Getting a great stage mix

moxman

Silver Member
So all sound techs always seem to have different techniques for sound checking and mixing etc. The best I find, is when they start with getting a good monitor mix on stage - so everyone hears everything clearly with no weird sound artefacts or imbalance or distortion or delay etc. Once done.. it's simply a matter of turning up the FOH speakers and away ya go..

- so recently for a big event, the sound was done in the opposite order as the backline gear was provided.. and I guessed they had already worked out the stage mix. Okay.. so we start the FOH first (weird).. the stage mix sucks.. and even worse - there is nothing in the drum monitor and one of the singers monitors is blasting. So reset.. fixing the stage mix issues. and finally got it sounding okay. We turned down the singers monitor - but he complained later that he couldn't hear himself at all..
(no in-ear monitors allowed) and a 4-7 piece band, lots of vocalists guitars, keys, drums.

- it got me thinking.. wouldn't it be great if we could all use our phones with an app to dial in our personal monitor mix - rather than having to shout or talk into a mic to get the sound tech to crank things up or down.. or watch them tweak the levels on an iPad. But probably just dreaming in technicolor..

In any case, are there any methods you've come across for getting the perfect stage mix every time?
 
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Morrisman

Platinum Member
There are plenty of mixers that have a phone app. Ten years ago my band had a Presonus mixer and we each had phone access to our own foldback send. In upright mode I had two sliders ‘Me’ ‘Band’ and in sideways/lanscape mode all 16 inputs were there, labelled.

These days pretty much all digital mixers that have ipad or tablet access also have a monitor version of the app for band members.
 

BGDurham

Well-known Member
Yes, we use a digital Behringer XR18 and all band members connect to it through their phone and set their own monitor mix. We all use in-ears but they are wired so we could just as easily use regular monitors but it's 2022 😉
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
So all sound techs always seem to have different techniques for sound checking and mixing etc. The best I find, is when they start with getting a good monitor mix on stage - so everyone hears everything clearly with no weird sound artefacts or imbalance or distortion or delay etc. Once done.. it's simply a matter of turning up the FOH speakers and away ya go..

- so recently for a big event, the sound was done in the opposite order as the backline gear was provided.. and I guessed they had already worked out the stage mix. Okay.. so we start the FOH first (weird).. the stage mix sucks.. and even worse - there is nothing in the drum monitor and one of the singers monitors is blasting. So reset.. fixing the stage mix issues. and finally got it sounding okay. We turned down the singers monitor - but he complained later that he couldn't hear himself at all..
(no in-ear monitors allowed) and a 4-7 piece band, lots of vocalists guitars, keys, drums.

- it got me thinking.. wouldn't it be great if we could all use our phones with an app to dial in our personal monitor mix - rather than having to shout or talk into a mic to get the sound tech to crank things up or down.. or watch them tweak the levels on an iPad. But probably just dreaming in technicolor..

In any case, are there any methods you've come across for getting the perfect stage mix every time?
I usually don’t have a problem with it but I play in bands with reasonable stage volume. The one I’m in now is a little quiet for my tastes but playing at that volume keeps us working.
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
In any case, are there any methods you've come across for getting the perfect stage mix every time?
Have as little in my monitor as possible and try not to reply on your monitors.
A controlled sound on stage with other band members is key. I try to hear what is coming out of their amps, rather than having their guitars and keys in my monitors.
In my experience, front of house and monitors are done at the same time. FOH is definitely the priority, as that is what the public hears.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
We had a sound guy with no experience with wireless microphones. He got everyone tuned in. We start the show, lead singer steps out in front of the stage and screech feedback starts. It took a few minutes to fix that problem. Happened right during the first song.
 

KEEF

Senior Member
So all sound techs always seem to have different techniques for sound checking and mixing etc. The best I find, is when they start with getting a good monitor mix on stage - so everyone hears everything clearly with no weird sound artefacts or imbalance or distortion or delay etc. Once done.. it's simply a matter of turning up the FOH speakers and away ya go..

