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Author Topic: 6 piece band...armed with a little knowledge....please help!  (Read 8012 times)

Patrick Tracy

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Re: 6 piece band...armed with a little knowledge....please help!
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2011, 03:43:55 pm »

A little history should put this "everyone must have his own mix" thing in perspective.

In the early days of amplified music you heard yourself from your amp. This included vocals. There were no monitors and no monitor mix.

When they added monitors it was generally just a speaker split from the amp. A fancy setup would take the line out from the amp to another amp for separate volume and tone.

The first dedicated monitor mix was one mix for stage that was different from the mix for the house, generally on side fills shared by the band.

Then came wedges and more stage mixes and the expansion of stage monitoring to what we have today, with IEMs thrown in for fun.

The point is that there is no reason each and every person on stage must have their own dedicated mix. At your level getting four mixes is a bit of a luxury. Two mixes would not be atypical. I would have the band reevaluate its priorities and find a way to share mixes to get them down to four.

That does leave some possibility for conflicts with vocal levels. Singers really do need to hear themselves disproportionately loud in their mix (not as true for instruments). I would think about providing a shared stereo mix, with panned instruments, and one of the various "more me" options for vocals. Probably the most affordable device for this would be the Behringer HA4700 headphone amp. You'll need to build four custom "more me" cables to go from the respective direct outs to the Aux Inputs of the HA4700 (unbalanced cable connected to tip of the mixer end and tip and sleeve of the headphone amp end). Auxes 1 and 2 can be left/right into the headphone amp. Auxes 3 and 4 can be for people who need more personalized mixes, like the primary singer.

Geoff Doane

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Re: 6 piece band...armed with a little knowledge....please help!
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2011, 03:45:32 pm »

Thanks Jamin Geoff. If I am able to reduce the monitor mixes to 4 and then use aux 5 and 6 for effects, can I use the scenario you describe as a sort of sub bus? 

If not, will the sub woofer out (with adjustable crossover) on the Behringer FBQ3102 Ultragraph PRO suffice to break out the sub signal from the main?

The same scenario could be used for "aux" fed subs.  You still need something that will bandwidth limit the signals going to the speakers though.  This doesn't normally happen in the mixer itself.

I couldn't open the block diagram on the BearRinger site, so I'm not sure how that crossover works.  If the amp is really a clone of the QSC, like everyone claims, you might be able to accomplish the crossover function with the filter switches.

I should point out a mistake in my explanation above.  When turning the pan control clockwise to increase the FX send, the channel fader (not main fader) will need to be increased to make up for the slight loss of gain through the channel.

GTD
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Bob Leonard

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Re: 6 piece band...armed with a little knowledge....please help!
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2011, 05:44:43 pm »

Todd,
I'm willing to say that if the tour is specific to clubs catering to 200 people it's time for one of those band meetings where priorities are discussed. Patrick noted above that a large number of monitor mixes at this level is somewhat of a luxury, and to this I agree. There are plenty of suggestions here, all of which add complexity to a small system, and for a band I am going to venture is just starting out. 

One suggestion that I'll make based on my 45 years is to eliminate, as Patrick notes also, as much complexity as possible. Doing so will ultimately add to the bands ability to perform at it's best, reduce setup time, and enhance the bands overall enjoyment with the experience. When you start to travel you'll be faced with possible hardware failures and unforseen problems will arise, making a complex or hard to manage system on your first tour not something you want to deal with.

I'm sure that not every one o the six band members is considered the "lead" vocalist, and unless the band spends an ornate amount of time practicing I would also be fairly sure that 6 part harmonies are not an every song event. Following this logical line of thought it makes sense to reduce the IEM count, or monitor count, by sharing same, or by reducing the IEM count to those who must absolutely have IEM, and with other members of the band sharing a floor wedge or two supporting the full mix.

If the band still insists IEMs are required by all members then I would stear clear of trick routing and patching. Also note that regardless of the outcome the band will in all likelyhood need to pony up for some additional gear, all part of the "tour" and something they need to embrace if they want to succeed.

My suggestion, and what I believe to be the correct approach for this need, and again based on plenty of experience, would be to purchase a low cost eight channel, or twelve channel board and wye cables as needed. Run the incoming signals to both boards and each IEM will have it's own channel seperate from FOH. Other benefits will be the ability to alter tone as required, sum the mix as required, mute as required, etc.. And, in the end you have added little complexity, not changed the main board setup, and left your aux sends on the main board for FOH and effects. (Dump the BBE).

