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Articles Nov-Dec 2020

Effectron Reinforces Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam College Auditorium with Adamson Sound, Barco Projection and Effectron Lights and Furnishing

The 2000-seat multipurpose auditorium at the Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Government College in Daman, in August 2020 was installed with an impressive audio architecture from Adamson..... read more

Soundframe Gives LOTD an Exclusive Harman Professional Audio System Finesse

SoundFrame recently outfitted Lord of the Drinks’ Kolkata location with a complete Harman Professional Audio System to provide exceptional audio quality and coverage for its patrons..... read more

Neumann Home Studio Academy India Edition - In Conversation with Meghdeep Bose

Meghdeep Bose is a noted arranger, composer and music producer. In this exclusive interview with PT, Meghdeep talks about his collaboration with Sennheiser and Neumann for the Indian edition..... read more

Acoustics In Auditorium Design - by Vijay Purandare

How a room sounds and feels depends heavily on the specific acoustic properties of the materials in the room. For example, the acoustics of a concert hall are designed..... read more

Acoustic and Audio System Design for Small Rooms- Part 4 - by Rahul Sarma

In Part 3 of the series, Rahul spoke about the science behind absorption and diffusion..... read more


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The Art, Science & Psychology Of Monitor Mixing

While this goes to post the Monitor Mixing Summit 2019 will be over, I hope this Summit will change our attitude, workflow and planning to give the artistes a fantastic sounding stage mix, be it in their in-ears or in their wedges or both. Whilst some have been doing a great job mixing monitors for top tier acts in India, for many others Monitor Mixing is a ‘Black Art’ and for most there is a fear/ambiguity of sending audio signals down artistes ears for the fear of being reprimanded, yelled at or subjugated to an artiste intolerant to any problems with monitoring whether it is their fault or not.

How do you please somebody or an entire bands acoustic palette is where the blend of the art, science & phycology of good monitoring is and it really starts with the most fundamental thing of good gear to begin with following into the prep of the racks and panels to have a easy setup into a good workflow around your console and finally into the most crucial aspect of monitor mixing, your talent as an engineer and your relationship with the artiste

I always speak about relationship with the artiste first as they all vary and the variable is very high, sometimes even bizarre, they all like what they like and have their own mental energies on stage, for some if it’s a good gig its good sound, for others if it’s a great sounding show they ‘perform’ if its bad sounding they ‘play’ and for some they don’t give quite a damn how its in the house as long as they are sounding comfortable in their ears.

For an Monitor Engineer he has many roles to play, first he needs to instill confidence into the artistes that he will do everything to make them sonically comfortable, he then has to prove every night that he is still the right man for the job no matter what the circumstance of acoustics, gear, ambient noise or audience may offer. This starts a long journey in a process of building trust & confidence in you and that is the most important aspect the artiste looks for in an individual mixing their monitors.

In India people are crestfallen and lose confidence when they lose their seat in Monitorland, most of the time they are not told the truth as to why they aren’t on the job anymore and that they may never ever find out, they are sometimes even reinstated back after trying others to realize they were the right ones for the job after all. Well don’t be upset even in the US & Europe the same rules apply from changing engineers after the first gig, to mid way during the tour to the next tour to even sticking with their Monitor Engineers for two decades. The rules are “there are no rules” even wanton decisions are taken, from having a bad day and letting go the best man for the job.

I can assure you that you should never lose heart and learn from your mistakes evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and if you have hit dead end seek help from a veteran.

Technically in my opinion great monitor engineers are cats that understand gain structure extremely well and buss structure & matrixing architecture, this is the clinical part of the mix. The second skills are authority over the signal chain, the equalisation, the compression and gating and the tertiary skills are the creative aspect of reverbs & delays and ambient sounds hitting their ears.

I am also given to understand many guys still mix running Auxiliary’s pre-fader and my sincere request to you is stop doing what your doing because that is a grave injustice to the artiste, if it works for you that’s ok but it isn’t good for artiste monitoring. If you are not using snapshots, can you really do such an exceptional job? Do you know the songs well and your so quick on your cues that you never miss a solo or a fader revision The truth is you will and even the guys who do snapshots they constantly improvising their running snapshot whilst the gig is on as well as updating the snapshot many times during a song, making it more & more ‘show ready’

The physcological aspect of monitor mixing is a game changer for the pros and separates the veterans from the rookies, they know exactly what the artist is missing by merely looking at their faces and the artistes too expect them to understand them likewise. They get the sign language in a jiffy from everyone in the band and they focus on looking at them and less head down on the control surface. The approach their changes very well, they understand the difference between a coarse volume changes to a fine change to a hairpin change. They are so good that even with confidence they reduce levels of other channels when artistes want to hear their own voices louder instead of increasing the vocal volume. Some monitor engineers are like the trusted family doctor that when the artiste even sees them he already feels his mix will be good.

Talent, Hard Work a Great Personality & a little bit of Luck!! And off you go Mr. /MS Monitor Engineer

Warren D’souza - Founder, Managing Director, & Working Member of Sound.Com
Instagram @warrendsouza
#AudioEvangelist
#SoundGuyForLife


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