Front Ensemble Synth Monitors

Hey guys - what do you use to allow your synth players to hear themselves?  Just realized that I didn't account for this in my setup.

In the most perfect of situations, absolutley.
To be able to fine tune yourself in the mix is a great teaching tool, and helps the ensemble blend and ballance.
If the mix down includes the rest of the reinforced front ensemble, even better.

You can get small active monitors, they look like ";pool speakers";, to either put on posts or simply sit on the synth.

Do it up, man! It's a great tool!


How much budget do you have? There are loudspeakers available at almost any price range.

You'll almost certainly want an amplified loudspeaker. You have to have a way of mounting it or putting in on something as well.
I'm just curious as to what people are using.  My BPA are building carts for my 2 Synths and my Malletkat so a place isn't a problem.  We currently have two Anchor Audio AN-1000X.  We used those in indoor and it worked well. 
Anchors are a good choice if you need to stay small. They're frequency response is lacking, though, so it could be tough for your players to get good feedback on the lower synth notes.

If I was putting together something from scratch I would look at JBL EON 210P, which is a package deal including two plastic-enclosure self-powered 10-inch stage monitors plus a mixer. It's designed to be one-stop-shopping for a gig PA, so in this case the included/integral mixer is redundant. However, the price is right for two 10-inch stage monitors. These are significantly bigger and heavier than Anchor AN-1000X units, but the sound quality is significantly better as well.
Yeah, those are a wee bit too big.  I'm not interested in big.  Small is what I'm interested in.
Another option that is easy would be to use in-ear monitors and just leave one out (so you can hear the ensemble behind you).  This works well unless you are truly committed to being able to hear all of the other amplified instruments in your mix. 

These are affordable and really great (I use these personally, replaced some Shure E4's and I like these better for a fraction the price):

The idea of open-air monitors and a bazillion condenser mics in close proximity seems like it could make your mix muddy really quickly. 

This also means less cabling, no power cords, etc...

I'm sure there are a lot of reasons why this isn't optimal, but it's worked well for my little school.
Michael, are you suggesting true in-ear-monitoring systems, which generally include a personal mixing device and can require mic splitters and other complications? It looks like you're just suggesting in-ear headphones. The headphone concept could be done via over-the-ear or in-ear headphones. In either case one ear should be left empty/uncovered. If you are looking to only feed the synth signal to the monitoring device,you could Y-split the output cable and plug headphones into one side of the split. Send the other side to the mixer. The only concern might be balance issue between the headphone level and the mix input level (i.e. one may be too quiet while the other is too loud).

A true IEM system allows the performer to either tailor a personal mix that only they can hear, or would allow an aux mix or a copy of the main mix to be sent to the performer. ";Inexpensive"; example:
I understand exactly what you are saying.  Yes, it isn't really monitoring as much as it is simply being able to hear yourself. 

I plug straight into the headphone jack on our Roland Fantom. 

This has worked well and is simple.  The 15-year old kid that I have running sound will be challenged enough just running the board without having to worry about someone's monitor mix. 
No monitor mixing here.  Just looking for options on my kids being able to hear themselves and what other groups might use.
[quote author=Cadet311 link=topic=4442.msg23266#msg23266 date=1343338407]
No monitor mixing here.  Just looking for options on my kids being able to hear themselves and what other groups might use.

I run a monitor feed through an Aux channel and have the synths plug into the return on the snake.  We use M-Audio BX5 powered monitors.

I stumbled across an equipment list prepared by the Cadets in 2010 for a presentation to the NJ Percussion Instructors Roundtable. It was prepared by Gerry Miller of the Cadets. It is a full electronics equipment list for a DCI pit; one could easily drop $15,000 to $30,000 buying the stuff on the list, depending on how many of each things you need/want. I'm not sure if you were there for that presentation.

Interestingly enough, there is no mention of monitoring equipment on the list. Gerry's contact info is given if you want to track him down and see what he has to say. If not, let me know and I may do it.

Gerry Miller, Director of Bands
Wakeland High School
10700 Legacy Drive
Frisco, Texas  75034
Login or Signup to post a comment