Do you control your own stage mix?

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
I've seen several drummers' live setups where there's a good sized mixer next to/near the hi-hats. I always wonder if they're controlling their own stage mix (of the other musicians) rather than relying on the sound engineer to make adjustments, are they adjusting just the drums in their mix, or is it simply to pre-mix the drums before the main desk?

And I'm referring to situations where electronic drums or a trigger module isn't being used. If I can find examples, I'll post them.

So do you mix your own mix? And feel free to add other thoughts on what they're doing w/ that drum-side mixer.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
It may be the mixer for the PA. Sometimes the drummer is the sound guy.
 

sumdrumguy

Senior Member
Larger venues usually have in-house staff to run sound.

I'm not a fan wedges to one side. I prefer to use in-ears. I get a balanced sound (both ears), and can set the volume where I want it - usually much lower.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I've never controlled my own mix, nor have I wanted to. My ideal venue is one in which an engineer mics my kit and just lets me play. I want to drum, which is what I'm designed and trained to do, not get mired in the ends and outs of audio technology. The thought of trifling with a mixer (or any type of device) during a show is quite depressing to me. That's not what I enjoy about music.

I still write all my setlists in pencil. I've never used a laptop or a tablet during a performance, and my phone is always packed away and out of sight. I like to keep proceedings elemental and unadorned.
 

BruceW

Senior Member
I have an iPad connected wirelessly to the main board nearby to control my in-ear monitor mix. I don't mess with the drum mix.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I assume by "stage mix" you mean monitor mix?

Initially, I didn't. As my mixes became more critical with tracks, I got a feed from the monitor board to a Mackie 16-ch mixer next to me, which allowed me to mute/un-mute channels and make adjustments on the fly. Soon I graduated to a Yamaha 01-v (?) which had presets for each song and also allowed me to adjust on the fly when needed. Eventually, after having the same monitor guys on a regular basis, I turned it all over to them. There's a major trust factor there, since a missed scene change could result in me missing a count-off (which used to happen frequently when we had different monitor guys every night - I can't even believe we were doing that as recent as 25 years ago!)

Anyway, I trust my guys, they've never let me down, and I can focus on and enjoy the playing without the additional button-pushing on my end.
 
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PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
The mixer on my right is for the band. The small mixer on my left is my own personal mixer with 4 inputs:

1. Mix from board.
2. Performance track from the Roland SPD-SX.
3. Click track/Auditory cues from Roland.
4. I have a separate metronome (mounted on the hi-hat stand) input for songs that don't use tracks.

I use the Headphone Out from the board for my in-ears.

122642198_3918056214889377_8152414398682069625_n.jpg
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
I control my own monitor mix.
I have a small, 4-track Macke mixer that I plug the monitor wedge XLR into & control what I hear from that into my in-ears.
The Front of House guy will control what I hear, but I like to control how loud I hear it.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
The mixer on my right is for the band. The small mixer on my left is my own personal mixer with 4 inputs:

1. Mix from board.
2. Performance track from the Roland SPD-SX.
3. Click track/Auditory cues from Roland.
4. I have a separate metronome (mounted on the hi-hat stand) input for songs that don't use tracks.

I use the Headphone Out from the board for my in-ears.
I used a very similar set up for many years. Just a small 4-ch mixer with 1) a FOH mix, 2) click, 3) backing tracks, and 4) kick. In bigger rooms I would need a bit more kick and click, but that's really all I ever adjusted. Some tracks had a quiet click so I would turn up the click in some songs.

Nowadays, I *can* use my iPad to control my own mix, but I usually don't bother. I'm hardwired in (the rest of the band is on wireless packs), and I use a small passive amp for overall volume up/down. I'll make small tweaks before the gig every so often.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
On our own shows, all band members use an A&H ME500 to IEM for personal monitor mix. Easy to daisy chain from a single cat5 monitor out. We can do the same using an A&H app on a phone or tablet, but the ME500 is a much more intuitive fast access stage tool.

For all other gigs, we use whatever is provided, but a few do offer Aviom A-net16, so we can still use the ME500 setup.

71RlgZmP3EL._AC_SX679_.jpg
 

sumdrumguy

Senior Member
I'm probably in the minority here, but I don't want any drums in my ears on stage. The things I want to hear clearly are lead vocals, and my metronome. Add backing tracks if the gig calls for them.