- so recently for a big event, the sound was done in the opposite order as the backline gear was provided.. and I guessed they had already worked out the stage mix. Okay.. so we start the FOH first (weird).. the stage mix sucks.. and even worse - there is nothing in the drum monitor and one of the singers monitors is blasting. So reset.. fixing the stage mix issues. and finally got it sounding okay. We turned down the singers monitor - but he complained later that he couldn't hear himself at all..
(no in-ear monitors allowed) and a 4-7 piece band, lots of vocalists guitars, keys, drums.

- it got me thinking.. wouldn't it be great if we could all use our phones with an app to dial in our personal monitor mix - rather than having to shout or talk into a mic to get the sound tech to crank things up or down.. or watch them tweak the levels on an iPad. But probably just dreaming in technicolor..

In any case, are there any methods you've come across for getting the perfect stage mix every time?
We always do the FOH first - the show must go on even if the monitor mix sucks, so FOH is more important.

Most digital desks have a phone app for monitors these days, and that is indeed the method for getting a perfect mix every time.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
We always do the FOH first - the show must go on even if the monitor mix sucks, so FOH is more important.

Most digital desks have a phone app for monitors these days, and that is indeed the method for getting a perfect mix every time.
It’s also a method for a rogue player to jack the stage sound.
 

moxman

Silver Member
Doing a bit of research on the phone app self adjust.. unless it's in-ear, it could be problematic if everyone starts cranking up everything. Most experienced people know that a minimal mix in a wedge is the best for stage audio.. but I can see it getting out of hand if a large band all had control.

This is what I find works.. soundcheck at least one song with the FOH down completely to get an accurate stage mix.. otherwise in an empty hall the FOH sound will reflect back and spill into the monitor mix. When the crowd shows up they will absorb the FOH so there are no surprises when it's time to start..
 
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JimmyM

Platinum Member
Doing a bit of research on the phone app self adjust.. unless it's in-ear, it could be problematic if everyone starts cranking up everything. Most experienced people know that a minimal mix in a wedge is the best for stage audio.. but I can see it getting out of hand if a large band all had control.

This is what I find works.. soundcheck at least one song with the FOH down completely to get an accurate stage mix.. otherwise in an empty hall the FOH sound will reflect back and spill into the monitor mix. When the crowd shows up they will absorb the FOH so there are no surprises when it's time to start..
Theoretically ;)
 

KEEF

Senior Member
It’s also a method for a rogue player to jack the stage sound.
Agreed - if you have "rogues" - it always baffles me when band members are more concerned with their own self importance than with the overall product🤷‍♂️
Plus I was thinking more of in ears than stage wedges..... another thing that baffles me - why anyone would want to lug around wedges and deal with the feed back and the volume issues, when you can stick iems in your pocket, get a perfect personal mix every time - and protect your hearing in the process.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
So much depends on the room and you and your band members being professional. There's so many folk who can't and won't turn down and there's your on stage and FOH sound gone straight away.

We try and keep things as quiet as possible on stage and let the PA take the strain. It's a little tricky because I play so many different size spaces and don't know what I'm getting until I rock up.

Monitor wise I don't use them unless I have to and I hardly have anything coming through them anyway.

I've gone full 70s with my kit set up and put a 20" port in my front head just to stop things from rattling and put a pillow in there. The rest of the band love it. I also take dampening rings and moongels which are quick fixes. Although in a nice dead sounding room I don't need them. It's the complete opposite of my own personal preferences but setting the kit up this way gives us a better on stage sound
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
It’s also a method for a rogue player to jack the stage sound.
Each player only gets access to their own foldback send, so they can’t mess up anyone else or the main PA. Their phones or ipads are recognised by the mixer, which is set up by one main operator.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
In any case, are there any methods you've come across for getting the perfect stage mix every time?

We use a digital QSC board, and I have an iPad Mini connected to it and control my own IEM mix when we use our PA.

When we use a house system, I have to rely on the sound tech for my IEM mix, so I get it the best I can with the guy behind the board. I do have my own control of my metronome volume though. Worst case, I pull one of my IEMs out slightly to hear more stage bleed and I can still hear the metronome.
 
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