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Not so long ago, just about every bit of popular recorded music passed through a hardware mixer - even today, a fair few hits are mixed this way.
The mixers we’re talking about are so enormous that they’re more commonly referred to as desks or consoles. Each channel is represented by a collection of vertically oriented controls called a strip. As well as the bare basics like a level fader, pan knob and aux send knobs, a channel strip will also contain EQ features at the very least, and probably dynamics too (compression and perhaps gating).
Channel strip plug-ins are designed to bring all of that processing (and in some cases a specific sound) into our DAWs, offering EQ, dynamics and often more in one plug-in.
Here are some of the best examples of the channel strip currently available.