Page 1

PA Training Monitoring/Foldback

Ian
Winter
 2009



Whilst
we’ve
covered
the
front
of
house
amplification
and
front
of
house
speakers
(sometimes
referred
to
 collectively
as
F.O.H.),
most
performers
will
want
to
hear
themselves.

Whether
it
is
because
they
need
a
 monitor
for
an
audio
reference
to
timing
or
pitch,
or
they
like
the
sound
of
their
own
voice
or
playing
 style…
there
are
a
lot
of
monitoring
(sometimes
termed
as
foldback)
options
on
the
current
market
 ranging
from
under
£100
to
well
over
£1000
and
they
include
a
multitude
of
shapes
and
sizes.
 
 These
options
could
range
from;
 
  10”,
12”,
15”
Powered
(Active)
Wedge
Monitor
  10”,
12”,
15”
Passive
Wedge
Monitor
  Personal
Monitoring
(used
on
microphone
stand)
  In
Ear
Monitoring
(IEM)
  Stage
Fill
(Side
Fill)
Monitoring
  Drum
Stool
Monitoring
  Instrument
Backline
 
 Whichever
option
you
choose
there
are
a
few
rules
to
adhere
to
if
you
want
to
succeed
in
getting
the
 optimum
sound…

The
main
rule
is
that
you
choose
the
correct
option
for
the
application
you
need!

As
 with
any
PA
product
whether
it
be
a
microphone,
amplifier,
signal
processor,
or
speaker,
if
you
buy
the
 wrong
product,
you
will
deteriorate
the
sound
more
than
improve
it,
but
more
so
in
the
case
of
the
 monitor,
as
if
the
performer
selects
the
incorrect
product,
the
sound
will
not
be
easily
heard,
and
 therefore
they
will
change
the
way
to
which
they
perform,
either
in
level
or
in
tone
which
will
also
alter
 the
output
from
the
FOH.



 Before
I
discuss
the
different
types
of
monitoring
products
there
are,
it
would
be
a
good
idea
to
tell
you
 how
to
plug
them
in…
because
whichever
type
you
use,
it’s
the
same
method.
 
 As
with
front
of
house
speakers,
you
need
three
components
to
get
a
sound
out
at
the
end
of
the
 process…mixer,
amplifier
and
speaker.

Without
one
of
these
items
in
the
signal
path,
you
simply
won’t
 hear
anything.

You
may
ask
how
IEM’s
(in
ear
monitors)
work
when
they
haven’t
got
speakers
or
an
 amplifier???

Well,
in
fact
they
do!

The
earphone
is
the
speaker
as
it
has
a
diaphragm
that
moves
to
 create
sound
(in
exactly
the
same
way
as
a
speaker,
only
smaller).

As
for
the
amplifier,
all
headphones
or
 earphones
require
an
amplifier
to
power
them,
this
is
normally
in
the
way
of
a
preamp
in
the
circuitry
just
 before
the
headphone
output
jack
on
the
unit.

In
the
case
of
the
IEM
system,
the
preamp
is
in
the
 receiver
pack
just
before
the
earphone
output.


 
 For
the
following
information
regarding
where
to
connect
the
monitor
to
the
mixing
desk,
I
will
assume
 the
user
is
using
a
powered
stage
monitor
for
ease
of
describing
as
everything
is
in
one
box.

This
 information
is
correct
for
which
ever
type
of
monitor
you
will
use,
although
the
connections
between
the
 mixing
desk
and
speaker
will
increase
or
decrease
depending
upon
the
type
of
monitor.
 
 When
connecting
your
monitor
to
your
mixing
desk,
you
should
always
use
the
Aux
(auxiliary)
output.

 The
reason
for
this
is
so
that
you
can
have
whatever
mix
you
want
from
the
instruments
that
are
being
 input
into
the
mixing
desk…
this
mix
may
be
completely
different
to
the
signal
that
is
being
sent
to
the
 front
of
house
speakers.

For
example,
for
the
front
of
house
mix
you
want
all
instruments
pretty
much
 equal
with
the
vocals
higher
in
the
mix,
whereas
the
keyboard
player
may
want
to
hear
all
of
the
 instruments
and
other
vocals
at
a
low
level,
and
his
keyboards
and
his
vocals
much
higher
in
the
mix.

By
 mixing
from
an
auxiliary
the
user
can
select
this
mix
by
way
of
increasing
the
aux
control
on
the
channels
 he
wishes
to
listen
to.

By
using
an
auxiliary
output
and
because
you
have
the
ability
to
mix
exactly
what
 you
want
through
it
and
nothing
more,
then
you
also
reduce
the
risk
of
feedback
through
your
monitor.




Feedback
is
common
when
you
link
your
monitor
to
the
front
of
house
speakers,
as
you
will
reduce
the
 headroom
you
have
on
the
instruments
or
microphones
you
wish
to
hear,
and
therefore
induce
feedback.


 
 You
can
have
as
many
people
listening
to
the
same
aux
mix
if
you
wish,
as
long
as
you
are
able
to
link
the
 monitors
together
(see
monitor
breakdowns
below),
however
the
number
of
separate
mixes
available
will
 be
limited
to
the
number
of
auxiliaries
the
mixer
can
provide.

For
example,
a
mixer
may
have
4
 auxiliaries,
so
you
could,
if
you
weren’t
using
any
external
effects
processors
(which
also
require
an
 auxiliary)
have
four
separate
mix
outputs
for
monitors.

