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Low Volume Monitor Solution

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  • Low Volume Monitor Solution

    Hi all,

    I just purchased a TD-9SX kit after about 6 years playing a TD-6 based kit and I'm madly in love; I'm now looking for a decent monitor solution.

    My situation is thus, I play in a very small church. The band is crammed together and the congregation is right up in our faces. Its awkward at first but I've come to like the intimacy of it. Anyway, I've been monitoring myself through a run of the mill floor monitor which was always good enough for the TD-6; but after playing the TD-9 through headphones I realize that the new kit is totally wasted through this monitor. To be able to hear all the dynamic beauty of the TD-9 I need the monitor up way loud, but it is then painfully noisy and screws with the people standing near me in said small room.

    Option one is to play through headphones. Not a bad option but it makes me feel cut off from everyone else in the room which kills the main redeeming factor of our tiny building.

    Option two is something like a PM-30 or DIY solution of similar make-up. It puts better speakers closer to my head giving me better sound at lower volume. $700 is a bit rough after dropping 2000 on the kit though.

    Another option would be studio monitors and a buttkicker "shaker" on my throne. I'm sort of taken with this option at the moment as it takes even more volume out of the equation and the tech geek in me digs the concept of the transducer. Anyone use one of these? Are they worthwhile?

    Any other suggestions?
    Thanks for the help.

  • #2
    I posted this a while ago and got no responses, any insight. Specifically, anyone with experience with the buttkicker products or those like them? Anyone able to compare their standard product with the buttkicker mini? I'm curious how big the difference is between the two.


    • #3
      My church has a medium-small venue ( 200 people +/- ), and in our setting at least, there's just too much sound if we use a drummer monitor feed at a level a drummer can feel comfortable with.

      We have three drummers (only one at a time). Two of them absolutely refuse to use headphones, and we have a floor monitor behind the kick. They're not happy with the volume level (too soft), the sound guys aren't happy with the volume level (too loud, can't control minimum volume level), and portions of the congregation aren't happy with the volume level.

      For the one that *does* use the headphones, I've worked with her to find a mix that didn't make her feel so isolated. We set up her own monitor channel from the sound board, and I bought a small four-channel mixer just for her headphone mix.

      With the four channels ( stage mix, her drums, her hi hat/ride, and one open ), she's managed to find a combination where she doesn't feel isolated, can hear what she wants to (or doesn't want to) hear, and can change it "on the fly" if necessary.

      The little four-channel mixer cost me $35 (US) out of my own pocket. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

      Lest the forum in general think I'm a drum-hater, I'm also on a crusade to convert the guitar and keyboard players to in-ear monitors as I have budget to buy them. Same basic issue ( base sound levels are too high ), but not as extreme as the drummer problem.


      • #4
        Thanks for the suggestions, I, actually, just tried headphones for the first time about a week ago. I've got a setup similar to what you described with a four channel mixer with a dedicated monitor feed going to one channel and my drums in another. With a good mix in the monitor feed its not too bad. The two guys who play bass (and stand right next to me), though, hate it as they got most of thier monitoring from my floor monitor. Solutions are not yet forthcoming.

        I'd still love input on the tactile transducer topic. I'm terribly enamoured of them right now but don't want to blow the money on one if they're just a gimmick.