Behringer X32R IEM Rig - Easiest / Best / Lightest Split Solution for Any FOH?

  1. #1 by Mike Via on 2 Weeks Ago
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    Behringer X32R IEM Rig - Easiest / Best / Lightest Split Solution for Any FOH?

    Hello,

    Even though I don't know anything about mixing or running sound, etc., somehow I've been put in charge of building an X32R In-Ear-Monitor Rig for my son's 5-member band (which sings 4-part harmonies). This is all very new to me, so please excuse my ignorance.

    Background. Currently, the band is often the opening act for larger bands, and they occasionally don't get much "love" when it comes to sound check or teardown time. They sing 4-part harmonies and when they can’t hear each other, they are not as tight as they want to be.

    If we are going to build an IEM Rig, they all want the capability to have stereo in-ear mixes, have crowd mics, etc. We understand that, for consistency in the mix, better sound quality, and saving time on sound check, we will need to bring our mic package to each gig, instead of going with what is provided by the House.

    We do not run FOH sound. The X32R / IEM Rig is primarily to provide 4 stereo in-ear monitors (not mono) to the singers;deliver the 1 wireless mic and tracks to FOH; and provide 1 wired in-ear monitor (with click) to the drummer.

    We are trying to keep the Rig as small as possible to allow easier transport by individual band members who each drive smaller vehicles (i.e. 4 door sedan, Jeep Cherokee, etc.). Our goal is to have of the electrical components in a single 6U or 8U roller case (like the SKB 1SKB-R8UW). The snake(s) and additional components can be placed in a separate case / soft bag.

    Trying to determine the "best" way to handle the analog split to FOH has been challenging and confusing. I've been reading various forums, threads and posts for days, and there appear to be multiple opinions on not only how best to handle an analog split for the House, but also whether it really has to be an isolated split, etc.

    I have seen a couple of posts claiming that you can use a single, light, 25 ft long, 16 channel snake that, at one end has 16 XLRs that I plug into the X32R (somehow), and then on the other end it has a "Y" with 16 Female XLRs on on side of the "Y", and then 16 Male XLRs on the other side of the "Y". (Something like this: https://www.swamp.net.au/swamp-8-cha...splitter-snake.) I love this idea, but can it really be done? I've read about phantom power issues, and the need for isolated splits, etc., but there seem to be people running a basic split like this, who have no issues. So, I'm confused...

    Last edited by Paul Vannatto; 2 Weeks Ago at 02:44 PM. Reason: merging posts
  2. #2 by Mike Via on 2 Weeks Ago
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    Posts: 11
    Part 2

    To give you a bit more specifics about our particular needs, looking at our Stage Plan (which currently does not include any IEM), and adding up all of the XLRs for the vocal mics, guitar amps and drum mics; and then the DI boxes for the keyboard, bass and laptop, we use between 17 and 22 inputs. (I'll list these at the end, in case it impacts decision making.)

    Our "draft" X32R / IEM Rig contains:

    (1) Behringer X32R;
    (4) Sennheiser IEM transmitters (each transmitting a stereo mix);
    (1) Antenna Combiner (supplying power to the IEM transmitters);
    (1) Shure Beta58a wireless mic receiver;
    (1) Power Conditioner
    (1) WiFi Router

    I’m now trying to figure out splits and snakes.

    Reading various forums and posts, I see that many people rack-mount ART S8's (https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Split8--art-s8) in the X32R / IEM Rig, and then they run 2 snakes to the FOH Box location (one to bring everything back to the ART S8/s to make the split (and go the X32R), and one to take everything back out to the FOH Box). Seems heavy and bulky. I'm trying to figure out if it is possible to reduce the amount of cables / wires running back and forth.

    In our situation, can we: (A) do the "split" next to the FOH Box (where the House has routed everything for their needs), and (B) run only the additional cables necessary to provide our wireless mic and tracks from the X32R / IEM Rig to the FOH Box? (Isn’t everything else already at their FOH Box?) It would seem that doing the “split” at the FOH Box would cut down on nearly 50% of the cabling running between the X32 / IEM Rig and the FOH Box (and would substantially reduce the amount of cable we have to haul around with us).

    Even assuming the consensus is that one has to use balanced, transformer-isolated outputs (and send the direct output to FOH Box and the isolated output to the X32R / IEM Rig), why not do all of this right next to the FOH Box and reduce the amount of cabling? (For example, couldn’t you even drop two ART S8’s on the floor next to the FOH Box?) I know I am missing something…

    Lastly, I've also seen some posts stating that we can totally delete the need for hauling around heavy, 25 ft long, 16 / 32 wire snake(s) by purchasing 2 (or 3) SD8s; dropping the SD8s next to the FOH Box; connect all of the XLRs from the stage mics and DIs to the "in" side of the SD8; then run a short, 3 ft long, 8 wire XLR jumper cable from the "out" side of the SD8 into the analog FOH Box; and then run an AES50 back to our X32R. Sounds good (but expensive).