Boards of this size are very inexpensive new and used.
 
And by the way. My first dedicated monitor "system" was a 1965 Fender Bandmaster and an expansion cabinet taking it's input from a Bogen amplifier and a wye cable. The entire 11 piece band, including horn section, was in hog heaven.


« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 05:47:14 pm by Bob Leonard »
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Todd Pitts

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Re: 6 piece band...armed with a little knowledge....please help!
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2011, 01:17:44 pm »

That does leave some possibility for conflicts with vocal levels. Singers really do need to hear themselves disproportionately loud in their mix (not as true for instruments). I would think about providing a shared stereo mix, with panned instruments, and one of the various "more me" options for vocals. Probably the most affordable device for this would be the Behringer HA4700 headphone amp. You'll need to build four custom "more me" cables to go from the respective direct outs to the Aux Inputs of the HA4700 (unbalanced cable connected to tip of the mixer end and tip and sleeve of the headphone amp end). Auxes 1 and 2 can be left/right into the headphone amp. Auxes 3 and 4 can be for people who need more personalized mixes, like the primary singer.

Thanks for the history lesson Patrick. If only the audience hadn't become more sophisticated (and players more spoiled) as the years have rolled on as well.

I like the idea of using the HA4700 alot.  Would it be practical to provide the FOH mix to the 4700, then, using me as example, my vocal direct out of MW16:2 into my 4700 channel's aux in for "more my vox" then out to my IEM units channel 1 (which is 2 channel BTW) and finally direct out from MW16:2 of my guitar into the 2nd channel on my EIM unit (for more my gtr) and blend to taste?

Also is the custom cable required? I'm sure there is a reason but they both appear to be Balanced TRS connectors.

Thanks,

Todd
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Todd Pitts

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Re: 6 piece band...armed with a little knowledge....please help!
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2011, 01:41:09 pm »

Todd,
I'm willing to say that if the tour is specific to clubs catering to 200 people .......
Hi Bob. For the stops where we are providing PA (4 out of 10) that's the case. The remaining shows will outdoor festivals types with 1000+ attending. These larger shows have been the norm for this project.

One suggestion that I'll make based on my 45 years is to eliminate, as Patrick notes also, as much complexity as possible. Doing so will ultimately add to the bands ability to perform at it's best, reduce setup time, and enhance the bands overall enjoyment with the experience.
I couldn't agree more!!!

I'm sure that not every one o the six band members is considered the "lead" vocalist, and unless the band spends an ornate amount of time practicing I would also be fairly sure that 6 part harmonies are not an every song event.
We are an Eagles tribute band. 4 lead singers and 4 part harmonies on virtually all the songs with 5 part harmonies on others. I am trying to use my cover bands PA to accommodate the routing shows we scheduled to make use of days in between the larger events. make a little extra money along the way, cover fuel costs, not be bored etc. 

My suggestion, and what I believe to be the correct approach for this need, and again based on plenty of experience, would be to purchase a low cost eight channel, or twelve channel board and wye cables as needed. Run the incoming signals to both boards and each IEM will have it's own channel seperate from FOH. Other benefits will be the ability to alter tone as required, sum the mix as required, mute as required, etc.. And, in the end you have added little complexity, not changed the main board setup, and left your aux sends on the main board for FOH and effects. (Dump the BBE).
I will seriously ponder the suggestion (BBE is dumped) of adding a second board. It could be used for duo/solo gigs as well instead of dragging out the MW16:2 rack.

Thanks for the help.

Todd
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Patrick Tracy

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Re: 6 piece band...armed with a little knowledge....please help!
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2011, 01:49:58 pm »

Thanks for the history lesson Patrick. If only the audience hadn't become more sophisticated (and players more spoiled) as the years have rolled on as well.

I like the idea of using the HA4700 alot.  Would it be practical to provide the FOH mix to the 4700, then, using me as example, my vocal direct out of MW16:2 into my 4700 channel's aux in for "more my vox" then out to my IEM units channel 1 (which is 2 channel BTW) and finally direct out from MW16:2 of my guitar into the 2nd channel on my EIM unit (for more my gtr) and blend to taste?

