In the earliest days of recording, “mixing” was performed by placing a group of performers around a single microphone, with some standing closer or farther than others to balance their volumes. If the sax player had a solo, he’d move closer to the microphone, then move back again afterward. All of this was recorded live in mono through one microphone to either a tape recorder or a record-cutting lathe. If anyone flubbed his or her part, the whole group had to start again from the beginning.