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In this episode of Sound Design Live, I speak with monitor mixer, educator, writer, and musician Nicholas Radina from Cincinnati, OH. We discuss his best tips for easy in-ear monitor setup and get deep into wireless frequency coordination and strategies for mixing wireless IEMs(in-ear monitors). I ask:
- How did you get your first job in audio?
- Looking back on your career so far, what’s one of the best decisions you made to get more of the work that you really love?
- What are some of the biggest mistakes you see people making who are new to mixing wireless IEMs?
- Could you walk us through your process of wireless frequency coordination?
- What are some of the specific challenges of working with O.A.R.?
- From Facebook
- ANDY: How necessary are audience mics?
- ANDY: Corporate RF vs rock-n-roll RF
- ANDY: Advice for mixing monitors from FOH, especially 6 or more mixes
- STEVE: What console are you talking about with OAR and riding the fader?
- STEVE: What do you bring to eat on long gigs?
The idea is to make the tuning situation as close as how it will be for the end user.
- All music in this episode by ¡ZUMBA!, Salsa Caliente/Dan Barger, and Nicholas Radina.
- What do I do if a band comes in with a surprise IEM pack that they want me to mix for?
- Give them a stereo mix.
- Try to discourage them from using one plug in and one plug out.
- Find out how many outputs they need and if you can actually accommodate that.
- Make sure you have the right gain structure between your desk and the ears.
- 9 Tips for Easy In-Ear Monitor Setup.
- RF Coordination: Get it right. Using coordination software will keep everyone playing nice together and reveal local digital TV stations.
- Sonic Image: Pan instruments appropriately in relationship to where they are on stage.
- Gain staging: Make sure nothing looks crazy, for example the player’s pack volume is at 10, but your output is at 2.
- Don’t try to monitor at the same level as the musicians. Instead, check in at their level occasionally, then back it down. That’s why my right hand is always on the cue fader.
- Be careful with compression, especially on singers. Keep it light. Dynamics are where it’s at.
- Don’t leave microphones open that are not being used.
- Make sure your audience microphones are in phase.
- Make sure the pack settings are consistent from pack to pack.
- Always coordinate spare frequencies and keep a spare pack and wireless mic ready. Keep a spare output on a matrix so you can route any mix to the spare pack.
- Hardware: Midas Pro X, Pro 2, SC48, Profile, Yamaha CL, Yamaha QL, Yamaha PM5D, RF Explorer, Porter & Davies tactile monitoring system.
- Software: Shure Wireless Workbench, Flux Stereo Tool.
- My Shure wireless coordination workflow–in 120 seconds!
- Turn off all wireless transmitters.
- Scan with an IEM pack at the performer’s position on stage.
- Sync that pack to the receiver.
- Repeat steps 2-3 with all IEMs.
- Scan with your instrument receivers.
- A lot of opportunities come up because you are available.
- Experience is it. You have to be in the belly of the beast and do the gigs.
- If what’s coming off the deck isn’t good, it’s hard to make it better, but it is your job to try.
- You feel like if you say no, the phone is going to stop ringing.
- Seek out the music that you like and the work you really want to do instead of the gigs that pay well that you don’t like.
- If you are always waiting for when you’re ready enough or good enough, you’re going to miss opportunities. Just trust yourself and do it.
- You need to have your own IEM.
- I do recommend that people buy stuff as low [in frequency] as possible because they keeping hacking off from the top down. So the lower you go, the safer you’ll be for the long term.
- #1 tip for mixing monitors from FOH: split channels.
- This interview was originally recorded live on FB. You can watch the video here.
My Shure wireless coordination workflow–in 120 seconds!