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Beginner's Question - Separate Monitor Desk

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Beginner's Question - Separate Monitor Desk

Postby ASDrums » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:08 pm

As the title suggests, this is a question from a beginner. I only do small-scale shows at the moment, and send only one or two monitor mixes from the FOH desk. When using a separate monitor desk, how are the channels sent from the instruments/mics to the FOH desk and the monitor desk? Are they sent directly from each channel on the FOH to the monitor desk, or what?

Sorry, I expect the answer is very simple, but I can't work it out.

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Re: Beginner's Question - Separate Monitor Desk

Postby The Korff » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:13 pm

Hello, and welcome to the forum!

Sometimes the direct outputs on the FOH console are sent to the monitor desk's line inputs, sometimes the monitor desk's direct outputs are sent to the FOH desk's line ins! In either of those cases, the direct outputs must be pre-fader, so that fader adjustments on one don't affect the level of that instrument going to the other desk.

In more mission critical (or 'professional', or 'high-end', if you prefer) situations, the mics go into a mic splitter, where each mic's signal is sent to both the FOH desk's and monitor desk's mic inputs. The advantage to this is that if one desk fails, the other can carry on as normal while someone runs around like a nutter to try and figure out what went wrong. Another advantage is that gain changes on one desk don't affect the other, so the FOH and monitor mixers have complete control over their own gain structuring.


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Re: Beginner's Question - Separate Monitor Desk

Postby James Perrett » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:37 pm

In my experience direct outs are rarely used. Splitting the mics, either using a simple direct Y split or a transformer splitter is much more common. Purpose build monitor desks sometimes have splitters built in.

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Re: Beginner's Question - Separate Monitor Desk

Postby turtles » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:58 pm

Splits, not direct outs.
Direct outs come after the pres and sometimes after the eq too- tho this is often switchable. Either way though, losing control of gain structure isn't ideal for monitors as you have to trust the foh guy more than you might want ;-)
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Re: Beginner's Question - Separate Monitor Desk

Postby Dave Gate » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:59 pm

+ 1 for splits - preferably on a purpose built stagebox.
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