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Mixers and Monitors
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Mixers and Monitors

Hi all -

I apologise in advance - this is probably the most noob question ever posted on here!

I'm in a six piece rock band. We have come to the conclusion that we need to mix and monitor properly (who'd have thought it!). We do currently have two mixers - a huge antiquated 24 track dining table sized affair that is OK for when we have a gig at a larger place or an a stage (but a bugger to lug about), and a little 6 channel Behringer that I bought from a car boot sale. The latter is absolutely fine when space is at a premium - as it is in some of the pubs we play - and we just use it for the vocals!

What we are considering is something between the two, and mic'ing up the guitars/bass - we would also put the keyboard through the PA. Mic'ing at least the bass drum as well. (Is that sensible?). One of the reasons is that we do have some large floor monitors that we use at larger places. Frankly they are poor and are too large for small venues (with the six of us, the large desk and the floor monitors, the audience would have to go in the other bar at some of our gigs!). If we could reduce the size (and weight..) of the various amps we have to take and use the PA to provide much of the volume that would also be a bonus!

So - four vocal mics, 2 x guitar, 1 x bass, 1 x keyboard, 1 x bass drum. That's nine. But potentially if we want to use it for a bit of live recording in the future we would have to mic the drums up properly - so we are considering some sort of 16 channel mixer rather than buying a 12 channel and regretting it later. Again is that sensible?

Also, we'd like to get rid of the floor monitors, so are considering wireless in-ears. Can someone explain how that works in words of one syllable? As I understand it, you take the signal from the Aux Out on the mixer. Most of those I have quickly looked at seem to have two aux outs. So I guess we could plug a transmitter into each of those and then have (for example) three receivers tuned to each one? That would mean that these were only two different mixes available (again, I presume!) - but otherwise you'd have to have a mixer with six aux outs and to buy six transmitters?

Any pointers on any of this would be very helpful before I dive off to Ebay and buy something completely unsuitable! We aren't making a living from playing, just enough to cover the cost of rehearsals, and do it for fun rather than anything else - so we won't spend a fortune on this. Any recommendations that are on the 'budget' side would be warmly welcomed.

Many thanks in advance - Jon
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Do the in-ears have to be wireless, or can at least some band members use wired ones? Drummers and usually keyboard players don't tend to wander about the stage much.

I don't know if it is what you're doing now, but it is very, very hard--I'd say practically impossible--to make a good house mix from the stage because what you hear in the monitors is by intention quite different than the house sound. In-ears only compound that difficulty.

Wireless in-ears monitor systems are often dual channel (i.e. stereo) and many have a mode for dual mono operation the receivers, so a single transmitter can send out two independent mono mixes and each receiver set to give one or the other or the two mixed together in varying proportions. Any number of receivers can be tuned to one transmitter, and of course share the same stereo or dual mono mix.

One decent option to consider is the Behringer digital mixer systems. Their little personal monitor mixers are relatively affordable and any number of them can be interconnected together to supply however many monitor mixers are needed. The X18 is the smallest and least expensive of their mixers that can drive this system.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for the reply.

No, for the drummer and kb player they could certainly be wired. (Frankly, we are tired of cables everywhere!). But would that not compound the lack of Aux Outs on the mixer? If they each used one, that would take up (on many mixers) both of the available?

The (probably poor) way we get the house mix at moment is to play, with one member of the band with a wireless connection on their instrument out in the room playing and listening and get it 'good enough'. Having a soundman (or indeed roadies!) is a dream to which we can only aspire!

That Behringer X18 does indeed look nice and has six aux sends. Might be a bit 'professional' for us!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 

You can feed one aux to both a wireless monitor transmitter and a wired headphone amplifier with a Y cable. A simple headphone amp is rather less expensive than a wireless in-ear receiver. (With the wireless gear, you trade having cables everywhere for having to change or recharge lots of batteries.)

The main reason I suggested the X18 was to work with the P16-M monitor mixers. If you provide one of them for each person, everyone can have their own stereo monitor mix without using any aux busses from the main mixer. In any event, to have in-ear monitors be of all that much use, it's very helpful to have more or less individualized mixes available. I can't really say why, but in my (admittedly fairly limited) experience it's more important to have a good monitor mix when that's basically all you can hear, and what's good for one person is not so good for another. That boils down to having a bunch of auxes devoted to monitors, if done with a standard traditional analog mixer or something that approximates one.

