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?