Please
note,
some
mixing
desks
have
a
set
 number
of
auxiliaries
but
also
have
internal
effects
which
will
require
the
use
one
auxiliary.


 
 The
following
illustration
(fig.1)
shows
four
channels
of
a
mixing
desk
with
a
typical
monitor
setup
(the
 inputs
and
EQ
sections
have
been
omitted
so
not
to
confuse
image).

There
are
three
auxiliaries
available
 on
this
mixing
desk,
however
one
is
labeled
‘FX’
as
this
auxiliary
is
used
purely
for
the
internal
effects
unit.
 
 Fig.1:
Auxiliary
Setup
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Note
the
mix
from
‘Aux1’
has
much
more
Vox
1
and
Guitar
than
Vox
2
and
keyboard,
whilst
‘Aux2’
is
the
 opposite,
having
much
more
Keyboards
and
Vox
2
than
the
other
instruments.

This
shows
how
using
 multiple
auxiliaries
for
multiple
monitor
feeds
works.



On
some
mixing
desks
you
will
see
a
button
near
the
auxiliary
controls
that
states
‘pre/post’.

This
is
an
 abbreviation
of
pre‐fade,
or
post‐fade.

This
literally
selects
whether
the
signal
that
is
being
sent
from
the
 auxiliary
is
sent
pre‐fade
(before
the
fader),
or
post‐fade
(after
the
fader).

It
is
useful,
when
using
an
 auxiliary
for
an
effects
processor,
to
select
post‐fade
so
that
the
signal
sent
to
the
effects
processor
will
 increase
or
decrease
when
you
turn
the
fader
up
on
that
particular
channel.

This
would
be
in‐effective
 when
using
foldback
monitors
as
you
could
get
everything
set
as
you
like
it,
and
then
have
to
turn
up
one
 channel
in
the
front
of
house
mix
(on
the
fader),
this
would
also
increase
the
volume
on
the
monitor
thus
 wasting
all
the
time
you’ve
spent
setting
it
up
to
your
liking!

So
for
monitors
(whatever
the
type),
you
 should
always
use
pre‐fade.

On
some
mixing
desks,
the
auxiliaries
are
preset,
on
some
you
have
a
global
 button
which
will
set
pre/post
fade
on
all
channels
on
that
particular
auxiliary,
and
finally
on
some
mixers
 (normally
the
higher
end
of
the
market)
you
can
make
the
selection
per
auxiliary
per
channel.
 
 In
larger
venues
you
may
often
see
a
second
mixing
desk
at
the
side
of
the
stage…
this
isn’t
because
the
 band
have
so
much
money
they
can
afford
two,
or
indeed
because
they
use
so
many
channels
they
have
 to
use
two
mixers!

The
reason
for
this
second
mixer
at
the
side
of
the
stage
is
so
that
the
band
can
have
 an
engineer
purely
dedicated
to
mixing
the
monitors,
leaving
the
front
of
house
engineer
to
deal
with
the
 front
of
house
sound
instead
of
keeping
his
eyes
on
the
performers
incase
they
want
their
monitor
mix
 changed.

It
is
also
a
lot
more
conspicuous
to
signal
to
an
engineer
at
the
side
of
the
stage,
who
is
paid
to
 watch
out
for
these
signals,
rather
than
attempt
to
catch
the
attention
of
the
front
of
house
engineer,
 who
by
that
point
will
most
likely
be
onto
his
fourteenth
pint
of
lager
so
he
cannot
see
you
anyway!


 
 It
is
worth
knowing
how
this
monitor
fits
into
the
signal
path.

There
are
two
main
ways
of
setting
up
this
 system…
the
first
method
requires
a
stage
box
with
link
outputs
on
it,
or
a
Direct
Injection
(D.I.)
box
for
 each
input.

The
main
front
of
house
mixer
would
take
the
direct
balanced
feed
from
the
Direct
injection
 box,
and
the
monitor
mixer
would
get
a
link
from
the
D.I.
box.

When
using
this
method
the
user
is
able
to
 use
any
mixing
desk,
i.e.
no
special
form
of
mixing
desk
is
required,
as
long
as
the
mixing
desk
has
enough
 inputs
to
take
all
on
the
input
signals,
and
enough
auxiliaries
to
provide
the
amount
of
monitor
mixes
 required
 
 Fig.2:
On
Stage
Monitor
Mix,
Method
1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 *
For
ease
of
illustration
I
have
described
a
single
channel
DI
box.
 
 Although
this
method
is
straight
forward
to
undertake,
if
you
use
24‐channels
on
a
mixing
desk
you
aren’t
 going
to
the
best
friend
of
the
guy
who
has
to
pack
up
twenty‐four
DI
boxes,
and
three
times
that
amount
 of
cables…
which
by
the
end
of
the
night
are
guaranteed
to
have
formed
what’s
termed
in
the
trade
as
a
 ‘Rat’s
Nest’!



The
second
method,
which
is
much
more
roadie
friendly,
requires
buying
a
mixing
desk
that
is
designed
 for
the
job,
such
as
the
Allen
&
Heath
MixWizard
WZ3:12M.

By
using
this
method,
you
can
throw
away
 the
twenty‐four
direct
injection
boxes
and
twenty‐four
of
the
cables
that
go
with
them!

