3 Tips to Create a Great Monitor Mix

Ask any musician and they’ll tell you that having a good personal monitor mix can make all the difference when it comes to comfort and confidence onstage. A good mix allows musicians to hear all of the parts they need at the levels they want, resulting in a cleaner and more cohesive performance. Unfortunately, though, houses of worship often have poor monitor mixes, leaving musicians struggling to hear themselves and their band as they muddle through their parts.

We’ve discussed in-ear monitors and other solutions in the past, but regardless of your setup, crafting a good mix for each musician is essential. Here are a few things to keep in mind, so that you can avoid a poor personal monitor mix and help your musicians perform as confidently as possible.

Use good mics

This might seem obvious, but it’s worth reiterating: the mix you hear coming out of your monitors will only be as good as the sound that’s going into your system. If you’re putting garbage in, you will get garbage out. Make sure that you’re using high quality microphones and cables that will give you high quality sound inputs. At Audio-Video Group, we can help you choose and install the perfect products to capture the sound you want.

Make sure gain structure is set up properly

Proper gain structure is an essential component in the overall sound quality for any sound system. Basically, gain structure refers to how the pieces in a system amplify or reduce the sound signal. Ideally, these pieces are structured in such a way that no piece is disproportionately affecting the signal, which often results in loss of headroom and increased distortion.

Consider a mixer with all of the individual channel faders pushed to the top, while the master fader is set towards the bottom. The resulting level coming out of the mixer would be the same if all the faders were set to a mid level, but the system’s disproportionate structure will likely result in distortion. As more components are added to the system, the gain structure becomes more complicated. AVG can help you ensure that your system is properly configured, so that the gain structure is optimized to make your monitor mixes sound perfect and avoid the distortion that can drive your musicians crazy.

Get your input split properly set up

When attempting to configure a stage monitor system, it’s necessary to split the signal to send it to each musician’s personal monitor. However, you can’t just split the signal indefinitely without proper power. For most systems with multiple splits, it will be necessary to use an active split via a splitter snake. Active splitting devices maintain signal impedance and integrity during splits so that sound quality is maintained for each monitor. This way, your musicians will have a mix that gives them confidence.

So, there you have it: three things you need to get right in order to craft a good personal monitor mix. Want to give your musicians the comfort that comes with a good monitor mix, but still feel like you need a bit of help? Get in touch with us online or by calling at 301.668.4448. At Audio-Video Group, we can optimize your system to make your monitor mix sound its best – and that will allow your musicians to play their best, too.

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