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Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

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Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby PapaTom » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:26 pm

I traded in my bulky, heavy powered wedge monitor with the intention of buying a small, stand-mounted "Hot Spot" - type monitor, but now I don't know which one to get!

I just need presenters and the occasional vocalist (National Anthem) to be able to hear themselves outdoors, but I don't want to have to put their mics through the monitor before the mixer. Personal monitors like the Mackie SRM150 are too much like mini PA systems. I want to run a single mix from the Monitor Out on my board into a little monitor in front of the stage and be done with it. No ability for the speaker/singer to tweak their own mix, etc. They will get what they get and THEY WILL LIKE IT! (That's sort of an American expression, for those who think I've lost my mind.)

Budget is about $250 (US). Any recommendations? Even the classic Galaxy Hot Spot doesn't seem to fit the bill anymore.
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Re: Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:28 pm

I have three TC Helicon VoiceLive fx150 mini monitors, they are probably more sophisticated than you need and a little over budget but quality is good and you can use them for anything from 'more me' mic stand monitors to conventional aux fed boxes. I even use a pair as FOH for small acoustic gigs and as acoustic guitar or electric piano amps.

I think you are probably going to have to live with some extra features you don't need TBH but the TC VS boxes or Mackies et al are probably going to be your best option.
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Re: Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby PapaTom » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:16 am

I'd have to look a little further into them, but I don't think the Mackies provide a way to feed them from the mixer's Monitor Out. It seems you can only plug mics and Line Level equipment into the monitor FIRST, then feed one channel of the board. That makes no sense to me!
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Re: Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby ef37a » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:48 am

https://www.canford.co.uk/Products/76-3 ... anding-IEC

UK of course but might have a US agent. You did not want a volume knob but if you leave it at max and drive it accordingly they can only turn themselves down!

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Re: Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby Watchmaker » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:03 am

ef37a wrote:they can only turn themselves down!

Amen
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Re: Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby PapaTom » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:17 am

That Canford doesn't really look like it's intended to be a vocal stage monitor. Besides, they don't seem to have a US distributor.
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Re: Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby ef37a » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:20 am

PapaTom wrote:That Canford doesn't really look like it's intended to be a vocal stage monitor. Besides, they don't seem to have a US distributor.

Ah! Well when you said you wanted to get away from "bulky, heavy..." I looked for small and bijoux?

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Re: Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:32 am

PapaTom wrote:I don't think the Mackies provide a way to feed them from the mixer's Monitor Out!

Yes they do. The hook-up diags from the manual explains how:

http://mackie.com/sites/default/files/P ... 50_HUD.pdf

It seems you can only plug mics and Line Level equipment into the monitor FIRST, then feed one channel of the board. That makes no sense to me!

It's a very versatile monitor/mixer which can accept mic, guitar and/or line inputs directly, in any combination, and can also (if required) provide a mixed line level feed output for an external speaker or mixer or recorder. It can be used in many different configurationsnand applications and it makes perfect sense...

H
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Re: Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby PapaTom » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:37 am

I don't know how I didn't see that MAIN IN the first few times I scanned the back of the Mackie photo.

Hey, Hugh...in the words of Norm from A Hard Day's Night, "STOP BEIN' SMAHHRTER THAN ME!!!"
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Re: Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby Mike Stranks » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:57 am

Just to add a :thumbup: for the Mackie and the clones it's spawned....

I've seen them used in multiple situations. A versatile little monitor/system...
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Re: Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:11 am

PapaTom wrote:I don't know how I didn't see that MAIN IN the first few times I scanned the back of the Mackie photo.

It (and most other personal monitors like it) can be used with a line level Aux Send from the mixing desk by using a normal line input on the front panel. In the case if the SRM150, the rear panel 'Main In' is just another balanced line level input which gets mixed with the three front-panel inputs.

H
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Re: Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby PapaTom » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:40 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
PapaTom wrote:I don't know how I didn't see that MAIN IN the first few times I scanned the back of the Mackie photo.

It (and most other personal monitors like it) can be used with a line level Aux Send from the mixing desk by using a normal line input on the front panel. In the case if the SRM150, the rear panel 'Main In' is just another balanced line level input which gets mixed with the three front-panel inputs.

H

Yeah, that's perfect. I didn't want any wires plugged into the front, facing the performers.
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Re: Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby Dave B » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:22 pm

Another +1 for the SRM150s. In fact, I'm a +2 as I have a couple of them. As stated above, you can feed a signal straight from an Aux into the input in the back at a level you can control. You can always just put a couple of strips of gaffer tape over the main panel ... ;)
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Re: Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby Paul99f » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:04 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
PapaTom wrote:I don't know how I didn't see that MAIN IN the first few times I scanned the back of the Mackie photo.

It (and most other personal monitors like it) can be used with a line level Aux Send from the mixing desk by using a normal line input on the front panel. In the case if the SRM150, the rear panel 'Main In' is just another balanced line level input which gets mixed with the three front-panel inputs.

H

Surely there would be a feedback loop if using Channel 1 to send to a PA via Thru, then receiving a monitor feed via Main 1? The block diagram shows Main 1 is also fed to Thru
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Re: Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:56 pm

You can safely use the mic in/thru to feed the mic signal to the monitor in 'more me' mode and a desk fed mix as on the TC VoiceSolo at least, the line in is not routed to the thru output. For a feedback loop to exist, the desk mix would have to be routed to the thru output.