    I’m still confused, and would appreciate thoughts and advice from those who have been there / done that on all of this.

    Thanks so much!

    Mike
  3. #3 by Mike Via on 2 Weeks Ago
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    Posts: 11
    Part 3

    ______________________

    If it helps, here's the current listing of inputs from our Stage Plan:

    FRONT LINE

    Vocal Mics:
    • Stage Right -- Background Vocals: Beta 58A
    • Stage Right Center -- Lead Vocals: Wireless Beta 58A
    • Stage Right Center Keyboard -- Lead Vocals: Beta 58A
    • Stage Left Center -- Background Vocals: Beta 58A
    • Stage Left -- Background Vocals: Beta 58A

    Keyboard:
    • Stage Right Center: DI

    Crowd Mics (Only if IEM Rig is incorporated):
    • Stage Right: Rode M5
    • Stage Left: Rode M5

    BACKLINE

    Guitar Amps:
    • Stage Right -- Rhythm Guitar - Fender Blues Deluxe: SM57
    • Stage Left Center -- Bass Guitar: DI
    • Stage Left -- Lead Guitar - Mesa Boogie Nomad: SM57

    Drums:

    • Kick Drum: Shure Beta 91
    • Snare Top: Shure 57
    • Rack Tom: Sennheiser e604
    • Floor Tom: Sennheiser e604
    • Hi-Hat: Shure SM81
    • Overhead Right: Rode M5
    • Overhead Left: Rode M5
    • NOTE: If limited inputs, go with one (1) Overhead Mic
    • Laptop or Drum Pad: DI

    Last edited by Mike Via; 2 Weeks Ago at 02:50 PM.
  4. #4 by Kevin Maxwell on 2 Weeks Ago
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    We did a couple of shows with a band that gave us a hardwired split off of the bands IEM mixer. The show went great. They brought almost everything for the stage and just gave us a split of everything. I don’t think there were any transformers in the split. It worked just fine with no problems. There were no wedges on stage. We were supplying the power for everything from our power distro. If you get into unknown or problem power situations the transformers can really help. But most of the times they probably aren’t needed.

    I probably wouldn’t have been happy if they had mixed down everything and we just had to amplify it, because without someone in the house mixing how do the musicians on stage know what it sounds like. But in some situations you might want to come prepared to just give the sound system a mixed down feed.

    As I was writing this it looks like you expanded your post.

    I use some of those ART splitters in a church to split the inputs to their FOH mixer and the broadcast mixer. They have worked fine for them. I would give the transformer output to FOH because if you need isolation that is what needs to be isolated from your setup. Also then if anything needs phantom power your system will proved that. The transformer doesn’t pass the phantom power.

    BTW it looks like you have more inputs needed then the 16xlrs that the X32rack is going to give you. You can use the Aux inputs and assign them to channels and then have the full channel controls that you wouldn’t get if you keep them assigned to the Aux input channels.
  5. #5 by Paul Vannatto on 2 Weeks Ago
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    Posts: 11,107
    Hi Mike,

    First of all welcome to the forum. When I need to determine what equipment I need, I usually divide the requirements by either stage left and right or front and back. Your list would work best front to back.

    The X32 Rack (with IEM, etc.) would work best in the back to take care of the drums (8 inputs) and backline (3 inputs) and provide the output requirements for the IEMs. The front would be best serviced with an SD8 that would handle the vocals and keyboard inputs, and connected to the Rack with a short (25') AES50 (cat6 STP with ethercons) cable.

    For splitter and snakes for FOH, my vote would be to get 3 ART S8, 2 mounted in the back rack with the console and one mounted in a small flight case (4U) with the SD8. Add three 8 chan 25' XLR snakes (I have one with me and it comes in very handy) for connecting to FOH. These can be transported in a small suitcase and don't weigh that much.

    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    For additional help please refer to the X32 wiki pages for updated and current documentation about the X32.

    For official technical and warranty support for your product you should contact the support team through their CARE department. You can contact CARE by phone at (+1) 702-800-8290 for the US and Canada and (+44) 1562 732290 in Europe.

    You can also contact CARE via email at CARECREA@musictribe.com. They strive to respond to emails within 24-48 hours during normal business hours, but please be patient if it takes longer due to the volume of emails they receive.


    Paul Vannatto
    Volunteer Forum Community Moderator
  6. #6 by Mike Via on 2 Weeks Ago
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    Posts: 11
    Thanks Kevin. I think that's confirmation that the simple "Y" can work - even though it might not be "best practice". Also, it sounds like, in your case, the band hauled everything in and out (XLR cables, mic stands, DI, etc.), and simply plugged into your House feed so you could mix the house. We are hoping to continue to ask the house to set up for us, and be able to use house XLR cables and mic stands, etc., but we simply supply our own mics and "patch" our IEM box in to get ears. We want to make our X32r / IEM box essentially invisible to them (other than giving them the wireless mic and tracks). Thus, we would not be giving them any mix.

