will
duplicate the routing post the HD Recorder. We
will be running through the electronics of the HD
Recorder. The TRACK CHANNEL sliders are
1) On the [MONITOR], ON/OFF screen – the
top row you can connect the INPUT
directly to the Stereo bus; the bottom row
is the TRACK Channels. This screen will
make it easy to A/B the INPUT signal
versus the monitor mix.
2) On the INPUT SETTINGS pop-up screen
we discussed above – you see the ‘ST’
connection. Highlighted below:
In a scenario where you were not recording but need
to use the AW16G mixer like a sound reinforcement
mixer, you will want to change the functions of the
faders. In a sound reinforcement setup, go to UTILITY
and set the FADER FLIP to INPUT.
Although you could use it to setup a separate floor
monitor mix…the INPUT Æ STEREO out becomes the
house mix, and the INPUTÆHDÆTRACK CHÆStereo
out becomes the band’s separate monitor mix. (You can
give the guitar player MORE GUITAR without affecting
the front-of-house mix.)
added just to enhance the listening experience.
Reverb is not always recorded in the initial
process – of course, sometimes it is. After months
of recording you will get to a point where you will
know instinctively when to “commit” to the effects
– but most recordings are done ‘dry’ with respect
to reverb. Now, that said, in the case of specialty
instruments like Guitar, effects may be recorded
as the rule. Often a lot of their sound is the effect
(not a value judgment – just a statement of fact).
Therefore you will need to determine if you want
to record the effects (apply them on the INPUT
CHANNEL) or just monitor the effects (apply them
on the TRACK CHANNEL). The AW16G is
considered a ‘pro’ board because you can
determine this very thing.
Understand this about the routing: If you have the
INPUT routed directly to the STEREO bus and you
have the TRACK Channel connected, “Record
ready” to the Stereo Bus with the TRACK
CHANNEL fader up – you will be monitoring the
signal twice. You can avoid this by understanding
which routing you are using and which one you
want to listen to at that time. You want to use the
INPUT to STEREO bus routing to check/verify
record levels. You want the TRACK CHANNEL
signal for your subjective monitor mix.
TR ‘x’
REC: here is the signal connected to TRACK 1 in
our example (i.e., Input 3 is going to Track 1, and
Input 4 is going to Track 2). This represents the
signal arriving at the assigned recorder track –
where it will be routed through a Track Channel of
the same number.
The fundamental difference:
To hear and control the signal returning from the
hard disk you route the signal through TRACK
CHANNELS. The principal difference between an
INPUT channel and a TRACK channel is the Track
channel is post the HD recorder. All the
components are the same: an attenuator, a phase
reverse control, an insertion point for an effect
processor, a 4-band EQ, a configurable Dynamics
processor, a pre-fader send, a fader, a post-fader
send, a panorama potentiometer, and out.
Highlighting and pressing the METER box will
move the METER function to two different points
on this INPUT SETTING screen. The first position
is the INPUT position. The second position is the
signal just prior to going to the disk and can be
considered the REC Level (it is post effects, EQ,
dynamics, and the fader).
Signal that we routed to TRACKS 1 and 2 will
return to the TRACK CHANNEL section through
channels 1 and 2. There are 16 Track Channels
that are ultimately routed to the Stereo bus and
to our monitor outputs. In order to hear the
signal, post the recorder you must raise the Track
Channel FADER 111 and the STEREO OUT Fader.12
What you see is what you get
Use the [VIEW] button on the AW16G to select
the CH VIEW screen. You can toggle between
viewing the INPUT and the TRACK Channel. This
will help us understand the similarity and the
differences between the two Channel types. While
viewing the CH VIEW you will be looking at either
an INPUT or the TRACK channel (or PAD
channel) depending on which was last selected.
Press the INPUT 3 button, the screen will show
you in the upper left portion that you are looking
at the signal coming into Input jack number 3.
That is the signal flow from the INPUT to the
RECORDER. You can see the Meter doing the
“work” – signal is being sent to the HD recorder
and can be recorded. In our example, when you
see levels for INPUT 3&4, then you know your
signal is being sent and when you see RED LEDs
for your Inputs and for your assigned Tracks
(1&2) you know your signal is being recorded.
Further you can monitor the METERS for Tracks
1&2 post the recorder. As an engineer there are
times when you want to listen to the signal that is
recorded (the ‘scientific’ mix) > route the INPUT
to Stereo bus. And sometimes you want to listen
to a more musically friendly balance (subjective
mix) > route the recorder track through a Track
It is true that the scientific part of recording is
that you must capture the optimum level on each
recorded track – however, this does not make for
a musically well-balanced mix. It usually sounds
like a band where everyone is trying to play too
loud. So you normally listen, NOT TO THE INPUTS
monitoring the signal after the recorder, you can
turn down items that were boosted to get good
level. You can subjectively change the volumes in
the mix without affecting the recorded level. In
the monitor mix it is often the case that reverb is
When you PAIR channels the odd numbered fader is
the master fader of the two – you actually need only
move it.
We could be returning the signal to any of the 16
track channels. If you ever thought that Input channels
have some predetermined association with Track
channels, they do not. Input 1 and Track channel 1 are
not associated until you assign input 1 to track 1.
Nothing is predetermined in terms of assignments!
Input 3
know because we discussed them on the INPUT
channel side – the key point to understand is:
although they are same type of devices, they are
physically a different set of devices. The difference
now is that any changes you make will not be
recorded to the HD. Feel free to experiment
change the Faders (you have the Faders set for
Tracking) – it will not affect the signal going to the
of paired set 3 & 4
Press INPUT 4 you are viewing the signal coming
into jack number 4. If you make a change to any
of the icons on this screen – the result will be
recorded when you actually place the AW16G
transport in RECORD. Inputs are ‘pre’ the HD.
