The Channel strip on a Mixing Desk is the vertical set of controls which relate to one particular input. Mixing desks will generally have one identical channel strip for every type of input, the channel strip may vary slightly for a different type of channel (stereo).
On some of the larger or more often some of the more expensive consoles channel strips are removeable separatly for repairs of replacements. This means you can remove a channel strip and use the desk without this channel whilst it is repaired. this is handy for tours as a replacement channel can be organized whilst the desk is still in use. It is of course important to note that they are not hot swappable Some desks will have channels in a block of 4 or 8 which need to be removed. As these tend to be the smaller desks this can prove to be limiting as often you will not have 4 or 8 free channels. On the "budget" type desks there is no option to replace a single opr block of channels. the entire input section is on one large PCB, a channel failure renders that channel useless until the entire board is sent for repair. this is no good in a tour situation where the desk is required every night.
The Channel strip on a typical FOH desk will contain (depending on the size and price of the desk) a selection from the following:
- Input sensitivity controls (gain)
- Phantom Power on/off
- Phase Reverse
- Equaliser facilities (including High Pass Filter)
- Auxiliary sends (pre or post fade)
- Routing options for subgroup
- Pan control
- Pre Fade Listen (PFL)
- Mute Groups
- Voltage Controlled Amplifiers (VCAs)
- Mute (sometimes labelled On/Off)
- LED bargraph level indication (VU Meter)
- A master level fader
More detail on each of these can be found in the Mixing Desk article.
Monitor (foldback) desks follow the same rules but input and output charateristic may change.