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Monitor mix

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Kevin Maxwell:
In the situation you are talking about I would suggest giving the singers a Monitor mix that has all of the mics set in that mix to the exact same level and then let the singers vocally mix themselves. This can be done with as many mixes as the mixer will handle or just one mix to however many monitors these singers are using. If they are capable of singing blended properly without mics then they should be able to do the same thing with the mics. There is no need for this to be the house mix. That can be derived separately.

I would love to have singers that can sing together so I can just leave the mics all set the same instead of having to chase the vocal problem of the singers throughout a show. But I guess that is why I am paid the big bucks. 8)     

Mike Monte:

--- Quote from: Joel Golden on July 31, 2022, 06:13:08 PM ----- -- --
Mal- thanks.  Been doing rock gigs since the 80s but getting good sound out the PA is still a work in progress.  Hence the questions.

If the monitor mix is not the same as what is going out the mains, how do you know if the blend is good coming out the mains?
4 of us sing in a Barbershop chorus (recently won 3rd place in the world), so we have vocal sessions and work on blend.  This is why it is important to us to to get accurate mix and volume levels in the monitors.  So, a question: If a guy has his own voice dominant, if he blends it well in the monitor, wont his voice be too low in the main mix? Wouldnt it be better to have an accurate representation in the monitors for what is coming out the mains? 

thanks, Joel

--- End quote ---
As a performing musician (member of a professional orchestra) that also provides sound, the above has been my argument / question / solution for years.
There is no reason why vocalists shouldn't be able to mix themselves IMO unless they are not-that-good........
Relying on a tech to mix vocal harmony in a band is mostly due to a lack of musicianship on the singers' part.
/my pre-morning coffee rant
Barbershop quartet singing requires four (or more in the case of a chorus) vocalists to be all-in on blend and heroes.

In the 90's I played in the pit orchestra for a summer stock run of Music Man at a theater.  The actors/singers were all auditioned and equity from NY.
The quartet (assembled from the cast) singing "Lida Rose" were all excellent lead singers, but could not blend/balance as they were all "lead" singers.
They butchered Lida Rose every time.....each one of they trying to sing louder than the other....
I asked the MD what the problem was and he told me that they were rehearsed-to-death and sounded good while doing so, but when they got on stage they reverted to their "lead mentality".

I remember sitting in the pit just shaking my head every performance......

As an wind instrumentalist I appreciate barbershop singing done-well.  Kudos to you! 

Tim McCulloch:
As a soundhuman who was trained as a musician... (piano, voice, theory, history) and barely escaped being a teacher...

We started down this slippery slope when amplification became the only way most folks heard live music - including the performers listening to their contemporaneous performance, i.e. monitoring.  When everyone was around the piano or autoharp... the ability to hear, listen, and blend was kind of built in.  The moment we put amplified instruments on stage with drummer Gonzo hitting the skins with telegraph poles... that concept went down the pan.

Monitoring for singers is interesting, though, because some (many) want a "more of me" mix.  The refreshing times are when the singers want less of themselves.  One of the Oak Ridge Boys is like that; "I know what I'm singing, I need to hear the other 3 guys."

I've found that vocals blends are a weak spot for lots of mixerpersons.  I love well sung harmony and when the singers are right on, there's not much to improve - knowing when to leave something alone is a precious part of mixing - and sometime you can't fix it with a drop forge and unicorn dust...

Patrick Tracy:
I think the confounding factor here is that a singer already hears their own voice through their head (perhaps via bone conduction). That seems to make them need their voice loud enough to overcome that effect. Since they don't have that competing path for the voices of others, those don't need to be as loud. I wouldn't be surprised if some very skilled and confident singers are less prone to this effect, but in my experience with singers of all types, they almost always need their own voice the dominant element of their mix. Back in the days of limited numbers of monitor mixes on small mixers (i.e. one or two), it was almost a cliché that each singer sharing a mix would want more of themselves and less of the others. There was no way to resolve that without separate monitor mixes for each singer.

duane massey:
If it works for you, keep doing it. Over the years (back when I was active in live sound) I worked with several bands who either didn't want monitors or wanted one mix that was the same as the FOH, including effects. On my current gigs where I provide FOH as well as my own instruments I monitor the FOH mix onstage.
One size doesn't fit all.


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