Over the years of continuously performing onstage with my band, I already had a fair share of bad mixes that had gotten into my nerve and affected my performances. I know perfectly well that to achieve excellent musical performance on stage, I need to hear myself well; moreover, the audience needs to hear me as well. But bad mixes often deny me the luxury of good feeds, without which, I will not be able to deliver my best.
Here is where the impact of in-ear monitors and personal monitor mixer becomes significant in improving artists’ overall performance. In most instances, the in-ear system can provide you with an excellent separate feed that you can custom mix. Complemented by a personal monitor mixer, the in-ear monitors can let you have a formidable setup that could facilitate the monitoring process for you and your group.
Personal monitor mixers like the Presonus or Aviom A320 provide excellent solutions to solve the nagging problems associated with wedge monitors and bad mixes. With these personal monitor mixers at hand, you can do away with these lingering issues and create the right solutions for your band or musical group.
Personal Monitoring: What are Its Main Advantages?
Personal monitoring allows musicians to have control of their monitor mixes. You can achieve such a setup via a personal mixer like the Presonus or Aviom A320. Moreover, such a setup lets musicians have customized mixes for their In-ear monitors.
This setup’s dynamics entails routing audio signals from the mixing console to a digital signal or A-net distributor. You can connect the mixing console and digital signal distributor using analog cables or ethernet cables, or audio network systems. The audio signal is, afterward, routed to the personal mixers.
With the personal mixer at hand, you can control several parameters like EQ, volume, stereo placement, and reverb. With its expanded controls and channel count, you can create the perfect mix for each band or group member.
For example, the Aviom A320 comes with a 32-channel mix engine that allows for impressive flexibility and excellent control over your monitor mix. It is ideal for a stage production. A novice can easily learn its straightforward operation and intuitive layout.
Top 3 Mixers for In-ear Monitors
The personal mixer offers several apparent advantages that include greater control for musicians, reduced stage volume by doing away with monitor wedges, and reduced manpower by letting musicians control their monitor mixes. Meanwhile, selecting the right one can be a bit confusing. So, to facilitate the selection process for you, you can check out these three most recommended personal mixers for in-ear monitors:
1) PreSonus EarMix AVB-Networked Personal Monitor Mixer
The PreSonus EarMix is designed for seamlessly working with the PreSonus family of mixers, though it is compatible with any AVB-enabled system. It offers better quality and expandable network monitoring system for installed sound systems, stage, and studio recording. It offers professional build quality, sound quality, and other features, including a high performing headphone.
The EarMix 16M also offers clear and loud customizable mixes for best performance. Its clear and loud headphone amplifier can drive low impedance in-ear-monitors. Furthermore, it provides a system that can expand and grow according to your needs.
The EarMix 16M excels most when you need a monitoring system for your band. Using two AVB jacks, you can daisy-chain several EarMix 16Ms while staying connected to a mixer console. Thus, the use of EarMix 16M offers excellent possibilities in expanding your AVB network.
You can power the EarMix 16M with an external power supply that comes with it. You can also power it using PoE or Power over Ethernet. This innovative technology enables the cables to bear electrical power for powering compatible devices.
2) Aviom A320 16-channel Personal Mixer
The Aviom A320 Personal Mixer comes with a simple layout that makes it easy for you to dial in an excellent sounding monitor mix. It allows for easy selection of channels, optimization of volume, and stereo field option. Once you’ve achieved the perfect mix, you can enhance the sound with its 3-band tone section.
The 3-band tone is sonically optimized for the in-ear monitor system’s use. Moreover, you can have eight preset mixes saved on this personal mixer for instant recall later. This feature makes your mixing setup easy.
The Aviom A320 Personal Mixer comes with a straightforward and intuitive layout that you can learn quickly. Moreover, even a novice will get the hang of its use quickly.
Another thing is its excellent compatibility with other systems. It is compatible with almost all Aviom Pro16 devices. It is also compatible with third-party console cards of Aviom’s partners.
Moreover, you can run a cable between Aviom A320 and any compatible A-Net products up to 500 feet. This large-scale compatibility makes Aviom A320 an excellent addition to your audio monitoring setup.
3) BEHRINGER P16-M 16-Channel Digital Personal Mixer
BEHRINGER P16-M Digital Personal Mixer is a digital stereo mixer characterized by 16 channels for creating a personal monitor mix. It offers an intuitive analog operation that allows for a total recall along with 16 customized mixes presets.
It’s an affordable and easy way to provide your live gigs better mixes. It gives each performer with perfect control of the individual mix. Plus, it lets the sound engineer concentrate on making the best possible mix for your band or group.
The Powerplay P16-M is quick to set up, and you can set it up within several minutes. Moreover, you can expand this system according to your developing needs. It also comes with a simple user-interface that makes it easy for even novice to dial-in an excellent monitor mix.
You can adjust each of the channel’s volume and take perfect control of the EQ while panning the audio signals from left to right, and you can make all these adjustments sans affecting the mix of others. Besides, you can store your mixes for quick recall for your next session. You can also quickly hook the Powerplay P16-M to ULTRANET for transmitting digital audio data through a CAT5 cable.
How Important is a Personal Monitor Mixer to the Modern Mixing Setup?
Successful large venues and well-budgeted touring acts can afford the service of a monitor engineer. But what does a monitor engineer do? The monitor engineer handles the mixing of sound signals for performing musicians onstage. He can create many custom mixes and can respond quickly to the pressing needs of individual performers. With the help of a monitor engineer, the staging of sold-out concerts and shows become less stressful.
However, not all shows and gigs can afford the monitor engineer’s service, for this service can pad up the budget for talented personnel. Moreover, having a monitor engineer also necessitates additional and separate equipment devoted solely to mixing audio signals for performers, which the audience will never hear.
So, it is not cost-effective for show and gig organizers or even church board members to hire a dedicated monitor engineer. For this reason, they need to come up with an alternative to having an engineer and a monitor mixer. Most clubs use a Front-of-House (FOH) engineer to deal with all the mixes, including the feed coming from the monitor wedge onstage.
More often, most musicians are worried about not hearing much of themselves when performing. Nevertheless, clear monitor feeds let them make sound judgments on timing, pitch, and performance based on what they hear. Therefore, the need for a good monitor feed is pretty much understandable, for you will find it challenging to stay in synchrony with your bandmates if you could not hear others, yourself, or your instrument.
Moreover, if the feed that you are getting from stage monitors, for example, does not show that you sound clear, you would tend to play or sing louder. Besides, if you feel that you hear yourself too loud, you may tone down your voice or instrument to a point that you are barely audible to others. All these issues are solved by having in-ear monitors along with a personal monitor mixer.
Over the years, musicians have clamored for self-adjust monitoring because there are instances when they are not satisfied with the feed the monitor engineer sends them. So, they want a device that lets them adjust their individual monitor mixes. Moreover, they want self-adjust monitoring that fits well with the use of in-ear monitors.
Fortunately, the recent innovations in network control have opened up a world of personal monitor mixing. At present, there’s a wide range of products for personal monitor mixing that lets performers on stage to customize their monitor mixes on stage. Such devices, like the Aviom A320, PreSonus EarMix, and BEHRINGER P16-M, allow users to divide mixes into manageable mixes while maintaining the relative balance in the mix.