A channel strip is a group of circuits and controls that function together on a given mixer channel to affect the audio signals that pass through it. These usually include:
- an input jack where an external instrument, microphone etc. connects to the mixer. XLR inputs are balanced to minimize noise and interference. Other inputs accept RCA or quarter-inch TRS connectors.
- a microphone preamp that prepares the relatively weak mic signal for processing by raising it to line-level strength
- equalization, abbreviated as EQ, adjusts the signal’s frequency response
- dynamics processing that may include compression or gating (discussed below)
- routing that directs the signal to other mixer circuitry and external devices
- a fader, which slides along a track to control the input or output of a channel
- a meter that visually displays the output of each channel