How do I monitor a vocal signal/s in real time?


  1. I just bought “Presonus HP4” headphone amp.

  2. The manual thereof instructs that my monitors output cables which used to run directly to the monitor( speakers), should now pass through the “Presonus HP4” headphone amp and then to the speakers(monitors). (Well, there is an advantage for such a set-up e.g. one does not have to switch off the speakers to avoid the feedback noise when recording vocals in the same room).

  3. CHALLENGE: With the above mentioned setup, the quality of the sound on the speakers (monitors) has been lowered compared to the previous set-up where my monitor outputs ran directly from the audio interface (ESU 1808) to the speakers (monitors). Obviously that crisp and wide sound quality I used to enjoy has been degraded by the HP 4 headphone since my monitoring signal now passes through the HP 4 headphone amp before it gets to the monitor speakers.

To avoid this,I reverted to my the previous set-up where my monitor output cables ran from the audio interface to the speakers, (NOT passing through the HP4 headphone amp).

I plugged in the HP 4 into the other 2 analogue outputs which I assigned on Cubase 5, OUT-5 for “left” and OUT-6 for “right” in the VST Connections window .

I got the quality I used to enjoy but NOW THIS…

IF I MONITOR THROUGH THE HP 4 HEADPHONE AMP USING HEADPHONES, I CANNOT HEAR THE VOCALIST SING IN REAL-TIME (I hear the programmed sounds of the VST instruments tracks)…(If I switch on the speakers the “vocalist” is audible in real time, but then I cannot do that if the vocalist is in the same room as I am)

SOMEONE PLEASE BE KIND and PATIENT ENOUGH TO ADVICE ME AS TO WHAT I CAN DO TO hear the vocal sing in real-time when recording.


South Africa

I would check to make sure your vocal track is routed the same way your instrument tracks are. It seems your vocal track is making it to outputs 7&8 but not to 5&6. If your instruments are making it to 5&6 then they must be routed differently. Also, make sure it is your main output that you have routed to 5&6 within Cubase. If it was, you would be getting the same signal as 7&8.

Look at and set up the control room.


Recording the vocal is easily possible in all set-ups… My challenge is the following…

When recording, making sure that I hear the vocalist in real time (while he/she records) when my speakers are connected to OUT 1,2,3,4,5 and 6. (OUT 7 and 8 are the only ones that allow realtime hearing of the vocalist). Just before you suggest I use the headhone amp on the audio interface,I know I can do that, but this time, I would like to use the speakers…hear both vocalist sing and the instruments on Cubase 5.

IN SHORT, this is what I wish to achieve:If someone has a better connection to suggest that will do the following,he/she (are there she’s here?that would be nice)…

  1. The connection of the monitor OUT-cables should be directly to the audio interface (from the ESU 1808 to the Speakers; this gaurantees a very crisp and beautiful sound as opposed to the cables passing through the HP4 amp before going to the speakers)

2.If I happen to record the vocalist in the same room as where my speakers are, I should not have to switch the speakers off to avoid feedback**.(I never used to have that problem of feedback under such circumstances if I used the connection on the “brackets” on point no. 1. because I simply activated the “Mute Monitor” button on the HP4 headphone amp but such a connection degrades the quality of the sound on the speakers.)**

  1. I should be able to monitor the vocal through speakers if the vocalist is in another studio/room and successfully hear her/him in real time on the speakers. (problem: OUT 1 to OUT 6 does not seem to release the realtime vocal sound from the mic; Only OUT 7 and 8 allows that)

,if someone can suggest a connection that will satisfy the above 3 points, I would really appreciate. In the end, most members will benefit from the solution of this query.

Thanks in advance.


+1 on the Control Room. Many routing and monitoring possibilities all controlled inside Cubase.

Hi! Guys,

Thanks for all your input. The issue was resolved on my other post “Difference between “Output” and “Monitor” Output”.