Basic Primer on using Any Modeler to FOH

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Scott Peterson, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Administrator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    I got a PM today that asked me how to run their modeler direct to FOH and how FRFR actually works in that circumstance.

    In lieu of a long convoluted answer that tries to cover every possible scenario, here is a concise 'to the point' primer on making the jump to FRFR with any modeler/profiler.

    Q: FRFR Question
    How does one go about setting up one with a HD500? If I want to use FRFR as a personal monitor?

    That's how I run. It's a very different way of running than using an amp; you effectively do everything in your modeler and then use the FRFR as a monitor only. It doesn't do anything other than allow you to hear your modeler.

    You'd run out to FOH either through your monitor's "thru" output or from another out of your HD500. Once they have their input levels at FOH, you then use the volume adjustment on your powered monitor to turn up/down till you are comfortable on stage.

    In some circumstances; you have an Axiom/Hearback sort of personal mixer for your monitor mix and can then adjust it to taste (example is if you play at Church). Then I run direct from my modeler to FOH, but from the Hearback/other line-out to my powered monitor and use the Hearback/other to adjust the monitor mix to my preference.

    That's about it.

    Can some more of you FRFR guys share your particular setups and lay out formulas for a rig that works for you that might help folks moving from traditional back lines to a FRFR paradigm?
  2. The Walrus

    The Walrus Member

    Mar 28, 2007
  3. guitarnet70

    guitarnet70 Member

    Oct 25, 2010
    When you don't have an Aviom-like system I've found it more effective to ask the sound guy NOT to mix the guitar on my monitor (usually the monitor send is shared with singer or bass player) and I run the monitor out of my KPA directly in to it (most FRFR stage monitors have more than 1 input), This way I control the guitar mix without interfering with what the sound guy is doing.
  4. mikeyen

    mikeyen Member

    Jan 27, 2010
    EDIT/Preface: Heh, now that I've re-read my below post, most of my suggestions are general tips for setting up live, and not necessarily modeling specific. I suppose it's because my mindset is that you shouldn't treat it any different from the traditional rig as far as setting up for live shows goes. True, the amp is gone, and your stage mix will sound different as a result - but the core concepts are the same. Send a good signal to the board that is essentially equivalent of what you would be sending if you're mic'ing up the cab, send an identical signal to your FRFR monitor for your own use, and the rest isn't all that different.


    A few pointers in no particular order. Some are modeling specific, some are just good practices for playing live:
    1. Remember that FOH sound comes first, and your monitor is just that - for your own monitor. Always check the signal you're sending through a good pair of reference monitors, or through the actual PA if possible, and adjust accordingly. If adjustments needs to be made so it sounds better through the FOH, but sounds a bit funny through your be it. This also leads us to the next point...
    2. Stage mix <> FOH mix. Just because you can't hear yourself onstage, doesn't mean the audience is hearing the same thing out of the main speakers. Don't make adjustments to your main output (to the board) based on your stage mix.
    3. Do you homework ahead of time. Don't waste valuable setup time playing around with your patches - do that during practice and rehearsals. You may need fine tuning since every venue is different, but that should be it.
    4. Send a quality, strong, consistent signal to the board. Make sure it's hot enough that you have a good signal-to-noise ratio, but not so hot it'll clip. Don't change the volume level once the soundman is done setting your levels, but if you must, let the soundman know first. Same goes for any major adjustments in your tone after sound check.
    5. Let the soundman do his (or her) job! Us guitarists can be control-freak at times, but at the end of the day, there's only so much we can do on our end, and the soundman is responsible for the rest. If there's something unusual about your setup that you think would help the soundman, let him know - but do so diplomatically. For example, "hey, just in case you want to try it, last time we did this and it worked out well" usually goes better than "can you not mess with my tone by adding eq's and #*($". Telling the soundman how to do his job is the quickest way to make sure you're "accidentally" turned down during that solo. :D

    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  5. jonh

    jonh Member

    Dec 1, 2008
    Hi all, looonnng-time member and lurker, first post.

    I use an HD500. In our church, I run 1/4 out to FOH. We have a couple of hot spot monitors on stands and I use one to monitor my mix so I'm not using FRFR on stage. The mix for my hot spot has vocals and instrumentals fairly well balanced, but my guitar is at a slightly higher volume in my hotspot than it sounds for FOH. My hot spot also has its own volume control. My guitar is wireless so I can run out front to hear the FOH sound, and I can come back and adjust my hot spot so the levels are close to what the audience hears. I keep my guitar mix a bit higher in the hot spot.

