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I wish I knew exactly which model Aphex Aural Exciter you have. For now, I’ll assume it’s a vintage ’80’s model, maybe a B. It’s a dual unit. i.e., 2 channels, correct?
The main purpose I had for using it in AUX SEND was so that you could use it on any and/or all channels with AUX SENDS, but ….
I’m going to have to make some further assumptions here, because I don’t know for sure what your purpose for it is. 1) You will not be using it for playback of stereo prerecorded sound, such as CDs, tapes, vinyl, iPod, computer line out (playlists), etc., and 2) You will be using it for microphones (your voice) and/or possibly an instrument or mono line input.
If so, you can indeed use the INSERT jacks on ch’s 1 and/or 2 of your little mixer, but you will have to buy one or two INSERT CABLES, depending on whether you want to use your Aphex on one or two channels. As MRAM indicated, these are special cables designed to insert the processed signal from, in your case, the Aphex unit, into the path.
With us so far?
OK … the end of an INSERT CABLE which looks like a stereo phone plug, the TRS end, goes into the mixer channel jack marked “INSERT”. Now you have two more wires … one is marked “TIP” and the other is marked “RING” (don’t worry about the sleeve, it’s just common ground on all of them).
The wire marked “TIP” goes to the INPUT of one channel of the Aphex unit. Let’s assume Aphex channel 1. The other wire marked “RING” goes to the OUTPUT of the same channel (1) of the Aphex unit.
Now the Aphex processor’s channel 1 signal is INSERTED into the signal path of the MIXER channel between the Equalizer section and the Fader. Put another way …
1) The MIC (assuming that’s what you have plugged into the MIXER channel) signal is affected first by the Gain and Equalizer sections of the MIXER channel, then …
2) It goes out to the Aphex where it gets processed, then returns the processed signal back to the MIXER channel, before the Fader, and is now affecting the signal of that MIXER channel when it gets mixed onto the MAINS BUS.
Now the controls on Aphex channel 1 can alter your MIC signal. The Aphex unit controls the output level, the effect (primarily phasing in this unit), and the mix (dry-to-wet), i.e., how much effect is blended with the main signal.
After having gone through this enough to have some sort of handle on what I think (again, not sure) you want to do with it, this seems like the best approach now. The thing is, you will need to purchase an insert cable (or two if you want to to use both channels). Like any cable, be sure it’s long enough to reach where you need it to go with no stress and clear of objects, but not excessively long.
NOTE: There is one caveat with your mixer … there is a warning in the manual that the return section of the INSERT is phase reversed. Not sure why … maybe to cancel the signal if something is put in backwards. Considering that the Aural Exciter uses phasing to control its effect, I don’t know how that will, ummm. how else to say it … affect the effect.