Effects - Switching to "IEMs" - What to Expect?

markjsmith

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,626
I don't use them. I sing without them all the time, I don't play super loud onstage so it's not really an issue.

You know how a sound man will sometimes get feedback in the monitors, try that with IEMs. I didn't think that feedback was even possible in those things, but yes it is! It's bad enough having a sound guy fry your hearing for the night (esp. high end) while getting levels in wedge monitors. Try getting blasted while wearing in ears by the super inexperienced guys doing sound at church. I had tinnitus for almost 6 months! Not to mention this guy fried 2 pairs of VERY expensive custom in ears for guys in the band. I'll never wear them again! Too dangerous!

Not to mention they never seem to stay in my ears!
 

afterosmosis

Member
Messages
2,346
I have found that IEM's do sound exactly like the FOH mix, if you were listening to the FOH mix through headphones. I can deal with it but it just loses the ambient quality of playing inside a physical space. (yes even with reverb, just my 2 cents) I prefer traditional monitors but sometimes you just gotta go with the flow. I doubt you'll tweak most anything, and if you do you'll probably improve the FOH signal
We have two "ambient" mics at the front of our stage pointing out into the room for this very reason. We can mix them in to keep the IEM mix from feeling too dry.
 

dpgreek

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,147
IEMs are a godsend. It takes a little getting used to. I'm a drummer by trade and used to never even get a damn floor wedge. When I did it was great, but still killing my ears because of all the dbs and spl from cymbals and stuff. Now I can hear everything, hear my self sing when I do... and when I play guitar....with creative use of ambient stage mics and tweaking, you can get it perfect.
 

GuitarToma

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,334
I grew up with floor monitors and started attending a church that uses IEM's about ten years ago. I was nervous about them at first thinking for sure that I wouldn't be able to hear anything correctly and would end up depending on the house mix instead of using the IEM.
I was instantly converted and honestly blown away by how great they were. If you're getting a boxy sound then your mix isn't right or you need better quality earbuds. I absolutely love the clarity of being able to hear exactly what I want to hear and how much of it I want to hear. I feel like my dynamics are far better with them as I can hear what I'm doing in clear conjunction with the other instruments.

Having a good sound guy to run it all is of course vital.

Investing in really good quality earbuds make a huge difference. How much do we spend on gear? Personally, spending money on something so I can hear my expensive gear clearly is well worth the money.

Seriously, the clarity we get is akin to working in the studio. It's wonderful.
 

Dave Fox

Senior Pedalmaker
Messages
724
I use IEMs all the time. Once in a while I'll pull one or both out for whatever reason and I'll hear the actual stage volume - it's insane. I'm right next to the drummer and he hits hard. I'm so glad I started with the IEM's while my hearing was still good. I know a lot of musicians who are almost deaf. You try to have a conversation while loading in or out and they can't hear a damn thing!
 

thiscalltoarms

more gadgets than Batman.
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,962
Just remember that the headphones that you use are a big component of accurately hearing your tone. Makes no sense to play 2-5k of gear into a pair of apple earphones- it will sound like garbage. Off the top of your head estimate the cost of your pedalboard, number 1 gigging guitar, and number 1 gigging amp. Your in ear headphones should be 15% of your rig value minimum if you want to actually have a good experience long term. Custom molds start around $400, I think UE4Pros at worth every penny.
 

afterosmosis

Member
Messages
2,346
Just remember that the headphones that you use are a big component of accurately hearing your tone. Makes no sense to play 2-5k of gear into a pair of apple earphones- it will sound like garbage. Off the top of your head estimate the cost of your pedalboard, number 1 gigging guitar, and number 1 gigging amp. Your in ear headphones should be 15% of your rig value minimum if you want to actually have a good experience long term. Custom molds start around $400, I think UE4Pros at worth every penny.
Agreed, why skimp on the part of your rig that puts the sound of everything else directly into your ears? Custom molds are absolutely worth it.

That said, I think triple drivers are plenty for a guitar player.
 

crambone

Member
Messages
17,979
I find IEM's to be a lot more clearer than floor monitors. You'll hear the nuances far better in ear, which is what FOH hears.
Yep.

