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Monitoring - if tha wants owt done proper...


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14 hours ago, lozkerr said:

Quick update. I've put the gear together - tonight was the first chance I've had to spend any time on it - and guess what?

 

It works! IT BLOODY WORKS!

 

Granted, I had to pull my practice rig apart to get the right cables and drape the living room in a spider's web of electric string to test everything, so it looked a bit messy, but I can mix the levels in my IEMs independently of whatever's going to the main desk.

 

I still have to test a few more things, and do the rounds of the local music shops to get some cables of the right length but I'll post some pics and a diagram of the signal path tomorrow, as @MacDaddyrequested.

 

Whoop whoop!

 

Brilliant! :)

 

When will you get to try it live?

 

Cable management is important if you're not going wireless... there are a looot of cables. When I tried this approach I considered getting a couple of those 'snakes' to have a few cables bundled together, but I thought it might get a bit bulky.

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On 07/05/2022 at 14:08, mcnach said:

 

 

 

I believe @Dood used a similar approach in the past, maybe he has additional comments on this as I think he used it more than I have.

I'm not @Dood obviously, but I've done similar using a Zoom H4 - this means you don't need the mini-mixer because it's built into the H4. I used the built-in mikes for ambient, plugged an output from the bass into one socket and a monitor mix into the other socket, put the unit on a short boom mike so you can adjust levels,  It works really well.

 

I also use the ZS10s, they really are amazing for the money and you can buy assorted rubber tips off the bay if the ones supplied don't fit your lugoles.

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OK, as promised, here are some pics and details of what goes where. I was hoping to have picked up all the cables by now, but while staring blankly at the cables in Guitar Guitar it sank in that no high street shop is going to stock a lot of twelve-inch XLR cables, so I guess I'll have to get them online. No matter, it won't be used in anger for a couple of weeks yet.

 

Are we sitting comfortably? Then let us begin. Here is the front. Top to bottom - Behringer MX882 splitter mixer, Furman power conditioner, Eden WTP600 amp in a Gator case.

front.thumb.jpg.492daa723aa73897b6b5bc6c6ad1a940.jpg

 

And yes, from a locking point of view, the case is upside down, but I had to assemble it on my dining table and didn't want to scratch the glass. 

 

And here is the rear. Correct - the back of the mixer is almost inaccessible, so I think a patch panel will be needed.

back.thumb.jpg.8dc02fcdc6e36814fd1e2e2c8b38dee4.jpg

 

This is a better picture of the back of the mixer, nicked from G4M's website.

 

1642948786_mixerbackpanel.thumb.jpeg.84e0037a296d0a53ee20b15d73f030ab.jpeg

 

And here are the all-important connection details. All the sockets are labelled, so reading from right to left:

 

Main input L: no connection.

Main input R: no connection.

Main output L: out to IEM belt pack or transmitter.

Main output R: no connection.

Channel 1 input: IEM feed from main desk.

Channel 1 output: no connection.

Channel 2 input: DI output from amp. Or pedalboard pre-amp. There's no EQ on this mixer.

Channel 2 output: DI to bass on main desk.

Channel 3 input: vocal mic.

Channel 3 output: mic feed to main desk.

Channel 4 input: condenser mic pointed at singers.

Channel 5 input (jack socket): unpowered ambient mic or powered mic via its own PSU.

Channel 5 output (jack socket): no connection.

Channel 6 input (jack socket): unpowered ambient mic or powered mic via its own PSU.

Channel 6 output (jack socket): no connection.

Mains kettle lead from power conditioner.

 

Each input channel has one of two modes - SPLITTER or MIXER. Set them all to MIXER, set the balance controls fully left and dial in the mix you want. The signals going to the main desk from bass and vocal mic aren't affected by your mix.

 

And that's it!

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Nice little rig there.

 

Just double check that it's a passive split (in that the split still works when the unit is powered off) - otherwise you may get one very whizzed off sound engineer when a power failure in your rig takes out the bass any lead vocal and remediation would take repatching of cables. 

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9 hours ago, mcnach said:

 

 

Sorry, I seem to have missed this earlier!

 

What do you think of those ZS10? They've been in my shopping cart a few times but never went ahead thinking "they're relatively cheap, they can't be all that good" but they seem to be getting great reviews. Getting the right tip for you is key, 'though. 

