what do you have through your monitor?

rotherdrummer

Senior Member
the title says it all really - what do you have coming through your monitors? rather than using a wedge, i've recently invested in a personal amp and a pair of shure in-ears, and it's made me re-think what i should have coming through the monitors. what mix do you guys who are gigging use?
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Good question, and I'm interested to hear what others say.

I like to hear everything in my monitor. I'm interested why some drummers want certain things left out.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
If I have my own send, I have, in order of loudness:
Lead vocals, my vocal, other backing vocals, guitar then keyboard (our guitarist often sets up several metres away from me, so I need to hear him to keep in time.) The bass amp is usually right next to me, so no need for bass in monitors unless he's been moved further away.
Essentially, I ask for everything except drums and bass. I used to have kick in the monitors, but since I installed a kickport I can hear enough acoustically.

I suspect my setup isn't typical, because whenever we play big shows the drum fill is usually pre-set for kick and snare at insane levels. I need monitors to hear everyone else, not myself. (Except for my vocals of course).
 

rotherdrummer

Senior Member
8Mile - i'm of the same opinion. when we manage our own sound, i used to ask for a bit of everything through the wedge, but i noticed when i played venues where a PA and professional sound engineer was provided, they always suggest it's not the norm to have everything through the drummers monitor? obviously it's personal preference at the end of the day, but i wondered what others use

recently i've started doing a lot more backing vocals, so i know for sure i need to have plenty of lead/backing vocals in my monitors to hear where to pitch my voice. other than that, i'd probably like to have a lot of kick drum because i've found when i can't hear my kick very well i naturally compensate by playing harder, which leads to fatigue in my leg
 

drummer-russ

Gold Member
I have everything coming through my monitor, which I also use a personal monitor and headphones. My monitor also has a single XLR pass through that I send my vocals through. I sing a lot of harmony and a few leads. I can adjust the volume of the main monitor feed and the monitor feed for my vocals separately at my fingertips. \

I could probably not have the bass because his amp is big and always close to me but the two guitarists have small amps in front of me and they then mic the amps. So I really need to hear them through the monitor mix. Keys amp is next to me too but it too is a small amp that gets miced through the PA.
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
Really depends on the size of the stage. If its a bigger stage I need a bit of everything due to the amps being spread out. I also like more kick on a bigger stage. On smaller stages I usually just want guitar and vocals in my monitor. I can hear the bass from the amp just fine on smaller stages. I had never even considered having snare in the monitor. If you cant hear your snare you need to hit harder.

As for in ears I would think you need everything in the monitor because the sound isolating would inhibit the stage volume from the amps.
 

evilg99

Platinum Member
I usually use my In Ears, except on gigs where everybody else is using wedges. ..then I will use a wedge too. I find it's too isolating to be the only guy on in ears.

If using in ears:
- I don't sing - so just a little vocals
- Rhythm guitar/acoustic, and a little of all other guitars and solo instruments
- Fair bit of keyboards
- Easy on the bass and kick drum- in ear monitors get really cluttered and you lose a lot of headroom if you're blasting bass into your skull. Also, the buds need to be absolutely seated and sealed in your ears in order to get the full bass response. Even with my high end buds (which fit great) - that is difficult to keep them perfectly sealed...you really need custom moulds for that, which I don't have. I have found that if you really want bass, then get a butt kicker for your throne or rent a small sub and put it close to your kit...and use in conjunction with in ears. Ultimate.
- Fair bit of toms
- Easy on snare drum - if I have this too loud in my buds on a rock gig, then I'm backing off on hitting rim shots and not hitting the backbeat enough.
- A little bit of an overhead mic - when on in ears, a little of the overhead can give you a little of the stage wash which is good...a little less isolating. For this purpose, I roll off the low end of the overhead a fair bit...HPF@200Hz.

If using a monitor wedge:

Everything as above, except a lot of bass guitar and kick drum (as long as the monitor can handle it) and no snare,toms, or overhead.
On small stages, I often joke with the guys out front that I can hear their vocal wedges better than they can - but it's 100% true. As such, hardly ever need vocals in my monitor.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
I tend to go lead vocal heavy and rhythm guitar heavy. That comes from a year or two playing with a terrible bass player. I usually end up doing some kind of backing vocals too in a lot of projects so I need the vocals.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Most of my 'local' gigs either don't warrant a monitor, or it's a small wedge, which is fine. I usually like some kick, maybe some guitar, and vocals if they're something I depend on with certain bands. I can already hear everything else clearly enough, I don't need to throw the balance off by trying to get a separate mix in the monitor.

