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Beginner's Question - Separate Monitor Desk
Sorry, I expect the answer is very simple, but I can't work it out.
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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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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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