 

Oh, you're really at the very centre of the city! It can get a bit busy with tourists, but it's a great area. When I arrived in Edinburgh I used to go for walks around there in the evening, when the streets are a lot quieter. Very fairytale-esque, in some ways. It's easy to get used to it. When I have family/friends visiting from Spain they all go "wow" and it takes me a minute to recognise that, yes, actually, this is pretty cool, it's just normal to me now :)

I remember the very first time I set foot in this city. I came by train, for a job interview, from Oxford. I had already lived a few years in the South: London, Norwich, Cambridge, Reading and Oxford... and as the taxi drove me to my destination I was looking around thinking "I must come here some day and explore, it seems like an interesting city". I didn't think I was going to get the job... but I did, back in November 1999. Now I don't want to leave. 

 

Hey, being a Leither is slowly becoming a badge of honour! :D

I've found them pretty reliable so far. The curved sleeving at the earphone end fits nicely round my ears, making it easy to tuck the wires out of the way. They've only been used in anger a few times, so they might not last as long as pricier sets, but I can't fault the design or sound quality. They come with a few different tips, and the second set I tried seemed to fit the bill - they cut out all the ambient sound and stayed put even when I snagged the cable.

 

Aye, it's easy to take the Old Town for granted and get irritated with the tourists gawping round in open-mouthed wonder. I think the sense of history hit me properly during lockdown - when I had to go to the supermarket, I found myself walking more slowly and noticing more things because of not having to dodge groups of tourists. Old ghost signs, tenement bell-pulls still bearing the names of long-departed residents, carvings on buildings, roads that once went somewhere and now didn't - all the things I'd hurried past hundreds of times and never noticed. It was creepy at the same time, though - seeing places like Princes Street and the Grassmarket completely deserted brought on a feeling of being a post-apocalyptic disaster movie.

 

Though I was born here, I'd spent the majority of my life in England - Somerset, Bournemouth, Hertfordshire, London and Leeds. But I'd aye had a hankering to come back to Edinburgh. The flat I'm now in was a holiday let, which I rented for a couple of weeks, and during a chat with the owner, she mentioned they were selling up. My divorce settlement was just sitting in a bank account and I'd been wondering where to buy a place, so it was a no-brainer. The B-word result was another factor.

 

Yes, I liked it so much I bought the property 😊

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

Nice little rig there.

 

Just double check that it's a passive split (in that the split still works when the unit is powered off) - otherwise you may get one very whizzed off sound engineer when a power failure in your rig takes out the bass any lead vocal and remediation would take repatching of cables. 

I thought of that. Repatching would only take a few seconds - join the mic input and output cables and plug the bass DI into the pre-amp on my pedalboard. Just need to make sure there's enough slack in the cable when setting up. Then loosen the IEMs slightly to hear more ambient sound and the job's a good 'un.

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While I sadly haven’t lived in Edinburgh for coming up to a decade now, it still feels like home… so that’s no bonafides to being able to take part in this thread…

 

I struggled with tips for IEM for a while, with comply tips I was getting good but not great isolation, and a tendency to work loose if moving around - some triple flange silicon ones are surprisingly good, stay in place and easier to clean. (And way cheaper/longer lasting) so worth a try 

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Seems a bit of a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

 

Just ask for your monitor feed to be pre-fade. Then once it's set, its set. I would think you'd get plenty of bleed from the drums into your vocal mic, which may have been your issue all along, so try and angle it away from the drums. 

 

With your setup you're going to get a very dry mix with no EQ on any instruments/vocal. 

 

Rather than looking at loads of extra gear to fix a problem, I always look at what's causing the problem first and if it's user error or some other root cause, fix it there. Otherwise you're adding more complexity in, which will ultimately cause more issues than it solves. 

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36 minutes ago, TimR said:

Seems a bit of a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

 

Just ask for your monitor feed to be pre-fade. Then once it's set, its set. I would think you'd get plenty of bleed from the drums into your vocal mic, which may have been your issue all along, so try and angle it away from the drums. 

 

With your setup you're going to get a very dry mix with no EQ on any instruments/vocal. 

 

Rather than looking at loads of extra gear to fix a problem, I always look at what's causing the problem first and if it's user error or some other root cause, fix it there. Otherwise you're adding more complexity in, which will ultimately cause more issues than it solves. 

I can think of two good reasons to have you monitor mix for IEMs under your personal control. 

Your left ear and your right ear. All you need is one incompetent engineer and it is over. 

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14 minutes ago, Owen said:

I can think of two good reasons to have you monitor mix for IEMs under your personal control. 

