Stereo Fader explanation....? ( Mixing desk)


Was just wondering if someone could explain the stereo faders to me on a mixing desk?

Im just not sure how can it be stereo if its only one fader? 22MTK is my example.
It has 3 or 4 channels on the desk which are labeled E.G. 17/18 19/20 21/22. This relates to their stereo faders but just not sure how it works?

I thought stereo was an illusion created by panning things L/R? How can you create a stereo field if theres only left or right to pan it? hmmmmm! mind boggled!

Also can you use mono instruments on these channels?



This kind of mixer channel is pretty common on small-medium mixers these days: just 2 x inputs that are ganged together under one fader & get mixed into whatever 2-channel bus has been selected on the channel (if you have that option).

Usually one of the inputs will be marked ‘mono’ which will usually send the signal to both sides.

It’s a convenient/cheap way of feeding a stereo pair through a desk.

Stereo in mixing is an illusion. It’s just a particular sound stage to position stuff on.


Thanks very much for your reply. So im guessing by what your saying is that having these channels isnt as effective as taking two mono outs from the instrument into two mono in channels on my desk and panning left on one and right on the other? Correct me if im misunderstood


That’s literally what it’s doing. It just has one fader that attenuates both channels by the same amount.

On stereo channels the “Pan” control usually becomes “Balance”. Slight difference.

By the way, you realise the stereo channels on the MTK have two jack plug inputs for the L/R signals? They only have one XLR input, and if you use that it treats it as a mono channel. Just checking…


Okay cheers man, so it’s perfectly acceptable to use these then with say my prophet 6 in stereo?

Not sure I understand the latter? I would ideally be taking the outputs L/R of pedals, P6 and going into these inputs on the desk. Wouldnt be using XLR. Is that what you mean?


Yeah these stereo channels are really meant for synths or stereo fx processors where you are going to treat the two channels as a pair (eg in regards to EQ and fader/volume level).

The Balance control (in lieu of Pan) basically just raises one channel’s volume and lowers the other. Nothing you can’t do using the faders on two mono channels, it just saves a bit of space and is more convenient.


Quality. Glad thats confirmed. Thanks for your help man


There are two physical tracks inside a stereo sliding potentiometer.