This
specially
 designed
monitor
mixer
has
more
auxiliary
outputs,
for
more
monitor
channels,
and
balanced
D.I.
outputs
 for
each
input
channel.

Fig.
3
shown
below,
is
a
simplified
illustration
of
what
a
purpose
built
monitor
 mixer
offers
in
the
way
of
inputs
and
outputs,
and
it
also
illustrated
the
signal
path
from
source
to
Front
 of
House
mixing
console.
 
 Fig.3:
On
Stage
Monitor
Mix,
Method
2
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 As
you
can
see
this
is
a
much
neater
way
of
creating
the
signal
path
from
Source
>
Monitor
Mixer
>
Front
 of
House
Mixer.

One
of
the
negative
issues
with
this
type
of
setup
is
that
every
signal,
although
not
 affected
in
anyway
by
the
monitor
mixer,
is
routed
through
inputs
and
outputs
attached
to
the
monitor
 mixer,
therefore
if
the
engineer
was
to
have
any
problems
with
this
mixer,
it
could
cause
interference,
 noise,
or
loss
of
signal
to
the
Front
of
House
mixing
console,
which
wouldn’t
look
good
half
way
through
a
 performance.

If
you
were
to
re‐look
at
method
one,
and
look
at
the
signal
path,
even
if
something
went
 wrong,
mid
performance,
with
the
monitor
mixing
desk,
then
the
signal
to
the
front
of
house
mixing
desk
 wouldn’t
be
affected
either
in
interference,
noise,
or
loss
of
signal.


 
 It
is
more
common
to
see
engineers
using
the
second
method
illustrated,
as
the
equipment
is
in
most
 cases
more
reliable
than
the
roadie
that
plugged
the
DI
boxes
in.
 
 *
A
quick
note
on
specific
monitor
mixing
consoles
 
 Effectively
Monitor
mixing
consoles
do
the
same
job
as
front
of
house
mixing
consoles…
they
take
a
 source
signal
and
process
it
though
an
output.

However,
on
first
glance
a
monitor
mixer
may
confuse
you
 a
little,
especially
if
you
are
used
to
the
layout
of
a
front
of
house
mixing
desks.

If
you
were
to
look
 quickly
at
the
back
of
the
mixer,
where
all
of
the
inputs
and
outputs
are
located,
you
would
think
it
is
the
 same
as
every
other
mixer…
and
it
almost
is!

If
you
look
a
little
closer,
you
will
see
that
there
are
a
lot
 more
outputs
on
the
fascia
than
on
a
normal
mixing
desk…
this
is
to
accommodate
more
auxiliary
outputs
 for
multiple
monitor
mixes.

You
also
have
more
direct
outputs,
sometimes
termed
‘split’
outputs
because



of
their
process
on
the
signal
path,
which
allow
a
direct
feed
to
be
taken
to
the
front
of
house
mixing
 console,
as
earlier
described.

There
are
a
few
other
differences
you
will
note,
however
these
two
are
the
 most
important
differences,
and
other
dissimilarities
between
monitor
mixers
and
front
of
house
mixers
 differ
from
model
to
model
depending
on
the
extra
functionality
required.
 
 As
an
example,
the
below
image
is
the
rear
of
the
Allen
&
Heath
MixWizard
WZ3:12M.

This
shows
the
 extra
outputs
for
the
monitor
mixes
and
the
split
(D.I.)
outputs
to
link
to
the
FOH
mixer.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 The
following
is
the
top
view
of
the
Allen
&
Heath
MixWizard
WZ3:12M
which
shows
the
extent
of
rotary
 controllers
versus
lack
of
fader
controllers.

Note
the
groups
of
two
colored
rotary
controls
as
you
look
 down
the
mixer
from
top
to
bottom…
these
are
simply
color
coded
in
stereo
pairs
for
ease
of
navigation.
 



So,
now
we
know
where
to
plug
the
monitor
into,
and
we
know
how
to
get
the
sound
we
want,
we’ll
talk
 about
the
options
available!
 
 
 
 
  10”,
12”,
15”
Powered
(Active)
Wedge
Monitor
 
 Because
most
performers
have
to
start
somewhere,
powered
wedge
monitors,
named
‘wedge’
monitors
 due
to
the
shape
and
angle
that
they
project
the
sound,
are
the
most
popular.

As
already
established
in
 the
PA
speaker
training
section,
a
powered
speaker
is
a
speaker
which
has
the
power
amplifier
built
in
and
 therefore
no
requirement
for
an
external
amplifier.

Powered
monitors
are
exactly
the
same
in
design,
 however
there
are
generally
a
few
differences
which
stand
them
apart.

The
difference
is
the
most
 obvious
one,
the
shape
(although
some
manufacturers
are
now
designing
powered
FOH
speakers
to
have
 an
angled
back
so
that
they
can
double
up
as
stage
monitors).

Wedge,
or
stage,
monitors
are
designed
to
 be
similar
to
a
door
wedge
in
shape…
this
is
so
that
they
sit
on
the
floor
in
front
of
the
performer
and
 direct
the
sound
diagonally
upwards
as
opposed
to
straight
out
like
a
conventional
speaker.
 
 Fig.4:
Dispersion
of
sound
from
wedge
monitor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 By
having
this
upward
diagonal
projection,
it
enables
the
user
to
hear
the
sound
without
it
coloring
the
 front
of
house
sound,
and
by
limiting
spill
to
other
performers
in
the
same
area.

