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Thread: Experiences w/personal stage monitors

  1. #1
    Gene @ RSM
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    Default Experiences w/personal stage monitors

    Our little B.G. group is in need of a single personal stage monitor. We will use it for my wife who is the elect. up-right bass player and singer. She is generally positioned behind the main group (mando,dobro,guitar and banjer).

    We have used floor- positioned stage monitors in the past and my wife has had problems hearing the mix. The primary reason for a "stick-mounted" stage monitor is so she can hear the other singers to harmonize.

    My question is what your experiences have been using personal stage monitors and whether it is advisable to spend more than a minimum amount on this particular piece of equipment. I don't have a lot of money to spend, but don't want to purchase something that will go south with normal usage.

  2. #2
    Registered User dcoventry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experiences w/personal stage monitors

    http://www.sweetwater.com/c450--Mackie--Stage_Monitors

    Here's one and you can poke around the site.
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  3. #3
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experiences w/personal stage monitors

    I've used a Galaxy Audio Powered Hot Spot for 5+ years, and it's worked pretty well. Lots of power.
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  4. #4
    Gene @ RSM
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    Default Re: Experiences w/personal stage monitors

    Thanks guys. I am considering a Galaxy. May have to go for one of the lower end units.

  5. #5
    Registered User dcoventry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experiences w/personal stage monitors

    Gene,

    Much like most purchases, musical ones especially, you are well served by getting the best piece of equipment you can afford, whatever that is.

    Dave
    2005 Rigel G5 #2196
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    1988 Jeff Traugott Acoustic #4
    2012 Eastman 905 Archtop Guitar, BLOND!

    Remember to grin while you pick, it throws folks off!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Experiences w/personal stage monitors

    what about in ear wireless monitors (or even wired ) and a keyboard amp should be able to take a monitor line out . if you had money i would say look into the "Jam Hub " as a multi application tool

  7. #7

    Default Re: Experiences w/personal stage monitors

    Another one to consider is the TC Helicon VoiceSolo range. You can get them active or passive. My recommendation (based on use) would be the VS300XT model. Active, with a clever floor box that allows the performer to decide the balance between the 'band' mix and their own voice and/or instrument. You can 'daisy chain' them so everyone gets a standard monitor mix, then sorts out their personal mix for themselves. They also have an ok EQ section. Solid cast alloy casings, built like tanks, and very loud for their size. Can be mounted on a separate stand, used as a wedge or - the clever bit- mounted on the performer's mic stand. Highly recommended.
    Tim
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  8. #8
    Registered User G7MOF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experiences w/personal stage monitors

    I use a Mackie stage monitor along with a full Mackie rig, It's great gear!!!

  9. #9
    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experiences w/personal stage monitors

    Here's one area where I'd say try for the in-ear monitor. If she's behind all the main microphones playing bass, it's a possibility that she'll need to turn the stand-mount monitor volume just high enough to create a feedback problem, especially if she's unable to hear a floor-standing monitor. Is she a little hard of hearing? In-ears can easily be of the hard-wired type, the wireless thing just isn't necessary here, and use TWO earphones, and you can keep the volume low. Takes a few hours to get used to them, but this sounds like it might be the best way to go. Once you need to crank monitors up to hear them, you're compromising the sound quality for the audience. Too much noise bleed-through, dicey gain control to avoid feedback, etc. You need a relatively quiet stage, especially when you get crammed into a small area.

    FWIW, we use the Galaxys on occasion as a problem solver, and they are a fine little unit.

  10. #10
    Destroyer of Mandolins
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    Default Re: Experiences w/personal stage monitors

    This absolutely sounds like a job for a wired in-ear monitor. No need for wireless as a bassist doesn't dance around the stage, so you can spend the money on the very best set of phones and a headphone amp. A stand-mounted personal monitor is likely to be a feedback nightmare in that configuration. And as Charlie mentioned, use BOTH earphones. Having only one phone is the biggest mistake people make with these.

    I have also used Galaxy in the past with good success, but a wired IEM is the way to go, IMO.
    Dedicated Ovation player
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Experiences w/personal stage monitors

    If you are going to go with in-ear monitors, both ears is the right thing to do; but one small tip. Position a microphone to pick up audience and venue noise, and feed a little of this into the monitor mix. Avoids the 'isolated' feel of in-ears that is so hard to get used to.
    Tim Mundy
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    2002 Gibson F5 Fern
    1920 Gibson A2
    2005 Gibson A5L
    Rigel A+ Deluxe Custom
    1926 Gibson TB1 Tenor Banjo
    1963 Epiphone TF28 Tenor Guitar
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    1987 Rob Armstrong Mandolinetto

  12. #12
    Destroyer of Mandolins
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    Default Re: Experiences w/personal stage monitors

    Meaningless, irrelevant aside: There are now over 100 guys named Tim on this site. And one Timothea.

