PreSonus HP60 6-Channel Headphone Mixing System
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One often overlooked detail in setting up a project or home studio is a proper headphone system. The PreSonus HP60 solves all issues that come up in a simple to use one rack space box. Firstly, it comes with six independent headphone amplifiers (one 150mWatt amp for each user) so there is no drop in anybody's headphone level as more phones are jacked in plus any combination of headphones--high or low impedance can be used at the same time. Each channel has a headphone level control, mute and a mono listening mode--drummers seem to like this. If you don't have a talkback system, an XLR mic input and talk button is provided. The HP60 also provides a stereo output from each channel for sending line level headphone channel mixes to additional headphone amplifiers or monitor systems. But the most important feature is the built-in source switching and separate mixing controls for three different stereo audio streams--Mix A, B and an a separate External input for each of the six listening stations. The External input is for "more me" in the mix.
I received the HP60 and immediately put it to use in my studio for recording backing vocals sung on one mic all together in the control room. I had four singers and each could easily adjust their mix from the HP60's single rack space front panel. I sent a track mix down Mix A and the recorded lead vocal down Mix B. Each station has a pan pot for blending the amount of Mix A to Mix B--any of the singers who needed a louder lead vocal had it. I "multed" or tied together all the External inputs of each of the six stations and fed just the sound from the singer's microphone in the room. Each singer now had control on the amount themselves in relation to their balance of Mix A and B.
This is just one way to setup the HP60 and a typical tracking setup might consist of sending the main control room mix to input Mix A, a click track to input Mix B, and each band member's track(s) audio to each channel's External input. Now each band member can create a mix between the main mix, the click track and themselves.
The HP60 is the headphone problem-solver especially necessary when tracking a whole band or just overdubbing many backing singers/musicians at the same time. From PreSonus, it sells for $399 MSRP. Visit www.presonus.com/hp60.html.
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