What monitor mix for which instrument?

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by Rimshot, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. Rimshot

    Rimshot Guest

    Does anyone have any good tips or links on getting a good live stage mix?

    What I find, using different sound guys quite often - some are great and some .. not so great.. although in both cases they act like they know it all.. and you only find out which is which, once the audience shows and you hear complaints like "sounds great but can't hear the vocals" etc. or the string players can't hear their amps and are playing blind etc.
    When sound checking the rule of thumb that I go by is :
    - less is more in monitor mixes;
    - if the monitor mix is too loud it mixes with the Front of the House (FOH) speakers and sounds like mud on stage; then the guitars can't hear their amps etc.
    - soundcheck without monitors and get the FOH sound right
    - then add in the bare minimum of mixes tailored to each instrument.
    - for drums I prefer a bit of bass and a little guitar.

    So my question is:
    What monitor mix do you prefer for which instrument? Here is our current lineup:
    - drums:
    - bass:
    - keyboards:
    - lead guitar/ backup vocals:
    - rythmn guitar/lead vocals:
     
  2. twon

    twon Guest

    call me an idiot if you like, but FWIW i prefer to work the other way. if the band can't hear themselves they will perform crap and not even the "best" mix will fix that....
    i soundcheck with monitors only and make sure that the band are hearing everything they need before i even start on a FOH mix
    $0.02
     
  3. Rimshot

    Rimshot Guest

    Yes - thanks for the input.. I've tried that approach as well, and it can work. It reaches the same goal which is the players on stage have to hear exactly what it takes to play confortably. Judging by the little response to this basic question, I'm getting the impression that no one has a clue.. which may be indicative of why it is so difficult to get a great monitor mix - and a great FOH mix.

    My question is:
    What monitor mix do you prefer for which instrument?

    - drums:
    - bass:
    - keyboards:
    - lead guitar/ backup vocals:
    - rythmn guitar/lead vocals:
     
  4. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    oh I think some of us more than a clue

    just too hard to take on such a wide subject in a forum like this
    Duncan Fry has a good book on simple PA and monitor set up

    doesn't mater what I want in my monitor mix ... I'm not the musician
    AND it all depend on who pays your bill

    many of us keep the leader of the band happy and then try to please ourselves as best we can ... just to keep it fun

    Basically the band should sound like a band while standing in close ,,, keep the volume level as low as possible ...

    Then make it possible for everyone to hear the vocal
    At the end of it all it is the SONG that needs to carry through.
     
  5. Rimshot

    Rimshot Guest

    he he - I just threw that in to see if I could get a response :)

    One of the problems I find is that most musicians don't know what they want in they're monitors.. in fact a lot will just say 'give me everything' and hence the mud begins.

    Are there not any basic guidelines for each instrument? I've searched the web and found only little snippets, nothing comprehensive..
     
  6. Rimshot

    Rimshot Guest

    Thanks for the tip I'll check out the book.
     

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