The
down
side
to
this
is
 that
if
you
have
a
performer
who
is
liable
to
move
around
the
stage,
he/she
will
often
walk
out
of
the
 projected
sound
from
the
monitor
giving
‘dead
spots’
on
the
stage.


To
get
around
this,
the
performer
has
 a
few
options…
the
easiest
of
which
would
be
In
Ear
Monitoring
which
I’ll
go
into
later
in
this
document,
 or
they
could
add
more
monitors.

By
adding
more
monitors,
you
then
have
choices…
if
things
weren’t
 getting
complicated
enough!

If
the
problem
is
the
level
isn’t
high
enough
(i.e.
not
loud
enough),
the
 performer
could
add
more
powered
monitors,
thus
increasing
the
power
or
doubling
the
output
if
a
 duplicate
monitor
was
used
(providing
the
monitor
in
question
had
the
relevant
output
to
link).

If
the
 issue
was
not
the
output
power,
but
more
the
direction
and
coverage
of
the
monitor,
the
user
could
add
a
 passive
monitor
(see
next
section
for
more
information).

Adding
a
passive
monitor
wouldn’t
double
the
 power
but
would
increase
the
total
output
due
to
impedances
(as
discussed
in
the
speaker
and
amplifier
 training).

This
would
be
providing
the
powered
monitor
had
the
correct
output
to
power
an
external
 monitor.

By
doing
this
the
amplifier
in
the
powered
monitor
would
see
both
internal
and
external
 speakers
and
lower
the
impedance
therefore
give
more
total
power
when
added.

For
example
the



Carlsbro
PM10
(powered
monitor)
alone
will
give
100watts
output,
at
8ohms,
however
when
attached
to
 the
Carlsbro
EM10
(passive
monitor),
the
amplifier
will
lower
the
impedance
to
4ohms
and
provide
a
total
 power
output
of
150watts,
giving
75watts
per
speaker.
 
 Powered
wedge
monitors
come
with
differing
sized
speakers
inside,
and
each
one
sounds
better
for
 different
jobs.

As
a
rule
of
thumb;
 
  8”
 monitors
work
well
for
close
monitoring
of
vocals
or
acoustic
instruments.
  10”
 monitors
are
great
for
vocals,
acoustic
instruments
and
compressed
sound
(i.e.
 keyboards,
backing
tracks
etc)
  12”
 monitors
will
give
more
depth
than
a
10”,
so
electric
guitars
could
be
added.
  15”
monitors
are
better
when
including
heavier
bass
frequencies
such
as
bass
guitar
or
kick
 drum.

Most
drummers
would
prefer
a
15”
speaker
for
monitoring
their
drums.
 
 
  10”,
12”,
15”
Passive
Wedge
Monitor



 Passive
wedge
monitors
are
manufactured
in
exactly
the
same
way
as
their
powered
relations,
however
 they
don’t
include
the
power
amp.

Much
in
the
same
way
as
you
need
an
external
power
amplifier
to
use
 along
side
a
passive
pa
speaker,
you
also
require
an
external
amplification
source
when
using
along
side
a
 passive
stage
monitor.

 
 As
mentioned
above,
passive
stage
monitors
can
be
linked
to
powered
monitors
to
form
a
greater
field
of
 sound
and
a
higher
output.

The
benefit
of
using
a
passive
monitor
is
that
it
is
lighter
than
a
powered
one,
 so
as
long
as
you
have
the
amplification
source
to
power,
either
by
powered
monitor
or
power
amplifier,
 then
you
can
save
your
(or
your
roadies!)
back.

For
instance,
if
the
‘front‐man’
of
the
band
jumps
about
 all
over
the
place,
and
he
requires
a
large
area
covered
by
his
monitors
(see
following
Fig.5),
by
using
one
 stereo
power
amplifier
and
eight
monitors
(at
8ohms
each),
you
could
run
your
amplifier
at
2ohms,
 therefore
you,
or
your
roadie,
would
be
carrying
one
power
amplifier
with
eight
lighter,
passive
 monitors…
as
opposed
to
eight
heavier
powered
monitors.

The
majority
of
larger
venues
and
sound
 tour/hire
companies
will
prefer
this
method,
as
they
will
always
be
able
to
rig
another
monitor
line
up
 from
available
stock.

 
 Fig.5:

Multiple
monitor
setup
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Personal
Monitoring
(used
on
microphone
stand)



 Personal
monitoring
can
be
found
in
many
applications,
and
can
consist
of
a
powered,
passive
monitor,
or
 earphone/headphone
preamp.

A
personal
monitor
is,
in
most
instances,
just
a
smaller
unit
or
a
unit
with
 a
smaller
sound
projection
field
which
can
be
mounted
on
a
microphone
or
music
stand.

There
are
a
few
 manufacturers
now
designing
this
type
of
monitor
for
a
wider
consumer
audience,
including
 manufacturers
such
as
Mackie,
TC
Electronic,
Shure
etc.

In
essence
the
personal
monitor
is
a
unit
which
 takes
up
less
room
and
gives
less
(or
a
more
personal)
output,
therefore
they
are
generally
found
in
 higher
numbers
on
stage,
such
as
an
orchestra
or
on
a
stage
where
there
is
one
monitor
per
performer.

 The
advantage
of
using
a
personal
monitor,
as
well
as
size
and
weight,
is
that
the
sound
on
stage
is
 quieter
and
therefore
much
more
accessible
to
an
individuals
ear.
 
