Modeling with a Powered Monitor

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by mrspag, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. mrspag

    mrspag Member

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    Here's my dilemma and I'm wondering what the modeling community thinks. I have been using a GT-100 live, mainly through the effects return of a peavy classic 30 or a vox ac15, depending upon the venue. We mic everything through the PA. So, I tried going direct with the GT-100 with varying degrees of success. It sounds good, especially in the mix, but not the level of quality I want. Going direct means no amp behind me so everything comes from a monitor. We have 2 monitors we put out front and the drummer has a monitor.

    I recently picked up a Amplifire and its such a step up on the modeling. I was thinking of getting my own monitor to run up front with the other 2 PA monitors. I've looked at atomic FRFR monitors and just straight powered speakers, like the 10" Eon and the 10" QSC monitors. The price difference is striking. So, here's the question:

    When using an FRFR monitor do you send a signal straight from the modeler to the board and separately direct to the monitor (so I guess the FRFR acts as an amp that you hear your tone from), and then your vocals and the rest of whatever is FOH gets put through other monitors. Or, do you run the modeler into the board and a monitor out from the board to the FRFR, like any other monitor?

    A secondary question, does anyone have any experience running an amplifire or other modeler through a standard powered speaker? Is it passable for smaller gigs where you don't run a PA so the powered speaker takes the place of an amp for,you guitar sound.
     
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  2. lspaulsp

    lspaulsp Gold Supporting Member

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    There's a couple of different camps here because not all modelers allow for all options. None are fundamentally incorrect.
    A) I guess would be run the modeler to the monitor take the "line out" on the monitor and run that to the board. (If it has a line out.)
    B) If the modeler has two individual sends you could send one to the monitor and one to the house.
    C) Would be trust the sound guy to keep you in your specified sub out. If the mixer has one.

    "A" appears to be how most people do it.
     
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  3. maydaynyc

    maydaynyc Supporting Member

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    I use a Kemper into a Carvin PM12A FRFR 12" monitor as both my FOH and my monitor during theatre gigs where i'm the only guitarist and the volumes aren't too loud. So far I have not found a way to do this in my rock band that doesn't run instruments through the PA. I found that the FRFR monitor as both my FOH and monitor doesnt through a loud two guitar rock band. IF we had a gig where the instruments were mic'd so the FOH had eveyrone in it, I would be happy to use the KPA direct into the board for my FOH sound and either set up an amp or a monitor for my personal monitoring needs.
     
  4. DunedinDragon

    DunedinDragon Member

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    In my case I send one line to my personal powered stage monitor and a separate XLR to the board. That's because in my case the XLR output is a mic level signal (more typical of what inputs on a PA expect) and the 1/4" is a line level signal (more typical of direct amp inputs). I believe in the case of the Amplifire they're both line level signals, so it doesn't really matter. I pretty much treat my monitor the same as I would an amp placing it behind me, but that's just a personal preference.

    As far as powered speakers go the price really is indicative of what you're getting for the most part. High end speakers tend to have a lot more internal features such as DSL and better compression drivers that help in the clarity and articulation throughout the frequency spectrum and have automatic adjustments for where you place the speaker (on the floor or on a stand), as well as other features. Lower end speakers tend to have bass, mid, and treble adjustments rather than more advanced full frequency tuning. The best bet is to take your rig into a music store and try out different ones. Just bear in mind, powered speakers aren't meant to sound like guitar cabinets. The will sound like a PA. But I think that's a good thing since I know what I'm hearing on stage is exactly what's being projected to the audience from the PA.

    In smaller venues you shouldn't have any problem running just your monitor and being heard. In that case I would probably put it behind me on a stand to project out to the audience. One difference to bear in mind, there are some real differences in how a powered speaker works compared to a traditional cabinet. One big difference is that powered speakers are built to project sound for greater distances. Generally they do this by projecting in a rectangular sound pattern which has greater width than height, compared to a traditional cabinet which pushes sound equally in all directions. The idea is that powered speakers don't waste energy projecting sound into the ceiling or the floor. The impact of this is your sound will carry much further, so you don't need as much volume as you're used to on a traditional cabinet.
     
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  5. vltjd

    vltjd Supporting Member

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    A, with multiple different modelers (not simultaneously).
     
  6. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    When I was gigging, I'd generally leave the CLR at home and run direct through FOH and house monitors. The places we played invariably offered individual monitor mixes so it wasn't worth it to me to drag my own monitor.
     
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  7. JiveTurkey

    JiveTurkey Trumpets and Tants Silver Supporting Member

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    ...is the best way to go! :D

    ^That. I only bring my own monitor if we are doing some sort of one off gig with a new sound company.
     
  8. chrisjnyc

    chrisjnyc Supporting Member

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    I think you are over thinking it... I just send the 2 XLR main outs to the FOH, and one of the 1/4" main outs to my EV ZLX behind me.
     
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  9. JiveTurkey

    JiveTurkey Trumpets and Tants Silver Supporting Member

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    Overthinking it is totally the nature of the modeling beast. Sometimes you still just have to remember to step back, take a deep breath and just crank the f**ker up!
     
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  10. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

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    If you have control of your own monitor mix, there's no real reason to need a separate FRFR monitor if you are getting a quality monitor. An alarming amount of guitarists, especially non-singing guitarist have never had their own monitor mix and have always played with nothing but the stage wash from the backline and vocal monitors. (ew) So they don't feel comfortable not being in control.

