The Model 77 provides five buttons and associated LEDs for selection of the surround and stereo input sources to be monitored. While in most cases only one input source will be monitored at a time, stereo input C can be selected for simultaneous monitoring with one of the two surround or other two stereo inputs. This allows the two selected inputs to be combined ("summed").
It's interesting to note that while each of the two surround inputs has an LFE channel associated with it, the ".1" post-fader surround monitor output is designated as SUB (subwoofer), rather than LFE. This terminology was carefully selected to highlight the fact that this output channel may include more than just LFE content. The bass management function, if enabled, will redirect low-frequency energy from the main input channels, combing it with the LFE content before routing the sum to the subwoofer output.
The post-fader surround and stereo monitor output levels can be controlled by way of a large, easy-to-use rotary control. The control, actually a digital encoder, allows level selection in precise 0.5-dB steps. The auto mute all function causes the post-fader surround and stereo monitor output channels to automatically mute whenever the output level control reaches maximum attenuation. Using the reference level function, the post-fader surround and stereo monitor output levels can be set to a pre-configured value. This is provided for audio-with-picture applications that require a specific monitor output level. The reference level is easily configured by taking an electronic "snapshot" of the desired monitor output level. For operator confirmation a 4-digit LED readout can display the level of the post-fader surround and stereo monitor output channels. To match the needs of a facility, it can be configured to display either the attenuation level or the sound pressure level (SPL).
The dim function allows the post-fader surround and stereo monitor output levels to be reduced by a fixed dB amount. The dim level is configured from among four available values. A mute all function allows the post-fader surround and stereo monitor output channels to be simultaneously muted. The channel mute/solo section provides post-fader surround and stereo channel monitoring control, allowing a single channel to be muted or monitored. Multiple channels can also be simultaneously selected for muting or "soloing."
A special solo mode is also provided, called channel pop solo, which offers a unique aid in monitoring audio material. Channel pop solo allows the level of a single post-fader monitor output channel to be raised while the level of the other channels is reduced. This helps to emphasize the content on one channel without fully muting the others. Broadcast applications can benefit from the channel pop solo mode by allowing, for example, the center channel to be highlighted while still maintaining some level on the other channels. The amount of level increase—the "pop"—as well as the amount of attenuation can be configured to meet the needs of specific applications or users.
Two functions allow the input sources to be checked for level or phase inconsistencies. The surround to stereo downmix function is used to create a stereo signal from the selected surround (5.1) source. Key operating parameters in the surround to stereo downmix function can be configured to meet the requirements of an application. This can be especially useful when support for specific international broadcast standards is required. The stereo to mono downmix function allows audio on the left and right channels to be added (summed) and monitored on the center output channel. The two downmix functions can be simultaneously enabled, allowing a surround source to be checked for mono compatibility. The downmix functions always impact the post-fader surround and stereo monitor outputs. A configuration setting allows the pre-fader surround monitor output to be selected for pre- or post-downmix operation.