Headphone Mix and Talkback

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.


Source Signal:

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.