Contributor - Level 2

Separate eq on FOH and separate EQ on monitors

Hello tribe! I have found many useful tips on this forum over the past couple of years and am asking my first question.

 

I have been mixing sound for the 3 piece acoustic Americana band I'm in for 3 years. To mix from stage, I have simply used a feed from the mains to a single monitor. Audiences have always commented on how good our sound is (even when we've not played our best). Two years ago I began running sounds for events that I put together including a music fest with 11 bands on two stages. 

 

Fans of the bands I mixed started telling me (and the bands) that I made them sound better than they had ever heard them which has led to me being hired to run sound for other events. I consistently get rave reviews from the promoters and audience members on my mixing! BUT I get consitenly negative reviews from the musicians on my monitor mixes (when they come out front and hear the other bands they agree it sounds great). The complaint is "the mix is muddy" and "I can't hear my vocals". I do EQ the aux channels (low cut and high shelf and some mid boost or cut depending on circumstance). I have tried feeding them a "mains" mix like I use on stage and I've tried aux feeds with seperate mix and eq. Equally poor reviews...

 

My gear: xAir 16 and 18 mixers. JBL EON 610 and EON 615 and Bose L1B1 for PA depending on venue. Behringer Eurolive F1220D 250W 12" monitors. Various combinations of SM58s, SM57s, SM81s and AT4040 mics.

 

I do outdoor and indoor venues. Some very challenging rooms and some GREAT rooms. 

 

My strategy: Get the FOH mix right then mix the monitors. On FOH I mix for vocal clarity, clean guitars and tight bass. I generally start with the xAir channel presets then make minor adjustments. I have very little formal training so I try to keep things fairly simple.

 

Some of the bands appreciate how I make them sound and can live with my "muddy mix" but others can't. Any tips or thoughts on how to improve my monitor mixes without sacrificing what is clearly working FOH?

Music helps!
BrunosHuman Contributor - Level 2 2019-05-12

2019-05-12

Separate eq on FOH and separate EQ on monitors

Hello tribe! I have found many useful tips on this forum over the past couple of years and am asking my first question.

 

I have been mixing sound for the 3 piece acoustic Americana band I'm in for 3 years. To mix from stage, I have simply used a feed from the mains to a single monitor. Audiences have always commented on how good our sound is (even when we've not played our best). Two years ago I began running sounds for events that I put together including a music fest with 11 bands on two stages. 

 

Fans of the bands I mixed started telling me (and the bands) that I made them sound better than they had ever heard them which has led to me being hired to run sound for other events. I consistently get rave reviews from the promoters and audience members on my mixing! BUT I get consitenly negative reviews from the musicians on my monitor mixes (when they come out front and hear the other bands they agree it sounds great). The complaint is "the mix is muddy" and "I can't hear my vocals". I do EQ the aux channels (low cut and high shelf and some mid boost or cut depending on circumstance). I have tried feeding them a "mains" mix like I use on stage and I've tried aux feeds with seperate mix and eq. Equally poor reviews...

 

My gear: xAir 16 and 18 mixers. JBL EON 610 and EON 615 and Bose L1B1 for PA depending on venue. Behringer Eurolive F1220D 250W 12" monitors. Various combinations of SM58s, SM57s, SM81s and AT4040 mics.

 

I do outdoor and indoor venues. Some very challenging rooms and some GREAT rooms. 

 

My strategy: Get the FOH mix right then mix the monitors. On FOH I mix for vocal clarity, clean guitars and tight bass. I generally start with the xAir channel presets then make minor adjustments. I have very little formal training so I try to keep things fairly simple.

 

Some of the bands appreciate how I make them sound and can live with my "muddy mix" but others can't. Any tips or thoughts on how to improve my monitor mixes without sacrificing what is clearly working FOH?

  • 0 Kudos
  • 6 Replies
  • Reply
Volunteer Moderator

Re: Separate eq on FOH and separate EQ on monitors

Hi Charles @BrunosHuman,

 

Welcome to the forum. From what you describe, I would first suspect the choice of monitor speakers. Sorry to be blunt, but if you got better quality speakers, such as the TurboSound iQ12 (or if that is out of the budget, EV and Yamaha makes good, clear speakers) you would probably find it far less muddy.

 

I've been using Carvin PM series (no longer available) for years and have had many compliments on the stage sound. I've started migrating over to the iQ line and they are very good. I just did a concert at a local theatre and used their monitor speakers (EV ZLX-12P). The musicians performing were Juno award winning and they were very pleased with the monitor mixes. 

 

Paul Vannatto, Volunteer Forum Administrator and Moderator. Did you find my post helpful? Give kudos or mark it as a solution!
Highlighted
Contributor - Level 2

Re: Separate eq on FOH and separate EQ on monitors

Hi Charles @BrunosHuman,

 

In addition to what Paul says, also review what is in each monitor.

No need for the whole band to be in the monitors, less is more.

Try to limit the content of each monitor to the minimum.

Often only a vocal + 1 instrument to tune into is enough.

Combined with the Eq. you have on each monitor bus could do the trick.

Contributor - Level 2

Re: Separate eq on FOH and separate EQ on monitors

Thank you Paul. I will admit, my first reaction to the complaints was to blame my new monitors! And they may certainly be a contributor to the issues. I bought them in large part for their very low profile from the audience persepctive. Before abandoning them, I wanted to get some feedback from the forum on things I might be able to improve from a mixing standpoint but, it might be the speakers...

Music helps!
Contributor - Level 2

Re: Separate eq on FOH and separate EQ on monitors

Thank you Antonie! That is an approach I have NOT really explored. As a solo sound guy with limited experience, I am somewhat intimidated by having multiple monitor mixes to keep track of. Especially when I am changing bands every hour and mics start getting moved around on stage. BUT, the idea that I don't need everything in every monitor is something I will start trying to incorporate even if I decide to go a different direction on the equipment.

Music helps!
Contributor - Level 3

Re: Separate eq on FOH and separate EQ on monitors

Also each aux send has its own EQ so you shouldn’t be effecting the main mix unless your sending the main LR to the aux sends! You can create an independent mix to each monitor speaker so there shouldn’t be any issues there. You can even have each band member do there own monitor mix through an iPad, android phone or tablet cutting down your work load!
Contributor - Level 2

Re: Separate eq on FOH and separate EQ on monitors

Yes, I do the same with our band.

All run their own monitor from tablet or phone.

They are extremely happy with that concept!

I safe the scene after each show as a starting point for the next, and each time it is more efficient than the last.