Direct Out – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Sound Engineering Glossary

I. What is Direct Out?

Direct Out refers to a method of routing audio signals from a mixer or audio interface directly to an external device, bypassing the internal processing and routing of the mixer. This allows for a clean, unaltered signal to be sent to an external device for further processing or recording.

II. How is Direct Out used in sound engineering?

In sound engineering, Direct Out is commonly used to send individual channels or submixes from a mixer to external devices such as recording interfaces, effects processors, or monitor systems. This allows for greater flexibility and control over the audio signal, as the signal can be processed or recorded independently of the mixer’s internal routing.

III. What equipment is needed for Direct Out?

To use Direct Out, you will need a mixer or audio interface that has Direct Out capabilities. This typically involves dedicated outputs on each channel strip that allow for the direct routing of the signal. Additionally, you will need appropriate cables to connect the Direct Out outputs to the external device you wish to send the signal to.

IV. What are the benefits of using Direct Out?

One of the main benefits of using Direct Out is the ability to send a clean, unaltered signal to an external device for processing or recording. This can result in higher quality recordings and greater flexibility in sound design. Additionally, Direct Out allows for individual channels or submixes to be sent to different external devices simultaneously, providing greater control over the audio signal.

V. What are some common misconceptions about Direct Out?

One common misconception about Direct Out is that it is only used for recording purposes. While Direct Out is commonly used for recording individual channels or submixes, it can also be used for live sound reinforcement, monitor mixing, and sound design. Another misconception is that Direct Out is only available on high-end mixers or audio interfaces. In reality, many entry-level and mid-range mixers also offer Direct Out capabilities.

VI. How does Direct Out differ from other audio routing options?

Direct Out differs from other audio routing options, such as aux sends or inserts, in that it bypasses the internal processing and routing of the mixer. This allows for a clean, unaltered signal to be sent directly to an external device. Aux sends, on the other hand, typically involve sending a portion of the signal to an external device while still passing through the mixer’s internal processing. Inserts allow for external processing to be applied to the signal before it is sent back into the mixer’s internal routing. Overall, Direct Out provides greater control and flexibility over the audio signal compared to other routing options.