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Author Topic: Need in-ear suggestions for six musicians, no budget for Aviom.  (Read 4805 times)

Matt Sisco

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I'm tech at a very high energy church in Detroit.  It's time to bring down the stage levels significantly so that FOH can be reasonable.  There is probably no way that we can afford more than a grand right now for the job.  Right now it's six aux mixes into wedges from an Allen & Heath GL2200.  Instrumentally, I have compressor/gate inserts on the kick, snare and bass guitar. 
I generally feel comfortable running in-ear mixes from the board, since I have lots of experience doing it for a working band that I also take care of.  The big difference is that there's a revolving cast at the church day by day.  My fear of doing this is that FOH is quite a ways away from the stage.  It would be very easy to miss a distress call. 
I'm looking for a few things:
-Suggestions or leads on any reliable system, new or used, that does what an Aviom system does, and is in our ball park for price.
-Recommend a stage-controlled monitor system/board that is simple enough to be run by a musician and is within our price range.
-Alternate suggestions that include ears

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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Need in-ear suggestions for six musicians, no budget for Aviom.
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2011, 11:56:51 pm »

Check out the HearBack system. It's wired (gasp) and has its limitations, but it makes a great system if you understand and work within them.  The units are ABS plastic, so they need to be handled more carefully than the metal Aviom units.  Also, there are no presets, but it is left up to each user to dial in their own mix (can be a blessing and a curse).  Just make sure they use earphones or headphones that provide enough isolation and actually sound good.

No matter what system you choose, it will involve a change in the way that soundchecks and rehearsals are done.  It won't happen overnight, and it may even be a little rough at the get-go, but the transition can be made much smoother by helping everyone understand the reason for the change and how to properly adjust themselves to it.

Here's a good read from the old forums.

I highly recommend searching the old forums to see what other users in your situation have done.  Here's an article from Dave Stevens on IEMs.

Anyway, for the HearBack system, each mixer unit can do 8 mono mixes and a stereo Aux mix over standard UTP cable.  Here's what the user guide says about one way to use it:
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 12:26:02 am by Jordan Wolf »
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"We want our sound to go into the soul of the audience, and see if it can awaken some little thing in their minds... Cause there are so many sleeping people." - Jimi Hendrix

Brad Weber

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Re: Need in-ear suggestions for six musicians, no budget for Aviom.
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2011, 07:36:58 am »

It sounds like you are actually looking to address two related but distinct issues; 1) reducing stage levels by switching from floor wedges to in-ears and 2) allowing monitor mixing by the musicians or someone on stage.  And you apparently have around $1,000 to spend to serve six people (assuming one person per existing monitor mix, if you have multiple individuals per current mix that number may actually be greater).
 
By the time you include the interface box, controllers, cabling and their standard earphones, a six person Hear Back system is more than twice your budget.  With the limited budget available the only possibility for a personal monitor system may be finding a used system that comes with most everything that you need.
 
You could put a dedicated monitor mixer on stage but it would seem to either have to handle all the same stage inputs as the FOH console plus some feeds from FOH (program audio, overall mix, etc.) or some reduced number of stage inputs plus some submixes from the FOH console.  You would also have to split any signals common to both mixers.  And after that, figure out how to get the console output to the IEMs.  The $1,000 budget seems likely to preclude that option, not to mention that operationally it probably not be that much different than running the monitors from FOH.
 
There are a number of products like this one, http://www.artproaudio.com/products.asp?type=90&cat=13&id=67, that allow a performer to mix a monitor signal with their own signal.  If your monitor mix issue is mainly "more me" this may be an option as six of those units along with the related cables would be well within your budget.
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Andrew Welker

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Re: Need in-ear suggestions for six musicians, no budget for Aviom.
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2011, 11:45:49 am »

There are a number of products like this one, http://www.artproaudio.com/products.asp?type=90&cat=13&id=67, that allow a performer to mix a monitor signal with their own signal.  If your monitor mix issue is mainly "more me" this may be an option as six of those units along with the related cables would be well within your budget.

That is what we do at my small church. We use something similar from Behringer and each musician and singer has a box in front of them. The monitor input is fed a mix-minus (a mix without the person's instrument or voice) from an aux on the FOH console. We do have to share auxes in a few cases, as we only have 6 from the FOH console and we have 7 or 8 people on stage at a time, but it has worked out very well for us.
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Matt Sisco

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Re: Need in-ear suggestions for six musicians, no budget for Aviom.
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2011, 02:35:41 pm »

It sounds like you are actually looking to address two related but distinct issues; 1) reducing stage levels by switching from floor wedges to in-ears and 2) allowing monitor mixing by the musicians or someone on stage.  And you apparently have around $1,000 to spend to serve six people (assuming one person per existing monitor mix, if you have multiple individuals per current mix that number may actually be greater).
 
By the time you include the interface box, controllers, cabling and their standard earphones, a six person Hear Back system is more than twice your budget.  With the limited budget available the only possibility for a personal monitor system may be finding a used system that comes with most everything that you need.
 
You could put a dedicated monitor mixer on stage but it would seem to either have to handle all the same stage inputs as the FOH console plus some feeds from FOH (program audio, overall mix, etc.) or some reduced number of stage inputs plus some submixes from the FOH console.  You would also have to split any signals common to both mixers.  And after that, figure out how to get the console output to the IEMs.  The $1,000 budget seems likely to preclude that option, not to mention that operationally it probably not be that much different than running the monitors from FOH.
 
