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  • Looking for opinions - personal monitor setup

    I'm considering buying some new gear to set up a personal monitor rig for vocals and guitar. I play with several different groups in a variety of venues, and I'm just tired of the variability in monitor availability and quality. This would also allow me to sub-mix acoustic instruments and guitar(s) so that I'm not using a ton of inputs on the FOH console. It will also allow me to point my guitar "cabinet" right at me facing the back of the stage, which should make the FOH guy happy. Primary motivation is to control my own monitor so that I can always hear my instruments and vocals properly, and guarantee a minimum quality level. Since I can then run without a guitar cabinet, it doesn't add to the amount of stuff I'll be carrying.

    Inputs are some combination of:

    2 vocal mics (mine plus an additional for one situation where a wedge is shared)
    1 electric guitar feed from a Bogner/Torpedo Live rig
    3 acoustic instruments; steel-string and whatever else the gig calls for.

    I'm thinking of using a Behringer XR12 and JBL PRX715. This would give me the mix control, separate FOH feeds for vocal mic and instruments, and EQ for the monitor feed. I'm guessing that the PRX is solid enough to work for nearly any local gig, and won't require a bunch of crazy EQ'ing to sound decent.

    Thoughts? Am I going to be disappointed with the "Brand B" mixer option, or will it be good enough for live work? How is the PRX in terms of sound quality?

    How do the FOH techs feel about this approach?
    Last edited by SteinbergerHack; 03-02-2017, 07:37 PM.
    "The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." ------------------ Pope John Paul II

  • #2
    Are you planning to use a splitter of some sort ?

    I would recommend a Yamaha mixer over the Behringer.
    Last edited by onelife; 03-02-2017, 07:32 PM.
    As a human being, you come with the whole range of inner possibilities
    from the deepest hell to the highest states.

    It is up to you which one you choose to explore
    .

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    • #3
      Originally posted by onelife View Post
      Are you planning to use a splitter of some sort?
      Shouldn't need one. The XR12 mains can suffice as the monitor feed(s), and the aux outs can work as feed-throughs to FOH.
      Last edited by SteinbergerHack; 03-02-2017, 07:35 PM.
      "The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." ------------------ Pope John Paul II

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      • #4
        Originally posted by SteinbergerHack View Post
        How do the FOH techs feel about this approach?
        If you use a splitter then your setup would be like another independent monitor world and any adjustments you make on your mixer will not affect FOH.

        A transformer based splitter will also mitigate potential ground loop issues.


        Last edited by onelife; 03-02-2017, 07:48 PM.
        As a human being, you come with the whole range of inner possibilities
        from the deepest hell to the highest states.

        It is up to you which one you choose to explore
        .

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by onelife View Post
          If you use a splitter then your setup would be like another independent monitor world and any adjustments you make on your mixer will not affect FOH.

          A transformer based splitter will also mitigate potential ground loop issues.
          Yes, but that approach costs more and doesn't solve the issue of having too many channels.

          Common situation is an 8-piece band with a 16-ch FOH board. I get one channel for three instruments, so i need a sub-mix to send the FOH.

          Last week, i was in a theater pit. They planned pne send for a book that uses electric, classical/flamenco, banjo, and ukelele. I was able to convince the tech that I needed two, but that still left me juggling the non-electrics at a SM81 all week long. A sub-mix would have allowed me to use pickups instead, and I could have pre-balanced the levels properly - easier for both me and the FOH guy...and I don't have to worry about the tech knowing which instrument I'm playing at any given time. Few things are more frustrating than to light off a ripping flamenco solo run only to find that the sound tech has your feed off. (Not a dig on the tech - that sort of show keeps him very busy)

          Good point on ground loops - need to remember to put a transformer in the output feed. Thanks!
          "The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." ------------------ Pope John Paul II

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          • onelife
            onelife commented
            Editing a comment
            I didn't realize you needed to use your mixer to provide a sub-mix.

            Are you planning to use this in multiple situations or with the same FOH setup every time?

        • #6
          Multiple situations. Right now, beyond the shows I've already worked this year, I have firm bookings with two bands and two theater companies, with at least one more theater group that I normally work in the fall.

          My vision is to go in to all situations with my own self-contained single cabinet monitor rig and a single pre-mixed feed for all of my instruments.
          "The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." ------------------ Pope John Paul II

          Comment


          • #7
            So, essentially you will be doing the same thing that a keyboard player with multiple boards and his own monitor (keyboard amp) does - with the addition of your own vocal.

