User friendly monitor mixes

5/22/12: Full Mesh at Lion and Bull, Haymarket. Funasallgetout! I got there too early - that’s ok. That gave me a bunch of time to mess around and set up. This gig, there’s a house sound system and a tech, real great guy and wonderful sound technician named Matt.
Matt likes to put a plexiglass shield around the drums, then get the guitar players to turn down to almost nothing, then pump everything up in the mains and monitors. That’s fine - and what ever is good for the room is good for us. As long as the room is happy, yaknowwhatimean? The thing you have to watch out for with this strategy is it’s easy to end up with all the instruments in the monitor mix, which is fine if you are playing in a room large enough for your own separate monitor mix that you can customize for yourself. With small P.A.s, there’s only one mix - everyone hears the same mix. If the sound guy tweeks the mix out for the drummer, who is behind a plexiglass shield remember, what we get out front is a face full of guitars. In my perfect world, the only thing in the monitor mix is vocals. Only. I have a perfect monitor for my guitar right behind me. It’s a Fender Blues DeVille Hot Rod Black Face with 2- 12” speakers, 60 watts. Turned way up high on just a hair above 1. Not even on 2.  I’m just saying, I think the vocals - and I’ve said this before - the vocals have to be on top... Not in the mix so the guy singing has to scream all night until his voice is totally blown out but way up on top of the mix. Can’t do that when there’s two guitars and a bass all in the monitor mix all night. It was definitely a good sound we had, and the band was tight as all get out. Can’t wait to get back in there - hopefully soon!