How to Hook Up Effects to a Mixing Board

By Greg Lindberg ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Mixing board
  • Effects
  • Power source
  • Cable cord

A mixing board is often used for multi-tracking when recording or playing a song live. A mixer is composed of a main out plug-in for the device where the audio will be sent, the channel strip with the EQ and other controls and the auxiliary inputs in which to insert effects and instruments. Effects can include delay, distortion pedals and many other types of gadgets and instruments. The process of hooking up your effects to a mixing board is quick and simple, but it’s important to know how to properly use your mixer and effects before hooking them up together.

Insert a cable cord in the “Output” plug-in of your effects pedal or instrument. Make sure the power source for the effects is plugged in, but don’t turn on your effects yet.

Plug the other end of the cable into the “Auxiliary” input of your mixing board. This input can be labeled differently on mixers and it may be labeled as “Effect 1”, “Effect A” or “Aux 1”.

Make sure your mixer is turned on, and then turn on the effects. You can now control the input of the effects when mixing or recording, such as using the slider or knobs to adjust the pan, gain or any other features available on your mixer controls.

Use another cable cord to plug in an instrument, like a keyboard, guitar or synthesizer, into the “Input” plug-in of your effects. You can then run your instrument or vocals through the effect into the mixing board.

Hook another effect into your mixer using the second auxiliary input.