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Author Topic: Monitor speakers to enhance FOH  (Read 819 times)

BradPinder

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Monitor speakers to enhance FOH
« on: July 10, 2018, 06:56:55 am »

Hi All,

i'm thinking of getting some basic monitor speakers to setup at FOH to try and even out the mix. The balance of guitars and vocals, or speakers over background music is always a bit difficult to set where the sound desk is at the back of the room (compared to the front), so i'm thinking some subtle addition might help in our mixes. my plan is to send a matrix feed of the FOH channels, with an appropriate delay to account for travel time from the main speakers. i would probably also have to set some EQ to balance the sound to fill gaps in the spectrum; my question is how to best go about this? would pink noise and an RTA be an option, or is it really a case of listening at various locations and iterating the EQ until a good blend is reached?

any experience is most welcome

thanks
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Monitor speakers to enhance FOH
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2018, 07:45:25 am »

Hi All,

i'm thinking of getting some basic monitor speakers to setup at FOH to try and even out the mix. The balance of guitars and vocals, or speakers over background music is always a bit difficult to set where the sound desk is at the back of the room (compared to the front), so i'm thinking some subtle addition might help in our mixes. my plan is to send a matrix feed of the FOH channels, with an appropriate delay to account for travel time from the main speakers. i would probably also have to set some EQ to balance the sound to fill gaps in the spectrum; my question is how to best go about this? would pink noise and an RTA be an option, or is it really a case of listening at various locations and iterating the EQ until a good blend is reached?

any experience is most welcome

thanks
But now you are hearing and mixing for something different than the rest of the audience.

You really need to hear what they are hearing, or else the sound for them will be different.
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Wes Garland

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Re: Monitor speakers to enhance FOH
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2018, 08:18:03 am »

Are you saying you can't mix properly because the FOH desk can't hear the main speakers very well?  (Must be a quiet venue?)
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Chris Hindle

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Re: Monitor speakers to enhance FOH
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2018, 12:33:44 pm »

Hi All,

i'm thinking of getting some basic monitor speakers to setup at FOH to try and even out the mix. The balance of guitars and vocals, or speakers over background music is always a bit difficult to set where the sound desk is at the back of the room (compared to the front), so i'm thinking some subtle addition might help in our mixes. my plan is to send a matrix feed of the FOH channels, with an appropriate delay to account for travel time from the main speakers. i would probably also have to set some EQ to balance the sound to fill gaps in the spectrum; my question is how to best go about this? would pink noise and an RTA be an option, or is it really a case of listening at various locations and iterating the EQ until a good blend is reached?

any experience is most welcome

thanks
Time for a walk.
No, really.
Walk around the room to correctly evaluate what everyone is hearing - or NOT hearing.
Use cans to isolate stuff. Monitors just piss off those around you.

Putting yourself in an artificial bubble won't help anything, just hurt.
Chris.
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Steve Garris

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Re: Monitor speakers to enhance FOH
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2018, 12:38:58 pm »

Hi All,

i'm thinking of getting some basic monitor speakers to setup at FOH to try and even out the mix. The balance of guitars and vocals, or speakers over background music is always a bit difficult to set where the sound desk is at the back of the room (compared to the front), so i'm thinking some subtle addition might help in our mixes. my plan is to send a matrix feed of the FOH channels, with an appropriate delay to account for travel time from the main speakers. i would probably also have to set some EQ to balance the sound to fill gaps in the spectrum; my question is how to best go about this? would pink noise and an RTA be an option, or is it really a case of listening at various locations and iterating the EQ until a good blend is reached?

any experience is most welcome

thanks

Instead of spending money on added speakers (that will do more damage than good), I would be investing in a digital mixer that offers remote, tablet mixing. You can then walk the room and control the sound.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Monitor speakers to enhance FOH
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2018, 12:57:02 pm »

Dave Rat has some good ideas about headphones and how to use them on his YT channel.
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Laurence Nefzger

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Re: Monitor speakers to enhance FOH
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2018, 12:59:45 pm »

It appears I am in the minority who find that using FOH fills is a viable solution to the problem of FOH sounding nothing like what the rest of the audience is hearing.
I have used this technique in several situations where I was out of the pattern of the mains and was guessing at what the rest of the audience was hearing.
I make sure I am timed and level matched to the mains and my voicing fills in only what is needed to make it sound as similar as possible to what the majority of the audience is hearing. This often means a high pass at 300 or even higher. I typically use a single or pair of Meyer UPM-1P for this fill. But any quality speaker that can be voiced similarly to the mains can be used.
Walking around and getting a sense of what the majority of the audience is hearing is imperative but let's face it we get paid to make it sound good and making it sound good for ourselves is important (and nearly impossible not to try). So living with the situation of "Well it sure sounds bad at FOH but that means it sounds good over there" is not a tenable situation. I would much rather be confident that the mix and sound shaping that I am performing at FOH is reflecting positively in the majority of the audience seats. FOH fills allow me to do this in those types of situations.
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Stephen Kirby

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Re: Monitor speakers to enhance FOH
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2018, 05:59:58 pm »

Sometimes you're stuck under a mezzanine or worse a glassed off booth.  You have to run back and forth to reference a few audience positions with what you hear at FOH.  Unless you're flying in ton's of tracks or have a ton of cues there's always time to walk around.  I have a tablet but at the outdoor thing I did Sunday I only carried it out about half the time.  The rest of the time I just listened from different places (and took a few SPL measurements with my phone, there were issues with a neighboring facility).
Even if the band needs constant fader riding, you can still pop out to the middle of the room after boosting a solo or cutting someone back to see how it sounds compared to what you get.
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BradPinder

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Re: Monitor speakers to enhance FOH
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2018, 06:37:04 pm »

Thanks for the feedback i do routinely go for a walk with a tablet to fine tune during practise, and where appropriate during the service (venue is a church, so i try and not be too distracting). The issue i have is that the speaker coverage isn't ideal, so the front half of the room (where 80% of the people are) is quite a bit louder and clearer than the FOH desk position. My aim is definitely not to create a "bubble" of perfect sound at FOH desk, but to make FOH sound more like the mid point of the room.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Monitor speakers to enhance FOH
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2018, 06:55:39 pm »

Thanks for the feedback i do routinely go for a walk with a tablet to fine tune during practise, and where appropriate during the service (venue is a church, so i try and not be too distracting). The issue i have is that the speaker coverage isn't ideal, so the front half of the room (where 80% of the people are) is quite a bit louder and clearer than the FOH desk position. My aim is definitely not to create a "bubble" of perfect sound at FOH desk, but to make FOH sound more like the mid point of the room.
Why not work on improving the sound/speaker system for EVERYBODY? instead of just yourself.
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

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