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Thread: In-Ear Monitors - Getting the Vocals to sound better

  1. #1

    In-Ear Monitors - Getting the Vocals to sound better

    I have a question regarding getting the vocals to sound right coming through the P16 monitors. We just bought the X32, S16 and the P16 monitors. Installation (for someone that doesn't know sound) went very well, and all is working great! We are using SE425 Shure in-ear monitors, and none of the band has ever used them before. So we are VERY inexperienced! My question is how do we get the vocals to sound like it did before when we were using wedges. We have a good size sanctuary, so we get natural reverb in our vocals. If I just put one in-ear in, and leave the other out, the mix is great in my one ear from the monitor, and I can hear the rest of the band, the audience and my vocals as it normally sounded through the ear without the IEM, which is what I am looking for. But I've heard that if you do this, you can damage the ear with the IEM because of turning up the sound (which of course I did so I could hear the mix). I know that using the X32, you have different reverbs available, but I have no idea which one is best. I am currently trying to use the Hall Reverb, but it sounds terrible because I don't know how to set it to be like the natural reverb in the room. So here's the question:
    - Which reverb effect on the X32 is best for vocals and what should the settings be based on the size room we have so it sounds like it used to? Is there anyway to find out what each adjustment does on the different reverb effects so we can properly set it?

    Thanks everyone!
    Bart

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bart Mitchell View Post
    I have a question regarding getting the vocals to sound right coming through the P16 monitors. We just bought the X32, S16 and the P16 monitors. Installation (for someone that doesn't know sound) went very well, and all is working great! We are using SE425 Shure in-ear monitors, and none of the band has ever used them before. So we are VERY inexperienced! My question is how do we get the vocals to sound like it did before when we were using wedges. We have a good size sanctuary, so we get natural reverb in our vocals. If I just put one in-ear in, and leave the other out, the mix is great in my one ear from the monitor, and I can hear the rest of the band, the audience and my vocals as it normally sounded through the ear without the IEM, which is what I am looking for. But I've heard that if you do this, you can damage the ear with the IEM because of turning up the sound (which of course I did so I could hear the mix). I know that using the X32, you have different reverbs available, but I have no idea which one is best. I am currently trying to use the Hall Reverb, but it sounds terrible because I don't know how to set it to be like the natural reverb in the room. So here's the question:
    - Which reverb effect on the X32 is best for vocals and what should the settings be based on the size room we have so it sounds like it used to? Is there anyway to find out what each adjustment does on the different reverb effects so we can properly set it?

    Thanks everyone!
    Bart
    Hello Bart,
    The problem you are having is common when using IEMs, since they tend to block the user from hearing most ambient sounds. This problem can be solved one of two ways.

    You could use a reverb as you suggest. If set properly, you can create a pleasing vocal sound in the IEMs using the many reverb choices on the X32. If doing so, I would assign the Direct Out of the FX return to a separate P16 channel from the dry vocals to allow the performer to create the blend they want.

    The problem with this approach is that it only solves part of the problem. While the reverb creates the impression of being in a larger space, it doesn't help with making a performer hear and "feel" the actual space they are in. For this reason, the ideal solution is to setup ambient microphones on your stage.

    This can be a single mic but is often a stereo pair of microphones placed on each side of the stage. Directional small-diaphragm condensers, like the BEHRINGER C-2s, C-4s, or B-5s, are often used for this purpose. For more placement tips and mic suggestions, google search "ambient mics for IEM" to find some great articles / forum threads. Because of feedback, be very careful NOT to feed these microphones to the Main LR mix, floor wedges, or any live speaker in the room. Where you would send them is directly to P16 channels, where they can be blended into the mix individually by each performer. These ambient signals are also useful for sending to recording mixes, video feeds, or as part of a multitrack recording.

    Hope it helps!

    Best,
    John DiNicola
    Senior Specialist, Product Support
    MUSIC Group
    BEHRINGER

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by John DiNicola View Post
    Hello Bart,
    The problem you are having is common when using IEMs, since they tend to block the user from hearing most ambient sounds. This problem can be solved one of two ways.

    You could use a reverb as you suggest. If set properly, you can create a pleasing vocal sound in the IEMs using the many reverb choices on the X32. If doing so, I would assign the Direct Out of the FX return to a separate P16 channel from the dry vocals to allow the performer to create the blend they want.

    The problem with this approach is that it only solves part of the problem. While the reverb creates the impression of being in a larger space, it doesn't help with making a performer hear and "feel" the actual space they are in. For this reason, the ideal solution is to setup ambient microphones on your stage.

    This can be a single mic but is often a stereo pair of microphones placed on each side of the stage. Directional small-diaphragm condensers, like the BEHRINGER C-2s, C-4s, or B-5s, are often used for this purpose. For more placement tips and mic suggestions, google search "ambient mics for IEM" to find some great articles / forum threads. Because of feedback, be very careful NOT to feed these microphones to the Main LR mix, floor wedges, or any live speaker in the room. Where you would send them is directly to P16 channels, where they can be blended into the mix individually by each performer. These ambient signals are also useful for sending to recording mixes, video feeds, or as part of a multitrack recording.

    Hope it helps!

