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Singers... more me in the monitors!


geoham

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In my last band as we took all our cues from the singer (who was also the guitarist) our monitor requirements were lead vox & guitars in all monitors plus our own vocals in our own monitors. Made things quite easy for whoever was on the desk as well, rather than “a tad more attack on the upper mids on the snare” and all that which I have heard people ask for. 

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8 hours ago, acidbass said:

one ear in, one ear out' does work to retain a bit of the live feel

That virtually guarantees hearing loss in both ears. Your brain can't process the different levels so you have to crank the bejesus out of the IEM to bring it up to the exposed ear. If there's still live drums you're stuffed.

 

Room mic going back to the IEM's.

 

For the OP.

 

Use smaller amps.

Point them directly at the heads of the owners with stands.

 

That will get your stage volume down.

 

As for idiot singers, can't fix stupid.

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8 hours ago, geoham said:

The guitarist will take some convincing... he'd still prefer to bring his Marshall 4x12 to a tiny pub gig, but that's a whole other thread!

There's most of your problem right there. Even if he powered it with an Orange Tiny Terror on the 7w setting it would be quite loud enough for a tiny pub.

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6 hours ago, geoham said:

To give an example, we were setting up recently and the input from his pedal was barely registering a signal on the desk. Asked him to turn up full, as I'd almost maxed the gain on his channel. So here we are with the gain and the fader both pretty high and he's not that loud at all. Other channels were adjusted to compensate. Three songs in and I'm sure I don't need to tell you the rest..

That's geetard being geetard. I'd lose my rag and tell him to come run the sound or behave.

 

If you've got all those spare aux channels you can tell him to buy his own mixing monitor amp and mix his own send at his end.

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I’d love to go in ear but never going to happen because the other lads are dinosaurs. I always gig with ACS plugs in due to Mesa Boogie / crash cymbal damage.

 

Given lack of in ears the best solution I’ve found is 1) get the guitarist’s amps up to ear level (on a pub table) 2) get higher fidelity vocal monitors also up to ear level - these https://www.tc-helicon.com/product.html?modelCode=P0CMI have been a revelation. Small enough to sit on shelves, tables or mount on mic stands. 

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9 hours ago, moley6knipe said:

I’d love to go in ear but never going to happen because the other lads are dinosaurs. I always gig with ACS plugs in due to Mesa Boogie / crash cymbal damage.

 

Given lack of in ears the best solution I’ve found is 1) get the guitarist’s amps up to ear level (on a pub table) 2) get higher fidelity vocal monitors also up to ear level - these https://www.tc-helicon.com/product.html?modelCode=P0CMI have been a revelation. Small enough to sit on shelves, tables or mount on mic stands. 

That’s an interesting looking monitor. Perhaps worth looking at.

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Fortunately for me I’ve only had to work with 2 singers who were never satisfied with the level of their vocal in their monitor. They both operated on the edge of feedback i.e. as loud as it could practically go. I suspect that the level would never be high enough for them, and that in fact the problem lay elsewhere - most likely in their heads. Neither ever tried IEMs but I do wonder what the outcome would have been.

 

On the topic of using IEMs one-in-one-out, my preferred solution is just to loosen one slightly in my ear (the one furthest from the drums). This allows just enough ambient leakage to overcome any feeling of disconnection.

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20 hours ago, Acebassmusic said:

 

 

1 - Can we keep it basic and solve the "problem" with the equipment we have eg: use the volume controls / positions of all the amps / monitors / drummers?

2 - Have a specific rehearsal with all PA / backline in gigging positions etc to allow the sound person time to work on level setting / balance / monitor mixes etc. Easier if you have someone who is just doing sound but like me, when you're leading the band, running sound, lights, singing harmonies and playing bass it helps to have some of the issues covered prior to mid-song at a gig. 🙂  It also helps the band to use long leads and hear for themselves the difference between onstage and audience sounds.

3 - Having gone through the "reheasal process" get an agreement from EVERYONE that in future once the sound is set and you start playing the gig "NO FURTHER TWIDDLING IS ALLOWED" 🙂 🤣

.......but then what do I know, I'm only the bass player? 🤣:facepalm::dash1:🤣

 

We swapped to rehearsing with quieter backline and relying on monitoring either via wedges or IEMs a long time ago and it makes such a difference to live performances.  No more arguments about how loud backline is, no volume wars between guitarists band members - just a tweak in their own mix and viola!

 

It needs investment - not only in equipment but time both to a) mic cabs, setup wedges etc etc at the rehearsal and b) to get things to the point where you have 'ready to go' base-line settings for gigs - but it's worth it on both counts.

 

In the current setup with 2 monitors are you running a compromise mix @geoham i.e. those two wedges providing monitoring for multiple band members?  If so then it's unlikely you'll get something that works for everyone, just a poor compromise that just winds everyone up.

 

I do feel your pain as band leader, bass player, PA/Lighting owner/operator and backing vocalist!

 

19 hours ago, nilebodgers said:

Easy solution now you have a digital desk - compressor insert on his channel set for fast attack and a high ratio with the threshold set so it isn’t quite activating on his soundcheck loudest level. He can turn up as much as he likes after that and it won’t get any louder.

 

We do this but to prevent excessive lead guitar volumes in monitor mixes by applying a limiter to 2nd guitar channel only feeding the monitors.

