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More me in the monitor, not the mains?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by hrodbert696, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Supporting Member

    Ok, here's my situation: new cover band, I'm doing a fair amount of backup singing. My backing vocals should definitely be UNDER the lead singer's in volume and not blasting over her going out the mains. The problem is that I have problems staying on pitch if I can't hear myself clearly, which I often can't in the full band mix if the volume on my vocals are low. The band's PA doesn't have the capacity to send each monitor a custom mix (using active wedges, and won't be able to afford in-ears anytime soon), so I can't have a custom mix with "more me" in my own monitor from the main board.

    So does anyone have an idea for how I can tinker with the setup to put more of my own vocal in my own monitor, without cranking it up in the overall mix?

    I just ran across this on amazon - a Behringer MA 400 "monitor headphone amplifier." It LOOKS like I could plug my mic into it, run an XLR from it out to the main board, then a monitor input from the board back to this box, and then maybe use the 1/4" "headphone" jack to go into my wedge; then boost the volume on my mic's direct input to put my vocal higher in the mix. Has anyone used this before, or recommend anything similar/better? I'm open to ideas here, but not able to drop a lot of money on a solution yet.

  2. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Just thinking out loud here, but when I wear earplugs, I can hear my own voice in my head really well. Maybe try wearing a single earplug (On the hi-hat side would be my first choice) and see if that helps.
  3. mancefine


    Jul 7, 2013
    Endorsing Artist: Orange Amplifiers and Spector Basses
    I don't think your above idea would work, because if you ran the output of the headphone amp into your wedge you would only get your vocals in the monitor and not the rest of the bands as I don't think you can plug two different signals into one monitor. Plus, that's assuming your wedge is powered and doens't need a power amp too. If I were you I would get the headphone amp, run your mic into the amp and to the mains, and then just use one ear bud with the headphone amp.

    My honest opinion is that you should just work with your singer and get better where you can just rely on a monitor mix. In my experience, the more gear you have the more that can go wrong, and you don't want to have to rely on a behringer product to make sure you can sing well. Maybe look into at least getting a nice mic that you take everywhere.
  4. f.c.geil

    f.c.geil Supporting Member

    May 12, 2011
    There are tons of "more me" monitors available. My synth guitarist uses one of these "hot spot" monitors, and it works great for him.
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  6. kikstand454

    kikstand454 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2012
    If you could find a small amp with a line out....it'd solve your problem.

    mic>amp>di to board.

    Tilt the amp up, maybe from the opposite side of your wedge. Now you have a speaker you can adjust volume and tone of with only your voice in it.
    just an idea.

    Hell if you have a 200watt practice head ( gk mb200, TC bh250...etc) and a little 10inch speaker at home......that'd be the ideal rig.
  7. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Rolls PM351. Put this guy on your pedalboard, run your bass and vocals to it. Send your vocals and bass to the mixer from the 351 via its mic-through output and instrument output. Feed the band mix from the mixing board back to the 351 (in stereo or mono) via 1/4" TRS monitor input.

    Band sets its usual FOH and monitor mix at the mixing board. You set your individual monitor mix to taste at the 351. Then, either run wired to earbuds (coupling the headphone extension cable to your instrument cable), or simply pass the mix you like from the 351's output to your powered monitor.

    The PM351 works great, and costs under $75. IMO, it's worth having in your bag just as a problem solver.
  8. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    What kind of monitors are you using and do you have to share with the rest of the band? You might buy something like this. http://powerwerks.com/page/PW4P-42.aspx I bought one for one of the bands I am in. You plug your vocal mic into and then run a mic cable to the mixer. The only thing in that monitor will be your vocals. I then can turn it up to get more me while also listening to the band mix in the floor wedge.
  9. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Supporting Member

    The monitor I'm using is powered, a Kustom 100w thing with a 10" speaker (I may have to invest in something beefier eventually, but it's what I have for the moment). I don't have to share it with the rest of the band, it's just my own monitor, so if I can come up with a way to get my personal ideal mix in it, that's no problem for the others.

