tbytes
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Feb 24, 2020

Monitors

Need some help please. 6 person band. Acoustic guitar/vocal, acoustic guitar/vocal, acoustic guitar, mandolin/vocal, bass/vocal, & percussion. Everything into t8s mixer to L1Model2 except bass and percussion. We are having troubles hearing ourselves individually in the mix. Band mates refuse IEM so that is not an option. We have 2 FRFR powered monitors available. Assume this might be our best option? Not sure how to best configure. Can I configure it to send 2 vocals and 2 guitars out of one monitor and the other 2 vocals and guitar/mandolin out of other? Or do I just want to send the entire mix through each monitor? Dry, pre or post setting? Or is there any other suggestions I’m not thinking about? Thanks in advance!

8 REPLIES 8
Jeff_K
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Sep 13, 2018

Re: Monitors

You have 4 aux sends available from the T8s, so you can send 4 completely independent mixes of whatever you want out of each, and each can be individually set to pre-fader/dry, pre-fader/post-EQ&FX or post-fader (which is post-EQ/FX and also affected by fader volume levels). Generally you want stage monitors set pre-fader/dry, although some folks do like post EQ and FX, but you don't want to add compression to monitors.

More info here:
T8S Aux Outputs

Hope this helps,
Jeff 

Sam_Spoons
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Sep 17, 2019

Re: Monitors

Monitors are a complex issue but, if you are struggling to hear yourselves in what its, effectively, an acoustic band then simply adding monitors with the whole mix through it won't work. So a couple of questions :-

1, Do the acoustic guitars, mandolin and bass have amps? If not how are they amplified, pickups or mics?

2, What is the nature of the percussion (a tambourine and shakers, snare with brushes, full kit with sticks or what)?

3, Exactly what is it that you are struggling to hear (I'm guessing vocals but maybe guitars/mando if the answer to #1 is 'no')?

4, How big are the venues/stages you play?

 

tbytes
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Feb 24, 2020

Re: Monitors

Sam and Jeff. Thanks for the fast replies!

I apologize in advance if some of my questions are dumb. I’m still learning. I am grateful for the help!

All mics and instruments except the bass guitar and percussion go through the t8s mixer and are amplified by the L1m2. The bass player uses his own amp.

We are an amplified acoustic band. Vocal harmonies and layering.

The percussion is a large cajon, tambourine and other hand held brushes, instruments.

We play small venues, bars and coffee shops etc. But we usually pack in a good crowd and we’re surprisingly loud.

But we really do struggle to hear our individual vocals and guitars/mandolin with this setup.

We only have 2 powered monitors which we haven’t tried using yet.

Based on what you have suggested it sounds like we should place each monitor on each side of the stage and send half to each side respectively?

Seemed to me that post-EQ was what we’d want because we would then be hearing what the audience hears?

Thanks

Sam_Spoons
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Sep 17, 2019

Re: Monitors

It maybe more a matter of balance, and learning to identify your own vocal/instrument in the mix. This is hard to do if the mix/arrangement is muddy/cluttered. How do you fare in rehearsal, without amps (apart from the bass)?

With my sound guy* (though mostly retired now) hat on, working at the grass root end of the PA business I have noticed that there are even some solo singer guitarists who 'need' a monitor  

This is where  a conventional PA might serve you better than the usual L1 rig setup. I don't mean ditch the Bose but use it as a FOH system by placing it in front of the band so the sound on stage is at acoustic levels, that way you can each hear your own voice and instrument without being overpowered by the PA. I can't guarantee this will work, I have played some 'acoustic' gigs where the audience noise made it difficult, but I have never been unable to hear myself sing well enough to be able to pitch in an acoustic line up (many times in an electric band though). 

So, is it the vocals that are the problem? If so then a single ear plug might help (the old folk singer's finger in the ear) but it won't help with the guitars. Take heart from the fact that Bluegrass bands often work to large audiences with just a single mic so it's definitely doable.

HTH

* And I play acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, bass, and sing (plus a few other instruments).

ChetDude
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May 10, 2018

Re: Monitors

The main thing is practice, practice, practice.

The more you work with a particular sound system in a consistent configuration, the easier it is for each player to pick out your voice/instrument.

Another thought I had was the excellent advice I received in a vocal harmony workshop recently - to listen to the BLEND and if I'm hearing my voice too clearly, that means I'm not blending well enough and should take it down into the mix.  I took that extremely valuable workshop because even though I've been singing harmony vocals for nearly 60 years, you're never too old to learn something useful and I sure did.  That tip kicked my singing up a rather large notch...and definitely helped the band sound.

tbytes
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Feb 24, 2020

Re: Monitors

I really appreciate the replies Sam Spoons and Chet!!

To answer your questions and comments Sam Spoons:

If we rehearse unplugged we can hear each other and ourselves just fine.  If we rehearse plugged in to the L1 we do have to be really careful about levels and such as it can get difficult to hear ourselves and others both vocals and instruments in the mix.

