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To Monitor or Not,!

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  • To Monitor or Not,!

    OK, I venture into uncharted waters. Of all the posts I've read here on amplification, speakers, monitors, PA's I am a little confused. The JBL's & Mackies are frequently mentioned with an occasional K-500 or PM-3 thrown in. I suppose a certain venue can be of such size that everyone must go through the PA. What is the determing factor. The size of the venue? The distance to the last row? When this happens, do the JBL's & Mackies revert to monitor duty? It seems I have read here that these were for sound source, since they are amplified. I've also read them being used for monitor duty. Are these designed to pull a double-shift as such? I thought monitors were supposed to be driven from the board? Putt, you play festivals, what's your setup? Thnx for everyone's input.

    -Marc.

  • #2
    Since they are self-powered, the soundman can send a monitor out directly to them (through the snake). He can bypass the traditional monitor amp rack. Our band is in a situation where the guitarist has a JBL EON and I have an old-school non-powered community monitor. We need 2 monitor sub outs on the board because his monitor runs direct out of the snake, mine runs into a monitor amp then to the monitor.
    I will most likely be selling off the Community for a Mackie or JBL for monitoring at gigs, also self monitoring at practice. Less hassle, and less gear to lug around.
    What is very cool about them is that you have your own volume control....so you can sound check at a nominal value and turn it up when your fat-headed guitarist starts to edge up the marshall stack and totally drowns the stage with "BAAARARARARRAAAAAAAAAWWWEAEAEAEA"....

    hahahaha....

    Erik

    [This message has been edited by sepdrums (edited July 16, 2001).]

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Marc.:
      Putt, you play festivals, what's your setup?
      I have a Peavey Electronic Drum ED 300 (an old one) amp with only 130 watts. Nevertheless the combo has far more power than this 130 seems to have. The reason? The output - number of decibels at 1 meter - is more important than the number of watts. So you can't say buy this or buy that.

      The monitor is good for our practice room and small clubs untill (let's say) 5 beers... Ehmmmm I mean 150 people. On larger festivals there is always a hire public address system here in Holland. In such circumstances I use the monitor which comes with the PA system as well as the Peavey for extra monitoring. In Holland festivals not only hire the equipment but also the sound engineers who operate the system and those quys aren't always .... So I take care for a decent monitoring myself.

      Nevertheless my filosophy is: as long as monitoring or amplification in practice room/small clubs is concerned: i have to take care for amplification myself. As long as the front of house sound in large venues is concerned: it's the hire company/sound engineer's business. Not mine. Otherwise I should buy a large sound system and that's what I don't like (and can).

      So Marc., you can use use a powered speaker like the Mackies and JBL or a keyboard amp (unfortunately electronic drum amps like I have aren't longer made) for practicing and small club use. As a rule you can say: untill 150 people but if the club has many carpets on the wall and people are standing right in front of the stage then you may need extra amplification.
      Robert

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      • #4
        I would stick to a formula like this.
        one 12"-15" self-powered speaker with horn = home practice and monitoring on stage.
        two 12"-15" self-powered speakers with horns = small gigs with low stages and ceilings.
        If you need more volume than what 2 self-powered speakers can give you should invest in an expandable PA system, and use any self-powered speakers you have for monitoring.

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        • #5
          Am I the only guy out here that monitors through headphones live? God knows I've tried every other method under the sun and this is the only one that seems to work consistently. I get a balanced, stereo feed that I personally control the volume of. Nice, focused sound, less ear fatigue. I can't ask for much more than that. The bass response deal doesn't really bother me much--if it did, I'd buy a "butt shaker".

          We played a 3000-capacity outdoor venue over the weekend, and, since we were the opening act and the headliner agreed to let us use most of their gear, I ended up playing an acoustic kit and had to use--egad!--monitor wedges. A couple of the guys in my band came up to me and said, in all seriousness, "You didn't bring your headphones and headphone amp. Are you going to be alright?" "Oh, I'm not too worried about it. I'll manage."

          Yeah, right.

          For those of you that haven't experienced it firsthand, trust me when I tell you that trying to play "Orange Blossom Special" and "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" without being able to hear a [email protected]#$%*& thing the fiddle player is doing is a real drag. Apparently my constant thumb/finger-up gestures were being construed by the soundman as my way of telling him he was doing a great job and was Number One on my list....

          Monitor wedges, yuck. Get those damn things out of here!
          TD-30 / SPD-SX

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          • #6
            Hey mick, sounds like you used the wrong finger to signal the sound man!

            Kurt
            Kurt

            Pearl drums converted with hart adc, roland kd7's, pd 120 for snare, various roland rubber pads, hart e cymbals and pads, td8, td6, 2 mackie srm450s and mackie sub. mackie sr 24-4 mixer........and always growing.

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            • #7
              I agree with you Mick, headphone monitoring is the best option. The only downside is when we get that occasional feedback squeal...but I've gotten pretty quick at flinging the phones off when that happens!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by rudi-mint:
                Hey mick, sounds like you used the wrong finger to signal the sound man!

