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Author Topic: Best way to mix band in-ear and house system  (Read 3565 times)

Jerome Casinger

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Best way to mix band in-ear and house system
« on: January 21, 2017, 04:57:21 pm »

Bottom line:  The rest of my band is ready to switch to in-ears to gain control of monitors after multiple venues with dead drivers, lack of monitors, etc etc.

We play a lot of shows with 2 or 3 bands on the bill.  A decent amount of the time we are the "headliner" and the stages are small so its full gear swaps (I use that term loosely but for local shows it is what it is). 

I am trying to run through my head if I could use my X32 rack and a splitter snake or something to easily tie into a house system.  I imagine for this to work well and ensure the same mix we would need to always bring our own mics etc?  I can see how we would tie our rig into the house existing snake.  My question is when it comes to multi band gigs though, I guess if they fit within our footprint it would be fine, but one band last night had 8 members and definitely would not fit in our footprint.

Curious thoughts on how or if I can make this work with minimal extra set up on our band (usually we are last on for the night so stage swaps have to be fast), but I also dont want a crazy headache for the FOH guy.  I run FOH probably 40ish times a year, but the only bands that have fed me a split have been the only band playing that night.

Wanted to get thoughts on this.  Venue gear ranges dramatically from analog with tons or outboard, to some digital guys etc etc.  Some are also running the x32 as well, I could let them mix on the IPAD but not everyone is comfortable with that and for a walk in band, I would rather be on the faders and knobs to grab and go faster, just my opinion.

Looking for thoughts from both sides of the fence here, bands doing it, FOH guys that have walk in ear rigs showing up frequently etc.

Thanks and sorry for the long read.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Best way to mix band in-ear and house system
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2017, 05:10:07 pm »


Looking for thoughts from both sides of the fence here, bands doing it, FOH guys that have walk in ear rigs showing up frequently etc.

Thanks and sorry for the long read.


Not on the fence here.  We staff for a chain of "stage" gastro pubs that book bands at 7 locations all year long.  Without a doubt the best acts are self contained.


Started seeing it a few years ago from a couple of bands out of Chicago, Hot Sauce Committee and the Personnel) then some East Coast were doing it. 


We use x32 in house so if you want I will take a digital patch from you.  Most hand off an analog split.


It maintains a level of consistency you can't get otherwise.
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Jerome Casinger

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Re: Best way to mix band in-ear and house system
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2017, 05:13:02 pm »


Not on the fence here.  We staff for a chain of "stage" gastro pubs that book bands at 7 locations all year long.  Without a doubt the best acts are self contained.


Started seeing it a few years ago from a couple of bands out of Chicago, Hot Sauce Committee and the Personnel) then some East Coast were doing it. 


We use x32 in house so if you want I will take a digital patch from you.  Most hand off an analog split.


It maintains a level of consistency you can't get otherwise.

Gotcha...my fence comment is more for opinions from the band side and the FOH side.  You have nights where you may have a few bands and one wants to be self contained?  If so how do you prefer it to be done for a quick set change?
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Best way to mix band in-ear and house system
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2017, 05:15:42 pm »

Gotcha...my fence comment is more for opinions from the band side and the FOH side.  You have nights where you may have a few bands and one wants to be self contained?  If so how do you prefer it to be done for a quick set change?


I don't have that issue at the clubs as they book 1 act a night. 


Self contained is great for multiple act gigs.  We will often use the main acts console for the other acts.  When I advance the gig I will find out what we have to work with and spec an extra 16 or 32 input stage box and soft patch it in then patch back to the headliners rig when we are done.



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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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John Chiara

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Re: Best way to mix band in-ear and house system
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2017, 05:55:24 pm »


I don't have that issue at the clubs as they book 1 act a night. 


Self contained is great for multiple act gigs.  We will often use the main acts console for the other acts.  When I advance the gig I will find out what we have to work with and spec an extra 16 or 32 input stage box and soft patch it in then patch back to the headliners rig when we are done.

Hardware split and use it all the time. Never an issue, easy patches between sets...cheap.
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Dave Dermont

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Re: Best way to mix band in-ear and house system
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2017, 10:31:08 pm »

Bottom line:  The rest of my band is ready to switch to in-ears to gain control of monitors after multiple venues with dead drivers, lack of monitors, etc etc.

We play a lot of shows with 2 or 3 bands on the bill.  A decent amount of the time we are the "headliner" and the stages are small so its full gear swaps (I use that term loosely but for local shows it is what it is). 

I am trying to run through my head if I could use my X32 rack and a splitter snake or something to easily tie into a house system.  I imagine for this to work well and ensure the same mix we would need to always bring our own mics etc?  I can see how we would tie our rig into the house existing snake.  My question is when it comes to multi band gigs though, I guess if they fit within our footprint it would be fine, but one band last night had 8 members and definitely would not fit in our footprint.

Curious thoughts on how or if I can make this work with minimal extra set up on our band (usually we are last on for the night so stage swaps have to be fast), but I also dont want a crazy headache for the FOH guy.  I run FOH probably 40ish times a year, but the only bands that have fed me a split have been the only band playing that night.

