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Stage monitor question

DrJamie

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,560
Is there such a thing as a box to send my mic to the "house system", as well as a second cable to my own monitor amp/speaker, so I can finally get a great vocal monitor sound in this particular bar that has a poor stage system? I'm thinking of a direct box with 2 outs. This bar does a fair mix on the "mains", but doesn't ever give me enough oomph on the vocal monitors. I get a better sound with my own amp/mixer. I'm not even sure what a direct box is?? Our stage sound is just not that loud. The house monitor just needs upgrading, I believe.
 

stevel

Member
Messages
14,733
Is there such a thing as a box to send my mic to the "house system", as well as a second cable to my own monitor amp/speaker, so I can finally get a great vocal monitor sound in this particular bar that has a poor stage system?
Yes. But read on...

I'm thinking of a direct box with 2 outs.
Ok, what a Direct Box is for is to take a Line Level signal, such as that from a Drum Machine's 1/4 output, and convert it to Mic Level signal, to make a long cable run to the board.

If you're using a standard XLR vocal mic, you don't need a direct box. You need a "splitter" of some sort.

[edit: yes, the one Mark points to above is good]

This bar does a fair mix on the "mains", but doesn't ever give me enough oomph on the vocal monitors.
Have you asked? I mean, if they have monitors, you should be OK, unless there's something wrong with them. A lot of musicians are afraid to ask a soundman to adjust their monitor mix, but you really should. You should get to the gig early one night if you can and work with the soundman to get your monitors where you want them. If you play there a lot, you can write the settings down, or ask the soundman to remember how you like it.

I get a better sound with my own amp/mixer.
Is it an amp, or a mixer? Is it you, or the whole band going through this thing.

What a lot of people do is use a mixer to mix the band on stage the way they like it, and run that as a monitor system.

Then they either use a split-off snake to send all the inputs to the house board as well, or they'll send the main board the onstage mix.

The advantage of the former is, the cable split before going to either mixer, so you can set the onstage mix however the band wants, and the direct signal still goes to the house PA so they still have control. You can pull down the drums on the onstage mix, but it won't affect the main mix at all.

(there are also ways do do this using Auxes or Subgroup sends in combination with pre/post fader selections, or if you've got a board with direct outs (most people don't though)

With the latter set up, if you turn down something on stage, it gets turned down in the house as well - the only thing the house man has control over is overall volume, and EQ.



I'm not even sure what a direct box is??
Answered above.

Our stage sound is just not that loud. The house monitor just needs upgrading, I believe.
Basically, a typical board is "2 mixers in 1" - it's a mixer for the mains, and a "more restricted" mixer for the monitor system.

Nonetheless, they should be able to provide you a separate monitor mix. If not, you're right, their system need work.

You can buy Hotspots, or similar powered, so-called "personal" monitors - you can plug directly into these, and then send the signal on to the house system.

These are nice if you want to have some control over your "personal" monitor.

But if you use other monitors, or in-ears you run off the board, you're subject to the house's system (and engineer's abilities).

Having your own mixer to create an on-stage mix would be ideal.

In fact, a few bands I know use a small "club" PA for playing small clubs, but when they get into a larger venue where there's FOH, they use their system for an on-stage monitor system, and the FOH for mains only - in those situations though they always have a split snake (monitor snake) so that the FOH system gets direct signals, rather than just a stereo feed from the on-stage system. Though I've been in situations where we've used a stereo feed from the on-stage system and as long as the guys know not to move anything on-stage, that works well.

If you don't have a mixer to do all the on-stage sound for the band though, check out the Hotspots and similar.

Best,
Steve
 

FlyingVBlues

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,147
Any of these will do what you want....the best quality devices are made by Radial.

Rolls MS20 Microphone Splitter
Radial JS2 Passive Microphone Splitter
Radial JS3 Passive Microphone Splitter
VTG SS1001 Mic Splitter
ART ProSplit High Performance Mic Splitter
 

DrJamie

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,560
thank you so much. there's so much info to digest, I'll use the simplest, most effective method, once I figure out what it is. a splitter would seem the easiest. we've had a once a month gig at the bar, and some bands have their own sound tech. we do not. we have repeatedly had problems with the stage monitors, such as the power amp, or speakers cutting out, or not having enough power. I guess it's time to learn their board myself, and see if it's actually equipment failure. it's mostly hard rock bands, and not a lot of vocal harmonies, etc.
 

NyteOwl

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,642
It might not be the simplest method, and certainly not the least expensive, but I use a TC Helicon VSM 300 personal powered monitor. You plug your mic directly into the monitor, which is then connected to a splitter box that forwards your vocal to the main console. You have total control over your own vocal level, independent of the monitor mix. If you like, you can also have the band's monitor mix fed back to VSM 300 and control that with a spearate level control, although I prefer to keep my vocal isolated and use a house monitor for the monitor mix.
 

DrJamie

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,560
I just picked up a Rapco line splitter, and I'll bring an extra wedge, and my Yorkville 1610 mixer, and see how it works. The TC monitor mentioned above, sounds like it is doing the same thing, without needing the additional piece of gear. It's not cheap, but sounds cool. I'll be thrilled to solve my concern for the cost of the line splitter, and schlepp the extra piece, to this one venue. Thanks for the input, all. I'll report after Friday!
 




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