 

Edited by DaytonaRik
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We had this problem for ages - I always found in ears were fab for the mix but always made me sing flat for some reason (lack of talent probably :D) in the end the solution was a digital mixer so everyone could have their own mix then either in ears (drummer used those and loved them)or me and the other singer/guitarist used smaller close monitors Mackie SRM 150s - the key then is to run your mix loud through the FOH and convince everyone else to turn the backline down so you can hear the monitors

 

Lots of the "loud" actually comes from finding space in the EQ for the singer's voice in his/her monitor

Edited by BobVbass
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5 hours ago, DiMarco said:

Turn down the amps on stage. That's the real problem.

 

 

Well - yes and no.  If you have insufficient monitor channels on your desk for each band member then people just turn up their backline which then has to be heard over the drum kit, who then hits harder and now the vocalist can't hear their wedge so that gets turned up and so it spirals out of control.  It starts with proper monitoring enabling you to reduce backline levels to an absolute minimum if not remove it altogether.

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10 hours ago, DaytonaRik said:

 

We swapped to rehearsing with quieter backline and relying on monitoring either via wedges or IEMs a long time ago and it makes such a difference to live performances.  No more arguments about how loud backline is, no volume wars between guitarists band members - just a tweak in their own mix and viola!

 

It needs investment - not only in equipment but time both to a) mic cabs, setup wedges etc etc at the rehearsal and b) to get things to the point where you have 'ready to go' base-line settings for gigs - but it's worth it on both counts.

 

In the current setup with 2 monitors are you running a compromise mix @geoham i.e. those two wedges providing monitoring for multiple band members?  If so then it's unlikely you'll get something that works for everyone, just a poor compromise that just winds everyone up.

 

I do feel your pain as band leader, bass player, PA/Lighting owner/operator and backing vocalist!

 

 

We do this but to prevent excessive lead guitar volumes in monitor mixes by applying a limiter to 2nd guitar channel only feeding the monitors.

 

We have been using just two wedges for everyone. It was all our old desk would handle, never mind the very limited spaces we play in.

 

Thankfully we’ve made part of the investment already. Nobody is using an amp these days. Amp modelling for both the guitarist and I. Keyboard player has ditched his amp too. 

 

The digital desk will be getting its first outing tomorrow. A couple of us on in-ears, The other three can share two monitors, and I think that one of them will invest in in-ears soon enough.

 

George

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1 hour ago, Grahambythesea said:

You need a new singer, one who is less of a diva and probably not as deaf from listening to himself at too loud a volume.

He’s otherwise very good in fairness… I’m not painting the most flattering picture!

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  • 4 weeks later...
1 hour ago, Dan Dare said:

If the singer won't use in-ears, tell him to get something like this. You can adjust your monitor level independently of the PA or main monitors. Made my life a lot easier when I got one.

 

 

TC monitor.png

I am fairly sure the problem lies with the sandbagging guitard cranking himself up post sound check. He needs to get his monitoring from his own amp pointed right at his head. @geohamHow did it pan out??

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My old singer used to complain he couldn't hear himself a lot of the time. I showed him what the knobs do on the desk and told him to get on with it. I dont mind getting the sound right at sound check, or at least trying, but i told him once on stage im just the bass player and if he needs something changing he can bloody well do it. He soon stopped complaing and just got on with singing.  From where i was standing his monitor was always loud enough so i know it was just him being picky.

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13 minutes ago, dave_bass5 said:

My old singer used to complain he couldn't hear himself a lot of the time. I showed him what the knobs do on the desk and told him to get on with it. I dont mind getting the sound right at sound check, or at least trying, but i told him once on stage im just the bass player and if he needs something changing he can bloody well do it. He soon stopped complaing and just got on with singing.  From where i was standing his monitor was always loud enough so i know it was just him being picky.

I had the same issue...once each of the band had an iPad for in ear ONLY (would not let them nr the FoH mix) they made no changes!!!!

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24 minutes ago, BCH said:

I had the same issue...once each of the band had an iPad for in ear ONLY (would not let them nr the FoH mix) they made no changes!!!!

I used to get sick of everyone mucking around at sound check and then complaining once we start playing. Quite often the drummer tells me after the gig that he was struggling to hear his vocals. He mostly sets his kit up and bangs always until we have finished. Never once will he get up and move a monitor or make

sure he can hear himself clearly. He has his own monitor but expects me and the singer to sort it all out. 

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18 hours ago, Dan Dare said:

If the singer won't use in-ears, tell him to get something like this. You can adjust your monitor level independently of the PA or main monitors. Made my life a lot easier when I got one.

 

 

TC monitor.png

These are great, along with others like the Mackie and Behringer models. However, please beware -  someone I worked with connected his ‘inline’ rather than using the auxiliary out from the mixer, which meant that when he turned the monitor output up it also affected the FOH level too. Took us ages to work out why his mic was significantly louder than at soundcheck, tw*t! 

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On 25/09/2021 at 19:07, Dan Dare said:

If the singer won't use in-ears, tell him to get something like this. You can adjust your monitor level independently of the PA or main monitors. Made my life a lot easier when I got one.

 

 

TC monitor.png

Certainly looks an interesting device!

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On 25/09/2021 at 19:07, Dan Dare said:

If the singer won't use in-ears, tell him to get something like this. You can adjust your monitor level independently of the PA or main monitors. Made my life a lot easier when I got one.

 

 

TC monitor.png

So that is a special “lead vocalist” monitor. What it really needs is a feature to pump adoring crowd comments to them!

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