    (I didn't even know there was a feminine form of the name Timothy.)
    Dedicated Ovation player
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  13. #13
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experiences w/personal stage monitors

    Vocal range monitors are what the Galaxy audio stuff is made for..
    Up on a Mic stand means they don't have to be loud to be heard.

    Nady made a cheap copy, ..
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  14. #14
    garded
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    Default Re: Experiences w/personal stage monitors

    I am not hard of hearing, if anything, I would say my hearing is too sensitive. I've never been able to hear floor wedges. Even though they seem to be the standard issue, they cause more problems for the inexperienced soundman than they solve. They introduce mid bass/midrange mud that I find confusing and annoying, not to mention time smear. IMHO there is no need for anything larger than 6" speaker for a monitor because there is no reason to have full range folded back at an acoustic band. You are already getting bass/midbass/ and some midrange being radiated from the back of the mains, why add to that? It only causes mud and feedback.

    I have a pair of the Mackie SRM150's for monitors and find them very useful, compact, and loud. We did a gig recently where another member supplied his PA with a galaxy, and my only complaint was it only had a vol control. Where the 150 has volume, and 3 band eq. which helps get rid of feedback. It took quite a while to find a suitable place where it didn't just howl.

    I use the 150's as either sidefills, mounted next to the mains, pointing back at the band. Or if using the house mains, I have a small stand I've adapted that has the mixer, and monitors mounted on it, low, and in the middle of the stage. And we gather close to that. Personally I don't use the 150's on mic stands as I don't think they sound as good up close, and I find the mount cumbersome, with the top threads to the boom prone to crossthreading.

    IEM's would be the ticket, but it's really going to depend on how it's done, and more importantly the person. I love 'em, but the bands I've worked with have never been able to get used to them.

    More importantly here, I'm struck by the OP saying the bass player is in the backline. I work with several singing bass players, and we never put them on the backline as anybody who sings should be up front. Personally, it's the really loud instruments like dobro and banjo that I would have paired up on one mic, moving in and out of the mic and leave the bass on the frontline. My bias is towards the singing first, and the instruments are the ones who have work around them.

  15. #15
    Gene @ RSM
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    Default Re: Experiences w/personal stage monitors

    Wow! A lot of food for thought. I appreciate all view points and will actively consider everything.

    I hadn't considered IEM's and will re-think the bass player/singer position on stage. Nothing is cast in stone. I'm also a BIG fan of no stage clutter for acoustic and safety reasons. Seems like all the venues we play have a postage stamp sized performance area, so it's a challenge to get all the equipment and personnel close enough without banging into each other. I guess it it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

  16. #16
    garded
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    Default Re: Experiences w/personal stage monitors

    There is a lot to think about, and weigh.

    I really sympathize with the postage stamp stage. Most of the venues we do are a space for a solo or duo. So trying to fit a quartet with all that heavy wood swinging around(pegheads, and bodies) is scary and a logistical nightmare. It's part of why we decided to work mostly as a trio, bass, guitar and mandolin. Add mic stands, monitor, mixers and some kind of mains and it seems impossible.

    You didn't mention what you were doing for mic's. In a small space it makes it really hard to do any choreography, moving in and out of one mic. So for the most part I try to limit it to two large mic's, with just minor movement to help regulate volume.

  17. #17
    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experiences w/personal stage monitors

    To answer Tony's point about big floor wedges, we don;t use them either. The sound for acoustic bands, in a word, stinks. I ended up making my own custom monitors using Fostex full-range drivers, about $60 a pop, which have all the range anyone playing acoustically needs, and picks up the bass just fine. Mine use 8" drivers, which when you subtract the rim, equals about a 7" cone. A 6" driver would work just fine, also. Even for a P.A. speaker, driver size is a way over-rated issue. With the speed of response and quality of newer, smaller drivers, it's all in the efficiency and transient response, especially for acoustic music. I built my monitors so they stand on a narrow footprint, but come up off the floor about 2', so you don't need so much volume, which can help eliminate feedback issues. A good mixer should be able to eq the monitor mix as well, so everyone gets exactly what they need. That said, for this purpose, I'm still on the side of an in-ear system.

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