On small stages, I set the levels so everything else, including drums, bleeds through my in-ears. On larger stages, I will ask FOH to add the other instruments, but at a lower level than the vocals. If they can, I ask for two lines; vocals on one and other instruments on the other. Set the levels with my sub-mixer.

I usually use a Mackie Mix8 as a sub-mixer. Great little mixer with enough channels for a feed from PA/FOH (vocals), my metronome, and an aux-out for backing tracks/sequences.

If I need more channels, or mic'ing drums myself, I use older Mackies - either 1202 or 1402 micro-series mixers. I have a couple of each. Owned them for decades now. They are small, and built like tanks. Even when I am mic'ing drums, I don't have them in my-ears. I run them through an aux-out channel to the PA/FOH.
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
I've seen several drummers' live setups where there's a good sized mixer next to/near the hi-hats. I always wonder if they're controlling their own stage mix (of the other musicians) rather than relying on the sound engineer to make adjustments, are they adjusting just the drums in their mix, or is it simply to pre-mix the drums before the main desk?

And I'm referring to situations where electronic drums or a trigger module isn't being used. If I can find examples, I'll post them.

So do you mix your own mix? And feel free to add other thoughts on what they're doing w/ that drum-side mixer.

Negative - but our band / production company has a dedicated sound engineer that travels with us and is part of the contracts, etc. Just one less thing to worry about out in the wild.
 

MrBeats503

Member
Great question and answers. Playing hard rock and heavy metal I’ve had a lot of issues with properly hearing the rest of the band. I always ask for more more more in my wedge monitor, but once the band kicks off it turns to white noise. Larger stages are a little better. We’re saving up for in-ears, but I never thought to run my own mixer with headphones to create some isolation and be able to hear the other band members...if I’m understanding that correctly
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
On our own shows, all band members use an A&H ME500 to IEM for personal monitor mix. Easy to daisy chain from a single cat5 monitor out. We can do the same using an A&H app on a phone or tablet, but the ME500 is a much more intuitive fast access stage tool.

For all other gigs, we use whatever is provided, but a few do offer Aviom A-net16, so we can still use the ME500 setup.

View attachment 101381
I'm using one of these at church and it's a very nice little interface. The sound quality is chef's kiss too.

On band gigs I use a small Yamaha 8-channel mixer for in-ear mixes. I wouldn't ever go back to a wedge given a choice, and if a system has the capability of running a line out to a monitor, they have the capability to run a line for my mixer.
 

BruceW

Senior Member
+1 for Presonus and iPhone

Our main (big) board is Presonus, and we have a small QSC board for smaller venues. Both work well with the iPad for remote mixing.

When we have our sound guy (at appropriate venues) I dont often have to manually adjust my mix, he'll get it for me. It is nice to be able to do my own when need be, or on those smaller gigs where we dont have our sound guy with us.
 

BruceW

Senior Member
Great question and answers. Playing hard rock and heavy metal I’ve had a lot of issues with properly hearing the rest of the band. I always ask for more more more in my wedge monitor, but once the band kicks off it turns to white noise. Larger stages are a little better. We’re saving up for in-ears, but I never thought to run my own mixer with headphones to create some isolation and be able to hear the other band members...if I’m understanding that correctly

You don't need to spend a lot of money to do in-ears, especially behind the kit. You ain't going anywhere, so you don't need wireless. There are a number of inexpensive interface boxes out there, I use a Rolls 351, its fed with an XLR just like your wedge would be. It costs about $100. Inexpensive in-ears are out there, too. I've been using Shure 215s, which are about $90, and I've heard great things about the KZ monitors, which are even cheaper. I got a pair for Christmas, haven't tried them yet (I need a gig!).

I went this route about 4-5 years ago, and never looked back. Soooo much better than a wedge, for me. Then, having an iPad to do your own mix is even more appropriate...
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Our main (big) board is Presonus, and we have a small QSC board for smaller venues. Both work well with the iPad for remote mixing.

The only untold down-side of the Presonus stuff is the awkward two-day "let's figure this technology shit out" period with the rest of the band. It really requires everyone's full commitment and attention.

Once all of the scenes are created/saved, and everyone is sorted, it's autopilot for awesomeness. I ran sound for a couple rock-oriented clubs and band changes went from 15mins to 5mins... And there wasn't that awkward 1st song where you sort things out while the band plays, it's all already set.
 
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