Adventures In Audio
How to connect an outboard equalizer to a mixing console

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Adventures In Audio.

Tuesday May 1, 2012

An Audio Masterclass website visitor has an analogue mixing console and an outboard equalizer, but he doesn't know how to connect them...

An Audio Masterclass website visitor asks...

I have a ALESIS PEQ-450 parametric equalizer, and am not sure how it fits in the studio OR how its hooked up to the mixer. and my externaleffect units. I believe there through effect sends and outs, correct? THIS mix Board is a EURODESK SL3242FX PRO mixing board, thank you. Andre Eastman

Bearing in mind that Audio Masterclass is read worldwide and many of our visitors do not have English as their first language, here is my response...

Firstly, we need to familiarize ourselves with the equipment. Here is the mixing console...

Behringer SL3242 mixing console

And here is the equalizer...

Alesis PEQ equalizer

You can click on the images to view them full size.

How you connect the equalizer depends on what you want to do. Do you want to EQ a single channel (or pair of channels)? Or do you want to EQ the entire mix.

EQ a single channel

To EQ a single channel, then look for the 'Insert I/O' socket near the top of the channel just above the 'Level Set' control, which of course is the gain control. This is a three-contact jack socket, which acts both as insert send and insert return. You should check the manual to find out whether the tip contact is the send and the ring contact the return, or vice-versa. There is no universal standard for this.

You will need a special insert cable for this that has a three-contact jack (often called a stereo jack, but it is not being used for stereo in this instance) at one end from which sprout two cables, each going to an individual jack. The send goes to the EQ input, the EQ output goes to the return.

Connected in this way, you can equalize a single channel, or two channels if you wish with an additional insert cable connected to the other channel of the equalizer.

EQ the whole mix

To equalize the whole mix, everything is exactly the same as above, except you should use the 'Main Insert' sockets that are just to the left of the main outputs. The equalizer will now affect everything that comes out the console.

One point to notice is that this mixing console has a built-in graphic EQ. If you are using an outboard equalizer, then the built-in EQ should normally be switched out. It would only cause confusion to use both at the same time.

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