If you need to monitor multiple different mixes on location or on a stage and are using an M2R with the original unencrypted mode firmware, FlexList™ can make your work day a lot easier. FlexList is a feature built into the M2R, M2T, and DCHT that enables users to set up, quickly find and listen to up to 16 separate mixes as stereo, mono single channel, or a mono blend of two channels. Users can add mix profiles to a listening list, update them if frequencies have changed, add or delete them or clear the list, all via IR sync. FlexList allows the user to then scroll and select between the profiles, making monitoring, sampling, and troubleshooting issues easy and efficient.
The Transmittter is the Central Hub: Understanding the FlexList Workflow
For simplicity, we will explain this using “M2T” as the reference. The mixing board sends signals to an M2T, or in large productions, a number of M2Ts. The signal from the mixing board may be sent via Dante or by analog XLR cables.
Each M2T has two stereo channels (A and B), on different frequencies (to be picked up by different groups of receivers). Each of these channels has two audio streams (which are marked as 1 and 2). These streams can be picked up and monitored via the M2R receivers in one of four formats: a stereo mix, mono left channel only, mono right channel only, or a mono mix of both channel 1 and channel 2. This can be done with either of the two stereo channels available in the M2T.
A Practical FlexList Workflow
Setting up a FlexList can begin the same way, no matter what your application is. Usually, it is best to start with the settings you want in your receiver, i.e. limiter settings, etc., then use IR Sync on the M2T to “Get All” so that those settings are now stored in the M2T. The Flexlist itself begins with information stored in the M2T (the DCHT can also be used) that is then compiled into a list that is built in a single M2R. The “line items” in the list are the information sync’d from the M2T via IR sync. A list can then be cloned via IR to an unlimited number of M2Rs:
- Planning is essential. Give some thought beforehand as to what “mixes” (stereo, mono, etc.) are going to be useful for your application. Then, create profiles of those mixes and name them in the M2T.* A profile consists of frequency, mixer settings, limiter settings and whether the earpiece will deliver mono or stereo - and label the profile (user's name or name of mix, instrument, location, etc.) as needed. To do this scroll down to Edit Names and press MENU/SEL. Here you can assign names to the M2T itself, to the individual carrier (TX-A or TX-B) channels, and/or to each audio channel embedded on each of those carriers. This may be useful if using mono mixes, for instance. “Mainframe Description” refers to the M2T itself. If you are using multiple M2Ts, you may find it helpful to have each Mainframe named in a way that will help you distinguish what mixes are going into it. Useful names might be things like “Stage” or locations in a reality set.
* This can also be done in advance within Wireless Designer, as part of setting up channels and frames. We cover channel and frame set-up in our online Wireless Designer Overview.
For example, you may have a drummer’s audio coming into the M2T – on which you assigned the Mainframe Name of “Stage” – then “Drummer” on carrier A, then “Drummer Mono 1” on A1.. A producer may want to hear a stereo feed of the drummer’s audio, while the bass player just needs a mono feed for timekeeping purposes. If so, you would create two line items for the FlexList and call them Drummer Stereo and Drummer Mono 1. You will want to set up all of your M2T transmitters in this manner, and choose good operating frequencies using Wireless Designer or another software frequency coordination program.
- The next step is to build the Flexlists in the receivers. In the Flexlist menu, start by selecting “Add” which allows you to add a profile to the list. mode, choose the mix you want to send from a particular M2T transmitter, and then enter the Sync Flexlist menu on that transmitter to send the profile over IR. Choose the mode that fits what you need:
• Stereo Mix: The current receiver settings are sent as is, except the mix mode is set to stereo.
• Mono Ch. 1 Only: The current receiver settings are sent as is, except the mix mode is set to Mono Ch. 1.
• Mono Ch. 2 Only: The current receiver settings are sent as is, except the mix mode is set to Mono Ch. 2.
Repeat this step for each mix that you would like to add to the Flexlist in that receiver.
- Once a list has been created, it can be shared with other M2R receivers via the IR port, using the Share List menu setting. If something changes on a transmit channel, such as frequency, use the “Update” function in the Flexlist menu on the receiver to choose which profile to update, then re-sync it using the transmitter as described above. Then, share the updated list to other receivers if needed. You can also delete profiles from the mix, or clear all profiles from the list in the Flexlist menu of the receiver.
To listen to any of the mixes from the list, choose “Listen”, and scroll through the list via the UP and DOWN arrow buttons. When you listen to feeds in your List, the feed overrides what your receiver is “natively” tuned to – until you switch to another feed or exit the list, whereupon the receiver will revert to its original settings. There is no limit to how many people can listen to a single feed at a time.
What Are Some Environments That Can Use FlexList?
If you’re wondering where you might be able to use this feature in your own work, here are a few hypothetical FlexList scenarios:
- Monitor Mixing Onstage – A 5 Piece Group
In this scenario, you build a list of each performer’s monitor mixes in your M2R. Each performer will have their own transmitter, tuned to a specific frequency. In the example we mentioned earlier, if the bass player is not clearly hearing the drummer’s mono feed, or the producer is not hearing the bass player’s stereo mix, the tech that is monitoring the M2R can listen to any of those feeds and adjust the mix for that performer accordingly.
- A News Anchor In A Studio
Mono IFB feeds are common in this situation. A news anchor can be on camera, wearing an earpiece fed from his or her M2R. Flexlist gives you the ability to listen to any of the mixes (producer, anchor, other locations) to isolate and solve problems.
- Reality TV
FlexList has been adopted for this purpose, by request from engineers and personnel who need to hear many different variations of what is being recorded. For example, one could create a mono FlexList and a producer FlexList. It could also be convenient for quickly setting up custom crew mixes and “batch process” changes.