 Most
monitor
systems
of
this
type
will
simply
deal
with
a
single
signal
from
the
auxiliary
on
the
mixing
 desk
as
previously
explained
and
in
the
same
way
as
the
powered
wedge
monitor,
and
there
are
passive
 personal
monitors
that
are
available
to
run
from
a
power
amplifier
or
powered
version.
 
 The
below
shows
how
the
sound
is
dispersed
from
the
monitor.
 
 Fig.6:

Personal
Monitoring
sound
dispersion
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 *
Note
how
the
monitor
can
be
angled
upwards
if
you
are
standing
and
singing,
or
angled
at
a
90°
angle
if
 the
performer
is
sitting
and
not
singing.

In
both
cases
there
is
mounting
points
to
fit
a
microphone
stand.



 In
some
cases,
such
as
an
orchestra,
it
is
best
to
keep
the
stage
sound
as
acoustic
as
possible,
in
which
 case
you
could
get
a
personal
monitor
mixer
such
as
the
Stage
Buddy
system
or
the
Shure
P4m.

This
type
 of
system
comprises
of
a
box
with
a
pre‐amp
inside,
so
that
earphones
can
be
used
instead
of
a
speaker
 to
protect
from
sound
spillage
onto
the
microphones
or
pickups
(in
the
case
of
an
orchestra).

Some
 systems
allow
the
user
to
have
a
control
over
the
mix
in
their
earphones,
whilst
other
systems
allow
the
 user
to
mix
their
own
sound.



In
Ear
Monitoring
(IEM)



 In
ear
monitoring
systems
are
fast
becoming
the
most
popular
form
of
stage
monitoring.

There
are
a
lot
 of
reasons
for
the
IEM
system
being
the
more
popular
route
to
take,
and
most
of
these
reasons
are
on
a
 personal
level
for
the
particular
performer,
however
the
main
advantages
would
be:
portability,
weight,
 the
ability
to
listen
at
lower
levels,
clarity
of
sound.

There
are
some
disadvantages
of
an
In
Ear
Monitoring
 System
which
include,
needing
an
endless
supply
of
batteries
(depending
upon
usage),
isolation
on
stage,
 and
discomfort
of
earphones.

The
latter
two
disadvantages
can
be
remedied
by
either
simply
getting
 used
to
the
system,
buying
higher
quality
(and
more
comfortable)
earphones,
or
including
a
FOH
mix
in
 the
final
monitor
mix
through
the
earphones.

You
will
see
a
lot
of
performers
using
only
one
earphone,
 the
reason
for
this
is
so
they
still
get
that
‘live’
feel
and
sound
from
the
ambient
stage
sound…
this
can
 help
a
performer
play
and
perform
better
as
a
result.
 
 In
Ear
Monitoring
works
in
the
same
was
as
a
powered
monitor
however
there
is
no
cable
to
stretch
 across
the
stage.

The
transmitter
is
normally
located
next
to
or
near
to
the
mixing
desk
that
is
providing
 the
monitor
feed.

From
there
the
signal
is
sent
across
the
stage
via
radio
to
the
receiver
which
is
normally
 in
the
form
of
a
beltpack
unit.

The
performer’s
earphones
are
plugged
into
the
receiver
beltpack,
and
are
 powered
by
the
earphone
pre‐amp
inside
the
receiver.

The
output
volume
can
normally
be
set
on
the
 receiver
pack
by
the
user,
and
therefore
turned
up
or
down
throughout
the
performance
with
little
effort.

 Using
an
In
Ear
Monitoring
system
also
allows
the
performer
to
move
about,
within
the
constraints
of
the
 system’s
range,
without
dropout.

It
also
means
the
performer
will
have
more
space
on
stage
due
to
the
 lack
of
on
stage
wedge
monitors.
 It
is
also
useful
to
know
that
one
transmitter
can
be
used
with
multiple
receivers
(as
long
as
they’re
on
the
 same
frequency),
so
that
more
than
one
user
can
listen
to
the
same
mix.

Some
systems
can
be
split
from
 one
stereo
signal,
to
two
mono
signals,
meaning
two
people
can
listen
to
different
mixes
whilst
 transmitting
on
the
same
frequency.

Please
note,
all
transmitters
used
must
be
done
so
on
different
 radio
frequencies
(or
channels)
otherwise
dropout,
distortion
or
other
problems
could
occur.
 
 Another
addition
to
certain
IEM
systems
such
as
the
Sennheiser
IEM300
G2,
is
output
limiter.

This
 function
will
protect
the
users
ears
from
‘spikes’
of
sound
which
would
normally
cause
damage
to
the
ear.

 The
limiter
works
in
the
same
way
as
an
outboard
limiter,
however
the
level
at
which
the
output
is
limited
 to
is
usually
preset
in
the
pack
to
a
level
which
will
not
allow
any
excessive
and
damaging
decibel
levels
 through
to
the
earphones.
 All
In
Ear
Monitoring
systems
offer
the
same
basic
function,
and
that
is
to
have
a
personal
and
portable
 wireless,
monitoring
system,
however
the
more
you
pay
for
the
system
(in
most
cases!)
the
more
you
get.