    The Rolls PM351 looks like a similar concept to the Behringer I linked to, but with more features and able to run the bass through it as well. From your description it sounds like it would do what I'm thinking of. Thanks for the vote of confidence in it. Has anyone tried the Behringer, or other similar types of things? It is $75 while the Behringer is $25 and I'm wondering if it's worth the extra dough or not. Knowing Behringer's overall reputation, it may well be, but I wanted to check...
  10. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    Not sure of your kustom speakers monitor model number but what they have listed on musicians friend is only 50 watts for a single 10. They are distributed by the same company as the powerwerks I mentioned earlier. Both are low budget junk Mine is totally useless as a floor wedge but works well enough mounted on a mic stand.
  11. praisegig

    praisegig Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Stephenville, TX
    After buying two Behringer MicroMON MA400 for praise team members to get stage levels down, I found that they didn't compare to the Rolls 351 that I use. They seem to not have sufficient IEM volume levels, were somewhat tinny in sound quality, and very lightweight. I would stick with my Rolls any day for a "more me" monitor.
  12. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Supporting Member

    Thanks for the advice! I just found Rolls does a $50 version without the separate line for an instrument, which I don't need - just the vocal (it's the PM50S). Just placed an order for it, will report back once I've tried it out. Meanwhile, y'all feel free to continue the discussion.

    Oh, modulusman, I was in error - it's Kustom's 12" monitor, the KPC12MP, and does have 100w. Seems they don't make them anymore, or at least MF doesn't sell them new - http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-...onitor-speaker/485594004000000?condition=used . No, it's not a brilliant piece of gear, but I used it in my old band and it's adequate to my needs. The issue is not the monitor but the mix as far as this thread goes.
  13. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Head voice. Put a plug in one ear
  14. will33


    May 22, 2006
    The problem may not so much be the monitor speaker you're using but a lack of individual monitor sends from your mixer, so you can mix your own monitor differently from the others, with more of your own voice in it.

    You're using poweree monitors, which means you can control the level of your own, but still not the mix in it. How many aux sends/monitor mixes is your board capable of? If the answer is "one", you may need to get creative, adding a "hotspot" with a way to put more of you in it, or some other solution.

    If your band is accomplished at mixing themselves "by proximity", try just setting all vocal levels, in both mains and monitors, the same, or "even". Then the individual members mix themselves by getting up on the mic when they're singing lead, or backing away when they're singing backup. It's a much easier, and more professional, way to perform, but seems to be a bit of a lost art these days with all the technology and gizmo's we have.

    There's always this. ^

    Putting a plug in one ear lets you hear your own voice vibrating through your skull, as you hear your own voice when you have a conversation with someone, while letting the other ear hear the rest of the sound coming back off speakers like the rest of the audience and band is. By trying various, loose-fitting, uses of the plug, you can sort of mix your own head voice in with the rest, allowing a little more "room sound" to bleed into the plugged ear along with your own isolated voice.
  15. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    This actually does help.
  16. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    It seriously works. I use an old shure E1 end w one if those yellow foams. I have a full sennheiser system but this way I don't have to worry about a dedicated aux and a soundman that's gives a crap
  17. will33


    May 22, 2006
    If you can get accustomed to it and make it work, it is also by far the cheapest of solutions. Grand total, maybe $2. What's that...like a pound and some pence? :D
  18. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Odd.....my brother, also "Ryan", is a Fargo fireman.

    Howdy from the great white north. :)
  19. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    I'm in a number of bands. I'm usually the 2nd singer so this works. If I was the lead vocalist I think a proper IEM would be the right way to do it. I still think a good IEM system is great but for next to nothing you can always be able to sing in key and have great gigs
  20. will33


    May 22, 2006
    One ear plug....50 cents.

    One IEM system (with equipment for one bandmember).....$500?

    Hitting your harmonies while spending a fraction of the cost of one beer...priceless. :D
  21. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Yep, I've used that method in the past on fill-in gigs I've done where the monitors were crap. It's seriously saved me in a pinch.

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