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Headphone Mixers

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Does anyone know anything about the individual headphone mixing systems. I have seen churches with them and we are thinking about the possibility of getting them for our church.

I know that they are mainly used for headphones or in-ears. But also is there a way that they can be used with wedges, or maybe powered hotspots or something of that nature.


Phil Ouellette:
We use the Aviom A16 personal monitor system in our church.  We have 10 to 11 musicians on 9 mixes, Half are using headphones the other half use powered speakers.  We also provide one submix of vocalists for the musicians (post fader aux send so the soloist stands out in the monitors when pushed up in the house) and a feed from one of the choir mics (for stage ambiance).  This works extremely well for us.  The musicians are happy and we spend zero time on their monitors during sound check.

To answer your question about how it hooks up.  The A16 personal mixer has a headphone jack that you can also use to drive a powered speaker.  The network cable uses Cat5 Ethernet cable and you can either use a distribution box (which also provides power to each personal mixer) or you can daisy chain the mixers (then you have to power each personal mixer individually).

Aviom makes a rack mount version of the personal mixer (A16R) that mounts in the amp rack and has a remote control pod (A16CS).  The A16R is great for wireless IEM rigs or when you want to use passive wedges powered from rack mounted amps.

Each aviom mixer has 16 presets which means that if you have more than one band then each band can have their own settings without effecting the other bands settings.  This is also useful for musicians who play more than one instrument.  You can have a preset for each instrument the person plays.  Very cool feature.

If you use a Yamaha digital board then you might be interested to know that Aviom just released a Y1 card that plugs into an expansion slot on the mixer and outputs the A-Net signal directly.  This card works with the 01V, 02R, DM1000, DM2000, PM5D or PM1D consoles.

In addition to our musician system we are adding a second network for our vocalists, We have 10 vocalists who currently use four wedges mixed on two aux sends from FOH for monitors.  We will use the A16R rack mount personal mixers so the vocalists can create their own mixes on stage.

We plan to provide 4 channels of submixed instruments for the vocalist monitor network (drums, keys, rhythm guitar, plus a catch all everything else channel.  Thank goodness our console has plenty of aux sends.

The only problems we have had with the Aviom to date are due to operator errors.  Since we daisy chain mixers, if someone upstream is not plugged in then everyone downstream loses their monitor mix.

Definitely something you should check out, especially if you have plans to go to IEM.

I know this probably sounds like I'm an Aviom salesman, but the truth is I just got back from an Aviom training session last night so this stuff is still really fresh in my head.


Thanks a bunch phil. That was just about what i was lookin for. But i have another question. Do you have to have an aux for every send that you give to a different mon mixer, or can you just send one mix and send it to a distrubution box, or do you have to have a separate aux for every different mon mixer?

Phil Ouellette:
Most of the channels in the monitor system are direct outs (or tapped off the channel insert jacks.  Everyone on the network gets the same set of signals to work from, each personal mixer has individual controls to determine how much of each signal gets fed into that person's monitor mix.  You are also able to control panning on each signal source individually.

The only time you use aux sends is when you want to create a sub mix (like the drum kit for example).

Kevin Maxwell AKA TheMAXX:
I think this type of system can work quite well BUT. I would never want to use it with anything but IEMs or headphones. I would only consider using it with any kind of floor wedge, powered monitor or hot spot if the musician didn’t have overall volume control. In a church it could allow the overall monitor levels to become too loud. The one reason I think it works is the musician then doesn’t have anyone to complain to about the mix in there monitors except them self’s. This is not to say that the mix is any better then a good sound person can give them, it is just in their hands now. I can’t count the number of times someone has asked me for a change in their monitors (like I need more of myself in the monitor) when in reality they needed less of everything else. Also a lot of amateur musicians don’t know what they really want in their monitors. Working with real professional musicians is great; they know what they want and how to ask for it. At times when working with non pros and I ask them what they want in their monitors and they don’t know I come up with a mix that I think is what they need and I usually have no complaints, just complements. Now a lot of times in a church situation the sound person isn’t capable of mixing house and monitors. So a system like the Aviom spreads out the work so the sound person doesn’t have to worry about all of the monitor mixes also. As long as there is consistency in the setup. But I still wouldn’t want to experience the volume wars with this type of system (Aviom) and floor wedges in a church. This doesn’t even bring up the problem of a musician (with complete control of the volume of there wedge) bring it up to the point of feedback and not realizing its them that’s feeding back.

I hope you realize that I am not trying to just be negative. I just think this information needs to be considered to make an informed decision.


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