A pretty good, pretty readily available, and not too physically huge analog mixer which might be suitable is the Allen & Heath MixWhiz 16:2, which has had a few different revisions over the years. It shouldn't be too terribly difficult to find a used one with a bit of searching for a quite reasonable price. If memory serves they have eight aux sends. No matter what you do, it's not going to be especially inexpensive to get set up for halfway decent in-ear monitors.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
Been there, done that. Until you get to venues with 100+ people, keep it simple and use your PA for vocals and maybe keys. If he/she hasn't, make the keyboard player buy a powered monitor as their keyboard amp and monitor. And unless you have subs, don't bother micing the kick. Usually most drummers in a bar don't have a problem being heard - it's usually to keep their level down as you're only as quiet as your drummer...

Mixing from stage really is hard, and trying to mix everyone through a mixer without then spending money on better speakers and subs becomes Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Work on getting the stage volume right with dynamics and level, and add vocals/keys on top. You'll have more fun playing and less time trying to mix and play bass.

Also if you minimize what's going through the PA, monitoring can then be through floor monitors for vocals. If the ones you have are too big, you can upgrade later to powered monitors like a DZR10 or QSC K10.

From someone who's gone and tried, don't waste your money. Enjoy playing out instead.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Thanks. I think that is good advice. There is always the pressure to succumb to what I always think of as 'golf club syndrome' - where golfers are convinced that just buying a more expensive set of clubs will make them a better player! The same is true in the music world.

I think what we have decided to do is to replace the antiquated 24 channel mixer with a much more compact modern 12 or 16 channel one. If band members want to invest in IEM that's up to them, but we will generally stick to the floor monitors where we can.

Basically I think we just need to carry on the way we are with what we've got - but to do it better!

Thanks for the advice, both

Jon
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bananayogi View Post
Thanks. I think that is good advice. There is always the pressure to succumb to what I always think of as 'golf club syndrome' - where golfers are convinced that just buying a more expensive set of clubs will make them a better player! The same is true in the music world.

I think what we have decided to do is to replace the antiquated 24 channel mixer with a much more compact modern 12 or 16 channel one. If band members want to invest in IEM that's up to them, but we will generally stick to the floor monitors where we can.

Basically I think we just need to carry on the way we are with what we've got - but to do it better!

Thanks for the advice, both

Jon
Sounds like a great idea. If you do replace your mixer, look for a used digital one - the ability to have parametric EQ and dynamics on each channel is great. I started with a 1202, then upgraded to a 1402, then a 1642 with a rack of gear - then bought a used 01v. It was a PITA to learn, but cut down the gear to just the mixer. I then upgraded to a Mackie DL1608 since I already had an iPad, and now I own that, and have sold off the rest - sub, giant snake, etc. All were bought used except for the original 1202, which was also my recording mixer at the time.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nedorama View Post
Sounds like a great idea. If you do replace your mixer, look for a used digital one - the ability to have parametric EQ and dynamics on each channel is great. I started with a 1202, then upgraded to a 1402, then a 1642 with a rack of gear - then bought a used 01v. It was a PITA to learn, but cut down the gear to just the mixer. I then upgraded to a Mackie DL1608 since I already had an iPad, and now I own that, and have sold off the rest - sub, giant snake, etc. All were bought used except for the original 1202, which was also my recording mixer at the time.
What's the point or particular advantage of getting a used low-cost digital mixer, instead of just getting a new/modern low-cost digital mixer...? An expensive mixer I understand, but a secondhand low-cost mixer today?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
Sam - I agree usually with buy once, cry once, but from the OP's first post cost is an issue. Note that I wasn't advocating to buy a used 01v, just explaining my purchase path. Used DL1608's or the Soundcraft ones are around and have little wear - so why not upgrade with used if money's tight?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nedorama View Post
...Used DL1608's or the Soundcraft ones are around and have little wear...
Also, going for absolute peanuts at the minute if you're lucky, I know of two people who held on to their dl1608 because they couldn't get a decent resale price. Both have reported going back to using them for smaller gigs.
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