 Things
to
look
out
for
when
buying
a
system
would
be:
build
quality,
range,
battery
life,
earphone
quality
 and
comfort,
additional
features
such
as
frequency
agile,
number
of
systems
simultaneously
available,
 limiting,
digital
signal
lock
etc.
 Some
of
the
systems
that
are
currently
on
the
market
(in
rough
order
of
price,
build
quality
and
 functionality)
are;
 
  dB
Technologies
IEM600
  dB
Technologies
IEM1100N
  Shure
PSM200
  Audio
Technica
M2
  Shure
PSM400
  Audio
Technica
M3
  AKG
IVM4
  Sennheiser
IEM300
G2
  Shure
PSM700



Stage
Fill
(Side
Fill)



 On
larger
stages
and
more
professional
events
you
will
often
find
a
full
pa
system
on
the
stage
with
one
 stack
at
each
side
of
the
stage
pointing
in…
this
isn’t
to
give
an
individual
monitor
mix,
as
individual
 monitors
will
also
be
used,
more
so
it
is
used
to
give
the
performer
an
idea
of
the
overall
mix
so
that
they
 don’t
feel
isolated.

This
type
of
monitoring
system
is
often
termed
as
a
‘Stage
Fill’
or
‘Side
Fill’.

Stage
fills
 are
extremely
effective
when
they
are
being
used
on
a
large
or
open
stage
where
the
sound
cannot
just
 bounce
around
and
cause
feedback
etc.

Despite
many
users
believing
the
opposite…
the
quieter
the
 stage
is
the
easier
it
is
to
hear
yourself…
simply
because
your
ears
and
brain
can
only
determine
so
much
 sound
before
it
just
sounds
like
a
mess!
 
 The
common
misconception
of
a
side
fill
is
that
it
is
purely
a
copy
of
the
front
of
house
mix
pumped
 through
some
speakers
to
make
the
stage
sound
fuller.

The
resulting
factor
is
just
more
onstage
volume,
 more
bleed
through
the
microphones,
and
the
performers
playing
louder
as
they
can’t
hear
themselves!

 Essentially
a
side
fill
system
is
there
to
achieve
a
fuller
on
stage
sound,
but
it
is
important
to
understand
 how
to
effectively
get
this
sound
so
that
the
above
problems
aren’t
introduced.

There
are
various
names
 for
this
type
of
system,
including
Stage
Fill,
Side
Fill,
Cross
Stage
Monitoring,
but
the
one
which
“does
 what
it
says
on
the
tin”
is
Reverse
Stereo
Cross
Stage
Mix
(or
REV
X‐Stage
Mix).

This
name
when
broken
 down
begins
to
make
more
sense.

‘Mix’
describes
a
stage
sound
mix,
‘Cross
Stage’
describes
where
the
 output
signal
is
being
dispersed
to,
‘Stereo’
describes
the
mix
as
a
L+R
(left
+
right)
stereo
mix
as
opposed
 to
a
dual
mono
mix,
and
finally
‘Reverse’
described
the
signal
which
is
to
be
sent
to
which
channel
(Left
or
 Right).

It
would
make
sense
that
a
guitarist
can
hear
their
own
guitar,
and
a
bass
played
can
hear
his
own
 bass
etc,
so
why
would
they
want
to
hear
more
of
it??
OK,
in
the
case
of
the
guitarist,
it’s
because
this
is
 the
way
they
are
bred
and
if
their
ears
aren’t
bleeding
then
something
is
definitely
wrong!!

But
In
reality
 they
wouldn’t
want
to
hear
more,
because
they’ve
most
likely
spent
a
lifetime
creating
their
perfect
 sound
through
their
own
backline.

If
this
is
true,
it
would
make
sense
that
the
performers
at
stage
left
 would
only
need
to
hear
more
of
the
instruments
from
stage
right
and
vise
versa.

By
sending
the
signal
 from
the
instruments
between
Stage
Centre
and
Stage
Left
to
the
right
channel
fill,
and
vise
versa,
there

 should
be
a
better
onstage
mix
achieved
without
increasing
the
whole
onstage
volume
level.

The
 following
diagram
visually
shows
what
the
mix
should
be
and
where
the
name
REV
X‐Stage
Mix
is
derived
 from.
 
 Fig.7:

Reverse
Stereo
Cross
Stage
Mix
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 Drum
Stool
Monitoring
 
 Drum
stool
monitoring
designed
as
a
sensory
monitor
for
the
drummer
to
feel.

When
playing
the
drums,
 as
most
musicians
will
tell
you,
the
drums
are
very
much
audible
on
stage
(until
the
guitarist
arrives
that
 is!),
but
from
the
drummer’s
point
of
view,
not
all
parts
of
the
drum
kit
are
audible
from
his
seating
 position.

Due
to
the
nature
of
the
kick
drum
the
sound
is
produced
from
the
front
of
the
drum,
the
 opposite
site
to
which
the
beater
hits
(fig.8).


 
 Fig.8:

Kick
Drum
Projection
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 As
this
is
the
only
drum
that
is
not
easily
audible
to
the
drummer,
it
would
help
him
to
keep
time
if
he
 could
at
least
feel
this
kick
drum
when
he
hits
it.

There
are
a
few
differing
designs
of
the
following
unit,
 but
the
most
popular
of
them
is
called
the
‘ButtKicker’.

This
unit
is
a
low
frequency
transducer
which
fixes
 onto
the
underside
of
the
drum
stool.

