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Need help with my keyboard monitor setup!!
#3037704 10/20/20 09:59 AM
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I've got a keyboard (Kawai MP7) that I want to monitor with my TC-Helicon VoiceSolo FX150 in my band, but I'm confused about the inputs and outputs and cabling required to achieve this.

The MP7 keyboard has 3 outputs in total, a 1/4" L/mono and R output, and a 1/4" stereo headphone jack. The FX150 monitor has 3 inputs in total, 2 XLR/TRS combo jacks named CH1 and CH2, and a 3.5mm aux input, which makes up 3 channels that I can individually control on my FX150. The monitors also have 1 XLR line out, which I can choose the output of, between the "full mix" (CH1 + CH2 + aux inputs), and "CH1" which just outputs the CH1 and doesn't output aux or CH2 to prevent a feedback loop.

In my monitor, I want a "more of me" mix, which means that I need to input both the FOH monitor out signal and the signal from my own keyboard. The signal from my own keyboard can be in mono or stereo, as I only have 1 monitor so it won't matter. However, the signal that I send to FOH from my keyboard must be in stereo.

I initially thought of setting up my system in the following way:
1) Connect the line out L/mono on my keyboard to the CH1 input on my monitor.
2) Connect the line out on my monitor to FOH, which would carry just my keyboard sound (in mono).
3) Connect the FOH monitor line out to CH2 input on my monitor.
This would ensure that I have a "more of me" mix that I can control using the volume controls for the 3 channels on my monitor. However, I realised that this would mean I can only send my keyboard sound to FOH in mono.

So I thought of another way I could set up my system:
1) Connect the line out L/mono and R on my keyboard to FOH, ensuring that the audience hears me in stereo.
2) Connect the headphone jack on my keyboard to the aux input (not the XLR combo jacks) on my monitors.
3) Connect the FOH monitor line out to CH2 input on my monitor.
This means that I am not using my monitors to output any signal to FOH, but directly outputting my keyboard sound straight to FOH. I woud still be able to control the volume coming from the keyboard on the aux channel on my monitors, which would allow me to have a "more of me" mix. This method would also send stereo keyboard sounds to FOH. However, I am not sure how legitimate this method is as I have never heard of connecting a headphone jack output to personal monitors.

I think if I get a DI box/mixer, it would solve my problems if the setup mentioned above is not correct. This being said, I would prefer not to carry around yet another piece of gear if there is no difference in the sonical quality of the sound I'm hearing from my monitors or FOH. Otherwise, if there is a more correct method of setting up this system using my current gear, I would love to hear it.

One additional thing, in the future, if I want to add a microphone to my setup, would it be possible to find a cabling setup that would allow me to still use a "more of me" mix controlling my keys and my own microphone, using my current setup and gear? I'm just not sure I have enough inputs and outputs to manage such a thing!!

Appreciate any help I can get, thanks! (So many cables... mad mad mad)

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Re: Need help with my keyboard monitor setup!!
Foxtrot3 #3037735 10/20/20 12:25 PM
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It will take me a while to figure this out. I've been dealing with similar problems, trying to send my voice, through a Ditto Mic Looper, and my synth, out to Zoom.

My first suggestion, FWIW:

. . . Accept that your piano feed, to FOH, will be a monophonic feed. If you're part of a band,
. . . . . that's not a bad thing.

. . . Assume that you _will_ be using a small mixer (Behringer Xenyx 802 class),

. . . . and work out how you'd wire it up, to do what you want.

If that's a reasonable setup, use it.

The signal paths will be fairly clear, and if you set it up wrong, you'll be able to fix it before the curtain goes up.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Need help with my keyboard monitor setup!!
Foxtrot3 #3037746 10/20/20 12:38 PM
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Forgive my ignorance ... but what exactly is an FOH?
Online search brings forth an acronym definition that (I hope) does not apply here.

Re: Need help with my keyboard monitor setup!!
Foxtrot3 #3037765 10/20/20 01:49 PM
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Re: Need help with my keyboard monitor setup!!
MacMacMac #3037766 10/20/20 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Forgive my ignorance ... but what exactly is an FOH?
Online search brings forth an acronym definition that (I hope) does not apply here.

"Front of house" -- the main PA system for the venue.

The problem the OP is dealing with, is that the performers often can't hear the FOH sound (what the audience hears) very well. And they need to listen to their own playing, even when it's immersed in the whole band's mix.

It's less of a problem for a orchestral players. They hold their instruments, and a clarinet player will hear his own clarinet OK.


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Need help with my keyboard monitor setup!!
Foxtrot3 #3037829 10/20/20 06:37 PM
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This is a live sound question and not really a digital piano/keyboard question so we may confuse you more than help smile

The FX150, with its 6.5" speaker, is a good personal monitor for a solo, duo or possibly even trio but may not be the best monitoring system for a loud full band, especially one with high stage volume. The fact that you can mount it on a mic stand and have it close to your ears does help.

I am obsessed with running everything in stereo, even my guitars. But in most band situations, running a PA in stereo is not recommended for the simple reason that not many in the audience will be in that perfect spot to hear your piano or other instruments in stereo, that means that all the people who are to the left of the stage will only hear the L or R side of your stereo instrument, and the same goes for the people who are to the right of the stage. Imagine having a ping pong effect - really cool if you're that one person in the middle of the dance floor but not so much for those to either side. Even if you send a signal to FOH, that signal is more than likely changed to dual mono anyway so don't worry too much about stereo to FOH.

I think you'd be much better off just using your FX150 as your personal keyboard monitor so you can have full control over it. You can hear the other players over the band's monitors; share that with another band band member if they don't have one just for you.

You could do what you mentioned and send the L (mono) of your keyboard to channel 1 of the FX150 and have the band monitor out from the main mixer go to channel 2. You'd be able to balance the 2 channels but keep in mind that you only have a 6.5" speaker so you'd want mostly your keyboard and not much "band".

Ideally, you should only be responsible for your keyboard monitor and the sound person should take care of the monitors for the band.

Re: Need help with my keyboard monitor setup!!
Foxtrot3 #3037865 10/20/20 09:44 PM
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Hello Foxtrot3,

I think the second option should theoretically work, even though you'd be using a headphone output from the MP7.

djvu10 makes some great points about whether it's really necessary to be sending stereo to FOH.

One option to consider on the MP7 is the 2xMono SYSTEM setting, explained here:
https://www.kawai-global.com/data/manuals/MP7_EN_20141030_R101.pdf#page=105

This would give you two identical (mono) outputs from the Left/Right jacks.

Best of luck!

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019

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