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Aviom vs. Traditional Monitors

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by gafftaper, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I'm advising a church on a system upgrade mostly on the lighting side. They asked me what I think about going Aviom vs. Traditional Monitors. The church has a constantly rotating group of musicians made up of 3 drummers, 6 rhythm guitar players, 3 lead guitar players, 2 bass players, 4 keyboard players, and a dozen lead singers... plus once a month they have an orchestra play.

    I've never used an Aviom system. My feeling is in a situation where so many different amateurs would be using the same gear it makes more sense to stay with a traditional monitor system. There are far less people to train and far less opportunities to screw up the system if the sound op is in control.

    Avioms are cool but it adds a level of complication to the system that isn't worth it. Am I just out of date and old fashioned or is this a logical conclusion?
     
  2. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    I agree with your comments, however I would say that there are some other potentially important factors to consider. One is why are they asking for it? Are they just curious or is there some already perceived need, benefit or desire?

    Another is how might it affect the sound in the room? Are they often fighting stage levels? Do they have the drums in an enclosure, use directs inputs or emulators rather than cabinets on stage, etc.? Would getting floor monitors off the stage potentially help the house sound?

    Then there is the potential impact on the operator(s). Do they have multiple operators like they do for the musicians? How many monitor mixes do they use? Would taking the onus for mixing monitors off the FOH operator help?

    Finally, there are the physical aspects. Are they perhaps wanting more different mixes than their current equipment and system can provide? Or just want to clean up the stage?

    Personal monitor systems may be more complex technically but they are less complex in the sense that they remove the monitor mixing burden from the FOH operator, along with any potential conflict over the monitor mixes. In some cases it is also more an ego than technical matter with the musicians having independent control over their own mix so they can "more me" all they want (and blame no one but themselves for the results).

    I definitely agree that in many ways a personal monitor system would be more difficult with multiple, changing musicians. Not just more people to train, but my earphones, etc. But a traditional monitor mix would also be more difficult in that scenario and in some ways avoiding the FOH operator having to think about who is there and their individual preferences may be easier.
     
  3. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Thanks as always Brad. You've given me some great questions to feed them to help inform their decision. I have the feeling the desire came out of a slick glossy ad they saw somewhere about the cool stuff other churches are doing and not out of a clear understanding of all the potential benefits and complications of the switch.
     
  4. howlingwolf487

    howlingwolf487 Active Member

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    If you think it is a good idea, then the church will most likely look for the cheapest way to get it done. The cheapest I would ever go with is the Hearback system. We have it in our touring rig for my university and it works pretty well. It's not the most durable and stuff has broken from rough handling, but in an install situation like you speak of, I think it there wouldn't be a problem.

    If you have to give them an estimate, I would make it higher than you think you need it to be, that way if (but more-than-likely WHEN) they gawk at the price to do it right, you can lower it and keep them happy.

    I think that this would be a good way to go about it. It puts the responsibility on the performers as far as monitors go and takes the onus off of the sound person. They have to remember to have their earbuds/earmolds and maybe some general settings, but overall I feel it is something they can handle with some explanation.

    Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
     
  5. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    If this is the kind of church I think it is, I don't think money will be any issue. I would say, go with it it. If they can afford it, it will make things go much easier for everyone. Most churches are now getting to the point where they need a dedicated monitor engineer, this somewhat takes care of that issue. Most musicians can pick up these systems pretty easily, just be sure that you don't have an engineer who likes to move things around a lot. Most churches want a set it and forget it type system, this ties into that pretty well.
     
  6. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I could contend that merely having Aviom does not actually eliminate all the burden from FOH. You only have 16 channels and I'm guessing if the are considering Aviom then they are going to have more than that in inputs, so there will need to be sends generated to feed the Aviom.

    That said, the pods have 16 slots of scene storage and so each drummer or whatever could have their scene stored in the drum pod and then when they're on, they recall it and have most of their mix done, needing only to tweak it based on what's different to last time.

    Like anything else, ups and downs. Shame they can't make the pod a fraction bigger and stick Ethercon on the back :twisted:
     
  7. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    You are correct that it may not eliminate the burden, but it typically significantly reduces it. In most cases there are much fewer adjustments necessary to any aux sends, they are pretty much set for a certain mix and left alone versus being constantly adjusted for individuals. It can also greatly reduce having to worry about feedback from floor monitors and in some cases, by reducing the stage levels make mixing for the house easier. I know one person running sound for a band on national tour who has gotten them to the point that there are no speakers on stage (there physically are due to endorsement agreements, but they are just for show) because he finds this makes it so much easier to get a good house mix in any venue.

    The HearBack system is less expensive, but not as flexible and my understanding is that it is also currently quite difficult to get, supplies are backordered although that may not be a factor for your application. There are also the ProCo Momentum system and the new personal monitor system that Roland introduced to integrate with their digital snake and M-400 mixer systems.

    Probably the biggest drawbacks to personal monitor systems are often the quantities of personal mixers required and dealing with changing personnel during a performance. This is why many churches go with a hybrid system, they may use a personal monitor system for some of the musicians but floor monitors for soloists or certain groups of performers (for example the background vocalists or horn section may get a couple of floor monitors rather than four or five personal monitors). And acceptance of in-ear monitoring by bassists and drummers is often improved if they also have some sort of tactile feedback such as the ButtKicker platform and throne systems.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Actually this isn't that kind of a church. It's a church with a 40 year old building doing a remodel and while they are at it they are throwing a little money at lighting, sound and video. They've been overloading the same little shoebox dimmers for over 20 years ("NEVER bring this slider above 60%"). They've got a monstrous old video projector that I doubt puts out 1k. Audio is all haphazard... clearly a system built $500 at a time over 20 years. However, the best part of this church is the bright grass green carpet in the sanctuary! Oh yeah, nothing screams "remodel me" like a green carpet.
     
  9. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Much like the wonderous shag carpeting of the 1970's?

    ~Dave
     
  10. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    My experiences are somewhat jaded. My experiences with Aviom have been with it used as a part of the monitor system with 16 sends generated by the monitor engineer. I realise this is probably not the normal application (heck most people don't need 200 ch off stage;)).

    We commonly run an aviom pod to either a pair of active Tannoys or we've used Nexo PS8s and an amp on occasion too and this is used for the monitors for the orchestra conductor. We typically also provide the conductor with a second pod and headphones because a click track coming out of wedges does not go too well...

    We also regularly do BVs through an Aviom pod and a headphone amp to feed 3, 4 whatever BVs. One gig uses a pod for the males and one for the females and 4 pair of headphones each.

    Tis a system that used right gives one many options (but I've had bad experiences with mixed mkI and mkII systems so get it all the same, preferably mkII...)
     
  11. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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    If wedges are being used, do not give them Aviom. They'll turn things up until they cause feedback, or at least make a mess on stage. If they are on ears, they'll need a little training, but I'd go for it.

    From the user and installer comments I've read, I'd definitely go Aviom instead of hearback.
     

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