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Split monitoring

Description and application of split monitoring in mixing consoles.

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A recording console has two types of signal source. One is from the microphone and line inputs. The other is from the already-recorded signals on the multitrack tape. To record overdubs, these must be mixed together for the monitor mix and headphone foldback.

A split monitoring console has a number of input channels, plus a number of monitor channels with reduced facilities.

Since a simple monitor mix is often all that is necessary, the monitor section of a split console will typically offer only level and pan controls. PFL is handy too.

Although the split monitoring console is now considered old-fashioned, there are still such consoles in day-to-day use. The concept is still valid and we may see a return to split monitoring consoles in the future.

Also, an understanding of split monitoring helps make it clear why current consoles use the alternative inline monitoring.

By David Mellor Sunday June 8, 2003
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