Chapter Two: Studio Gear
3. Mixing Console Basics | page 5
The aux send master section controls the total amount of signal being sent out to each of six aux devices, combining all the channel aux send amounts mentioned above for each individual bus. It is possible to monitor one or more aux sends by pressing the solo button. Novice users often forget to turn up the aux send masters and consequently no signal is sent to the aux device.
This is a good place to mention the gain staging of an effects loop — that is, all the controls where the aux send signal may be boosted or cut. The process begins with the input channel strip aux send pots, which next go through the aux send master pot and into the effects box. The effects box likely has its own input level pot. These are often very sensitive, so sending the right amount of signal to avoid distortion is imperative.
The monitor section controls what signals and levels are sent to the studio speakers, the control room speakers, the talkback circuit (for communicating with artists or thieves in the studio, or conductors on stage), and headphones. Use the source buttons to select the source that you are monitoring. In most cases, this will be set to L/R Mix, in order to monitor what is coming off the main stereo fader. This is one of the first things you should check if you get no sound out of the board. In addition, the master level of the solo bus is set, as well as the level of the Mix-B bus. By pressing the "assign to L/R MIX" button below the MIX-B LEVEL, you will essentially double the number of input channels asigned to the stereo mix, since all the B-MIX inputs will be added to the regular channel inputs at whatever master level you set in this module.
It is important to realize that the level of signal emanating from the control room speakers IS NOT necessarily the level of signal being sent out the board and recorded. That is controlled by the output section (next page). Watch the output meters for levels actually being sent to recording devices. What you hear out the monitors is usually controlled by the output section, modified by the CNTRL RM or STUDIO monitor pots (unless your board has a PFL or pre-fader listen option).