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Matt_Brown

Anyone using personal monitors?

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I'm using a 500x with a DT25 and JTV59.

 

We have a few small gigs coming up where it will be impossible to take amps because of lack of space. There will still be drums, another guitar and bass and we will use a pa. It will be 'band volume' but not ear splitting loud.

 

I'll put my pod straight into the pa but then started wondering how I'm going to hear myself - there isn't room for floor monitors either!

 

Anyone have any experience using one of those mic stand personal monitors such as the TC-Helicon fx-150 or Behringer B205D?

 

My main concern, of course, is "will it be loud enough"!

 

Thoughts?

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I'm assuming you'll feed that monitor out of the 1/4" mono out of the pod?  I've used fx-150 in the past, but that was for vocals.  150watts may seem a lot, but they can be overwhelmed pretty quickly if your stage volume gets too high.  My biggest question is will the rest of the band be able to hear you?  On a stand my guess is it will work pretty well, but I'd strongly advise you to take your POD to the music store and play through it to get a feel for how it will handle your output.  Since it's geared for vocals I'm not sure how full range the EQ is, but you'll get a sense of that when you play through it.  It might require a couple of adjustments in your Global EQ to get it to sound right.  But let us know how it works out.

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How is anyone in the band going to hear anything without monitors or amps ?  They may as well blind fold you and tie one arm behind your back too.

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...We have a few small gigs coming up where it will be impossible to take amps because of lack of space...

 

...there isn't room for floor monitors either!...

This sounds like gigs I've done where the venue hasn't decided whether they are a restaurant, coffee house, or live music venue. They always try to force all of those into one. They expect you to make it work. If it's really that small, everyone will need to compromise. Down size the drum setup so you can at least place a small monitor to plug your 500x into (Alto TS110a great for this, also has a direct out for PA). Then, you and the band can hear your guitar. Mains are sometimes the only way to hear the vocals in these situations, which is not ideal, but usually can work in really small 'venues'.

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Thanks for this. It's the bass players idea - he has been using a sans amp for a while and it 'works' rather than is ideal - and the more I think about it trying to hear the whole band through the main mix (by trying to be as in front as we can without feedback) is 'not the best idea'. Needs must though! I can't wait until the band is more established and we can turn down gigs like this!

 

My idea with the fx150 would be to put the POD and my vocal and have it on my mic stand but from what you peeps say it might be better to have one on a separate stand and put a FOH mix in it (and hope we don't play so loud it distorts!) So we can all hear it.

 

Point taken about the drum kit and I will suggest that but still think floor monitors in this place will be a no no.

 

Any other ideas/comments gratefully received.

 

Thanks. And I hope you are all having a great Christmas!

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I've played plenty of (besides vocal PA) unmiced, unmonitored gigs with no real sound guy. If you decide to play it, just have everyone paying close attention to the drummer to stay together. It sucks and you won't even be able to hear yourself or the guy across the stage.

 

You could also have a buddy in the crowd to be your "sound manager" who listens and figures out who needs to turn up or down so at least your audience gets a good sound

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Like you said, you can't wait until the band is more established and you can turn down gigs like this, but playing in a situation where you can't hear each other or your vocals very well is probably a pretty good way of extending how long it's going to take to get established.  Kind of like a vicious circle, huh?

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Good points. Yes, a bit of a vicious circle! I think we will have to give one a go then take it from there. We are all pretty experienced but, as DunedinDragon says, we may have to turn this sort of pub gig down.

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sounds like its time for in ear monitors... not cheap but worth it in the long run.

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I have considered that Rads but I seem to know as many people who have given up with in ears as like them. Allied to the fact that I'm 'old' and whilst not completely closed to 'new tricks' I'm guessing that I'll prefer to not quite hear FOH & monitors to the isolation of an in ear system.

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I agree with Matt on this.  In ears are great for each individual to be able to hear themselves, but they tend to get in the way of everyone blending together on their stage mix because they encourage people to focus on themselves and not on listening to everyone else.

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But that's why you use IEM's that are fed from the mixer, not from your personal gear.

 

In Ear Monitors are monitors that are in your ear instead of on the floor. It is a little different than using just the headphone jack. 

 

 

 

I, personally, do not like them, but when you're playing stadium gigs, you really have no other choice. Also, when you are playing little lollipopholes with stages so small that you could trip over them and still not realize that it was the stage... IEM's work well there too. 

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I'm quite familiar with IEM's and wasn't making any reference to a headphone jack.

 

The problem isn't solved by feeding from a mixer.  It's a problem related to people not blending together on stage.  It's the "garbage in/garbage out" principle of live bands.  You don't solve that with gear, you solve that with discipline.  IEM's just tend to make it worse by focusing bandmembers on a misrepesentation of what the stage blend REALLY is.  Bands that have the discipline do fine with them.  Less disciplined bands tend to have the mix heavier for their instrument and don't notice when they're overplaying or leaving enough "air" for the rest of the instruments and vocals.  It creates more FOH issues than it solves with folks like that.