Wanted to get thoughts on this.  Venue gear ranges dramatically from analog with tons or outboard, to some digital guys etc etc.  Some are also running the x32 as well, I could let them mix on the IPAD but not everyone is comfortable with that and for a walk in band, I would rather be on the faders and knobs to grab and go faster, just my opinion.

Looking for thoughts from both sides of the fence here, bands doing it, FOH guys that have walk in ear rigs showing up frequently etc.

Thanks and sorry for the long read.

Being handed a set of tails from a "pass though" splitter snake is pretty common. Many bands that play a lot of festivals do this. Not having to deal with monitor mixes usually makes house guys happy.

The neatest way is to have your X32 and a snake with a rack-mount box in the same rack, with one side of the split plugged into the X32. Label the box inputs to match your input list. Locate the rack like a piece of backline close to the venue snake box.

If you are playing last, and cables are already run to the snake, move what's already run to the venue snake over to your box. Plug the other end of your splitter snake into the venue snake box.

Wired and/or wireless IEM stuff can live in the same rack and be pre-wired to the X32. Wireless mic receivers (if you got 'em) and a WiFi router can live in there too.

Absolutely do this. You'll love it. It'll be great.
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Jay Barracato

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Re: Best way to mix band in-ear and house system
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2017, 10:37:47 pm »

I do this slot as a house guy these days, and also did it in the festival world with a band I teched for.

What I prefer is a hard split, where you can put your stage box next to mine. Mics that go to the monitors get pulled from my box and replaced by your short tail spilt.

What doesn't work is expecting me to land all the mics in a different place like having a splitter built into your rack which you decide has to go across stage from my stage box.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
Actually, in the club a year ago I installed a whirlwind splitter snake, even though copper is not sexy these days, and we usually mix monitors from FOH. Now I land everything in my stage box, if you want to do your own monitors, I just hand you the split.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 10:41:06 pm by Jay Barracato »
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Dave Dermont

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Re: Best way to mix band in-ear and house system
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2017, 11:21:17 pm »

I do this slot as a house guy these days, and also did it in the festival world with a band I teched for.

What I prefer is a hard split, where you can put your stage box next to mine. Mics that go to the monitors get pulled from my box and replaced by your short tail spilt.

What doesn't work is expecting me to land all the mics in a different place like having a splitter built into your rack which you decide has to go across stage from my stage box.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
Actually, in the club a year ago I installed a whirlwind splitter snake, even though copper is not sexy these days, and we usually mix monitors from FOH. Now I land everything in my stage box, if you want to do your own monitors, I just hand you the split.

The rig I described above would work OK in places that have the stage box somewhere upstage. just put the rack next to the stage box.

In the case of the monitor split described above, just put the rack where the split is dropped.

A drop box in the band rig (instead of a rack mount) would offer more flexibility of placement, but not be quite as neat and clean.

Yeah, if stages are really tight, or their might be issues with other back line gear, go with the drop box instead of the rack mount box.
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Dave Dermont

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Jerome Casinger

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Re: Best way to mix band in-ear and house system
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2017, 03:25:34 pm »

Great input everyone. One question looms in my head.  The mics/di's.  I see it mentioned to swap off the house stuff into our box, then use put the tail into the house box.  Makes sense, does using venue mic's cause for issues with the ear mix that cant be resolved quickly?  Seems like you would have to do a more lengthy sound check potentially?

I only ask because I have run ears for years now, however it has always only been on my rig, with my mics.  If the whole band goes on ears....we start using venue mics to ensure an expedited stage swap etc....any input on this?
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Best way to mix band in-ear and house system
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2017, 04:16:25 pm »

Great input everyone. One question looms in my head.  The mics/di's.  I see it mentioned to swap off the house stuff into our box, then use put the tail into the house box.  Makes sense, does using venue mic's cause for issues with the ear mix that cant be resolved quickly?  Seems like you would have to do a more lengthy sound check potentially?

I only ask because I have run ears for years now, however it has always only been on my rig, with my mics.  If the whole band goes on ears....we start using venue mics to ensure an expedited stage swap etc....any input on this?

No, use you own mics & DIs.  I think every band that brings their own IEM rig needs a complete stage package - mics, cables, stands, sub-snakes, and a long enough split tail to reach the house input box.  That means 50' at minimum and 75' would be better.

Minimize stands with Z-bars or Cab-Grabbers for guitar rigs, clip on mics for drums (with a drum cable loom), etc.  The idea is that as soon as the PA inputs are muted you can disconnect the mic lines and strike the back line gear.  We work with a lot of 'bus and trailer' bands that do exactly this.  They can have the deck cleared of big stuff in 5 minutes, and another 5 min to get cables and the IEM rack off the stage.  Some of them can do the whole thing in 5 minutes, it's amazing to watch.

Consider doing one more thing... keep a couple of spare lines in your splitter tail to house - you'll always need spares AND you can send a L/R mix from your X32 to the house in situations where the house cannot accommodate your needs (not enough inputs, inadequate house mixerperson etc.).
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