In those early days, adjustments needed to be made before the song was recorded for desired effects. Whether it was how an instrument was positioned, the audio levels of a microphone, and even where the artists themselves were placed in a room. Now all of those adjustments can happen on the fly or after recording is complete.
The most prominent piece of gear needed for mixing in music production is the mixing console. Also known as a mixing board, software mixer, or mixing desk, the console is equipped with multiple inputs for multitrack recorders. They take the different signals (vocals, instruments, MIDI files) and allow the engineer to manipulate those sounds.
Even if you’ve never been in a recording studio, you are probably familiar with a mixing board: table or desk with a series of knobs, sliders, and buttons. These dials all serve a specific purpose, from handling specific signal inputs to manipulating those signals with a series of effects.
Mixing isn’t only used in the recording industry. Sound is incredibly important on film sets, TV studios, and other forms of media. Mixing background noises, dialogue, the sound, and music during transitions takes an incredible amount of talent and an ear to match.