This guide will explain how to correctly and safely create a headphone mix on the SSL XL desk and setup talkback functionality.
SSL XL: Headphone Mix and Talkback:
1. Aux 1 is used to send a headphone mix pre fader, then Foldback B is used to combine the AUX 1 bus and the Talkback Microphone into a single output, which is patched into the live room.
1. Before a headphone mix can be created it is important to confirm that audio signal is present on the desk.
This can be done by checking if a green light (red if clipping) is lit below TRIM dial on a channel.
Aux 1 Master Section:
1. Ensure that the ‘AUX 1’ Master level dial, located in the top right hand corner of the desk, is set to 0dB (the central position).
Then check that the ‘PRE’ button, located below the dial, has been pressed. This sets all Aux 1 sends to pre-fader, which is ideal for headphone mixes.
2. To listen to the headphone mix in the control room press the ‘AFL’ (After Fader Listen) button, just below the ‘PRE’ button to route AUX 1 to the monitors. Locate the AFL dial above the monitor control dial and turn it up slowly to a safe listening level. When it is no longer desirable to monitor the headphone mix in the control room, press the ‘AFL’ button a second time.
Aux 1 Sends: 1. On the channel strips, turn up the ‘AUX 1’ send dial to an appropriate level on every channel that should be present in the headphone mix. The more the AUX 1 send dial is turned up, the more of that channel will be present in the headphone mix.
Foldback B Level:
1. In the bottom right hand corner of the desk make sure that the ’Foldback B’ level dial is turned up. This controls the level of the signal being sent from the desk.
2. To the right of the monitor control dial, check the ‘TALK’ (Talkback) gain dial is turned up.
Foldback B vs Aux 1:
1. The design of the SSL XL differentiates between the Aux 1 and the Foldback B circuits, even though they are largely similar.
The main difference is the location of the output and the inclusion of the Talkback circuit summed with the Aux 1 signal within the Foldback B signal.
Patching into the Headphone Amplifier:
1. The desk should now be outputting AUX 1 and Talkback signals to ‘F/B B’ on the patchbay. Use a stereo bantam to TRS cable and plug the bantam ends into ‘XL FB B L’ and ‘XL FB B R’ on the bantam patchbay.
2. Take the TRS end of the patch cable and plug it into the ‘AUX IN’ socket on one of the channels on the headphone amp.
Before connecting the headphone amp to the live room, check that there is signal present in the headphone amp by increasing the volume (turn the dial located top right of the four dials per channel) on the headphone amp until a clear signal is visible on the LED meters. Then turn the volume all the way down (fully anti clockwise) to allow for a safe level to be set again once a performer has the headphones on.
3. Take a bantam to TRS cable and plug the TRS connector into the ‘PHONES’ socket next to the ‘AUX IN’ socket on the chosen channel on the headphone amp.
4. Plug the bantam connector and plug it into ‘Tieline A’ on the bantam patchbay.
Connecting the Headphones:
1. In the live room connect the headphones to ‘Tieline A’ on the stage box.
2. In the control room, slowly turn up the volume on the headphone amp until the performer is happy with the volume level in their headphones.