    To me, this is a good compromise between hearing how I'm sitting in the mix so I can blend in with the group, and being able to hear what I'm playing.

    [And by the way, thank you to everyone who has contributed their knowledge to this forum, it has been a huge help to me.]

  6. barhrecords

    barhrecords Member

    May 4, 2010
    North Alabama
    Without an Aviom type of system,

    I split my modeler output and vocal. One split goes to the snake/FOH and the other split goes to a small format mixer mounted to my mic stand.

    I use a small format mixer to mix:

    1. An aux send from the FOH mixer or monitor mixer that contains a mono band mix minus my guitar and my vocal.

    2. My modeler split.

    3. My vocal split.

    The output of the mixer goes to a powered wedge or in the ears.

    With this setup I can adjust my guitar and my vocal in relationship to the band mix any way I want. Plus I can use wired in the ears too. Which sound better to me than wireless.

    modeler -> FOH / snake
    stage mixer -> powered wedge or wired in ears
    vocal -> FOH snake

  7. muudrock

    muudrock Member

    Oct 15, 2007
    Modeller-->Output L to FOH, Output R to FRFR monitor.

    If I can add...
    For me, I had to gradually acclimate myself to the whole FRFR world. Coming from Amp->Guitar Cab->Guitar Speaker->Mic->FOH to FRFR was a big change in terms of what I heard, How I heard it and how it affected my approach to making my sounds, even how I played. So rather than go all in for FRFR and struggle with it until I figured it out(or not), I kept using the trusty pwr amp/guitar cab in addition to the FRFR monitor until I got a grip on the whole FRFR world. Using this method, I still had my guitar cab/speakers for reference and comfort:) Basically, I knew how it would sound and react.

    I've moved to only using the FRFR now and am very happy with how everything sounds, More so than I ever was with a traditional backline of 4x12s or 2x12s. Probably the hardest thing to do was to change how I approached creating my sounds to work with FRFR. Honestly, it was an eye-opening experience as to how many old habits and bad habits I had to overcome. I had to develop a much more critical listening ear during the programming phase in order to make my patches sound good. In the beginning 9 out of 10 didn't sound very good--too bright, too boomy, too midrangy, too effects laden, etc. I use the Axe FX2 and thankfully, there is a ton of good info on the Fractal forum (and this one) that helped--including a lot from Scott Peterson concerning this very topic. Thank you sir!
    My point is that I had to change my way of listening, thinking and the way I set the knobs to make it work successfully, I would go as far to say that this is more important than what modeller or monitor you are using. That being said, having a decent quality FRFR monitor helps.

    Lessons I learned:
    What works for a tube amp thru a guitar cabinet may not (probably won't!)work with a modeler into FRFR, even if you're using the same models or settings as the originals.

    Start with an amp and cab and no more. Tweak these until you're happy and then add the sauce. This is the most important part for me. If it doesn't sound good to you loud and dry, no FX or extra EQ, it isn't gonna sound any better with all the other stuff on top of it. Be critical of what you hear and experiment.

    EQ; I use as little as possible and try to cut rather than boost. Of course there are exceptions, but this works for me.

    Use FX sparingly and for god's sake, keep the mix level down!.....unless that's what you're going for.

    **You will hear everything differently thru FRFR as opposed to a traditional backline. There will be a TON more clarity in what you hear and it is an adjustment. How much.... YMMV

    Just my humble contribution.
  8. travisvwright

    travisvwright Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    Franklin, NC
    I will offer perhaps the most basic. I use the XLR out on my X3Live to the board. Then the board sends a monitor mix back to a floor wedge with a mix of all the instruements I need to hear.

    I walk in with a gig bag on one shoulder the X3L on the other and my hands are free carry my 2 year old (this is a permanent setup obviously, church).
  9. fusion_21

    fusion_21 Member

    Jan 16, 2008
    Currently I'm going XLR to FOH from my HD500 and then the entire band mix, backing track or click track (if we are using one) is sent to everyone's Aviom mixer. I have my own so I set it how I like it. I just hate using in-ears and would like to get away from that and do what Scott is doing but I don't know how well that will go over with the Music Leader.
  10. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

    Feb 17, 2007
    Maineville, OH
    HD 500. simplest way.

    1. pan all patches you are using full left. set mixer to +7.0 (the output is weak.)

    2. connect HD 500 XLR left to FRFR monitor.

    3. connect FRFR monitor XLR through to house.

    4. adjust overall level ONLY on the FRFR monitor, so that the house doesn't have to deal with you changing levels once you've done setup.

    That said... I find that the HD 500 sounds better through the 1/4" output. ymmv.

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