Your left ear and your right ear. All you need is one incompetent engineer and it is over. 

 

That's what the volume control is for. 

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Posted (edited)

I have to admit though, I do think that an XR18 and a split box would be more elegant and give you a lot more control over your mix in terms of processing.

 

However... I do appreciate that that is a completely different ball park in terms of price. But, the XR18 would service multiple people - and the above solution is purely for one person and you'd need to loop through a number of different similar systems to achieve the same for each player (with signal degradation at every step and a more itchy sound engineer that is seeing the failure points building)

Edited by EBS_freak
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31 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

 

The issue, it seems is 'Who is it that has control over the volume..?'. :|

 

It's on your IEM amplifier. 

 

You don't have any control over feedback from individual sources while playing, you're still at the mercy of sound engineers not allowing feedback into the stage mics. 

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1 hour ago, Dad3353 said:

 

OK, I understand that, but who has control over what feeds the IEM amplifier..? :|

Usually the soundman. And it's usually taken pre-fade and set during sound check. And left unless you signal to them you want more or less of something. It's the way it's been done for years. 

 

The first thing I do with all inputs is put the 100hz self on and cut all bass from all mics that don't need it. Standing next to the bass amp and drums with with vocal mic open to bass frequencies is going to cause issues. Which you can't sort if you've got no EQ between the mic and the IEMs.

 

Really look at what the problem was and fix it at source.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, TimR said:

Usually the soundman. And it's usually taken pre-fade and set during sound check. And left unless you signal to them you want more or less of something. It's the way it's been done for years ...

 

And which causes few issues. However, this topic started with...
 

'... I'm feeling apprehensive about putting my hearing in the hands of sound engineers whose experience might not be that extensive. Something similar happened on our previous two gigs ...'

Taking back control removes the potential of having a repeat of those issues. :|

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11 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

Taking back control removes the potential of having a repeat of those issues. 

 

Seems to me the lack of control of volume is caused by having the IEM behind her back and out of reach. 

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5 hours ago, Owen said:

I can think of two good reasons to have you monitor mix for IEMs under your personal control. 

Your left ear and your right ear. All you need is one incompetent engineer and it is over. 

 

And it generally sounds better, so what's not to like? Even using the Zoom H2 recorded 'trick'. Quieter in your ears, better clarity, and adjust volume/balance all you want without fuss.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, TimR said:

 

Seems to me the lack of control of volume is caused by having the IEM behind her back and out of reach. 

Thank you for your input.

 

If I'd turned down, I'd have lost everything else - bass, my mic, guitars, main vox and keys. 

 

Using this rig gives me control over what I need to hear, and if I get blasted with noise from the desk, I can kill just that feed and still carry on OK.

 

If bleed-through is causing issues, that needs to be fixed at soundcheck, not half-way through the second set, which is when all this started. I don't know what happened out front and TBF I don't really care. What I do care about is my hearing, and after getting bombarded with noise three times on the trot, I'm not prepared to risk it again.

Edited by lozkerr
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5 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

I have to admit though, I do think that an XR18 and a split box would be more elegant and give you a lot more control over your mix in terms of processing.

We used an XR18 at our previous gig and I agree - it's a great piece of gear. Unfortunately, clumsy fingers out front messed with the mix and the wi-fi then threw a strop, which meant I couldn't use my tablet app to fix it 🙄

 

If tha wants owt done proper...

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Posted (edited)

My gig last Fri was DI from head, allowed me to control my own amp volume. Worked fine.

 

I've used IEMs before without a backline and it really didn't have the same impact, I need to feel it through my feet too. 

Edited by Machines
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So if have this right, the OP has 5 XLRs going from the desk, across the stage to her mixer and then 5 going back to the main mixer. And then will attempt to mix the levels (with no EQ) during the sound check? 

 

How does this work? I don't mean in a technical manner, the signals will do what they do, I mean in a practical real life situation?

 

I look forward to seeing how practical this is when it's gigged. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, TimR said:

So if have this right, the OP has 5 XLRs going from the desk, across the stage to her mixer and then 5 going back to the main mixer. And then will attempt to mix the levels (with no EQ) during the sound check? 

No.

 

Bass and vocal mic go through the splitter mixer and out to the main desk. IEM feed comes back from the main desk to the splitter mixer. Ambient stage sound from separate mics goes straight into the splitter mixer, not via the main desk. What goes into my IEMs is the splitter mixer output only, made up of bass and vocal mic, ambient sound and the main desk IEM feed. 

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