    Best,
    John DiNicola
    Senior Specialist, Product Support
    MUSIC Group
    BEHRINGER


    John:

    Thanks so much for the quick reply! I do have an ambient mic setup on stage. I believe it is an omni-directional mic though, not a directional one. Is that bad? It is routed only to the P16 monitors. The problem is that when I turn it up enough to hear it the sound is too muddy. Meaning the clarity of what I'm hearing from the band in the P16 channels goes away due to the blend with what is coming from the mic. I believe this is in part due to the natural reverb in the room, and the ambient mic picking up the sound of the band and it having a slight delay, but not sure about that. Could this also be because of the placement of the mic? We have a raised wooden stage, about 3 feet off the floor. We have steps in the center of our stage. The mic (if you are facing the stage) is mounted to the right of the steps about half way up before you reach the top of the stage, so about 1.5 feet from the floor. I drilled a hole into our stage so that the mic could be hidden somewhat. This was the only place I could find to place it. To the left of the stage I have my subwoofer, so that wouldn't work. I also have two speakers sitting to the left and right of the stage on the floor for the people that sit up front so they can hear, as we run a Mono set of 5 speakers dead center hanging down from the ceiling. Our ceiling is so tall that I would have to drop a mic 20' probably to get it close enough to the people so we could hear them so that wouldn't work either. Been wanting to move to a stereo sound but haven't done it yet. I'll do a search for placement as well as check out the mics you guys have.
    Right now I am using the "Hall Effect" for reverb, as well as using the FX1L in the P16 channel for my voice. But I am not also running my voice without the effect as a separate channel. And because I have no clue how to adjust the effect, it sounds terrible to me. Could you send me a "how to" on what each knob does for the reverb effects? I'd also like to try using reverb in the recording bus for the recording mix we have. Thanks again!
    Bart

  4. #4
    Evan Hooton
    Guest

    Chosing boundary microphones and working with the X32 FX unit

    Hello Bart,

    My name is Evan Hooton and I am the House of Worship Product Support Specialist for BEHRINGER. I have been reading your posts and I think it is great that you have decided to make the change to the P16 system. There are so many great things about having this system in a House of Worship and I believe that once you get more familiar with optimizing your setup that you will really be happy with the move.

    If I may, I have a few different scenarios for you and your ambient microphones situation.

    •I would really recommend purchasing a pair of the Directional condenser microphones such as the ones that John had mentioned. The “Muddy” sound that you are having can certainly be attributed to the omni-directional microphone which you are currently using. You want to block out as much of the rear stage volume as possible and focus on the congregation.
    •Placing the directional condenser microphones on the edges far edges of the stage is certainly a great place to mount them. I would recommend purchasing shock-mount clips for these microphones, which will help to further isolate these microphones to only pick up the noise that is in the direction that they are being pointed.
    •Although the goal of boundary microphones is to catch as much of the natural room ambience as possible for reference, I do recommend placing a high pass filter (also referenced as a Low Cut on certain mixing consoles) on these microphone channels to at least 120Hz if not up to 170Hz which will help to clear up the source that you are trying to pick up. If you have the ability to select your frequency point.



    Editing the Hall Reverb FX unit:

    You can find the description of the FX units within the X32 and what each slider does on page 21 of the X32 user manual, which can be downloaded from the X32 product page on behringer.com I have typed up the description below for you to take a look at.

    •The PRE DELAY slider controls the amount of time before the reverberation is heard following the source signal.
    •The DECAY controls the amount of time it takes for the reverb effect to dissipate.
    •The SIZE controls the “perceived” size of the space being created by the reverb effect. This is one of the key controls to set up a reverb, which is as close to the natural reverberation of your room.
    •The DAMP slider adjusts the decay of the high frequencies within the reverb hall. This can also help with creating the “open air” effect of a natural room reverb.
    •The DIFF control or DIFFUSION controls the initial reflection density.
    •The SHAPE adjusts the contour of the reverberation envelope.

    The last two controls help to create the tone of the reverb itself.

    I hope that my advise have helped you get closer to achieving what you are looking to do. Please feel free to message me through the forum or on this post if you ever have any questions about setting anything up in your facility. If possible and you have time, I would really like to get a few pictures of your sanctuary and your X32 and P16 system.

    Looking forward to talking more with you, Bart.

    Evan Hooton
    Specialist, Product Support
    MUSIC Group
    BEHRINGER

  5. #5
    Hi Evan thanks for the advice. I will double check my ambient microphone that I am using to be sure it is the right kind. I am the one that had contacted you over 3 months ago about coming out to our church for the installation & setup of our system. We bought the entire system from Behringer. You had said that you would be able to come and help me set up the X32, the S16s, and the P16s, but it never happened due to your schedule. I have since tried to contact you multiple times with no results. I would still really love to have you come out if that was possible. I sent you another email 3 days ago just to see if you were available, and Chase McKnight has sent you a couple of emails as well but never heard from you. I see from your post that you are in Colorado Springs. I am only 4 hours away from you. Please email me back if possible by checking your email or let me know if there is a better way to communicate with you. Thanks again for the info. By the way, Chase on your support team has been INVALUABLE in helping me over the phone with getting the system setup. I know nothing about sound and he's been great. He is always available and if not calls me back very quickly. We still have a long way to go with properly adjusting the X32 for the best sound. The sound is very flat, and doesn't seem to have the same dynamics as our old analog Allen & Heath board. Everything is working great, but the issue with the IEMs and the overall sound quality we are disappointed with. I know this is probably due to our inexperience in using the system, hence why I've been hoping to set up a time for a visit from you. I am to the point now to where I am going back to wedges, because we simply cannot worship with the sound as is from the P16s. Thanks again for the help, and hope we can connect soon!
    Bart Mitchell
    Centerpoint Church

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