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IEM and forget about it. You'll sound better and play tighter through the "growing pains" gigs where the PA sucks and there is no monitoring, and you'll look like you know what you're doing when you show up at a better place with a real sound guy and sound system. I completely agree with the "garbage in=garbage out" but you should be getting your "out-front mix" separate from your IEM mix anyways. An IEM mix should be CLEAR, and balanced to what you would want in your floor wedge, and if you're well-rehearsed, your show should only be better for it. I've only ever seen ONE band that performed worse with an IEM set, and it turned out one of the members was trying to use a bluetooth audio transmitter for his IEM set, which gave him about 30ms of latency from the rest of the band, and he was off the whole night. Playing super tight and being super in tune vocally and instrumentally is WAAAAAY easier via IEM and even if the sound is crap (not mixed well/at all/bad EQ) you'll still sound like you know what you're doing.

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All good ideas peeps but the Christmas fairy left me £200 which will run me to a mic stand monitor. Unfortunately I don't have the £'000's I need for an iem setup for 6 people. Especially as our mixer has 2 monitor sends...

 

I'm guessing venues are a bit different here in the UK as you almost never find a venue with a sound person provided.

 

As for playing stadiums, I can but dream :-)

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Make it a band investment. Or go cheap with some wired set-ups. We get away with one mix for the drummer, one mix for the guitar/bass, but we don't have a vocalist who needs his/her own mix. There's no reason to buy $400 earbuds and a $700 transmitter till you're sure you can even play with headphones in.

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Just in case this helps anyone in the same situation...

 

I tried the TV Voiesolo FX150 and Mackie SRM150 yesterday.

 

Both sounded really great and very defined with both music (from my ipod) and guitar (from xlr on 500x) blaring out.

 

However, the FX150 would be nowhere near loud enough in a full band situation. Although the Mackie is rated the same watts (something to do with db's the sales assistant said - then I fell asleep ;-)) it is LOADS louder and would easily be heard over drums, bass and a 2nd guitar.

 

Not as many positioning options for the Mackie (you would have to have it on top of a mic stand) and it's a fair bit more expensive here in the UK.

 

So, next gig on 12/3 (That's March for my American friends ;-)) I'll be trying a cabled in ear set Up!

 

Wish me luck!

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Hey,Matt.Like you i play at very small pubs in the UK,with neanderthal(acoustic)drums,as you are aware a lot of these pubs don't have enough room to swing a cat in the set-up area.

We use our own PA never had monitors,we always here the vocals & that's with reasonably loud on "stage" Guitar/Bass amps.

I can't believe there is no possibility for small Combo Guitar & bass amps,when i had my Cube 60,it would fit amongst the drum stands,i would imagine a small floor monitor as mentioned in the thread(Alto),would do the same thing & let the bass player worry about himself :D ,just kidding,if he has a sansamp,maybe run the Bass through the Alto or there are lots of really small footprint Bass combos available.

Also if your PA is a couple of Boxes on Stands,you could put your "ALTO"under a Stand,the other guitar player could do the same,if you have Bass bins,with tops on stands sit the monitor on the Bins(sorry Subs ;) )

Just a couple of thoughts.

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Thanks Old-Rocker.

 

The place we played last Sat was truly the smallest space I've ever played. My left arm was against the keyboard and the right against the singer. Ok, pubs in the UK are not designed for 6 piece outfits but we like to play them as well as parties. On the plus side the place was heaving and it was the 1st time in the 36 years I've been playing that there were people dancing on the tables! I'm glad Mr Healthandsafety wasn't watching!

 

Most of the time I can use my DT and I can get by not hearing my vocal but looking at the vid from the gig I'm not pitching as well as I could hence the need to hear voice.

 

Another plus side of taking no amp was that I parked about 200m away and could carry all my gear in one go plus we set up and tore down in minutes. But if I'm going to use just the pod, any speaker/amp has to be fairly FRFR as, as you have found, the guitar tone will get coloured.

 

The little Mackie would do the job very nicely. There is a Behringer version (b205d) that looks the same as the Mackie - and I mean an EXACT rip off - that is £100 cheaper so I think I'm going to try one of those if I can get over to Romford which seems to be the nearest dealer who has both so I can compare.

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Rather late to this, but the band I'm in has 2 guitarists and we both use PODs going straight to main mix (no backline amps). Main mix also has vocals. The drums are acoustic (and loud) and the bass player has an on-stage amp. None of the drums or the bass are in the PA.


 


We used to have foldback speakers, which were heavy. Our drummer got himself a B205D which he was happy with, and so the other guitarist and I got one each too. Now we don't have foldback speakers. Given that the B205Ds are on mic stands they can be very close and so give a good 'in your face' volume even against the most valiant thrashings of our drummer and matching bass.


 


We haven't had any feedback issues with them, even though they are close to the vocal mics (placement of the B205D that takes into account the mic's cardioid pattern probably helps).


 


We put the same mix into the foldback as the FOH is getting. We don't have a sound guy (and neither do the venues we play), and having the FOH mix coming into our faces lets us balance our guitar and vocal volumes on the fly. If the drummer gets louder (as he does) and the bass goes up to match it we can adjust our individual B205D volume without affecting the FOH balance.


 


We're very happy with the way it's working so far.

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If the drummer gets louder (as he does) and the bass goes up to match it we can adjust our individual B205D volume without affecting the FOH balance.

 

 

 

WRONG. 

 

FOH, particularly in small venues, need to take the acoustic environment into consideration. 

If your drummer or bassist turn up, even if they are not coming through the pa, they are still changing what the room hears. You adjusting your monitors to hear yourself on stage doesn't change the fact that you are being drowned out in the rest of the room. 

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