I have been using IEMs for about 4 years now at church and I wouldn't make the switch to wedges (or those stupid "hotspots", anyone else remember those?!?!) for anything. I am currently using Shure SE102s but am almost to the point of having enough cash for buying a set of 1964ears V3s.
 

rust_in_peace

Member
Messages
890
Just remember that the headphones that you use are a big component of accurately hearing your tone. Makes no sense to play 2-5k of gear into a pair of apple earphones- it will sound like garbage. Off the top of your head estimate the cost of your pedalboard, number 1 gigging guitar, and number 1 gigging amp. Your in ear headphones should be 15% of your rig value minimum if you want to actually have a good experience long term. Custom molds start around $400, I think UE4Pros at worth every penny.
I hear what your saying regarding quality. The 15% seems like a good rule of thumb. Admittedly, I've never used IEMs that cost more them $150.

I'm sure I would have a different experience if I was to use some nice, high-end triple or quad drivers. At this point I don't use them enough to justify putting the money down, though.
 

mikeller

Member
Messages
1,489
I am not fond of them either - I find myself loosing my focus on playing and paying too much attention to the IEM.

One thing that I found that helps though is to have the sound-partner put overhead mic's on the drummer. Those overhead's will pick up some of the ambient sounds and make it sound more live....
 

treeuh

Member
Messages
352
Just chiming in here... my church uses in-ears exclusively, and the trick is to convince the monitor engineer to set up some room mics and mix those in... it allows you the room sound with some control.

Really, IEMs really stress the importance of micing up your amp well. I never realised how important it was until I started playing more with IEMs.

But yeah, don't take one ear out... that's asking for hearing problems. Nothing gets you like wedges, but IEMs can be pretty awesome if you get the right mix.

To the OP, the only things I'd point out is 1) cheap systems compress all of the audio (bad AD/DA conversion, methinks) 2) you may have to adjust delay trails depending on how you mic your amp... I wrestle with it a bit...
 

crambone

Member
Messages
17,979
Just chiming in here... my church uses in-ears exclusively, and the trick is to convince the monitor engineer to set up some room mics and mix those in... it allows you the room sound with some control.
Where do you usually mic your amp (position-wise) and what kind of mic do you use?
 

michaelscott

Member
Messages
76
To the OP (and everyone), going with your effects in stereo and/or with 2 amps mic'd up if you can (not everyone has the ability) is really a game changer. If you have the ability to pan your signals left and right, IEMs really highlight that stereo image and seem to sound a little more "real" than a single mic or mono signal. This also opens more possibilities with how wet you run effects, whether you run them on both sides, etc. Even if your effects cant run stereo, if you can double mic your amp and pan the signals, giving somewhat more of a realistic representation of your tone. I think that's probably a better solution to combat the whole isolation thing, especially if you had a couple of room mics (again, stereo if possible). Any else one trying this?
 

afterosmosis

Member
Messages
2,346
Where do you usually mic your amp (position-wise) and what kind of mic do you use?
Mic position & type is something you have to experiment with.

Lately we've been using a Sennheiser e609 and an Avantone CR-14 ribbon mic on my cab. Our sound man puts both channels in our ears so we can pan/mix/match the two mics to taste. The dynamic/ribbon combination works really, really well.


 

Ricktoberfest

Member
Messages
78
I hear there are IEMs now that have ambient mics built in. Haven't seen it myself and I'm sure it's pricy, but I play 2-4 times live a month so I might have to go looking.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Bman20

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,442
IEM's r like anything else: pros and cons.

Pros:

-eliminates most if not all feedback problems
-can hear urself and other individuals clearer
-bonus of having ur own mix
-FOH is better due to lower stage volume

Cons:

-as a gtr player, u lose that big roomy sound
-feels like ur in the studio instead of playing live
-lose the interaction of ur actual amp at gig levels
 

redrider1

Member
Messages
35
Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this question. Which forum should I use for hardware questions?

I'm setting up an IEM system at church and need the hardware. I'm not asking about earphones, I want to know what hardware people are using (Rolls PM50S?). I probably can't afford wireless unless it's used. Are there any decent wired IEM equipment out there?

Thanks.
 




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