It
is
designed
primarily
to
move
‘structure’
as
opposed
to
moving
 ‘air’,
giving
a
much
more
direct
perception
of
sound.

As
in
the
case
of
the
other
monitors
we
have
already
 covered,
an
audio
feed
is
taken
from
the
drummer’s
monitor
channel
and
the
low
frequencies
can
be
felt
 through
the
drum
stool
when
he
uses
his
kick
drum.

Earlier
in
the
PA
training,
when
discussing
speakers,
 we
covered
the
reasons
why
you
wouldn’t
want
to
put
a
kick
drum
or
too
much
low
signal
though
a
small
 speaker
as
the
speaker
isn’t
designed
for
these
low
frequencies.

Because
the
ButtKicker
(other
similar
 products
will
produce
similar
signals)
produces
a
frequency
range
of
5Hz‐200Hz,
it
can
take
the
strain
of
 the
bottom
end
from
the
stage
monitor.

The
advantage
of
this,
if
used
correctly,
is
that
you
can
get
away
 with
using
a
smaller
stage
monitor
or
in
ear
monitoring
system
without
risk
of
producing
distortion
or
 damaging
the
unit.

Because
of
the
design
of
the
Drum
Stool
monitoring
system,
it
can
be
used
in
a
variety
 of
locations,
as
long
as
it
is
fixed
to
a
stool
or
seat,
for
example
a
keyboard
player,
sitting
bass
player,
 standing
musician
(although
a
slightly
different
fixture
is
required),
DJ,
or
even
in
the
home
as
part
of
your
 home
Hi‐fi
system…
although
a
slightly
smaller
less
powerful
model
is
manufactured
and
recommended!

 The
below
images
show
the
design
of
the
Drum
Stool
monitor
(fig.9),
and
how
it
is
fixed
to
the
stool
 (fig.10)
 
 Fig.
9:

Drum
Stool
Monitor
 
 
 Fig.
10:
Fixed
Monitor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Instrument
Backline



 Instrument
Backline
is
simply
the
term
used
for
an
instrument’s
amplifier,
and
one
that
is
specifically
 selected
to
provide
the
sound
of
a
particular
instrument,
for
example,
a
guitarist
could
have
a
‘backline’
of
 Marshall
cabs
and
heads,
whilst
the
bass
player’s
backline
may
consist
of
a
Hartke
bass
combo.

Back
line
 is
more
so
associated
with
bass
and
guitar
than
brass,
strings,
keyboards,
drums
or
vocals,
as
the
sound
 created
by
the
backline
used
colors
the
sound
of
the
instrument
to
the
user’s
preference.


 
 It
is
a
common
complaint
when
backline
is
being
used
that
the
on
stage
sound
is
too
loud…
this
is
 generally
down
to
one
thing…
competition!

What
tends
to
happen
is
that
the
bass
played
will
turn
up
so
 that
he
can
hear
his
bass
guitar
over
the
acoustic
drum
sound
(which
is
approximately
200‐250watts),
this
 then
leads
the
guitarist
to
turn
up
a
little
louder
so
that
he
can
hear
himself
over
the
bass
guitar
and
 drums.

The
bass
player
will
then
turn
up
again
and
so‐forth…
The
correct
way
to
use
and
design
a
 backline
setup
is
to
use
less
volume
and
more
directivity.

In
the
below
illustration
(fig.11),
the
bass
sound
 and
guitar
sound
will
overlap,
meaning
you
will
end
up
with
a
battle
of
volumes.

To
resolve
this,
you
 simply
need
to
place
the
backline
in
the
correct
place
facing
in
the
correct
direction
(as
shown
in
fig.12).


 
 Fig.
11:

Problematic
Backline
Setup
 
 Fig.
12:
Correct
Backline
Setup
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 Another
way
to
achieve
a
better
balance
is
to
place
the
backline
amplifier
nearer
to
the
musician
and
 therefore
use
a
lower
volume.

Remember,
as
in
the
above
images,
the
performers
are
using
vocal
 microphones,
so
any
backline
amplifier
that
is
pointing
directly
at
the
microphone
will
be
picked
up
and
 therefore
will
only
cause
more
problems
down
the
signal
path.

The
easiest
and
best
way
to
get
around
 this
is
to
angle
the
speaker
cabinet
upwards
and
point
behind
the
singer’s
head…
this
way
it
will
still
be
 heard
however
the
signal
is
not
being
introduced
directly
into
the
vocal
microphone.

Another
way
to
 prevent
this
‘overspill’
is
to
have
the
speaker
pointing
directly
out
at
90°,
however
making
sure
the
 cabinet
is
at
a
lower
level
(in
height)

to
the
microphone,
this
way
the
majority
of
the
sound
will
pass
 under
the
vocal
microphone.
 
 



 Common
Problems
&
Troubleshooting
 
 As
with
any
type
of
stage
monitor
whether
10”,
12”,
15”
Powered
(Active)
Wedge
Monitor,
Passive
 Wedge
Monitor,
Personal
Monitoring,
In
Ear
Monitoring
system,
or
Stage
Fill,
the
only
thing
you
can
 guarantee
is
that
you
will
come
across
an
issue
at
some
point
in
its
use.

This
is
to
be
expected,
but
the
 way
to
which
you
deal
with
it
can
make
all
of
the
difference.

I
listed
below
some
of
the
more
typical
 comments
made
regarding
problems
of
monitoring
systems,
and
I’ve
also
listed
ways
to
alleviate
these
 issues.
 
