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Articles July-August 2020

Bay Owl Studios – Not Just Music by the Bay

Launched in February 2020, Bay Owl Studios was founded by Varun Parikh who is an audio engineer and had no significant musical influence while growing up. His first exposure to music came when he was in high school..... read more

Harman all the Way

India’s First Domestic Hotel Chain – the Luxurious MAYFAIR Lake Resort – hires Qubix Technologies to provide state-of-the-art, end-to-end Integration with HARMAN Professional Solutions. PT reports..... read more

ANGRIYA Cruises the Seas with Bose

Latest cruise ships are teaming with audiovisual technology designed to keep passengers awed and coming back for more. In this feature PT reports on the audio installation of one such cruise ship - The Angriya Luxury Cruise Liner..... read more

Sennheiser 75-year Milestone

June 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of the foundation of Sennheiser, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of headphones, loudspeakers, microphones and wireless transmission systems. Through these 75 years, Sennheiser..... read more

Adiyogi Divya Darshanam Continues to Raise Standards

Since it’s unveiling in 2019 by the President of India Shri Ram NathKovind, the Adiyogi Divya Darshanam has enthralled spectators from across the globe. In May this year, this one of its kind projection mapping..... read more

Shankar & Siddharth Mahadevan’s Lambodara Studios

In the March-June 2020 issue of PALM Technology, PT did a cover story on Shankar and Siddharth Mahadevan’s new studio Lambodara. Here are some more images of the new studio..... read more

Acoustic and Audio System Design for Small Rooms- Part 2

In part 1 of this series we defined a small room, introduced the concept of sound waves as they relate to phase shift and comb filtering, and even touched on the Haas (precedence) effect. In this article, we will talk..... read more

IRAA 2020 Goes Virtual

PALM expo’s concern to ensure safety from ongoing pandemic mandated cancelation of the 2020 edition of PALM expo and in the best interest of the industry and business, decided not to move forward with the expo in 2020, carrying forward the show to May 2021..... read more

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The Art, Science & Psychology Of Monitor Mixing

While this goes to post the Monitor Mixing Summit 2019 will be over, I hope this Summit will change our attitude, workflow and planning to give the artistes a fantastic sounding stage mix, be it in their in-ears or in their wedges or both. Whilst some have been doing a great job mixing monitors for top tier acts in India, for many others Monitor Mixing is a ‘Black Art’ and for most there is a fear/ambiguity of sending audio signals down artistes ears for the fear of being reprimanded, yelled at or subjugated to an artiste intolerant to any problems with monitoring whether it is their fault or not.

How do you please somebody or an entire bands acoustic palette is where the blend of the art, science & phycology of good monitoring is and it really starts with the most fundamental thing of good gear to begin with following into the prep of the racks and panels to have a easy setup into a good workflow around your console and finally into the most crucial aspect of monitor mixing, your talent as an engineer and your relationship with the artiste

I always speak about relationship with the artiste first as they all vary and the variable is very high, sometimes even bizarre, they all like what they like and have their own mental energies on stage, for some if it’s a good gig its good sound, for others if it’s a great sounding show they ‘perform’ if its bad sounding they ‘play’ and for some they don’t give quite a damn how its in the house as long as they are sounding comfortable in their ears.

For an Monitor Engineer he has many roles to play, first he needs to instill confidence into the artistes that he will do everything to make them sonically comfortable, he then has to prove every night that he is still the right man for the job no matter what the circumstance of acoustics, gear, ambient noise or audience may offer. This starts a long journey in a process of building trust & confidence in you and that is the most important aspect the artiste looks for in an individual mixing their monitors.

In India people are crestfallen and lose confidence when they lose their seat in Monitorland, most of the time they are not told the truth as to why they aren’t on the job anymore and that they may never ever find out, they are sometimes even reinstated back after trying others to realize they were the right ones for the job after all. Well don’t be upset even in the US & Europe the same rules apply from changing engineers after the first gig, to mid way during the tour to the next tour to even sticking with their Monitor Engineers for two decades. The rules are “there are no rules” even wanton decisions are taken, from having a bad day and letting go the best man for the job.

I can assure you that you should never lose heart and learn from your mistakes evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and if you have hit dead end seek help from a veteran.

Technically in my opinion great monitor engineers are cats that understand gain structure extremely well and buss structure & matrixing architecture, this is the clinical part of the mix. The second skills are authority over the signal chain, the equalisation, the compression and gating and the tertiary skills are the creative aspect of reverbs & delays and ambient sounds hitting their ears.

I am also given to understand many guys still mix running Auxiliary’s pre-fader and my sincere request to you is stop doing what your doing because that is a grave injustice to the artiste, if it works for you that’s ok but it isn’t good for artiste monitoring. If you are not using snapshots, can you really do such an exceptional job? Do you know the songs well and your so quick on your cues that you never miss a solo or a fader revision The truth is you will and even the guys who do snapshots they constantly improvising their running snapshot whilst the gig is on as well as updating the snapshot many times during a song, making it more & more ‘show ready’

The physcological aspect of monitor mixing is a game changer for the pros and separates the veterans from the rookies, they know exactly what the artist is missing by merely looking at their faces and the artistes too expect them to understand them likewise. They get the sign language in a jiffy from everyone in the band and they focus on looking at them and less head down on the control surface. The approach their changes very well, they understand the difference between a coarse volume changes to a fine change to a hairpin change. They are so good that even with confidence they reduce levels of other channels when artistes want to hear their own voices louder instead of increasing the vocal volume. Some monitor engineers are like the trusted family doctor that when the artiste even sees them he already feels his mix will be good.

Talent, Hard Work a Great Personality & a little bit of Luck!! And off you go Mr. /MS Monitor Engineer

Warren D’souza - Founder, Managing Director, & Working Member of Sound.Com
Instagram @warrendsouza
#AudioEvangelist
#SoundGuyForLife


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