            The only issue I would have with that (if I was doing FOH) is the fact that your vocal and your instruments would be on the same fader. That's where a splitter would help. You could also use both channels of your stereo mixer and pan your instruments to one side and the vocal to the other - send the main outs to two channels of FOH then use an aux send for your personal monitor.

            Would you also have another monitor so you can hear what else is going on? If not then perhaps you could get a feed from the main monitor mixer that you could run through your personal monitor but not include it as part of your main feed. You could then control the blend and have as much or as little of everyone else in your monitor as you want.
            As a human being, you come with the whole range of inner possibilities
            from the deepest hell to the highest states.

            It is up to you which one you choose to explore
            .

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by onelife View Post
              So, essentially you will be doing the same thing that a keyboard player with multiple boards and his own monitor (keyboard amp) does - with the addition of your own vocal.
              Pretty much this.

              The only issue I would have with that (if I was doing FOH) is the fact that your vocal and your instruments would be on the same fader. That's where a splitter would help. You could also use both channels of your stereo mixer and pan your instruments to one side and the vocal to the other - send the main outs to two channels of FOH then use an aux send for your personal monitor.
              My intent would be to use one aux send for vox mic and one for instruments.

              Would you also have another monitor so you can hear what else is going on? If not then perhaps you could get a feed from the main monitor mixer that you could run through your personal monitor but not include it as part of your main feed. You could then control the blend and have as much or as little of everyone else in your monitor as you want.
              Right. That would depend on the capability of the FOH console.
              "The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." ------------------ Pope John Paul II

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              • #9
                Originally posted by SteinbergerHack View Post
                My intent would be to use one aux send for vox mic and one for instruments.
                That sounds even better. If you use pre-fade aux sends you could adjust your faders without affecting the main mix and keep FOH happy.

                Methinks I've been over thinking this.

                Are you sure you want to go with a digital mixer? If I was doing it I'd keep it as simple as possible in an effort to avoid any glitches.
                Last edited by onelife; 03-02-2017, 10:59 PM.
                As a human being, you come with the whole range of inner possibilities
                from the deepest hell to the highest states.

                It is up to you which one you choose to explore
                .

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by onelife View Post
                  Are you sure you want to go with a digital mixer? If I was doing it I'd keep it as simple as possible in an effort to avoid any glitches.
                  I have always used analog interfaces in the past and generally don't gravitate towards virtual controls, but in this case I'm trying to find something to fit into the two spaces left in my rack. I have to have an EQ for the monitor, so the XR12 is the only solution I have found that handles all of the signal routing I want and gives me an EQ in two rack spaces.

                  That said, my prior experience with Behringer products has left a lot to be desired. Thus, the question as to whether it will sound acceptable.

                  I've also never owned powered cabinets, nor have I used the PRX series cabinets. I know that their high-end stuff sounds great, and the JRX is, well, designed to meet a price point. So the question I'm really asking is whether the PRX with a proper EQ can sound good, or whether it's just too far down the scale to be a serious product. Are they a really good design, or just a JRX with an amp bolted into the box?
                  "The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." ------------------ Pope John Paul II

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    You could always use the insert points to tap an unbalanced, post-mic-pre signal. I don't know how to use an XR12, but if I was using my own gear to solve this problem, I would use my RX1202FX as the monitor mixer, send the insert points via TRS/TS plugs (T/R shorted) to my MMX882 and use the outputs from the MMX882 to provide servo-balanced signals to the FOH board. A better setup would be use DIs instead of the MMX882.

                    What's the dispersion angle on the 712 cabs? I have 55x80 horns in my speakers which work well. 40x80 would be even better.

                    Wes
                    Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

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                    • #12
                      The equipment should be okay. I have an xr18 and a couple of jbl prx612 that I've been using for a while and it feels fine.

                      Though like I said in the other thread, having an ipad and a backup laptop is something I only haul around if I'm hauling the rest of the PA.

                      In general, it seems like a lot of added complexity with no big wins.

                      And if I were running sound and you showed up with that, I'd be a little worried about sending so much through such a complex and unknown (to me the sound guy) system. The alternative for the sound guy is you just have the mic plugged into the snake into the mixer... but what you're gonna say is "hey, so here's an output from my local mixer that could literally have any number of my things plugged into it, with any amount of processing and any mix of whatever I feel like... plug that into my 'vocal' channel". Times x number of sources, and then you'll talk about the monitoring situation.

