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Old 10-25-2012, 09:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 18
Default What is Mon on a console?

I'm guessing it stands for monitor. I understand now that you have the line which goes through a channel, and I assume that's the audio. Then why does monitor have it's own line? Why are there, EQ, mute and pan buttons for monitor?

I'm not even writing a paper, I just don't get this stuff. And my teacher is not very good at explaining it. I asked for a tutor but that plan seems to have fallen through.

It's a little frustrating. I can't afford to start slipping in these classes now. Everything else i at least understand what it is and why it's there. Right now, my guess is that monitor has to do with monitoring the audio? Why does it have it's own line then? What's it's signel flow? I can put the monitor line through auxerery and insert sends? Is that something people do? That makes me feel like the mon channel has to be something other then what I think it is. Like I can add effects, shelf it, compress it, pan it... so that means it goes into the finished mix, somehow...

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Old 10-25-2012, 02:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,633

Musicians often rely on stage monitors to be able to hear themselves. When you're stood 4 feet in front of 2 4x12" guitar amps and a 1x15" bass cab, its often far too loud to hear yourself sing, and obviously there's little physical feedback from your voice to make sure you're singing the right notes. In comparison, a guitarist can just look and see his fingers in the right place, or feel the frets under his fingers.

When a musician or singer refers to monitoring, they're usually referring to their in-ears or front-of-stage speakers, that direct the finished mix BACK at them so that they can hear themselves sing.

For example:

If I'm singing in Dragonforce, and I don't have monitors, my only way to hear myself is to either hear the PA, which is facing away from me, at the audience, or to have the rest of the band be playing quietly enough I can hear my own voice.

Obviously this isn't going to happen at the volume levels a rock band gigs at, so if I have monitors, the stage instruments are mic'd up, I'm mic'd up, and there are either in-ear monitors or front-of-stage speakers, that redirect the sound of my microphone, and the other instruments, back into my ears, so I can hear if I'm out of tune. I can also clearly hear what my other band members are doing, so that if they **** up I can react properly. For example, if they play the chorus riff too many times, I can hear that, and sing the chorus again, instead of making us all sound bad by singing the wrong part of the wrong riff. In essence, it allows the band to work as a unit that reacts to itself, rather than having each band member only focus on their own playing.

Sufficiently well-funded bands will have all members use in-ear monitors so that they can hear each other as clearly as possible, and make any adjustments to their playing that they may need to. In-ear monitors are also effective hearing protection, as they often block out almost all outside noise, allowing the monitor mix the musicians hear, to be low volume and not hurt their hearing. Some more advanced applications of monitoring also allow the stage tech to talk to the band through the monitors, informing them of anything they may need to know mid-gig, such as if a guitar isn't ready yet, or if the venue want them to do shoutouts, or get people to stop stagediving, etc.

The monitor channel on your mixer is the source output for all of this.
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