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Monitor sound in a live situation

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:05 pm
by Jemfever
I wasn't quite sure where to post this but i hope this is the right place.

I'm really interested in the way you guys set your monitor sound. Although I'm playing constantly live with my band, I'm never satisfied with the way the monitors sound. I must add, that we have our own sound engeneer and have been working with him for three years now.
I've adressed this problem to him but never recieved a satisfying answer.

Sometimes the guitars are too low in the mix, so i have to stand all the time in front of my cab, which isn't very cool when you're playing stages that are 10m x 15m and you are the lead guitarist.
Sometimes the backing vocals are too loud or the sound coming ot of the monitors is really one big mess.
I've tried all sorts of tips but nothing seems to help.

It's really annoying, because a bad sound onstage lessens the fun-factors of playing live a lot.

Any suggestions for a nice monitor sound? Any experiences?

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:23 am
by Ultraviolet
hmmm monitor sound is a matter of preference, as far as what type of sound curve you are looking to emmulate. but if JBL monitors don't do it for ya, try some Mackie, or Yamaha monitors,...12's are the way to go, but 15's have way more dynamic for the bass guitar, keyboard, and kick drum.

You seem to be lead, I would look into the 12 inch versions. Then, my next question would be ,..are you mic-ing the guitar cab? or is your output going directly into a powered pa amp/head?

if you mic-ing the pa, then use a mic that suits the dynamic of your playing style,....some mics are sweet on reproing the lows, some are full range, and some mics have sweet mid to upper reproductive warmth. Some manufacturers if not most,..will tell you where there mics are good at in the sound spectrum. That is a nother biggie, as far as tonal clarity, then check the tone pots on the pa, and make sure the gains or levels aren't like much more than half, because there will be a little bit of transient intermodular distortion coming from the equipment at that point,..and not degrading in the recording input signal yet, so even if you had a perfect mic, and clean guitar input,..the output would be slightly distorted.

if you are going directly into the pa,...then utilize an Alesis compressor limiter, and monitor the levels, and adjust it accordingly so that you are out of the red zones,....and the output signal should be MUCH cleaner, even if you have the existing monitors hooked up. but like i said,..Mackie, and Yamaha seem to do it for me. Good luck

Ultra :)

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 4:53 am
by Jemfever
Thanx for the advice Ultraviolet, but the problem starts here:
we have different PA's every night, depending on the location.
It's not possible for me to choose, what kind of monitors I wanna play through, except for bringing my own monitors to the gigs.

Both guitarists mike the cabinets and its not the actual sound of the guitars through the monitors that bothers me. It's rather the whole monitor sound. It's very often hard to locate the different instruments or the three voices (lead voc + 2backing voc).
I've tried different settings like, just hihat and vocals or everything, except my guitar etc,etc,etc. It always ends in a sound, that I don't feel comfortable with.

I just wanna know, what you guys like to hear on your monitors and how you create a sound that is alright for you.

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:03 am
by Ultraviolet
then in that case,
set up a rack that has, an Alesis compressor limiter, a power conditioner, and a BBE sonic maximizer, with a Behringer 3-d processor.

Then run the guitars wide open. Mic only the Vocals and Drums through the right side channel,..and mic only the Bass and Guitar through the left channel. This way,..the monitors in front of you will only be responsible for the reproduction of your guitar, and the bass, and the monitor/s in front of the vocalist willl have the voicing, and the drums,..etc. This will DEFINATELY open up a more clearly defined broadcast back to your ears,..and allow a ton of messing around to fine tune to your liking. The neat thing about the behringer 3-d, that you can make it seem like the Voicing and Drums,,..are closer or farther away from you,..or where you will be hearing the playback of the monitor,.. good luck, hope this helps..

and YEAH it's pooky,...but the only way to do it right fully, to bring your OWN monitors to and from gig to gig. Mackie, Yamaha, or Jbl. Having the compressor limiter, and the BBE sonic maximizer, with the behringer 3-d unit, KEY though...they are like 400 for all three components. good luck,
hope your ears finally lock it in ;)