                      I know that might sound like a dumb way of putting it, and since you know your system it might seem like a silly thing to worry about. But I'm pretty sure that this is how most sound dudes would be hearing what you're saying.

                      And that's not a problem to work with if you're dealing with a good sound guy... but if you're doing all this to avoid dealing with the sound guy cause they aint good, then it seems odd to me.

                      IMO, just live with multiple channels to the board, DI your acoustic, get sound guys you trust, etc.

                      My solution is, as I said elsewhere, to just go with a pedal board -> DI paralleled to a powered speaker. It just seems a lot simpler and less likely to cause errors than the mixer, even if I already own the mixer.

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by Luckenbacher View Post
                        The equipment should be okay. I have an xr18 and a couple of jbl prx612 that I've been using for a while and it feels fine.
                        Cool, thanks.
                        I know that might sound like a dumb way of putting it, and since you know your system it might seem like a silly thing to worry about. But I'm pretty sure that this is how most sound dudes would be hearing what you're saying.
                        How is it any different from a keyboard player or drummer using a submixer to create a smaller number of feeds?

                        IMO, just live with multiple channels to the board, DI your acoustic, get sound guys you trust, etc.
                        Read my gig examples above. This approach isn't working and probably never will.

                        1) My past three gigs have not allowed enough inputs for the number of instruments I needed to play, so I was already either "mixing" with a footswitch selector or using an open mic, which has it's own set of problems.
                        2) Two out of the last three gigs I've played have had monitor issues of one sort or another.
                        3) I don't get to select the tech on the gigs I'm hired to play. Sometimes I get lucky, sometimes it's challenging.

                        My solution is, as I said elsewhere, to just go with a pedal board -> DI paralleled to a powered speaker. It just seems a lot simpler and less likely to cause errors than the mixer, even if I already own the mixer.
                        That doesn't solve any of the problems I am trying to address. I don't see where I get any extra value over just running my existing cabinet as I do today.
                        Last edited by SteinbergerHack; 03-04-2017, 06:22 PM.
                        "The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." ------------------ Pope John Paul II

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          How is it any different from a keyboard player or drummer using a submixer to create a smaller number of feeds?
                          When did anybody say that that was a good idea? Especially the drummer. Good luck EQing out the "ring" from a bass drum if it happens to be near the fundamental of your snare, and so on! Similarly, one thing top-tier keyboards have is multiple outs so that we can route, say, our left hand bass to a different channel strip than our piano-playing right hand.
                          Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

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                          • #15
                            Originally posted by wesg View Post
                            You could always use the insert points to tap an unbalanced, post-mic-pre signal. I don't know how to use an XR12, but if I was using my own gear to solve this problem, I would use my RX1202FX as the monitor mixer, send the insert points via TRS/TS plugs (T/R shorted) to my MMX882 and use the outputs from the MMX882 to provide servo-balanced signals to the FOH board. A better setup would be use DIs instead of the MMX882.
                            How does this materially differ from using the aux outputs on the XR12 as pre-fader sends?

                            What's the dispersion angle on the 712 cabs? I have 55x80 horns in my speakers which work well. 40x80 would be even better.
                            I think it's 50x90, but I could be wrong.

                            Curiosity - why are you suggesting a narrower pattern? I'm replacing an amp that was providing 90% of stage volume and 50% of FOH in most of the rooms I play, and I still want to be able to hear it in multiple locations, not just right at the mic. I was actually looking for the widest pattern I could find...am I missing something?


                            Originally posted by wesg View Post
                            When did anybody say that that was a good idea? Especially the drummer. Good luck EQing out the "ring" from a bass drum if it happens to be near the fundamental of your snare, and so on! Similarly, one thing top-tier keyboards have is multiple outs so that we can route, say, our left hand bass to a different channel strip than our piano-playing right hand.
                            You must be playing shows at a very different level than I am. If I show up at a gig expecting 4-5 sends for my guitars, I will get laughed at. I'm lucky if they planned for even one channel for guitar, much less 3 or 4. I expect that the same would be true for a keyboard player wanting 6 sends for three keyboards. (Agree that you would never put snare and kick on the same send, but I have seen plenty of situations where the drummer has multiple electronic feeds routed through a small board at his kit.)
                            Last edited by SteinbergerHack; 03-03-2017, 04:00 PM.
                            "The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." ------------------ Pope John Paul II

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