Second PAFL channel (Please read b4 you start wrapping your head in duct tape)

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    I have a situation where I have a second operator, using two PL6 remotes, is doing a secondary mix that is streamed to a second location. This second operator needs to be able to do some pre-fade checks of sources. The PAFL circuit is tied up on the main mix.

    My first thought is to use an aux (or an IEM feed) to send this out. Is there a way to assign a button on the top row of the PL6 to turn on an aux or IEM send? I don’t want to have the operator clicking around in the editor software to assign a channel to an aux. Far too easy to mess something else up.

    Suggestions? Ideas?

    Profile photo of mervaka

    There is only one actual PAFL bus. Perhaps you could use a stereo pre fade aux bus? Unassign all channels, set all its sends to 0dB, then use the assign buttons as PAFL buttons?

    Profile photo of mrp123


    I also had occasions with a second operator working with me on one mixack where we both needed PAFL. I did similar to what mervaka suggested, which is what one of you two will have to do. It’s messy. I don’t know what capabilities Planet controller have since I’ve not used them. If it’s too messy to support, you’d have to buy another mixrack with a Port B option card of your choosing, plus optionally, a surface, all to gain another PAFL bus.

    Read on if you are interested in what I tried, if it may help.

    Unlike you, our other operator had to use Editor software. I used a the T112 surface. We decided the best way for us with all the particulars we faced was that he have exclusive use of the PAFL bus. I created my makeshift PAFL bus by (first) using a spare stereo aux bus. It could be mono if you prefer.

    By default, no input sources were assigned to the aux bus. However, all input source faders for that aux were set to 0 dB and were pre-fader send. To PAFL a source, I would assign the source to my aux bus and, of course, de-assign it when done, and temporarily set to post-fader send as required. If this amount of PFL were all you required, you could patch that aux bus to a physical output of the iLive to feed a headphone amp. But that’s not what I did.

    I also needed to PAFL my legit aux buses and master bus, which were my respective monitor mixes and house mix. To do so, I reserved a spare stereo matrix bus. To PAFL my monitors or house mix, I would assign and de-assign those specific bus outputs to my “fake PAFL” matrix bus, in the same manner I would PAFL sources using the aux bus. At all times, my “fake PAFL” aux bus was assigned to feed my “fake PAFL” matrix bus, with the stereo aux fader output set to 0 dB.

    My “fake PAFL” matrix output was patched to a physical iLive output that fed my headphone amp.

    This process could have been simplified if A&H honored this forum’s feature request to route input sources directly to a matrix bus. That feature was voted down because it’s too unusual, and understandably so. This means you are forced to rely upon both an aux bus and matrix bus if your “fake PAFL” needs access to basically everything.

    You are permitted to assign mix subgroups to an aux or a matrix, so either routing method would let you PAFL a mix subgroup. However, I can’t recall how those pre/post-fader settings behave. This was the only way I figure out.

    As you may imagine, it made PAFL much slower, forced me to really concentrate, and think through my surface layout. But I knew that in our situation, I could perform all these steps faster, more reliably and safer using the surface as compared to the other guy using Editor. I just needed to practice.

    I should also point out that this “fake PAFL” does not let you PFL anything at intermediate points within a processing chain (pre-compressor, post-eq, for example), or PFL’ing within the iLive FX rack. But I could deal that in my situation.

    Lastly, if you are using any legit matrix buses and both operators need to PAFL them, then you’re out of luck. Maybe feed your legit matrix buses to some 3rd-party hardware for your headphones, like a selector switch, to PAFL at will. You’d have to get creative.

    For me, these two-operator occasions were rare but necessary, so I didn’t let it bother me. If this were frequent, I’d definitely buy additional hardware for the other guy and create a better workflow for both of us.

    Good luck to you.


    mrp123, thank you! That sounds very much like the route I will take. It is too bad that we cannot assign an aux mix from a button on a PL6. If we could do that, this would be very very simple. I appreciate your advice!

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