    Re the max number of inputs, yeah, I was afraid of that. I guess I need to figure out the least expensive way to get 20 inputs in a small container too...

    Thanks again.

    Mike
  7. #7 by Mike Via on 2 Weeks Ago
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    Posts: 11
    Thanks Paul - and thanks for your help earlier on getting me going on the forum!

    I hear what you are saying about dividing requirements front and back - and that works out well here.

    If we used an SD8 for the front line, could we place it next to the FOH box and run all of the vocal mic, crowd mic, and keyboard XLRs directly into the "IN" side of the SD8, and then take an XLR cable from the "OUT" side of the SD8 straight into the FOH box? (I want to avoid running another 8 channels all the way from the X32r to the FOH box, if I can.) We would get the feed for the IEMs to the X32r via the AD550.

    IF we can do that, our total remaining backline is 12 channels (including tracks). So, I would think we could get away with mounting only two ART S8s in the back of the X32r / IEM rack? (I'm not understanding why we need 3 in this scenario.) If so, again, now we only need two 8 chan 25' XLR snakes for connecting to FOH. Getting lighter all the time.

    Thanks for you help!

    Mike
  8. #8 by Kevin Maxwell on 2 Weeks Ago
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    Posts: 1,532
    - Mike Via wrote View Post
    Thanks Kevin. I think that's confirmation that the simple "Y" can work - even though it might not be "best practice". Also, it sounds like, in your case, the band hauled everything in and out (XLR cables, mic stands, DI, etc.), and simply plugged into your House feed so you could mix the house. We are hoping to continue to ask the house to set up for us, and be able to use house XLR cables and mic stands, etc., but we simply supply our own mics and "patch" our IEM box in to get ears. We want to make our X32r / IEM box essentially invisible to them (other than giving them the wireless mic and tracks). Thus, we would not be giving them any mix.

    Re the max number of inputs, yeah, I was afraid of that. I guess I need to figure out the least expensive way to get 20 inputs in a small container too...

    Thanks again.

    Mike
    See Paul's reply above yours. The SD8 will add 8 more inputs to the X32 rack, it can mix up to 32 full featured channels plus 6 aux inputs and don't forget that you don't lose any inputs for the effects returns.
  9. #9 by Stefan vom Bruch on 2 Weeks Ago
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    - Paul Vannatto wrote View Post
    For splitter and snakes for FOH, my vote would be to get 3 ART S8
    Hi,
    I was wondering, how do those ART S8s compare to Behringer's own M8000 splitters, as there is a significant price difference? Thanks!

    Stefan
  10. #10 by Paul Vannatto on 2 Weeks Ago
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    - Mike Via wrote View Post
    Thanks Paul - and thanks for your help earlier on getting me going on the forum!
    You are most welcome Mike. You have now passed the 5 new posts. So you should be good to go. Later after you have added more posts, I will delete the other duplicate thread, since it is now redundant.

    If we used an SD8 for the front line, could we place it next to the FOH box and run all of the vocal mic, crowd mic, and keyboard XLRs directly into the "IN" side of the SD8, and then take an XLR cable from the "OUT" side of the SD8 straight into the FOH box? (I want to avoid running another 8 channels all the way from the X32r to the FOH box, if I can.)
    You could do that with some routing in the X32. But that would mean that FOH would be reliant on your gain setup, since the tap of those signals (for the outputs) would be post preamp (gain and phantom). If you are planning on doing your gigs at specific venues only, you could check with the FOH engineers there to see if that would be acceptable or not. If you plan on doing multiple venues, you take a risk of running into a situation where the engineers would refuse post preamp signals. To me, spending the extra at this point to have future peace of mind is worth it.

    If so, again, now we only need two 8 chan 25' XLR snakes for connecting to FOH. Getting lighter all the time.
    Again it depends on whether you are preparing for specific known venues where you would know where the FOH snake head is located or whether you want to prepare for any future (unknown at this point) venues where the snake head could be anywhere. You still need one snake from the SD8/splitter to the FOH head and 2 snakes from the X32R/splitters to the same FOH head. These snakes may not need to be 25' (depending on the venue). But I have found that my 25' snake (the only remaining analog snake that I have - the rest I gave away) has come in very handy many times over and very glad I had not made it shorter - even though I run with a dual X32 Rack, SD8 and SD16 for the bigger events and the MR18 for smaller ones.

    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    For additional help please refer to the X32 wiki pages for updated and current documentation about the X32.

    For official technical and warranty support for your product you should contact the support team through their CARE department. You can contact CARE by phone at (+1) 702-800-8290 for the US and Canada and (+44) 1562 732290 in Europe.

    You can also contact CARE via email at CARECREA@musictribe.com. They strive to respond to emails within 24-48 hours during normal business hours, but please be patient if it takes longer due to the volume of emails they receive.


    Paul Vannatto
    Volunteer Forum Community Moderator