Need more vocal in your monitor? Many musicians are comfortable turning Bass, Mid and Treble knobs or putting a "smiley" on the 10-band graphic built into their powered mixer and turning the knob labeled "MON" up until it sounds loud enough to them.

But what about when you are on a larger stage where there is a sound crew providing your monitor mixes for you? 
 
How often do musicians complain about "bad monitors"? First, a common thought is it’s the Monitor Engineer’s fault that the monitors sounded like "crap". Well yes, an experienced monitor engineer can make the world of difference in the on-stage sound, but its really the musician that mixes the monitors and the engineer that operates them all thru one medium…
 
COMMUNICATION! 
 
So as a Musician you can make your monitoring experience a more pleasant one by understanding how to better communicate with the Mon/FOH engineer by learning a few simple things. 
 
1) Learn where your Monitors are being controlled from! 
If there is an on stage monitor mixer, figure out where it is located and befriend the guy behind it!!! I can’t tell you how many times I have had musicians speak into the mic looking at me at FOH asking for things in their monitors when 15 feet away is a guy who is there to give the performers all of his attention for what ever they may need. 
 
2) If you do need something in your monitors during a performance step away from the mic and make eye contact with the monitor engineer and communicate without announcing to the audience that you need "more bass vocal in the monitor" 
In the situation where the Monitors are from FOH, be kind to the guy. He is mixing the show, trying to present you to the audience as best as he can AND handle your 2,3, or 4 monitor mixes at the same time. 
The difference between "can you turn the bass up?" and "may I get more bass guitar in my monitor" is huge! Especially for the perception of the audience, you never want psycho-acoustics to come into play and have people thinking the bass doesn’t sound right, when it was just fine and you only wanted a little more in your mix –This really happens! 
 
3) Even from the Stage communicating with the FOH guy can be done with out talking into the Mic (obviously not if you cant see him) always try to use common gestures that the engineer will understand.
 
What are the gestures? Tune in next time for more. These tips provided by Georgia sound guy Michael Glaster.
 

Originally posted 2010-05-14 22:23:50.