Also please note that we do not route to PA (FOH) as most venues we play are small.  The L1 and our bassist standalone rig is our entire sound system for us and our audience.

We are going to try a variety of different configurations at our next practice and see what works.  We are going to try Aux out from the t8s mixer to 2 powered monitors for the band to hear ourselves better.

Thanks again

Sam_Spoons
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Re: Monitors

Keep us posted. 

ST - Pro
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May 11, 2020

Re: Monitors

Hi, tbytes.

Welcome to the Bose Portable PA Community.

You've had lots of input on this, so I'm going to ask a few questions to see if we can drill down to the source of the problem.

tbytes posted:

Need some help please. 6 person band. Acoustic guitar/vocal, acoustic guitar/vocal, acoustic guitar, mandolin/vocal, bass/vocal, & percussion. Everything into t8s mixer to L1Model2 except bass and percussion.

Where is the L1 Model II in relation to the band? Is it set up behind you, off to one side, between the band and the audience, or ...?

We are having troubles hearing ourselves individually in the mix.

I count four vocal microphones, three acoustic guitars, and one mandolin going through the T8S and L1. Is that right?

That's a lot of similar sound sources coming through one loudspeaker. That's not a problem for the L1 or the audience, but it can be challenging for a performer to hear their instrument or voice.

If you have two or more people singing or playing the same thing (same vocal line, same guitar part), it can be difficult for those people to hear themselves in the mix - because all the sound is coming from one place. When we play acoustically, this is less of an issue because the sounds are separated in space. We lose that when everything is amplified and coming from through one loudspeaker.

To better understand what's happening, try this.

Pick a song where you are having trouble hearing yourselves. Playing at full gig volume (through the T8S and L1)

  1. Start with one vocalist
  2. Add one guitar
  3. Add the second vocalist
  4. Add the second guitar
  5. Add the third vocalist
  6. Add the third guitar
  7. Add the fourth vocalist
  8. Add the mandolin
  9. Add the bass
  10. Add the percussion

At some point, as you go through the steps, you will start to have a problem hearing yourselves in the mix.  Try taking something out of the mix - not necessarily the last thing you added. As you go through this, you should get an idea of what works well together, and what doesn't. You may find it helpful to move the bass amp or the percussionist.

Then

  • You can think about how to make the parts sound different so they are easier to pick out in the mix.
    OR
  • You will recognize things that sound similar that must be separated in order for the performers to hear themselves.  This can help you decide how to set up the monitor mix.



For example:

If we have three guitarist/vocalists, Bob, Mary, and Ted.

When Bob and Mary play together, all is well.
When Mary and Ted play together, all is well.
When Bob and Ted play together (with or without Mary), there's a problem.

Assuming you use two monitors (Aux 1, Aux 2)

Separate Bob and Ted on the stage so you can have Bob come through one monitor and Ted in the other.

Keep working through the combinations, and you'll probably find that things get better if you separate the sounds that sound most similar.



Band mates refuse IEM so that is not an option. We have 2 FRFR powered monitors available.

Connect one monitor to Aux 1 and put it facing one half of the stage
Connect the other monitor to Aux 2 and put it facing the other half of the stage.

Assume this might be our best option? Not sure how to best configure. Can I configure it to send 2 vocals and 2 guitars out of one monitor and the other 2 vocals and guitar/mandolin out of other?

After going through the steps above, you may find you have rearranged yourselves on stage. That's okay.

Or do I just want to send the entire mix through each monitor?

Sending the entire mix through each monitor probably won't help.

Dry, pre or post setting? Or is there any other suggestions I’m not thinking about? Thanks in advance!

Note: Aux 1 supports reverb. Aux 2, 3, 4 do not. I wouldn't use reverb on Aux 1 anyway.

Although vocalists often request reverb in the monitors, reverb makes it harder to distinguish one sound from another. (like people talking in a cave).   If you are using reverb, and you have the L1 behind the band, they will hear the reverb from the L1. You don't need reverb in the monitors.

Please see this article before setting up the monitors.

T8S Aux Outputs

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Please click the picture for more details.

 

Now, back to you. You can set up the Aux sends -

DRY - not for this application. The sound in the monitor could be significantly different from what you hear from the L1.

PRE/POST - I would try POST first because this way the monitor levels will go up and down with the channel volume controls. Then you can fine-tune.

For example:

  • Set up the sound through the L1 using the T8S channel volume controls to get the mix you like
  • Start with all the Aux send levels at 50%
  • Bob's vocal
    • Is on channel 1
    • You are sending channel 1 to Aux 1
    • Bob needs to hear a little more of his voice in the monitor
      • Turn up the Channel 1 - Aux 1 Level.

Please see T8S Aux Send Channel Inputs to Different Aux Outputs for a detailed example.

ST