Once you become familiar with the signal flow you
can, at any time, switch things so that you can
accomplish the given task. Do not feel that you
have work one-way and only one way. The mixing
console is a musical tool much the same as a
synthesizer is a musical tool. The learning curve
on a device like the AW16G is getting familiar with
the screen views and knowing the signal routing.
Once you feel confident in the routing process,
you can begin to use the AW16G many tools as a
creative entity.
Now press the TRACK 1 Select button. The screen,
although it looks similar, is now the TRACK
CHANNEL of Track 1.
Track 1
of paired set 1 & 2
On close inspection of the flow chart you can see
the Pre-sends (there is a dot at the connection).
In the screen shot of the TRACK Channel above,
EFF1 and EFF2 are POST-fader sends (the dot is
on the after side of the fader), while AUX1 and
AUX2 are set as PRE-fader sends. You can change
them on this screen or on the AUX screen under
the PAN/BAL knob – press the PAN/BAL knob to
select AUX. Note the fader is set to –8.9 (a
subjective listening level). When you move the
physical fader for Track 1, this value will change
because your FADER FLIP parameter is set to
control the TRACK CHANNEL. Track 1 is panned to
the hard left (L16). Remember nothing you do or
assign on the Track Channel will affect the original
multi-track recording data.
Make it a habit to read the upper left-hand corner
for exactly which you have selected. Any changes
you make here, like adding effects or EQ or
dynamics are not recorded and are in your
monitors, only. Obviously, from the TRACK
CHANNEL mix you can submix a headphone mix
for your musicians. Musicians often want you to
place them in a large reverberant hall setting with
the reverb, but they don’t want you to record the
reverb. This reverb helps them ‘hear’ themselves.
It is why flute players love long hallways or will
spend a fortune to sneak into the Taj Mahal – so
they get that warm fuzzy that reverb gives them.
By sending signal ‘post’ recorder we can tailor the
sound subjectively without hurting the data we
are recording. Sending the Track channel signal to
the Aux outs can be a great way to set up a
headphone system in you home studio.13 You can
give the guitar player “MORE GUITAR” without
distorting the input level or clipping on the
Familiarize yourself with these key screens:
[MONITOR], ON/OFF screen – This screen
is for routing INPUTS and TRACKS quickly
to the STEREO bus using the select
Again press the [VIEW] button and select the CH
VIEW screen. Touch Track Select 1 to view the
overview of track 1. All of the devices we already
The AUX 1&2 outs can be fed to a separate
headphone amp. You would send the signal to the aux
outs ‘post’ the recorder, ‘pre’ the track channel fader.
This would allow you to set a separate volume level from
the one you are sending to your monitor speakers. The
individual send levels can be seen on the track channel
overview and on the AUX screen found under the
PAN/BAL knob.
[MONITOR], SOLO screen – Here you can
isolate an INPUT or TRACK using the
select buttons.
sources and
[VIEW], CH VIEW screen – This screen
let’s you view an individual INPUT, TRACK
(or PAD) channel depending on the select
After you have constructed your song onto the 16
tracks, you can setup for MIXDOWN. The role
change of you channels here is that instead of
setting up an alternate monitor mix, this time
“what we hear is what we want to get” – during
mixdown we are listening to the actual data – the
stereo bus signal is the scientific mix at all times
in the MIXDOWN scenario – every change is
recorded to the stereo mix. The MIXDOWN
process allows you to use the 8 INPUT Channels
and the 16 TRACK Channels simultaneously to
feed data to the STEREO L&R bus. Also feeding
this bus will be the stereo output of each Quick
Loop Pad and, of course, the stereo returns of the
two effect processors are returned to the stereo at
all times. With the AW16G you also have an
option of bringing a stereo digital input signal in to
the Stereo bus at the same time. The creation of
the stereo track is a critical step in the process.
This becomes the mix that can be burned
(Mastered) to CD. You can store up to 8 different
stereo tracks (mixes) with each song. The idea
here is you can then choose the best one for
burning to CD. The “alternate takes” are stored in
one of eight virtual locations. You can edit
together portions of the best mixes…this requires
mastering the use of Markers and copy-and-paste
editing. But that is another topic all together.
Start recording…
In the screen above you can see that EFF1 is post
fader while EFF2, AUX 1 and AUX2 are pre the
fader. Left to right you see a channel Attenuator,
a Phase reverse function (N = normal), Insert
point for EFFECT processor, 4-band EQ,
configurable Dynamic processor, Channel ON
switch, pre-fader sends, Fader, post fader sends,
panorama potentiometer (pan pot) and the Stereo
[VIEW], METER screen – This screen let’s
you view INPUT levels (8 inputs plus the
four stereo Pads, P1-P4) or TRACK levels
(1-16) depending on the select button.
Phil Clendeninn
Senior Product Specialist & Technical Jedi
Technology Group
©Yamaha Corporation of America
The PEAK setting will allow you to retain the
highest level (this makes it easy to see if you
distorted a record track. PRE is the signal prior to
the channel devices, while POST is the signal after
the channel devices. This means you can see your
level prior to going through the EQ, DYN, Fader or
Roles Change
We’ve been discussing the Channels during the
multi-track record process. During OVERDUB
sessions you will be applying your knowledge of
INPUT Channel versus TRACK Channel, because
the item you are overdubbing will be a ‘live’ Input
and the tracks that you are overdubbing on will be
coming through Track Channels playing back.
Each of the main functions of the Mixer/Recorder
may require the roles of channels to change.
During BOUNCING you are moving TRACK
Channels to a LR bus which carries them to a new
TRACK destination> making some Track channels
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