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David Mellor in Sound on Sound Magazine!

David Mellor continues his 20-year relationship with top recording mag Sound on Sound with a massive feature on live sound monitoring.

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It probably hasn't escaped your attention that Sound on Sound produces a live sound supplement free every three months. And of course live sound relates to recording because that's the best way to get your music 'out there' and noticed.

Monitoring is a tricky subject. The band members need to hear each other with perfect clarity, but that clarity is is surprisingly difficult to achieve. And the more experienced the band, the more demanding they are of a monitor engineer.

In small-scale systems, monitor mixing is done by the front-of-house (FOH) mix engineer - as if he doesn't have enough work on his hands already!

In larger systems, there will be a dedicated monitor console at the side of the stage with simply masses of auxiliary sends.

Monitoring can be done in the traditional way with wedge loudspeakers at the performers' feet. Or it can be done with 'in-ear' monitors, which are great for clarity but pose their own particular problems.

Sound checking monitors is a procedure that isn't given as much attention as it needs. Often all the attention is on the front-of-house mix, and the monitor engineer just has to do the best he can.

But there is often a difference between the monitor sound at the sound check, and the sound that the band hears during the show. There's a simple reason for this, but not every monitor engineer knows it. And to get the monitors right does need the cooperation of the FOH engineer, so a good relationship between the monitor engineer and FOH engineer is vital.

There's much more in the feature in Sound on Sound Live - a massive seven pages, making it by far the biggest feature in the mag, and also the cover feature.

David Mellor, if you don't know already, is the publisher of Audio Masterclass, packed with tips for everything you need to work in a pro recording studio, or make professional recordings in your home recording studio

By David Mellor Sunday December 11, 2005
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