iLive 101 – Monitor system and Wedge / IEM strips

2013/09/04 in

iLive features a comprehensive engineer’s monitoring system with headphones and local monitor outputs available at the Surface, and headphones duplicated at the MixRack. The audio anywhere in the signal path can be listened to using these monitor outputs, and checked on the dedicated PAFL meters. Dedicated Surface and TouchScreen controls and user preferences let you configure the monitor system the way you want to work. For a dedicated Monitor mixing application you can assign Surface strips as the engineer’s Wedge and IEM monitor masters.

Each fader control strip includes a PAFL key. Press this to check the signal associated with the strip. The yellow indicator next to the key lights when PAFL is active, and yellow CHK indicators next to the associated sockets on iLive modular audio modules also light up. Input channel PAFL overrides Mix master PAFL, this means you can listen to a monitor mix using an Aux master PAFL, check an input source by pressing its channel PAFL, and release the channel PAFL to restore the Aux master PAFL.

Press and hold any SEL key in the processing control section for more than ½ second to send the audio at that point in the signal path to the monitor. For example, you can press the PREAMP SEL key to check the signal before the EQ and dynamics, and then the COMPRESSOR SEL key to listen to the effect after compression. You can also listen to the side chain signal affecting a gate or compressor.

Master keys to the right of the strips select the function of the PAFL keys to be PFL (pre-fade listen) or AFL (after-fade listen). Signals are monitored in mono or stereo depending on their configuration. AFL is pre-mute so you can check it before sending it, and ‘stereo in-place’ so you can check it after the pan and image controls. The function can be set independently for the input channels and mix master outputs. Normal setting is PFL for the inputs (check the signals before you bring up the faders), and AFL for the outputs (check the signals being sent from the console). For the iLive R72 these keys are accessed on the Touch Screen.

The PAFL meters display the level of the selected PAFL mono or stereo source. PAFL active indicators light when one or more PAFL keys are selected. The CLEAR ALL key clears the current PAFL selections. If both a channel PAFL and a mix master PAFL are active, then press once to clear the channel PAFL and twice to also clear the master PAFL.

A MONO switch is available to sum left and right signals in the headphones and local monitor outputs. This is not available on the iLive-R72 Surface. A pair of balanced, line level XLR connections on the rear of the modular iLive Surface, or TRS jacks on the rear of the fixed format iLive lets you connect an amplifier or powered speakers as a local monitor.


The iLive SIP system lets you listen to the contribution of single channels in the main mix by muting all other channels. It does this using the channel MUTE keys. SIP is protected from accidental operation while mixing live by requiring a two key press to enter the SIP mode. Hold down the blue SIP SAFES key and then press SIP. To exit SIP mode simply press SIP.

To make selected input channels and masters safe from SIP so that they are not muted when a channel is soloed, hold down the SIP SAFES key and press the associated strip MIX keys. The strip LCD SAFE icon displays for channels made safe while in SIP mode. It is typical to make the main mix, monitor and FX sends and FX returns safe in this way.

Note – SIP is known as ‘destructive’ as it affects the main FOH mix. It is intended for use during rehearsal or sound check only. For standard signal monitoring use the system PAFL function.

PAFL settings

Press the TouchScreen PAFL key to open a page of option settings for the PAFL monitoring system. Set these according to your preferred way of working. These settings are retained on power down.

  • Ext IP Talk to PAFL Turns on or off the source assigned for external talkback into the PAFL monitor. This facility lets you set up a reverse talkback path, for example to let the monitor engineer talk to the FOH engineer through the PAFL headphones.
  • Additive Mode Default operation is auto-cancel mode. In Additive Mode PAFL selections sum together.
  • IEM Mix to Headphones If you have assigned a Surface strip as the engineer’s IEM master for a monitor application, you can configure the system headphones monitor to follow the IEM master.
  • MIX switch follow Mix PAFL In this mode, pressing a fader strip PAFL key automatically selects the associated mix master MIX key, a quick way of adjusting the mix sends, assignments and settings as you listen to each master.
  • MIX switch follow Input PAFL Provides a similar link function for the Input channel MIX keys to follow PAFL presses.
  • SEL follow PAFL In this mode, pressing a fader strip PAFL key automatically selects the associated SEL key and therefore opens up the associated channel processing.
  • PFL trim Lets you adjust the balance between PFL and AFL monitoring in situations where the average AFL level is much quieter than PFL.
  • Main to PAFL Levels Touch these boxes and turn the screen rotary encoder to set the level of the main mix heard in the PAFL monitor when no PAFL is active.

Engineer’s Wedge / IEM monitoring

The iLive is capable of being configured for dedicated monitor mixing. It can provide an engineer’s dual Wedge/IEM facility for monitor mixing with combinations of stage wedge speakers and in-ear monitors. This lets you assign mono or stereo Wedge and/or IEM masters strips on the Surface. Mixes sent to the stage wedges can be monitored in just the engineer’s Wedge output, and mixes sent to the in-ear systems can be checked using just the IEM output. Both these outputs use the same stereo PAFL mix, but their mutes can be assigned to ensure the signal appears only at the wanted output. This provides the equivalent of a top end monitor console dual listen function.

Use the SURFACE / Strip Setup screen to assign one fader strip as a mono or stereo Wedge master or stereo IEM master. If you want full processing including GEQ and dynamics on the engineer’s outputs then make sure this is configured in the MIXRACK / Mix Config screen – this will use up some of the 32 DSP mix channels. Use the OUTPUTS screen to patch the Wedge and IEM outputs to sockets on either the MixRack or Surface, and plug these into your monitoring system.

Select the MIX key on the Wedge master strip. Hold down the ASSIGN key and press the Aux master MIX keys to assign the wedge mixes. Do the same to assign the Auxes used for IEM mixes
to the IEM master strip.

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