The KRISTAL Mixer



  1. Audio Inputs
  2. Audio Output
  3. Performance Meter
  4. Channel Strips
  5. Master Channel

1. Audio Inputs

Audio Inputs

In the top-left of the mixing console window are four Audio Input 'slots', where you can choose an audio source to connect to.

By default, 'Audio Input 1' has the KRISTAL Waver PlugIn selected (although this is optional). The others default to 'No Input'.

Click on 'Waver' or 'No Input' and a pop-up menu appears. Here you can choose which of KRISTAL's 'input PlugIns' you want to use: the 'KRISTAL Waver' PlugIn, or the 'KRISTAL LiveIN' PlugIn.

  • The KRISTAL Waver PlugIn is a powerful multi-track recorder, supporting up to 16 tracks, with extensive non-destructive audio editing capabilities. Since each Audio Input slot can host its own KRISTAL Waver PlugIn, a total of 64 audio tracks is theoretically available (although only 16 of these can be connected to the mixer simultaneously).

  • The KRISTAL LiveIN PlugIn allows you to route any external sound source connected to your computer (for example, a microphone or a guitar) directly into the mixer, where it can be processed in 'real time' via VST effects PlugIns and the channel EQs.

Clicking the button beside each of the input PlugIn slots opens or closes the main 'editor' window for the selected PlugIn. In the case of KRISTAL Waver, this is the main audio sequencer arrangement window.

2. Audio Output

Audio Output

The Audio Output pop-up menu allows you to choose which of your computer's audio devices will be used to play sound from KRISTAL.

The available options will depend upon what hardware and drivers you have installed.

Clicking the button beside the Audio Output slot opens a control panel where you can adjust special settings for chosen device. Only some (ASIO) sound card drivers provide this functionality.

3. Performance Meter

Performance

The Performance Meter shows what percentage of your computer's available processing power KRISTAL is using.

Ideally, you should try to keep the meter below about 75% in order to get the best 'real time' performance from your system.

If you find your computer is struggling (e.g. unresponsive mouse pointer, interruptions in the sound), you may need to reduce the number of VST effects or audio tracks in your project – perhaps by exporting a mixdown of some or all of the tracks.

4. Channel Strips

Channel Volume

KRISTAL's mixer window features a total of 16 channel 'strips', much like those you'd find on a conventional hardware mixing console. Each channel strip offers the same basic controls:

A vertical 'fader' allows you to control the level or volume of the sound passing through the mixer channel.

By default the fader is set to '0.0', meaning that the level of the incoming signal is unchanged. Moving the fader down reduces the volume, moving it up increases it. Right-clicking the fader resets it to 0.0dB.

To the right of each fader is an animated meter, which displays the changing level of the signal.

If the level of the signal exceeds a certain threshold, a 'CLIP' warning will appear at the top of the display.

You should be careful when mixing not to allow any of the mixer channels to clip, as excessive clipping can result in unpleasant-sounding distortion in the final mix. If a signal clips, lower the fader slightly and click on the CLIP warning to reset the display. If it still clips, lower the fader again and repeat the process until no CLIP warnings are displayed.


Pan/Mute/Solo

Above each channel fader is a 'pan' control (a small horizontal display, containing a vertical bar).

  • If a mono signal is connected to the channel, dragging the 'bar' to the left or right allows you to control on which side of the overall stereo 'image' the sound will sit.

  • If a stereo signal is connected to the channel, the pan control adjusts its 'balance', i.e. the relative levels of the left and right channels.

Above the pan control are the 'mute' and 'solo' buttons, labelled 'M' and 'S' respectively.

  • Activating the mute button mutes the channel, i.e. the affected channel can't be heard in the final mix.

  • Activating the solo button mutes every other channel, i.e. only the affected channel can be heard in the final mix.

Beside the mute and solo buttons is a small display which indicates whether a mono or stereo signal is connected to the channel. A circle icon appears when a mono signal is connected; two inter-locked circles appear for stereo signals.

Above the mute and solo buttons, each mixer channel has its own independent effects and EQ.

These are explained in their own sections of the manual.

5. Master Channel

The Master Channel (at the far right of the mixer window) is similar to the other mixer channels, except that it is used to control the overall level of the stereo mix.

While the other mixer channels have one fader, the Master Channel has two. By default these are 'linked', so that moving one causes the other to move as well.

Right-clicking either of the Master Channel faders resets both to '0.0'. Holding 'Alt' while dragging allows the faders to be adjusted independently.