On tour with Al is a VERY different thing though, where there's little stage volume, and I've got tracks/clicks for the majority of the show. While you might think a full mix makes sense, it's actually the opposite for me for a few reasons. Because I have tracks maybe 75% of the time, it's obviously crucial that I be able to follow them, and there's little need to hear the full band. There's no ebb or flow or improv during those songs, so it's not important to hear anyone else, at least not very prominently. I call it a "need to know" mix. As long as I can hear the track, and myself, I find it very easy to stay on it, which is really what I do up there; playing drums is almost secondary to keeping everyone in sync with the track & video.

Another seemingly strange aspect to my mix is that I don't have any bass in it. But consider that I don't need to play with the bass... I need to play with the track. And consider that the bass player in Al's band is the only one using wedges, and often fighting slapback in the house, his timing isn't always good. Hearing him throws me off, and I learned long ago that a typical mix in this situation simply doesn't work for me. FYI, the other guys have little or no bass in their mixes either! granted, I hear him through an ambient mic, so he's there, a little bit. But it doesn't compete with what I really need to hear most of the time, which is the track. For those songs without a click, I'm perfectly comfortable playing with just the guitar & piano. :)

Bermuda
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I play at church on two teams. While the songs are the same with both teams, I have two completely different mixes depending on who is playing and singing. I use IEM's and an Aviom system.

Here is what I have turned up -

Team A:
Instruments -
Click track
Kick drum
Bass guitar
Worship leader's guitar or piano (depending on what he's playing that day
Electric guitar

Vocalist(s)
One particular female singer
Worship Leader


Team B:
Instruments-
Click track
Kick drum
Electric guitar
Piano/Acoustic guitar (whichever he's playing that day)

Vocalists
Worship leader


I'd rather hear no instrumentalists than folks who can't play in time or play wrong/missing notes.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Similar to PP, I use in-ears at church. I also use them wherever and whenever possible, because I can control the total decibels coming into my ear and tune out less-than-helpful inputs.

I usually make sure I can hear the lead vocal, the rhythm guitar, and the bass. I bring myself in whenever possible for levels comparison. Everything else is added in as needed to make sure I don't miss something musically. If anyone starts out a song (vocally or instrumentally) I will turn them up in the mix, at least for that song.

I very rarely ever include backing vocals or keyboards (unless they begin a song). My personal least favorite thing in the world is keyboards or organs starting a song with some really fuzzy, hazy patch or voice that makes it impossible to discern their tempo. (One church where I used to play had a gorgeous old pipe organ and a very talented organist. The worship leader loved to have her start songs off. However, she was not in the monitors at all and could not be clearly heard from the back of the stage where I sat. Nightmare every Sunday.)

In the pit at musicals, I like to have a similar mix with the exception of having the musical director's headset mic and instrument in the mix no matter what.

In the event I ever have to use an open air wedge, I insist on having vocal, rhythm guitar and bass in the mix no matter what. But the volume on stage is usually a terrible issue in those instances -- a problem I'd rather not have.
 
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Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Uncle Larry has mostly low-quality pornography on his monitor. My monitor usually has lots of command prompts and funny command-like words strung along.
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
Will always just have the kit, main guitar & a smidgen of bass. That's it. NO vocals whatsoever as he doesn't know what he's doing half the time lol.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
, I find it very easy to stay on it, which is really what I do up there; playing drums is almost secondary to keeping everyone in sync with the track & video.


Bermuda
I find myself taking that role in a new project.

I like to be able to hear everything in a decent mix so I can more enjoy the music while I play but I generally need a touch more backing than the main mix has and I need a constant audible (tambourine) click to make sure everything stays tight. And yeah, without a good bass player it can be a continuous struggle.