 All
I
get
through
the
monitors
is
feedback!
 
 Remember,
as
discussed
in
the
speaker
section
of
the
PA
training
manual,
feedback
is
something
that
the
 user
creates,
not
something
that
the
system
creates.

There
are
a
few
solutions
to
this
scenario,
but
 always
try
to
start
at
the
easiest
solution
first.

Headroom
is
something
that
you
need
for
any
amplified
 speaker,
if
you
don’t
have
headroom
then
you
will
be
pushing
the
monitor
too
hard
and
thus
creating
 feedback.

This
is
the
same
for
the
microphone
input
on
the
mixer…
make
sure
you
have
headroom
on
the
 gain
control,
and
that
you’re
not
pushing
this
initial
signal
input
too
hard.

You
could
introduce
a
graphic
 equalizer
to
the
signal
path,
to
which
you
could
filter
out
the
frequency
which
is
feeding
back,
however
 although
this
is
an
effective
solution,
you
would
still
be
advised
to
kill
the
feedback
at
source.

If
you
are
 going
to
use
a
graphic
equalizer
I
would
advise
using
one
of
two
products.

Firstly
a
graphic
equalizer
with
 as
many
increments
you
can
get,
for
example
a
31‐band
graphic
EQ,
as
this
will
give
you
a
narrower
 frequency
band
to
pull
out.

If
you
were
to
use
a
9‐band
graphic
EQ,
the
frequency
range
you
would
pull
 out
with
one
fader
would
be
too
big,
making
your
monitor
sounding
weak,
therefore
you’d
most
likely
up
 the
volume
more
and
increase
the
level
of
the
problem.

Some
graphic
equalizers,
such
as
the
Behringer
 FBQ
range,
indicate
which
frequency
is
more
liable
to
feedback
by
way
of
LED
lights.

This
can
be
 extremely
useful
when
you
need
to
find
the
frequency
in
a
hurry.

The
second
processor
I
would
 recommend
would
be
a
Parametric
EQ.

This
type
of
equalizer
allows
you
to
select
the
frequency
to
kill
 the
feedback,
and
then
narrow
the
size
of
the
filter
you
are
applying.
 

 The
following
is
a
chart
which
shows
which
frequency
corresponds
with
which
key
on
a
keyboard.

Being
a
 keyboard
player
this
chart
has
saved
my
fee
a
lot
of
times
when
the
front
of
house
system
produces
a
 resonant
frequency
part
way
through
a
performance.

This
frequency
could
be
caused
simply
by
a
larger
 audience
being
in
the
venue
whilst
performing
which
weren’t
there
during
the
sound‐check.

By
finding
 which
note
of
the
keyboard
produces
the
problematic
resonant
frequency,
and
referencing
to
the
 following
chart,
you
can
quickly
find
and
eliminate
the
problematic
frequency.
 
 Fig.
13:

Frequency
Vs
Keyboard
Chart
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



I
get
other
sounds
from
the
stage
coming
through
my
monitor!
 
 As
mentioned
earlier
in
this
manual,
positioning
of
backline
on
stage
is
very
important
as
this
will
cut
 down
on
the
amount
of
spill
you
get
through
your
monitor
via
your
microphone.

This
becomes
a
problem
 when
you
come
to
drum
kits
–
you
will
generally
want
your
drum
kit
in
the
middle
of
the
stage
(at
the
 back),
and
in
some
cases
you
may
have
your
drums
on
a
drum
riser
(stage
specifically
to
raise
drums
for
 better
stage
design)
which
can
cause
more
problems
with
spill.

In
this
instance,
there
are
a
couple
of
 solutions
you
can
use.

The
first
would
be
to
surround
your
drums
with
a
clear
Perspex
wall,
so
that
the
 sound
doesn’t
project
past…
the
down
side
to
this
is
that
the
drums
then
become
isolated
and
the
on
 stage
sound
may
deteriorate.

The
second,
and
in
my
opinion
best
solution,
would
be
to
introduce
a
gate
 to
the
microphone
that
is
picking
up
the
drums.

If
you
set
the
gate
to
a
level
at
which
it
allows
the
singing
 voice
through,
then
it
will
cut
out
and
close
the
circuit
when
this
level
is
not
met.

This
will
also
help
 reduce
feedback.
 
 I
get
‘dropout’
when
using
my
In
Ear
Monitoring
system!
 
 Depending
upon
the
in
ear
monitoring
system
you
are
using,
the
range
will
be
approximately
25‐30m,
so
 if
your
front
of
house
mixer
is
at
the
back
of
the
room,
then
try
to
position
the
transmitter
pack
at
the
 stage
end
of
the
multi‐core.

As
a
rule
of
thumb,
if
you
can’t
see
the
transmitter
from
where
you
stand,
 then
you
may
get
dropout.

Check
that
there
is
no‐one
else
in
the
immediate
vicinity
using
the
same
 frequency,
as
this
would
also
cause
a
problem,
although
this
would
generally
add
to
a
problem,
not
cause
 dropouts.
 
 Of
course
all
of
the
above
information
is
useless
if
all
you
want
to
do
is
play
as
loudly
as
you
can
without
 caring
about
your
voice,
your
ears,
or
the
audience
that
is
listening
to
the
out
of
tune
singing
and
playing!
 
 


PA Training Manual - Part 4  

On Stage Monitoring

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