With the advent of in-ear monitor systems, many performers have been in need of a monitor mixing system that will allow each individual performer in a group to have personal control of their monitor mix, and be able to adjust each input to their own taste, without having to rely on an additional engineer. The Aviom Personal Monitor Mixing System is just that.
Product PointsApplications: Live sound, studio, installation.
Key features: Proprietary Ethernet network
Price: A-16 Personal Monitor – $439 A-16R – $799; A-16T – $749
Contact: Aviom at 610-738-9005, Web Site.
The Aviom system actually consists of several parts, including the A-16 Personal Mixer, the A-16T Transmitter and several CAT-5 cables, similar to Ethernet cables. The system essentially allows up to 16 channels of audio to be fed into the central transmitter, and then the transmitter joins up to as many A-16 Personal Mixers as you want or need (one mixer for each person in the band), allowing individual control of the various inputs.
The Aviom system uses a proprietary Ethernet-based protocol, A-Net, that eliminates the usual 5 to 10 millisecond delay associated with most analog to digital conversions. If you have ever been involved with A/D (analog to digital) conversions, then you know that the time delay can be a little disconcerting, as well as causing what appears to be time/phase-related incoherence. It usually takes a few microseconds for the digital device to acknowledge the analog signal, then recognize it, and finally convert it to a binary code. While the initial step in the Aviom is decidedly a conversion process, it is a very quick process, then sped up via the A-Net connection, much faster than an ordinary analog signal path, thus keeping the actual process of microphone to in-ear speakers, or ear “buds” fairly quick.
The Aviom A-16T Transmitter, is truly the heart of the system. It is a one-rack-space unit, with 16 channels worth of in and through TRS connectors on the back panel. On the front are one A-Net connector output and a series of level indication LEDs and attenuation switches.
Attenuation of signal is achieved at the input of the A-16T by use of a selector switch that has preset input levels of 22, 4, 0 and -10.
It can be fed the line signal from a console’s direct out jack at each channel, or from a group, containing composite signal information. The outputs of the console connect to the Aviom transmitter via 1/4-inch TRS inputs.
The A-16T transmitter also offers a “through” connector, allowing you send signal to the transmitter on its way to the actual audio console. The next step is connecting the actual individual mixers of the A-16 system.
(Editor’s Note: Aviom says, ‘The A-16T Transmitter will be discontinued and replaced by the AN-16/i Input Module. The AN-16/i Input Module has virtually the same features as the A-16T, but is fully balanced and can be used in our distributed network audio system.’)
The rackmounted A-16R Personal Mixer has fairly simple to use controls. The front panel contains the master and channel volumes, bass/treble EQ controls and a pan control. There are also 16 channel select keys. Each unit can also facilitate 16 programmable memory settings.
Most of the touring-level musicians/entertainers I work with are quite satisfied with the presence of a full-time monitor engineer, but many entertainers at the fair/festival-level were fairly open to trying the Aviom system.
At several fairs, we tried the rig with solo performers, as well as bands. The kit includes a nifty little bracket that allows you attach the A-16 Personal Mixer to a microphone stand, thus putting the mixer’s controls directly in front of the performer.
We wired the outputs of the mixer to wedges (via the power amp driving the wedge), to headphone amplifiers, to hot spot type monitors and a few in-ear rigs. In each case, the players felt that the Aviom Personal Monitor system gave them an edge and the ability to really dial up their individual mix. They truly enjoyed having their own controls directly in front of them. The most prevalent reason was, that they don’t know exact frequencies, and always found it difficult to convey to a monitor engineer what tones they wanted adjusted, and their own mixer allowed them the flexibility to do it “their way.” We tried the system in several different locations in the system, creating a variety of scenarios and in all cases, the users found the controls to be very friendly, and offered good parameter control.
The Aviom Personal Monitor Mixing System is just the ticket for the fair/festival-level performer looking to enhance their own monitoring experience. The controls are simple, thus not being intimidating to non-technical types, or audio novices. The system seemed to really enrich the in-ear monitors, as changes to tone and volume were more noticeable, and not as potentially EQ problematic for the EQ novice possibly using a conventional monitor speaker. I examined the internal workings and layout of the various devices in the Aviom system, and found all the parts to be of good, road-worthy construction.