Reply To: Reverb in Mons from FOH

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It’s basically the same as what GCumbee’s doing, but I have a dedicated FX engine for it instead of sending the monitors an FX return that’s also being used in FOH. If you use the FOH FX the sends to the FX will be post-fade while the dry signal in the monitors will be pre-fade, meaning the wet/dry balance will change as faders are adjusted in the FOH mix.

Say your FX engines 1-4 are set up as “Hall” “Plate” “Repeat” “Slap” and you’re using those for the FOH mix. You’re sending the lead vocal to the “Plate” and “Repeat”, so If he wants some reverb in his monitors you can turn up the return for “Plate”. The issue with this is that if you turn up his channel fader in the FOH mix the post-fade FX send will produce more reverb in the “Plate” engine but the pre-fade monitor send will stay at the same level so his mix will get wetter.

You also get a more minor issue in that if you adjust the FOH plate reverb parameters you’ll also be affecting what the singer’s hearing in his monitor, though this may be appropriate depending on the gig.

What I do is to have a fifth FX engine labelled “MonFX” that I won’t be using in the FOH mix, so the monitor reverb won’t be changing without the band asking for it to, and I can set up specific settings for it to maintain clarity as much as possible. This is set up as a pre-fade send so FOH fader moves will not affect the amount of signal hitting the FX engine, hence will not affect the monitors. The thing to keep in mind is that if they want to hear 6dB more of themselves you’ll also want to manually turn them up 6dB in the “MonFX” send.

The return channel for this engine is put into all the mixes at “0” send level before I even start. If someone wants reverb in their monitor I just turn them up in the “MonFX” send which sends them to FX engine 5, which returns to “MonFX” return, which is being sent to all the monitors. This means that everyone gets that reverb but I can always take the return out of individual mixes if someone doesn’t want it. “MonFX” return is not assigned anywhere other than the monitor mixes.

I personally put the FX returns over in the left-hand fader bank as they are inputs to the mix and so it makes more sense to me that way. The exception to this is with my “MonFX” faders, both send and return live beside my monitor auxes in on the right bank to help mentally separate the two.

Everyone in the band is still sharing one “reverb mix” so I can’t give one person more snare reverb than vocal reverb and vice versa for somebody else, but this works about as well as I think can be expected in a Mons from FOH situation given that the next real step up would be to have an FX engine (or more) per monitor mix.

I suppose if you had very dedicated reverbs for specific groups of instruments and a pretty static FOH mix then using those returns could be a good option, but I too often find myself having to make quick changes once the event starts so I’m personally not as comfortable with having FOH changes affect the monitors.

I suspect I’ve made this sound more complicated than it actually is, 🙂