Instrument Care & Tips
How To Clean An Audio Mixer
In the music industry, it is often said that an artist is only as good as their producer. The art of mixing songs to make hits is a highly refined skill that takes years to learn. Likewise, a mixing console only performs and lasts as well as it is treated.
A dirty console can hamper the sound quality. When critical components get jammed with dust and debris, white noise can ruin a perfectly good recording. Debris and dirt can permeate the machine and clog up vital components. Cleaning this equipment should never be neglected. However, it is important to have a full set of tools and expertise before tackling this job.
- Most sound engineers rarely clean their mixers. The typical frequency is probably around once every two years. This is irresponsible. A good mixer should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a year.
- Audio mixing consoles needs a delicate touch and a special array of instruments. Solvents, screwdrivers, paintbrushes, pliers, air compressors and steel wool are among the tools needed to properly clean a device used for mixing audio.
- Looking for a mixing console for sale is like looking for a new car, at least in terms of price. High-end models often cost over $10,000. That is why cleanliness is paramount.
- Not only can a lackadaisical attitude about taking the best care of your mixing equipment hurt the sound and production value of the music, it can drastically shorten the life of the machine.
One of the best ways to get the job done is to use a paint remover to lift off any intentional marks on the machine including the knobs if they have been manually altered. After this, remove the knobs and nuts so you have full access to the frame. Window cleaner works wonderfully to tackle debris accumulation on the frame. Plus, it will leave a nice gloss that adds aesthetic value to the board.
Using A Cloth To Remove All Debris
After the frame has a nice gloss, use a cloth or alternative duster to remove all the debris that has collected inside your mixing desk. This can be an exhausting process because there are many hard to reach places. Smaller but non-abrasive instruments such as tooth brushes can be used to handle the seemingly unreachable areas.
Thoroughly dust the board but be gentle. It is imperative that the male XLR jacks are not damaged. Hardy tools can be used to remove the grime from the bulk of the board’s surface but delicate instruments are needed for sensitive machine parts. An air gun is an excellent way to blow dust off sensitive parts.
When buying a board, there is more to consider than mixing board reviews. Always know the age and the level of upkeep afforded by past owners. A poorly kept audio mixing console might sound decent when you experiment with it but the sound quality is likely to diminish fast and the shelf-life is rarely substantial. Be sure to clean the unit one to two times a year depending on use.