    So if you have your own monitor mix and can dictate what and how much of whatever you have in your monitor mix... then the single wedge or in ear solution should be plenty. If you are sharing an aux send or play at venues that vary greatly in house PA capabilities then you also might want your own. If I know I've got my own mix... I'm not bringing anything. ( I rarely use a provided or house PA so I know what I've got 95% of the time. )
     
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  11. JoeB63

    JoeB63 Supporting Member

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    That depends on the modeler. Right now with the Amplifire, if you change the output level of the AF, it affects all outputs, so if you ran one output to the PA and another to your monitor, if you wanted more guitar volume in your monitor, it would also increase the guitar volume in the mains too. You don't want that. So with the AF, I would run one output to the PA and control my guitar level in my monitor via the PA. With the Kemper (for example), you can have the Kemper's volume knob just change the monitor out level (and not the output level for the PA/mains), so with the Kemper, I run one line to the PA and a separate line to my monitor, and control the level of my guitar in the monitor myself with the Kemper's volume knob. But, of course, I could also do it the way I described with the AF above if desired.

    If you are buying a powered monitor for yourself, get one with 2 input channels. That way, you can run a monitor channel from the PA (for vocals, etc) and use the 2nd input on the monitor for a direct connection from your modeler. Rumor has it that future firmware on the AF will allow it to work like I described the Kemper above: where the output volume control only affects one set of outputs.

    Yes, that should work fine, but it's highly recommended that you put the powered speaker up on a pole, just like would a PA speaker, but behind you.
     
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  12. DunedinDragon

    DunedinDragon Member

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    Or, alternatively, you can equalize the outputs of your various patches so it will always be consistent using a sound meter. As long as everyone in the band is disciplined about maintaining the same volume you shouldn't have a problem staying at the same volume setting after everyone sound checks. That's how I do it with mine and I never need to make any volume adjustments after we start playing with a separate line to my own monitor.
     
  13. JoeB63

    JoeB63 Supporting Member

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    Yeah, but that probably won't work for most people at every gig. It's pretty typical for the guitar player to decide during the gig that he wants "more of me" (more guitar) in his monitor. In your scenario, he can't turn himself up (in isolation, at least).
     
  14. DunedinDragon

    DunedinDragon Member

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    Yeah, I understand that...but that's what typically leads to stage volume wars (drummer comes up, bass turns up, singer now needs more monitor..you know the drill). Once everyone's happy with the stage mix at sound check, there's really no reason to be throwing the blend out of whack either on stage or at the board. The board guy can adjust for people in the club if necessary, but if the guitar guy wants more of him I would suggest going to an IEM so he can have his own customized blend.

    I used to do this sort of thing in my earlier years of playing, but I've rarely felt the need to do that in the last 30 years or so unless it was a situation of being in a new band that hadn't really figured out their stage mix. Over time everyone should be able to develop an ear for what the stage mix should sound like and dial in on that pretty quickly at sound check.
     
  15. ivanh3

    ivanh3 Member

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    My only issue with relying on the house monitors is that depending on where we play, the house monitors may get no love in terms of EQ. That just sucks all of the confidence out of me even when I know the FOH sound is accurate and sounds good. For those clubs I take my powered monitor. Both the AF and AX8 have separate outputs. So I send one to the snake and one to my powered monitor.
     
  16. burningyen

    burningyen Vendor

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    Yeah, I once tried relying on the house monitors, and never again. I bring my CLR every time, doesn't matter what the venue is. Also, I run both my guitar and vocals to the CLR, so I can always get "more me" when I need it. I get plenty of the rest of the band from the house monitors and the ambient stage volume.
     
  17. mattball826

    mattball826 Member

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    If I run modeling only, I just use the mon system of the house PA. I'm not as picky about stage sound since we move around a lot and there is not fixed point of reference. I understand the limits modeling presents, but when I can't run a backline, this is fine.. My co guitarist is real picky about his modeling stage sound. Farts with it all night and annoys other members and sound guys. He expects traditional amp experience, and modeling does not provide that. Is what it is.
     
  18. jimfist

    jimfist Member

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    Of course, that is subjective, and not all situations are the same. Perhaps this is most definitely the case for your band mate.

    I'm sure many players out there have just as rewarding an experience - if not more - using full range speakers with modeling. I'm not saying you're wrong, but that this shouldn't be construed as a blanket statement or universal truth, and depends on context and expectations.
     
  19. Bikedude

    Bikedude Gold Supporting Member

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    Me too, only to my CLR in front of me stage right away from other band members. I also fun a FOH mix in my IEM to my rit ear only.
     
  20. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    Obligatory warning about using only one IEM:

    http://blog.judyrodman.com/2012/07/in-ear-monitors-dont-use-just-one.html

    One danger from too much isolation comes when musicians decide to “fix” the problem by wearing an earpiece in only one ear. “When players take one out, their brain loses its ability to do binaural summation, where two ears together add up to a 6dB increase in your perception of loudness,” Santucci explains. “If you're hearing 90 dB in both ears, your brain thinks it's hearing 96 dB. If you take one ear away, then that one ear has to go from 90 to 96 to sound like 96. And now the other ear is open and getting bashed by the band, the P.A. and the crowd. So this loud sound coming into the open ear causes you to turn the other ear up even more. In terms of ear safety, using one earpiece is a dangerous practice — it could actually be worse than using none at all.” - See more at: http://blog.judyrodman.com/2012/07/in-ear-monitors-dont-use-just-one.html#sthash.8M9H6clJ.dpuf
     

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