                Kurt
                Good one, Kurt! I'll have to remember that next time! Maybe there was a language barrier or something .

                Hey, Putt, how do you say "Soundman, turn the [email protected]#$%&* fiddle player up" in Dutch?

                TD-30 / SPD-SX

                Comment


                • #9
                  [quote]Originally posted by Mick Wade:
                  Hey, Putt, how do you say "Soundman, turn the [email protected]#$%&* fiddle player up" in Dutch?
                  godverdomme
                  Robert

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                  • #10
                    While everyone is here bagging the 'sound guy'. I must protest. I work for a professional sound company as a soundguy and I regularly gig in large corporate functions. Depending on the size of the venue, we often run a separate desk just for foldback. No hand signals required, just turn to the guy side stage and tell him what you want.

                    Agreed it can be difficult to discuss foldback requirements with the FOH soundman 50m away but remember his job is to look after the FOH, foldback, EQ's, FX, deal with any feedback issues, sometimes run the lighting desk and generally make sure EVERYTHING is hunky dory. Sound guys are not magicians - like most people they can only do so many things at once. If the venue isn't large enough to run a separate foldback desk then give the soundman a bit of a break. Discuss with him some handsignals before you go on stage. Standardise your handsignals in the band so everyone knows what the 'kick drum' signal is, or the 'fiddle signal'. Write them down and photocopy it and give to every soundman at every gig you go to. Don't just flap your hands around and hope he understands. You will be a lot happier with your sound and he will be a lot happier having considerate muso's who understand it can be a ***** of a job. If all else fails grab him during a set break and take his head off then. Don't get upset with him because he can't read your mind. Take some responsibility for your sound if it is out of your hands! (make sense of that)

                    BRING ON THE FLAMES!
                    Steve

                    'I only ever quote myself - except when I quote someone else' - me

                    , plenty of , and , , triggered acoustics, , and a plethora of PA blah blah freakin blah...I mean does anyone care about the specifics of pedals, speakers, processors, hardware or anything that I'm using?? :confused: Hmmm, maybe this is an appropriate place to mention that I tried out a new cymbal stand the other day...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree with you about communication with the soundman. They do appreciate the fact that your willing to work with them.

                      On the other hand, some times no amount of communication seems to work because everyone has their own peception of turn it up or down a little bit means. I've found out that my overall mix can get worse with too much fiddling. The headphone option is a viable one if you cannot hear your self. I always keep a pair o my rack in the event that I cannot get a good enough mix of myself from the house.

                      The closed end headphones, which I use tend to be isolating and you lose the perception of the surroundings. Open end would probably be better. I do like the feel of the pulsating sounds from the amplified monitors. You do not get that from headphones.

                      Just my views!



                      ------------------
                      Drumser
                      Drumser

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                      • #12
                        Depending on your PA system if you are running separate monitor mixes. Which means you have a soundman out front and another mixer on stage for monitors(Monitor mixer). If you are using separate mixes the Shure PSM 600 inear monitors are the best out there for monitors they have a built in limiter and they sound great. I have been using them on the road since 1998 and my ears don't ring when I get back to the Hotel room from the guitars screaming, you only hear what you put in your mix.( plus they can be stereo or mono) They are about $600 for a Hardwired set and around $1000 for wireless.
                        Shure sent me a prototype set around Febuary that are more roadworthy than the first set they sent me and the best thing is they fit in a duffle bag. They are about the size of a guitar wireless.It is the best investment I have made for my playing you hear things more clearly( Timing wise) that you normally don't here from a floor wedge. Anyway thats my story hope it helps. Zeke

                        [This message has been edited by zekedrum (edited July 18, 2001).]

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                        • #13
                          Hey, Zeke:

                          Do you use the E1 or E5 earpieces with your PSM 600?
                          TD-30 / SPD-SX

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                          • #14
                            I use the E1's right now I have used the E5 in the studio a keyboard player I was on a session with had some( I think he stepped on them that session and broke them) . They sound good ,they have a better frequency response and they should they are about $350 to $400 a pair. They have duel drivers in them I liked them but Shure has been sending me the E1 prototypes to use they are just more road worthy they have more strain relief on the earbuds and 1/8 jack so they don't short out.You can use the E5's with the same body pack I might go to them down the road .I think they work better for and acoustic kit I don't know why I just like the E1 with the electronics. But then again there is no subsitute for a well tuned acoustic kit there is nothing like kicking a real kick drum and feeling it come though the FOH pa. I think Shure has a budget PSM 400 now . I don't know anything about them but you might check those out also.

                            Originally posted by Mick Wade:
                            Hey, Zeke:

                            Do you use the E1 or E5 earpieces with your PSM 600?



                            [This message has been edited by zekedrum (edited July 19, 2001).]

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                            • #15
                              Doesn't it bother you with headphones not being able to hear the audience or what anyone else is saying unless they are talk in a mic? Also what headphones do recomend.
                              Thanks

                              ------------------
                              Ted H.
                              www.tocsinrocks.com
                              Ted H.

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