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Making a mountain out of a monitoring mole hill
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author Making a mountain out of a monitoring mole hill
So I think I might be making this more convoluted than it needs to be but I can't think of an alternative solution to a monitoring challenge.

The goal:
Allow a friend to be able to listen to the output of Ableton running on a laptop along with a stereo mix of of other musicians coming from a multitrack recorder without them being recorded (pre tape monitor?) but then easily send signal to the multitrack and only monitor that mix without the pre- tape monitor signal.

This would allow them to fiddle through patches and/or work up a part without confusing the other musicians in an improvisational setting. I can't seem to get around the two mixer solution in the diagram I sketched out below. Having two mixers just seems wonky to me. But, one plus to this scheme is that it will allow the person to boost themselves in their headphones relative to the mix without effecting their recorded volume.

Am I reinventing the wheel here? Is there an easier approach?

Edit: Removed comment about disarming tracks because I didn't think it through.

What's preventing you from using a single Mixers AUX channels for monitoring and/or recording?

For instance,
Channel 1: Laptop
Channel 2: Multitrack

AUX1 OR main Mix: Headphone Mix
AUX2: SEND to Multitrack
Yep, mixer with more than one aux send per channel is the usual way to set up something like this. Especially if the aux sends are available in channels used to monitor multitrack playback as well as live inputs when overdubbing or rehearsing an overdub. Read this article from Sound On Sound: Cue Monitoring Techniques

Covers things like this:
"In full-scale commercial studios, the usual solution is to provide multiple headphone feeds for the different performers, each derived from a separate pre-fade mix buss on the studio console. The clear benefit here is that you can set up as many different monitor mixes as you have pre-fade sends (pre-fade sends are used so that the monitor mix doesn't change if the main mix faders are moved). In a typical project studio, though, the number of free pre-fade sends may be very limited — or even non-existent if the system is entirely computer-based. That means devising a different strategy, and in many cases a simple solution is all that's needed."

"More esoteric headphone amplifiers allow individual headphone mixes to be set up by combining the main mix output and two or more pre-fade sends in different ways, where the mix balance is under the control of the musician. This entails connecting both the stereo mix and the pre-fade aux send outputs to the headphone amplifier, then deciding what to feed into the aux sends. For example, if aux one carries only vocal and aux two only the drums and bass guitar, each player can adjust their individual mix to be vocal heavy or rhythm heavy depending on what they need."
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