More Benefits for Separate Monitor Systems

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I caught this article over on ProSoundWeb today, and it adds yet another beneficial dimension (with some overlap) to what I was talking about in an earlier post.  In the article, the author (Tim Andras) points out the benefits from the FOH engineer point of view.  I have been virtually weighted equally in time spent on both sides of the mix console over the years and there is no question that mixing monitors from the FOH causes tension for both the engineer and musician alike. 

If not for anything else, the lack of communication that exists between the stage and FOH is a result of a combination of lighting (or a lack thereof…), the inability to hear what the other is saying and the fact that the engineer is focused on his or her job, and that is mixing audio for the mains.  As an engineer, it is a rapidly frustrating situation trying to dial in a mix during sound check when the band stops and not just one, but two, three or more members start barking changes they need in their monitors over the system.  This not only disturbs the engineer’s workflow, but also is typically un-organized.  Combine this with the fact that as I pointed out in my previous post, FOH consoles are not set up, nor intended to provide any useful monitoring in the first place.  This scenario frustrates the musician as well when the typically brief sound check leaves the monitors at the bottom of the priority list.  Bad monitor mix on stage makes for unhappy musicians…

Separate monitor and FOH systems should be a requirement for any serious musician who performs live, whether solo or a group; this configuration is not just for “larger” acts, and the pricing to get into a separate monitor system can be on par with what your current system cost in the first place.  This simply requires a different mode of thinking when planning the configuration of your next system.  If you include this requirement, both sides of the FOH will be happier, everyone getting what they want and need, which is a win-win for all when the set begins.

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