I suspect that diagram in the Mackie manual may be wrong (I'll download it and have a look later maybe).

edit :- I think you are right, the manual says "11. THRU Connector
This is a male XLR connector that produces the main signal just prior to the EQ [7] controls and the MAIN LEVEL [6] control. The signal at the THRU connector includes the input signals connected to channels 1-3 [1/2] and the MAIN IN [13] signal.

Use this connector to patch the signal from the SRM150 to another SRM150 or other active loudspeaker (like an SRM350 or SRM450), or to a mixer."

That means the SRM150, unlike the VoiceSolo, can't be used as a 'more me' monitor in conjunction with a desk mix and can only be used for a single vocal......
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Re: Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:16 pm

Paul99f wrote:Surely there would be a feedback loop if using Channel 1 to send to a PA via Thru, then receiving a monitor feed via Main 1?

Yes there would... so you have to wire it into the rest of the system intelligently! ;-) It is a very versatile unit, but that means it can be used in myriad ways and misuse risks howrounds or other potential problems.

The idea of the Thru output is to pass on a line-level mix of whatever sources you have connected to the SRM150's inputs to feed some other device.

The handbook illustrates this with an example of connecting the user's vocal mic and instrument to the SRM's front panel inputs, so the unit can provide local artist monitoring, and then use the Thru output to feed a PA speaker for the audience -- making a very simple and self-contained performance system with local control.

An alternative configuration might involve feeding the SRM150's rear-panel Main Input from a desk's Aux send to provide a local artist monitor, and use the Thru output to feed a second floor monitor either for another performer or for the same one but in a different position on the stage....

When working with an FOH mixing console, you wouldn't normal route the vocal mic/instrument directly through the SRM, firstly because this would remove control of the vocal/instrument balance from the FOH mixer, but also because of the potential howlround issue you mention. In this situation, the sources would normally be connected straight into the mixing desk and the SRM would then receive an Aux send for monitoring purposes so everything is controlled from the desk, with no risk of howlrounds!

H
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Re: Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:23 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:You can safely use the mic in/thru to feed the mic signal to the monitor in 'more me' mode and a desk fed mix as on the TC VoiceSolo at least, the line in is not routed to the thru output.

It is, apparently, in the Mackie (diag from manual below). There are both pros and cons to routing the external line input to the Thru output, so neither option is right or wrong; they just offer different benefits and limitations.

Mackie SRM150 block diag.jpg


That means the SRM150, unlike the VoiceSolo, can't be used as a 'more me' monitor in conjunction with a desk mix and can only be used for a single vocal......

Not at all. It can certainly used as a 'more me' monitor. But you would need to split the mic and/or instrument inputs to feed both the SRM and FOH mixer independently, rather than use the Thru output to feed (a mixed signal to) the mixer. You would then provide an 'everyone else' monitor feed to the SRM via the main input.

But personally, I'd much rather work this way, anyway, even with the VoiceSolo, to ensure artists tweaking on the personal monitor can't mess up the FOH mix!

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Re: Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby PapaTom » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:46 pm

I don't want it to be a "More Me" monitor. I just want to send one monitor mix from my board to the SRM150. The problem has already been solved.

That said, when I went to buy the SRM150 at Guitar Center (a big retailer here in the US), the demo model was fried, so the salesman showed me the Behringer 205D. I'm not a fan of Behringer - albeit only because so many people have horror stories to tell about their gear - but after hearing the salesman's fifteen-minute love letter to Behringer, I decided to take it home and check it out. I also read a bunch of reviews, all of which were 4 and 5-stars. Many compared it favorably to the Mackie.

In reality, though, that thing is pretty distorted. Are they all like that? If so, I want my bulky old floor monitor back!
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Re: Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby CS70 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:21 pm

My bass player got these, https://www.gear4music.com/PA-DJ-and-Li ... nitor/1M2N, cheap and cheerful and make live setup much easier than with big wedges.

I don't see what's the big deal of running them from an AUX but they have a "thru" XLR so you can just as well simply run the main mix thru them I guess.
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Re: Powered Personal Monitor for Vocalists and Speakers?

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:24 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:You can safely use the mic in/thru to feed the mic signal to the monitor in 'more me' mode and a desk fed mix as on the TC VoiceSolo at least, the line in is not routed to the thru output.

It is, apparently, in the Mackie (diag from manual below). There are both pros and cons to routing the external line input to the Thru output, so neither option is right or wrong; they just offer different benefits and limitations.

Mackie SRM150 block diag.jpg


That means the SRM150, unlike the VoiceSolo, can't be used as a 'more me' monitor in conjunction with a desk mix and can only be used for a single vocal......

Not at all. It can certainly used as a 'more me' monitor. But you would need to split the mic and/or instrument inputs to feed both the SRM and FOH mixer independently, rather than use the Thru output to feed (a mixed signal to) the mixer. You would then provide an 'everyone else' monitor feed to the SRM via the main input.

But personally, I'd much rather work this way, anyway, even with the VoiceSolo, to ensure artists tweaking on the personal monitor can't mess up the FOH mix!

H

Me too as sound engineer but the thru on VoiceSolo does send a clean mic feed to the desk You are right, of course, with the SRM a mic split would solve the problem (which is what, effectively, the VoiceSolo does internally) should you want to give the talent some control (which I do when said talent is me ;) )

PapaTom, these little boxes are not going to give you the same levels as a full on floor monitor but at sub-rock band levels the VS at least, is loud enough and doesn't distort. If the Berry is distorting it may be that it's faulty but more likely that either the gain structure wrong or you are just expecting too much of it. For the record I'm not a particular fan of Behringer speakers but have three of their digital mixers which are excellent.
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