Question about customizing IEM mixes

beatdat

Senior Member
The church I volunteer at is continuing to expand its A/V Setup.

One of the items we will be purchasing in the near future is an IEM system for the musicians. One of the members is tasked with researching which one to buy, but has a question I'm passing on to the members here.

Essentially, we're wondering if it's possible for an IEM system to send custom mixes to each musician.

Looking at a couple of systems, like this Sennheiser one and this Shure one, it appears that the only option each musician has is to vary the volume of the mix sent to their headset; there doesn't appear to be the option of providing a custom mix for each musician.

However, we've purchased some decent equipment so far, such as a Soundcraft Sig 22 MTK digital mixer and a brand new MacBook Pro laptop to record our music, so I'm thinking a good IEM system with the appropriate software should be able to send individual custom mixes to each musician, possibly as a return signal passing from the laptop and back out to the mixer and onto the IEMs or simple back out to the IEMs from the laptop. To note, we intend to use LogicPro in the near future, but will be using GarageBand until then.

Assuming I'm being clear in what we're looking for, is this possible? In other words, we would prefer not to have one universal monitor mix to be used by all of the musicians, but would like to have individual custom monitor mixes for each musician.

And if it is possible, is it simply a matter of buying the appropriate system, or will is it a matter of special software or connections?

Intuitively, I'm thinking that, since we have a multi-track digital mixer (ie. it can send 22 discreet channels to the laptop for post-recording editing and mixing), it should be possible create custom IEM mixes for each musician, but I can't confirm this or figure out how to do it.

Any ideas?

Thanks.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
First, it depends on how many monitor 'sends' the board has. Each send can be a separate mix, so eight sends means there are eight separate mixes for up to eight players.

Second, if using wireless, you'll need a separate transmitter (with its own frequency) for each player. If using hardwired packs, you just need to get a cable & connector to each player.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
Much obliged, @bermuda and @Bo Eder!

Not the answers I was hoping for, and admittedly my intuition was off, but it is what it is and that's now one less thing to think about.

Thanks, again.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
Does your Soundcraft have the ability to send out auxiliary mixes?
It does, but only two independent ones.

The mixer actually has four auxiliary outputs (Groups 1, 2, 3, and 4) in addition to the Main outputs, but you can only send each channel to any combination of Main, Group 1/2, and Group 3/4. So, theoretically, we should be able to have 2 custom monitor mixes, but since we're looking at a wireless IEM system with only one transmitter, we'll probably have to settle for 1 IEM mix as Bermuda mentioned. No big deal, really, as this would still be a considerable upgrade from the floor wedges we're using as monitors now.

Thanks, again, Bo.
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
If you are only doing one transmitter, no matter what you use or how many outs it has or how many receivers you have it will only have 1 mix.

Edit: Looks like those twin ones allow you to do 2 channels, it looks like you might be able to do 2 mixes if they are both mono. So you could have 2 mixes if your board supports the ability.

Multiple mixes and the ability to easily adjust your own mix is one reason the Aviom system or other similar systems are popular with churches. You basically send 8-16 channels to the Aviom main rack, then that connections sub boxes and everyone then gets their own box to make their own mixes from. Only downside, is the system isn't cheap.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
It does, but only two independent ones.

The mixer actually has four auxiliary outputs (Groups 1, 2, 3, and 4) in addition to the Main outputs, but you can only send each channel to any combination of Main, Group 1/2, and Group 3/4. So, theoretically, we should be able to have 2 custom monitor mixes, but since we're looking at a wireless IEM system with only one transmitter, we'll probably have to settle for 1 IEM mix as Bermuda mentioned. No big deal, really, as this would still be a considerable upgrade from the floor wedges we're using as monitors now.

