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Author Topic: "Disappearing" monitor when mains are brought up  (Read 911 times)

Stephen Swaffer

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"Disappearing" monitor when mains are brought up
« on: May 15, 2018, 10:50:19 pm »

Asking this mostly out of curiosity and a desire to learn and understand what is happening.  I have my theories-but curious what others think.

A few weeks ago we had a special conference-special speakers, lot's of visiting churches, all round pressure to be at the top of our "game".  First speaker wants to use the lavalier-it is set and works great on our pastor, but be projects well and generally has good technique and a clear, easy to mic voice-the opposite of this speaker.  On top of that, Pastor is on the platform-wanting to hear the message clearly in the monitors.  A bad scenario to deal with.

I am not mixing, but I take over and back the monitors off some-but it is the mains that are ringing.  I cut a little 250-300 where it is ringing and boost a little in the 1500-2000 and now I have a clear, easy to listen to sound-but pastor wants the monitors up.  I am able bring them up until he is fine with them without creating any issues-then I bring the mains up a little more and feel I have a really good sound-but pastor tells me we lost the monitors.  I haven't backed the monitors off-and I never "fixed" them later-I know they were working and just as loud as when he said "good enough"-but apparently raising the mains made them "go away" where he sat.  What gives?

Mains are QSC K12's, monitors are QSC K10's mixer is a QU-32-not that it should matter much.  Room is very reverberant-designed and built before PA's were a thing.
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Steve Swaffer

Caleb Dueck

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Re: "Disappearing" monitor when mains are brought up
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2018, 11:27:54 pm »

Too bad you couldn't have stood on stage to listen.  Some musicians and I assume pastors freak when they hear the house system on stage. 

Sent from my VS980 4G using Tapatalk

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Luke Geis

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Re: "Disappearing" monitor when mains are brought up
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2018, 11:32:19 pm »

Well the mains and monitors are out of phase with each other. I wouldn't weed out the possibility that the added mains SPL was just enough to take precedence over the monitors and in such a way that some or a bit of cancellation was taking place.
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Johannes Halvorsen

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Re: "Disappearing" monitor when mains are brought up
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 08:38:15 am »

I bet this has more to do with psychology than physics...
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Jerome Malsack

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Re: "Disappearing" monitor when mains are brought up
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2018, 09:25:46 am »

Both  psychology and physics.   If the monitors are within 5 feet of the mains like on a small bar band stage.  The vocals are 200 to 500 hz pimary.  and the two speakers are facing opposite directions.  Changing the polarity on the monitors and adding a small delay of 2 or 4 ms on the FOH can help some of this problem.  The 2 to 4 ms is what is used to line up the sound wave from the backline and drums with the vocals on the front of the stage. 
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Kevin Maxwell

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Re: "Disappearing" monitor when mains are brought up
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2018, 09:54:56 am »

As the others are alluding to it isnít that the monitors are missing itís that they arenít as predominant any more. Did he hear a difference if you muted the monitor send? To me this is the most likely explanation, unless you have something really weird happening in the digital mixer.
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Jean-Pierre Coetzee

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Re: "Disappearing" monitor when mains are brought up
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2018, 02:20:26 pm »

My money is on either interaction between the mains and monitors as others have already stated or purely psychological.

I have a few times had an issue where some vocalists have complained about their monitors disappearing when the mains were brought down a bit. We run separate monitors and FOH with an analogue split so there is no way it was a post-fade issue in my case, this is psychological.
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Len Zenith Jr

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Re: "Disappearing" monitor when mains are brought up
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2018, 04:21:27 pm »

unless you have something really weird happening in the digital mixer.

That was my thoughts, like compression or an auto-feedback suppressor. The OP did mention feedback was an issue.
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: "Disappearing" monitor when mains are brought up
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2018, 07:51:44 pm »

Lapel mics in monitors is never a good combination actually lapel mics used in big reverberant room is a challenge and it sounds like the person speaking technique was not helping at all.

The mains combined with the room were just louder to his ears than the monitor level and your never going to get a lapel mic in a stage monitor to peel your face off regardless how many knobs are turned.

Stephen Swaffer

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Re: "Disappearing" monitor when mains are brought up
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2018, 11:03:15 pm »

I agree, Mike.  I've worked with lapels in this room for a long time-I much prefer a speaker to use a handheld-or we have a dPA, but we try to accomodate.  That is why I prioritized and got the room acceptable then monitors are what they are. 

There was no feedback suppression and just a little compression in the mix.

I have wondered if monitors were just covered by the room before-but this was the first time I had real time information "feedback" from the platform telling me they were good, then went away-knowing nothing had changed.

I've wondered about the psycoacoustic aspect-since our brain expects to hear one source-do we just ignore the "extra" sounds and unconsciously focus-much like we can listen to a single person in an otherwise noisy room?
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Steve Swaffer
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