Creating a Cue (Headphone) Mix with the Mixing Console
When you’re recording, you’ll often need to create separate monitor mixes: the performer in the recording booth may need a slightly different mix than the one you’re listening to in the control room. The flexibility of the Mixing Console makes it easy to create custom cue mixes.
When you start a new project, all audio tracks are routed to the master bus. Let’s assume that you’re using the master bus for your main mix. If you have a sound card with multiple hardware outputs, you can create alternative mixes that you can send to hardware outputs without changing your main mix.
First, go to the Audio Device tab in the Preferences dialog and ensure you have a multiple-output device selected in the Audio device type drop-down list.
On the Audio tab of the Preferences dialog, clear the Track prefader sends listen to mute check box.
If the Mixing Console isn’t already visible, choose Mixing Console from the View menu.
First, let’s click the Insert Bus button in the Mixing Console window to create a new bus for our alternative mix.
By default, the bus is named Bus A. Let’s double-click the bus label and type “Mark’s Headphones” in the box to give our bus a more descriptive name.
Now we need to route our headphone bus to one of our sound card’s outputs.
a. In the Mixing Console, click the Output button in the I/O control region on the cue mix bus. A menu is displayed that lists all of our sound card’s outputs.
To show or hide the I/O control region, click the I/O button in the View pane.
b. Choose the output where you want to send the headphone mix.
c. Connect the performer’s headphones to the selected output.
Now we need to create our headphone mix.
a. If the Sends control region isn’t already visible, click the Sends button in the View pane. Notice that each track now has a send for Mark’s Headphones (Bus A).
If you have multiple busses in your project, you can adjust the height of the Sends control region until all sends are visible, or you can click the Channel Send button for each track and choose Mark’s Headphones (Bus A) from the menu.
b. Click the Pre/Post in each track’s Sends control region to select Pre Volume Send mode. When bus sends are pre-volume, the cue mix is independent of the main mix.
c. Drag the fader on each track’s channel strip to adjust the level of the track that is sent to the headphone mix bus. If multiple tracks are selected, you can adjust their bus-send levels at the same time.
Right-click the bus send fader in the track header in the main application window and choose Link to Main Track Pan from the shortcut menu. When this command is selected, track panning is applied to bus sends (including pan position and panning mode). When Link to Main Track Pan is not selected, the track sends a center-panned stereo signal using the track’s current panning mode.
If you want to exclude a track from the headphone mix, just set its send to -Inf.
You can use the channel strip for the headphone mix bus in the Mixing Console window to adjust the level of the headphone mix, add effects to the mix, or mute and solo the mix.
If you need to create multiple mixes, you can add up to 26 busses to the Mixing Console window and repeat the procedure described in this topic.