Thanks, again, Bo.
Ah, those group sub-outputs. There are mixers that have separate AUX outputs linked to physical outputs on the console. That’s the kind of mixer you need. The Group outputs are still linked to your Main output just for the simple thing of assigning groups so they can be controlled by one fader. For instance, you’d assign all the drums to one group, so you can control the whole thing with one fader, but that still has to go to the Main so the sound goes into the house.
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
Ah, those group sub-outputs. There are mixers that have separate AUX outputs linked to physical outputs on the console. That’s the kind of mixer you need. The Group outputs are still linked to your Main output just for the simple thing of assigning groups so they can be controlled by one fader. For instance, you’d assign all the drums to one group, so you can control the whole thing with one fader, but that still has to go to the Main so the sound goes into the house.
Looking up the specs on that mixer, it looks like it should have 5 Auxes.
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
So you don’t have five AUX outputs? (I should probably read up on your mixer)
Their mixer has 5 Aux outputs from what i looked up. What I was saying was meaning that they can have 5 separate mixes if they have 5 separate transmitters. If they only have 1 transmitter it doesn't really matter how many Aux outputs they have because they will only be able to transmit 1 output mix.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Their mixer has 5 Aux outputs from what i looked up. What I was saying was meaning that they can have 5 separate mixes if they have 5 separate transmitters. If they only have 1 transmitter it doesn't really matter how many Aux outputs they have because they will only be able to transmit 1 output mix.
In my band, we all own our own IEM systems, so we get our own mixes. I don’t think it’s too big an investment for band members to make. I bought a Uvive in-ear system for myself and it only costs $230 on Amazon.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
Thanks for running with this, @Bo Eder and @BertTheDrummer. You've both helped me clear up some misconceptions I had.

I was assuming the Group 1 & 2 outputs would be used to connect the IEM transmitter. Now I know it's the AUX outputs to use for the IEM transmitter. And, yes, our mixer has 5 of them.

And knowing now what the Group 1 & 2 outputs are actually used for, I'm going to see how I can put them to better use.

Thanks, again!
 

beatdat

Senior Member
A follow-up question, if I may.

I took a look at the mixer and the User Guide, and confirmed that there are 5 outputs (labeled AUX1-5) as shown here:

21:05:11 DW Soundcraft AUX Outputs.png

In the middle of each channel, a bit above the fader, are 3 green dials and 2 blue dials. It is hard to see from the shot, but the 3 green dials are labelled AUX1-3 and the 2 blue dials are labelled AUX4FX-5FX as shown here:

21:05:11 DW Soundcraft Channel.png

And the user guid describes the function of the green and blue dials as follows:

21:05:11 DW Soundcraft AUX Dials.png

Reading this, I'm thinking that the 2 blue dials operate the same as the 3 green dials (ie. as AUX outputs), and also serve the purpose of adding desired FXs, if any, to the channel (ie. the blue dials do not operate only for adding FXs).

In other words, can I use all 5 AUX outputs just for IEM transmitters since we won't be adding any FXs through the mixer?
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
A follow-up question, if I may.

I took a look at the mixer and the User Guide, and confirmed that there are 5 outputs (labeled AUX1-5) as shown here:

View attachment 104422

In the middle of each channel, a bit above the fader, are 3 green dials and 2 blue dials. It is hard to see from the shot, but the 3 green dials are labelled AUX1-3 and the 2 blue dials are labelled AUX4FX-5FX as shown here:

View attachment 104423

And the user guid describes the function of the green and blue dials as follows:

View attachment 104424

Reading this, I'm thinking that the 2 blue dials operate the same as the 3 green dials (ie. as AUX outputs), and also serve the purpose of adding desired FXs, if any, to the channel (ie. the blue dials do not operate only for adding FXs).

In other words, can I use all 5 AUX outputs just for IEM transmitters since we won't be adding any FXs through the mixer?
Basically what is happening is your mixer uses Aux 4 and 5 if you are using the built in effects. There should be a way to switch it to choose if you want to use it for effects or to use it as an Aux.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
Basically what is happening is your mixer uses Aux 4 and 5 if you are using the built in effects. There should be a way to switch it to choose if you want to use it for effects or to use it as an Aux.
Good to know. I'll take a further look into the User Guide.

Thanks!
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
Good to know. I'll take a further look into the User Guide.

Thanks!
Also, you'll want to put all your monitor/in-ear mixes as Pre fader not post. You don't want any changes the sound guy makes to the live mix to have an effect on your in-ear mix.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
Also, you'll want to put all your monitor/in-ear mixes as Pre fader not post. You don't want any changes the sound guy makes to the live mix to have an effect on your in-ear mix.
That was my next question, Bert, but you beat me to it. I'm sure I'll have more questions regarding this as I'm just starting to learn how PFL works.

Thanks!
 
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