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How do I monitor microphone levels (or other inputs) prior to the signal leaving the mixer? We have a Yamaha MG16/4, and we're currently using the XLR inputs with dynamic microphones.

Basically, I'd like to be able to watch the inputs with a meter of some kind either prior to the fader on the amp, or even the amp itself if necessary. I really just need to visually verify that there is some kind of signal without it ending put in the live mix.

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On the mixer, there is a PFL(Pre Fader Listen) monitor switch. You're meant to use this to monitor the input levels with headphones. I suppose you could buy a monitor meter and hook it up to the headphone jack. You could then use the PFL switch to monitor different channels.

However, while that seemed like a good idea, I couldn't find any headphone monitoring meters. Which is quite surprising. You could build one with some components from Maplin or some other electronics store if you're capable.

The only thing similar I found was this rack-mount VU meter which would produce a very satisfying visual display, how beautiful would that be, hmm?. enter image description here

It has a nice, stereo RCA input and output as well as input level control. I think this would work, but I would check the headphone output level, just to be sure it would satisfy a line input. If not, you may need to buy an additional level switching device, but I doubt that would be necessary.

If you do some shopping around and maybe phone some electronics stores, you may be able to find something smaller and cheaper.

  • Ok. This looks good. I'll probably have to rejigger things around. I just inherited this "job", so things are a bit messed up. It looks like they are using the headphone jack to record to a Tascam handheld recorder, and they use the volume knob phone on the headphone jack to prevent clipping. You've given me a good start. Thank you! – kettch Mar 3 '17 at 15:09
  • @kettch is there any output left unused on the console? You could simply route things differently and have the monitoring bus do what it's intended for. Buying any extra gear to do the job you want to do is more likely gonna cost you more than the console itself. – BadgerBadger Mar 6 '17 at 6:06
  • Yes, there are plenty of outputs available. I just need to figure out a simple way to control output volume to the recorder since it tends to clip if it gets left the same for all parts of the program. – kettch Mar 6 '17 at 15:18

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