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Independent Phones vs. Monitors level with Mackie 1202vlz + DAW
Old 26th February 2014
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Independent Phones vs. Monitors level with Mackie 1202vlz + DAW

tl;dr: How can I have the same mix coming out of headphones and monitors while being able to independently control the volume on both, if I'm using a Mackie 1202vlz?

I bet this has been asked 100 times but I've been searching around a bit and either it's such a boneheaded question that nobody's asked it (doubtful) or I'm not articulating myself correctly and my Google-Fu is failing.

Overview: I really like using an outboard mixer with Ableton, and I'm currently doing that with a Mackie 802vlz. My setup is basically:

(mics, synths, whatever) -> Mackie Channels
- Monitors connected to Control Room Out
- Alt 3/4's go into 2-channel comp audio interface
- Comp audio interface out comes back to Mackie via Tape Input
- Main Mix + Tape selected for Control Room Input

This results in me being able to work stuff up in a live fashion, computer could be turned off if I want. If I won't bother anyone, I can have this coming out the monitors, and the level there is controlled by the Control Room level. If it's 3AM, I'm using phones with their independent level control, and the Control Room (ie "Monitors") level is down. When I decide I want to take something into the box and start doing work there, I Alt 3/4 it in. This all works great.

However, my 802vlz has some issues and I could use more channels, so I'd like to go to a new 1202vlz.

Problem is I've noticed there is no headphones level. Apparently the headphones level is controlled by the Control Room Level.

Every way I come up with solve this (seemingly) straightforward need has some sort of hitch. Like maybe I could put the monitors on the Main Mix, then Phones level would just be Control Room level; however control room gets the Main Mix (right?) level from the Main Mix faders so turning that down so that my monitors are silent would just result in nothing being in the phones.

As far as I can tell the only way to solve this would be the extra expense / complication of one of those TC Electronic knobs. Not that it's *that* complicated, but I'd love to not have to add more stuff.

The lack of info out there on this makes me think I'm just doing something wrong.

Thanks in advance!
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