Photo: Steve Jennings
Monitor and FOH engineer Raphael “Raf” Alkins has more than 25 years' experience under his belt, with credits including
The Grammys, Billboard Awards, MTV Video Music Awards,
Jon Secada, Roberta Flack, Kenny G, Juanes, Hilary Duff and countless others. He is currently out with Ricky Martin.
When mixing IEMs, many new and upcoming mixers tend to just turn things up loud in the ears mix, which can burn the musician and the artist, and, in the end, destroys the FOH mix. Set the artist lead vocal to a normal level with a nice, smooth compression that makes him/her stay on the mic and keep the band mix full and tight, making them work and not hold back. Turn the lead vocal mic down to -10 or -15 dB. As the SPL is reduced in between songs, the limiter in the IEM pack opens up and the lead vocal, which is now the only thing in the mix, is now really loud, which will result in the artist holding back or getting off-mic, which can cause feedback.