There are a number of products like this one, http://www.artproaudio.com/products.asp?type=90&cat=13&id=67, that allow a performer to mix a monitor signal with their own signal.  If your monitor mix issue is mainly "more me" this may be an option as six of those units along with the related cables would be well within your budget.

I had been favoring an option like this. My dilemma was mostly about whether or not it would be worth running a return snake from FOH to a monitor board on stage.  It seems nice until the can of worms opens up.  Thank you.
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Frank DeWitt

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Re: Need in-ear suggestions for six musicians, no budget for Aviom.
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2011, 03:56:38 pm »


-Suggestions or leads on any reliable system, new or used, that does what an Aviom system does, and is in our ball park for price.
-Recommend a stage-controlled monitor system/board that is simple enough to be run by a musician and is within our price range.
-Alternate suggestions that include ears.

It looks like you need some out of box thinking, or more money, or both.

What is your existing mixer?  are there plans to change it?
Is there a budget?
I ask because a number of new digital boards support personal monitor mixers or a single monitor mixer on the platform.  One example is the SAC system (Software Audio Console) If this was your mixer, then adding a second mixer or even 2 thru 7  up to 20 would cost you a used PC or laptop per mixer, and a 6 ch headphone amplifier. (one channel for each member. 

I realize this is a long shot but one people should know about.
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Brad Weber

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Re: Need in-ear suggestions for six musicians, no budget for Aviom.
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2011, 08:15:09 am »

I ask because a number of new digital boards support personal monitor mixers or a single monitor mixer on the platform.  One example is the SAC system (Software Audio Console) If this was your mixer, then adding a second mixer or even 2 thru 7  up to 20 would cost you a used PC or laptop per mixer, and a 6 ch headphone amplifier. (one channel for each member.
Just to clarify, I think Frank is saying that if you had an existing SAC mixing system then adding personal monitor mix functionality would likely entail adding a PC and monitor (touchscreen is nice), laptop or tablet along with headphones/earphones and a headphone amp channel for each person wanting a monitor mix (along with some associated wiring and networking equipment if that is not already existing).  Somewhat similar with digital consoles that have PC/laptop/tablet/pad remote control applications that allow someone, or possibly each musician, to mix the related aux send(s) on the FOH console from the stage.  However, both of these approaches require already having a FOH console that supports this functionality, it is not a capability that can be added to any console.
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Frank DeWitt

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Re: Need in-ear suggestions for six musicians, no budget for Aviom.
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2011, 09:17:45 am »

Just to clarify, I think Frank is saying that if you had an existing SAC mixing system then adding personal monitor mix functionality would likely entail adding a PC and monitor (touchscreen is nice), laptop or tablet along with headphones/earphones and a headphone amp channel for each person wanting a monitor mix (along with some associated wiring and networking equipment if that is not already existing).  Somewhat similar with digital consoles that have PC/laptop/tablet/pad remote control applications that allow someone, or possibly each musician, to mix the related aux send(s) on the FOH console from the stage.  However, both of these approaches require already having a FOH console that supports this functionality, it is not a capability that can be added to any console.

Good clarification.  Yes, I was poking around for a fix to a problem that doesn't seem fixable head on.  A real long shot, but maybe it fits or maybe it get's someone thinking of a better fix.
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Ryan M. Fluharty

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Re: Need in-ear suggestions for six musicians, no budget for Aviom.
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2011, 01:19:29 pm »

Concerning the "more me" mix boxes, I had read somewhere that they tend to color the microphone sound during pass through.  Has anyone had any experience with the quality of them?  I am specifically talking about the Rolls PM55.

On a side note, I see that Behringer is coming out with their own "Aviom" style system.
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Nicholas Bailey

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Re: Need in-ear suggestions for six musicians, no budget for Aviom.
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2011, 11:00:52 pm »

Check out this option:

Rolls PM 351 personal mixers. 

http://www.rolls.com/product.php?pid=PM351 

Rolls was the original manufacture for these style boxes and they are still made in the USA.  This will give you a way to patch the performers microphone into the headphone box and their instrument in as well.  It also has a built in Direct box so you would just cable the guitar into the headphone box then a XLR into your system.  You could even take your existing AUX send from the Allen and Heath and input that into the Line input. 

At my church we had a In-Ear system built with Rolls PM50 headphone boxes.  They work well and are not that expense.  Seems like the PM50 were about $50 dollars and the PM351s are under $100 each.  My experience is that the Rolls boxes are built extremely well and are real durable.  I have found some in the youth room with the 300 watt monitor amp wired to the line input, and amazingly it did not burn the PM50 up.  I have never noticed any change or coloration with the Rolls boxes when you feed a microphone through it.  Maybe some of the other manufactures have had trouble with them coloring the sound.  I have even used it with condenser microphones,because I was needing to allow my flute to here the microphone I was using on the flute.  Of course the Phantom still has to come from the main system, but the sound of the microphone sound the same whether it was being feed through the Rolls box or if it was plugged directly into the stage box.

You will want to insure that the band purchases some decent headphones.  Our policy is we ask the performer to pay half of the cost of the headphones and the church helps with the rest.

Hope this helps.  I presently am driving 6 mixes of Sennheiser Wireless IEMs from a Allen and Heath GL2400.  We were blessed and found a great deal on used Sennheiser 300 series G2 In-Ears cheap.  My original plan was to use the Rolls PM351s at our new church plant.

Later

Nick
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