I recently received a request for assistance with a sports broadcasting problem. The announcer uses a headset to call the game, and plays recorded content from his laptop. He also has 2 assistants that act as “spotters”. They scan the field for something interesting to talk about, and let the announcer know about it in his headphone.

The announcer’s voice, and the recorded material from the laptop, are part of the broadcast (he also sends this audio to the PA system in the stadium). But the spotters voices should not be heard by the listeners… only by the announcer.

Here is how I suggested that he resolve the problem. See the diagram below, and follow along as we walk through it.

802-SPOTTERSYour mic (part of your headset), and 2 spotters mics, will connect as shown, to a Mackie 802VLZ mixer. The headphone part of your headset connects to the mixer’s PHONES jack, while the spotters’ headphones connect through a separate headphone amplifier connected to the mixer’s MAIN OUT. Spotters will hear the same material that you are sending to the PA system. You will hear a separate mix.

Notice on Mic2 and Mic3, that the MUTE button is highlighted with a red diamond. These MUTE buttons should be depressed. This removes the spotter mics from your main mix, but sends them to an alternate destination.

Now, find the CONTROL ROOM SOURCE buttons (just left of the meters). These buttons determine what you will hear in your headphones. You want to hear the MAIN MIX, and you also want to hear the ALT 3-4 (this is where we sent the spotters to).

You will hear the main mix and the spotters.
Spotters will hear the main mix.
PA system will hear the main mix.

If you want to put the spotter into the main mix, just release the MUTE button on that mic.

Here are links to more detail on the items discussed:
Mackie 802VLZ4 mixer
Rolls HA43PRO headphone amplifier
AudioTechnica BPHS1 headset

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