Also is the custom cable required? I'm sure there is a reason but they both appear to be Balanced TRS connectors.

Thanks,

Todd

I think your scheme would work, but it is getting further from the keep-it-simple idea.

The Aux In on the HA4700 is a stereo input. The cable I described would work for stereo monitoring by taking the hot from the balanced out and connecting it to the left and right channels on the aux in. If your idea above means you get a mono mix then an unbalanced cable might suffice for getting the direct out to the aux in. If you do run the main mix through the headphone amp then you'll need something downstream to control the volume in the house because changing it on the board would mess with your headphone mix.

Personally, I would rather put together a stereo mix on Aux 1-2 with your guitar and other instruments panned and add the "more me" vocal.

Jay Barracato

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Re: 6 piece band...armed with a little knowledge....please help!
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2011, 06:54:02 pm »

Hi Bob. For the stops where we are providing PA (4 out of 10) that's the case. The remaining shows will outdoor festivals types with 1000+ attending. These larger shows have been the norm for this project.
I couldn't agree more!!!
We are an Eagles tribute band. 4 lead singers and 4 part harmonies on virtually all the songs with 5 part harmonies on others. I am trying to use my cover bands PA to accommodate the routing shows we scheduled to make use of days in between the larger events. make a little extra money along the way, cover fuel costs, not be bored etc. 
I will seriously ponder the suggestion (BBE is dumped) of adding a second board. It could be used for duo/solo gigs as well instead of dragging out the MW16:2 rack.

Thanks for the help.

Todd

Routing dates are often the compromise dates. I would be thinking of ways to also make your life easier for the big shows. Somewhere on the old boards is a thread where Evan Kirkendall described several IEM rigs he has put together. I think what would make your life the easiest is if you can get ahold of a dedicated monitor board to use for ALL of your shows regardless of who is providing FOH.

Having a dedicated monitor board would free up your FOH auxes for the other things you want to use them for, as well as saving lots of soundcheck time of dialing in 6 mixes. Frankly 6 mixes is nothing significant for a monitor engineer, it is a PITA to try to do from FOH on a different zeroed board at each show.

Personally, if I could shake the money free, I would go for a rack mounted LS9-16, with my own drop snakes, splitter, and tails. A O1V or a Studiolive 16:4:2 will also work with a little creative I/O. In the analog world, I like both the MixWiz monitor or the Crest XRM (if one of those comes up for sale, you may have to fight me for it). For higher end analog the APB ProRack monitor is probably the Rolls Royce of rack mounted monitor boards.

Even a second Mix Wiz with a splitter dedicated just for monitors would make patching into a variety of house systems easier without having to relevel the in ear mixes every show.
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Jay Barracato

Bob Leonard

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Re: 6 piece band...armed with a little knowledge....please help!
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2011, 07:33:47 pm »

I have to agree with Jay, and being an Eagles tribute band tells me about all I have to know as far as the vocals are concerned. Think hard about the simplicity of carrying a dedicated board for the IEMs and standardizing the setup from one venue to the next regardless of venue size. In my own opinion I would stay with an analog solution, and owning an APB board narrows my recommendation to the Crest XRM, or as Jay said the Rolls Royce, the APB Pro Rack Monitor, which by the way can be easily expanded. The Crest and the APB are designed for monitor world and the APB can be found traveling and in house with a very large number of well known people and acts. APB was formed by a number of ex-Crest employees and the product is simply light years above the competition.

http://www.audiolines.com/Pro-Audio/Mixing-Consoles-PA-Mixers/Analog-Mixing-Consoles/Crest-XRM-X-Rack-Monitor-Console

http://www.apb-dynasonics.com/products/Products_ProRackMonitor.html
 
Here's a very good buy for a Crest monitor mixer on Ebay available for 2 more days.
 
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330599984150
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 07:36:38 pm by Bob Leonard »
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BOSTON STRONG........
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Jay Barracato

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Re: 6 piece band...armed with a little knowledge....please help!
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2011, 07:42:49 pm »


Here's a very good buy for a Crest monitor mixer on Ebay available for 2 more days.
 
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330599984150

Please don't show me that when the toy fund is as low as it is currently.
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Jay Barracato

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Re: 6 piece band...armed with a little knowledge....please help!
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2011, 07:42:49 pm »


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