I get my tracks and click from an SPD so I can set the appropriate volumes and take my monitor feed from the headphone output.
 

rotherdrummer

Senior Member
thanks everyone

i'm actually going to try and use my in-ears at every gig, even the small ones, as i believe the se215's should also act as ear protection (to a certain extent)

i'm gonna go with...
lead vocals
my backing vocals
kick
a little bit of guitars
...probably not bother with bass or toms etc initially

cheers
 

GrimmReefer

Senior Member
For the last year I have been on in ear monitors which is wonderful. When I used a wedge before that I would have only my vocal, sampler, a hair of lead guitar and the other vocalists. Thats IT!

Now that I am on in ears I have basically the same thing but might add a hair of kick and snare depending on the room and a hair of keys. My vocal is the most important.

Personal preference is what is all about of course but sound guys usually always compliment how easy my band is to work with. Personal opinion here but no one needs a full band mix in their wedge to perform effectively. All that does is raise stage volume. The lead singer takes only his vocal and a little keys and sampler, the rhythm guitar player/singer takes only his vocal a little keys and sampler. Our lead guitar player doesn't use a wedge at all.

Monitor mixes take us about 5 min and its off to front of house. Sound guys have plenty of headroom to do their thing because our stage volume is so low and they always mention it at the end of the night.

With all that said, lately we are playing more and more rooms that have digital boards. I can literally download an app, log in to the board and control my own mix. Sound guys love to let me do it because we don't have to spend time on my monitor and i can get a CD quality mix in my ears...my vocal being the loudest of course but the whole mix still at low volume so I dont have ringing ears at the end of the night. This is the only scenario where I will put just about everything in my ears because I can tweek it myself and not rely on a sound guy from the booth making adjustments. I love those gigs.
 

GrimmReefer

Senior Member
thanks everyone

i'm actually going to try and use my in-ears at every gig, even the small ones, as i believe the se215's should also act as ear protection (to a certain extent)

i'm gonna go with...
lead vocals
my backing vocals
kick
a little bit of guitars
...probably not bother with bass or toms etc initially

cheers
I even use mine at band practice. It is ear protection at the very least but as a vocalist you can really hear yourself without battling everything else in the practice space.
 

drummer-russ

Gold Member
I use my headphones and personal monitor at band rehearsal as well. Some have made comments about the monitor mix increasing stage volume... Well with the headphones I am decreasing the volume since my monitor adds nothing to the stage volume. And my ears endure less volume than if I played my drums without a band without ear protection.

To those that don't include bass in your monitor mix; are you able to hear the bass without it being in your mix? If you use headphones or isolating in ears it seems you would really need the bass too.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
I'm late to the party but, it really depends on the gig, the size of the room, the monitor situation, etc.

If I'm using a wedge, I get a smattering of all the other instruments, and - no matter what - I always make sure to be able to hear the front end of the bass player's notes. Even when they aren't my rhythmic ally, so to speak. Other instruments are balanced depending on whether they're a help or a hindrance and how much of their sound I'm already getting on stage. If it's a gig with an MD, I always have plenty of whatever they're playing in there because in the end I have to follow them wherever they may go. Well, at least until I've been on the gig long enough to ignore them. :)

On a pop gig (I include jazz singers in this, BTW) I want some vox because I want to hear the melody and the words so I know what the heck is going on. The level depends on how good the singer is and whether or not they're my rhythmic ally or not. In musical theatre situations I tend not to get much vocal because often times they're going to be a bit loose about rhythm. They're acting as much as singing with a band, so I let the conductor/MD worry about tempo and ignore what they're doing up on stage for the most part. This problem is magnified with ensemble/chorus numbers. Big choruses/choirs almost always drag.

In a really big venue, I might put some bass drum and snare drum in my monitor but I don't tend to like too much of myself. I only get it when it's likely that my own sound will get lost and I'll end up whacking the hell out of the things just to hear myself.

With IEMs it's all different. It really depends on the situation, but my basic MO is to get a mix that helps me keep time and support the music the best I can. If it's a gig that's on click/track, then I'm going to have a lot of that in my cans because in the end, a lot of the time, the other players are going to play to me as much as the click. Moreover, I'm the click for anyone else on stage without one - i.e. actors, singers, dancers, etc. Tracks are great, especially percussion tracks and if I've got those, I'll usually be swimming in them as I find it really helps me relax and not feel I have to fill space and propel the time on my own.

Personally I don't love IEMs because they bring me out of touch with my own instrument. But, they're part of the game now.
 
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