Educate Your Sound Crew
Mixing for IEMs is quite different than
mixing for wedges. The good thing is that
you’re not managing feedback with EQ in
ways that can tank sound quality. The challenging
bit is that you’re practically mixing a
record with every show. You’ll have to bring
guitar solos up, and ride vocals so the singer
can hear soft passages and not get blasted
by screams. Featured vocals and instruments
should be compressed individually before
the master (safety) limiter to ensure nothing
jumps out of the band mix. Also, singers can
get too comfortable with hearing their voices
so clearly, and they may back off somewhat.
It helps to mix the vocal so that the singer
has to push a little to get on top of the mix.
Savvy panning can help separate and clarify
instruments, and a bit of reverb will add some
comfy dimension to the vocals and drums. To
negate aural claustrophobia, some pro mixers
even set up audience mics to feed the sound
of the room into the IEM mix.
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