Here’s how you can quickly create independent headphone monitoring to check centre imaging in a 5.1 environment that follows the Main Console Monitor, but uses its own independent level control; this tip works on the Brio or Summa console.

But why would you want to? Great question, thanks for asking.

Monitoring output signals is a vital part of the broadcast audio workflow, and as programming becomes ever more complex, so do monitoring solutions.

There are lots of assistive tools built into Calrec consoles to help operators – automix, automatic downmixing, AFV, duckers etc. – but nothing beats using ones own ears to monitor programme output.

A question we get asked a lot is about monitoring the phantom centre – this allows those mixing in either stereo or 5.1 to monitor a ‘phantom centre’ through the left and right channels. In some circumstances it can provide a better picture of what the listener will hear in a home environment, irrespective of its individual audio set up.

This tip allows an operator to create a monitor mix with a phantom centre as an additional headphone output, with independent level control, and without using any extra resources.

Step one is to open the Studio Monitors 1 tab at the bottom of the main screen:

Then scroll along to the right, past the Track sources, to reveal the “Others” section:

Selecting “Follow Console LS” will set this Studio Monitor output to follow the source that is set on the main Console Monitor; the level will be determined by the Studio Monitor’s own level control. Selecting “Follow Console LS + APFL” will do the same, but passes the APFL bus through to the Studio Monitor whenever AFL or PFL is active on the desk. This allows anyone using headphones to hear audio objects not in the broadcast mix, independent of the studio monitor mix.

One thing to note is if you are using a stereo speaker arrangement, but still using the Console Monitor output bus, the Centre image will be lost in Mono mode if Phantom Centre is not activated. Toggling the Phantom Centre button in the Misc Functions centre sends the Mono signal to both the Left and Right speaker channels, creating a Phantom Centre image.

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