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Music Production

Best Live Audio Monitoring 

Photograph of the blog post author, Annika Hope

Annika Hope

21.3.2023

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Audio Monitoring

What Is Audio Monitoring?

Live audio monitoring in music is a process that involves monitoring the sound levels of an audio signal in real-time. This is done to ensure that the audio levels remain consistent and that any unwanted noise is minimized. This process is especially important in live performances, where the sound engineer must be able to adjust the audio levels quickly and accurately in order to keep the performance sounding its best. Live audio monitoring can also be used in recording studios and other audio production environments to ensure that the audio signal is accurately captured.

Live Audio Monitoring allows users to monitor audio tracks, or a MIDI input on MIDI tracks, in real-time. This allows users to hear the audio or MIDI signal as it is being recorded, or while playing back a project. This feature is especially useful for recording vocals or instruments, as it allows the user to hear the signal as it is being recorded and make adjustments accordingly. Live Audio Monitoring also allows users to monitor the signal of a MIDI track in real time, which is useful for playing virtual instruments or triggering sound effects.

Live audio monitoring is a vital part of any musical performance. It allows musicians to hear themselves and each other onstage, as well as the audience, in order to ensure that the music is being heard as intended.

Options Available For Live Audio Monitoring 

IEMs

The most common is the use of in-ear monitors or IEMs. These are small earpieces worn by each musician which are connected to a personal mix system. This allows each musician to customize their own mix of instruments and vocals, allowing them to hear exactly what they need to in order to play their best. Here are a few you can try below. 

Sennheiser IE 100 PRO – $ 149.95

The Sennheiser IE 100 PRO in-ear monitors are a great choice for anyone looking for a high-quality in-ear monitoring solution. These monitors offer excellent sound quality, with a wide frequency range and a balanced sound. They also feature a comfortable fit, with a secure fit and a comfortable earpiece. Additionally, they are lightweight and easy to transport, making them ideal for on-the-go monitoring. The Sennheiser IE 100 PRO in-ear monitors are a great solution for anyone looking for a reliable and high-quality in-ear monitoring solution.

Shure SE215 Wireless Sound Isolating™ Earphones – $99.00

The Shure SE215 Wireless Sound Isolating™ Earphones are designed for in-ear monitoring and feature a secure, over-the-ear design for a comfortable fit. The earphones provide excellent sound isolation, blocking up to 37 dB of external noise. The detachable cable features a 3-button remote and microphone for easy control of music and phone calls. The earphones are compatible with most smartphones and other devices and feature a rechargeable battery with up to 8 hours of listening time. The earphones also come with a carrying case and a 1-year limited warranty.

Audio Technica ATH-E70 – $39.99

The Audio Technica ATH-E70 in-ear monitors are a great choice for musicians and audiophiles alike. They offer excellent sound quality, a comfortable fit, and a durable design. The sound signature of the ATH-E70 is balanced, with good clarity and detail. The bass is punchy, and the highs are smooth and clear. The mids are slightly recessed, but still, present enough detail to make them an enjoyable listening experience. The build quality of the ATH-E70 is excellent, with solid construction and a durable cable. The earpieces are comfortable and fit securely in the ear. The ATH-E70 is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality in-ear monitor.

Floor Monitors

Another option is the use of floor monitors, which are large speakers placed on the stage facing the musicians. These provide a more natural sound but can be more difficult to control and can be quite loud.

Behringer Eurolive B205D£155.75

The Behringer Eurolive B205D floor monitors are active two-way PA speakers with a 5-inch woofer and a 1-inch tweeter. They are designed for use in live sound applications, such as for bands and DJs. The B205D has a built-in amplifier with a power output of 150 Watts. The speakers feature a two-band equalizer for precise sound control and a balanced XLR input for connecting to a mixer. The B205D also has a built-in limiter to prevent distortion and protect the speakers from damage. The speakers are lightweight and easy to transport, making them ideal for on-the-go performances.

Behringer Eurolive B112D£232.23

The Behringer Eurolive B112D floor monitors are a great choice for any live music setup. They offer a powerful sound and great value for money. The B112D features an efficient Class-D amplifier, a two-way speaker system, and a dedicated tweeter for crystal-clear high frequencies. The integrated limiter ensures optimal sound levels, while the flexible EQ and contour controls allow for easy sound shaping. The robust design and sturdy construction make these floor monitors ideal for any live performance.

Mixing Boards

Finally, there is the option of using a mixing board. This allows the sound engineer to adjust the levels of each instrument and vocal, as well as the overall mix, in order to create the best sound for the audience.

Yamaha MG16XU$524

The Yamaha MG16XU is a 16-channel mixing board with a range of features that make it ideal for live sound, recording, and broadcast applications. It offers 16 channels of mixing, 4-band EQ, 2 aux sends and returns, and a range of digital effects. It also has two built-in effects processors and a USB port for recording and playback. The MG16XU is a reliable and powerful mixer that is perfect for any professional or amateur audio engineer.

Mackie MX12FX £139

The Mackie MX12FX mixing board is a 12-channel analog mixer featuring four-band EQ and onboard effects. It features four mic/line inputs, four stereo line inputs, and four stereo returns. It also has two auxiliary sends, RCA inputs and outputs, and a headphone output. The mixer also features a built-in 48V phantom power supply and a 3-band EQ on each channel. The Mackie MX12FX is a great choice for both live and studio applications, as it provides great sound quality and a wide range of features.

Closing Thoughts

No matter which option you choose, live audio monitoring is essential for any live music performance. It ensures that the musicians are hearing what they need to and that the audience is hearing the music as it was intended.


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