in-ear monitors

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by dan7_69, Jan 7, 2006.


  1. dan7_69

    dan7_69 Member

    Messages:
    177
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville
    Ok guys.. due to the vast amount of knowledge here (and the ignorance of myself) I need some help. My band has been together playing for about a year and have played several clubs and venues here and there. We just recently got booked to play at a venue that has some serious echo going on. Its very very hard for us all to hear each other. So, we have decided to go with some in-ear monitors. I have been tasked with finding out what all we need. So... basically what i'm posting for is: What kind of monitors do we need (brand, etc.) and what all do we need. Outside of the ear pieces I have No Clue what all we need and how these things work. Do they hook up to the soundboard or do i need to get a rack and run them that way or what. I am clueless and ignorant to these things so please tell me everything you can from what all to get and how to hook it all up. Thanks and any help is greatly appreciated. ~Dan
     
  2. ButchR

    ButchR Komet Player Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,858
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Location:
    Alexandria, LA
    Actually, you can go from the monitor board to the snake and use microphone cable directly into the body pack which you can tape to a stool or clip on your person if you stand.

    It's like hooking up another monitor only it's in-ears. That is the way we started at church before we got very elaborate with it.

    Also, I think that we started with the shure brand and they worked pretty well until we went with personal mixers with in-ears.
     
  3. dan7_69

    dan7_69 Member

    Messages:
    177
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville
    I should probably add that we will be using wireless monitors and we have 3 members who would be using it if that matters. So any more input would be greatly appreciated. I do know that you get a bodypack and transmitter, but thats where i'm lost. Does the transmitter need to be in a rack and then connect via wire to the soundboard or how does this go about. Thanks.
     
  4. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,067
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    The band I was with for about 6 yrs, until last year, used Shure wireless in-ear monitoring. We used the PSM 700 system, E5 ear buds, and 2 auxpanders (basically the in-ear mixing board) for our LARGE band - horns, multiple vocal mics, etc. It took a very long time to dial in because of the number of variables (players) and the general challenges of the technology. As a guitarist, I hated it. Totally lost any dynamic with a real amp and eventually just used a PODxt to board. That said, the FOH was pretty damn good. And I could hear everyone as well as I needed to, but my experience of my own playing was less than inspiring. But, that's just me.......:confused: :eek: :YinYang

    The Shure system is/was a friggin fortune. But, we did it and it worked. I can't understate the challenges that we had getting everyone dialed in. Some guys just didn't want to put the effort into making their mix sound good and got real grumpy about it. I'd expect with a smaller band, it'd be a LOT easier. We had something like 15 channels. If you do decide to use the Shure system, they will be very helpful. I do believe it's considered (one of the) state of the art systems.

    All that said, I'm thrilled to be playing with 2 bands now that are small and (one of them is) loud. Live amps!! yeah baby......:RoCkIn

    jon
     
  5. Play by Tone

    Play by Tone Member

    Messages:
    920
    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Depends on the day.
    Using a good mic will help you as a guitarist using IEM. Something like a 421 works very well for me, big sound and I keep my dynamics. I also never get lost in the mix. If you don't have an eng. to mix for you, look into the Aviom stuff.
     
  6. ryanspeer

    ryanspeer Member

    Messages:
    148
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Location:
    Lake Stevens, WA
  7. Yek

    Yek Member

    Messages:
    1,182
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Lot of variables here and choices to make.
    First of all, decide whether you want only vocals in-ear, or all instruments? Do you want a silent stage? Do you always use a FOH P.A., or are you also still gigging with the backline amps not going through a P.A.?
     
  8. dan7_69

    dan7_69 Member

    Messages:
    177
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville
    Well, from what i do know, we'd all like to hear everything in our ears.(vocals, guitar, drums, and bass). We don't want a silent stage, just be able to hear each other much better. Our amps are going through the PA. So are we able to buy one transmitter and use it with 3 recievers. We'd all be wanting to listen to the entire band, so would this work? Also, does the transmitter plug directly into the PA with this setup and then just transmit like a basic monitor to all body packs?
     
  9. Play by Tone

    Play by Tone Member

    Messages:
    920
    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Depends on the day.
  10. stevieray

    stevieray Member

    Messages:
    282
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    You could do this, but it won't last long. Everybody will want something different for a fundamental reason that you're not accounting for. Right now, everyone hears something a little differently for several reasons (they stand in different positions, and everyone subjectively hears things a little differently are just a couple to think about). In-ears are designed to isolate you from your stage volume and replace it with a well controlled mix at a safe listening level. Doing it right is very console, mic and skill intensive. You can find lots of scenarios that might technically work (your suggestion, distributed mixing, mix-and-me boxes, etc.) but following suit with what the pros use is the best way to get it sounding decent, and even then it won't work sometimes. Just watch an award show on TV. Even the pros take their ears out occasionally because their mix stinks.

    If I had a small band like yours, the ultimate rig shy of having our own monitor engineer who knew what he/she was doing would be:

    Yamaha DM1000 in a mixer top road case

    built in patch panel with a split so you can just take multipair tails to the house system

    Shure PSM600 or PSM700 for each member. Stationary people (drums) really SHOULD be hardwired to cut down on the expense and uncertainty of wireless.

    This would be a killer setup for a small band. The Yamaha has enough mix buses to give everyone in a small band their own mix. It has built in dynamics processing (very welcome in in-ear mixing) on every channel and output. It has built in effects for restoring some ambience. It will do stereo mixes. It's MIDI recallable so your mix can change per song with the stomp of a footswitch. It has a cool fader flip feature so that each person's mix can show up on the faders at the touch of a button.

    If you want me to design a rig like this for you just PM me.
     
  11. brian marshall

    brian marshall Member

    Messages:
    742
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    Location:
    outskirts of portlandia
    IMHO in ear monitors suck... ive tried them before, and while i think they can be extreemely helpful for singers, and drummers, i usually would go with out them. We played a few places that were really really bad... large square room, with only one stage monitor, lots of brick, and really echo-y. I had an easier time just finding a spot on stage where i could hear the drummer.

    It is also basically worthless unless your sound guy actually wants to take the time to help you make it work... if its the venues sound guy good luck... he's got to get back to serving drinks most likely.
     
  12. Yek

    Yek Member

    Messages:
    1,182
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Okay, but realize that noise on stage really reduces the benefits of IEM. Furthermore, sound guys love a silent stage, the FOH sound really benefits from it.

    If you want to monitor all instruments, each of you has to have his own, personal mix. With your instrument and vocal at the front and the rest of the band as background.

    For this to happen, you need a mixer that has enough monitor (aux) channels. A 5-man band needs (at least) 5 monitor channels. This means you need a large FOH mixer. The soudn guy must then create a personal mix for every band member. On stage the separate monitor channels go into wireless/wired senderstransmitters/receivers. Disadvantage of this setup is that you can't easily modify your personal mix, you depend on the sound guy.

    Alternatively, you can use a separate monitor mixer (f.e. Peavey or Yamaha). This means all instruments first go into a monitor mixer on stage. Everyone can create his own mix of all instruments. You can adjust things yourself between songs. Each has its own total output which goes into a wireless transmitter (or wired, f.e. for the drummer and keyboard player) and is sent to the wireless receiver.
    In this setup each input on the monitor should also have a "snaked" output to feed an unaffected signal of each instrument to the main stage snake, to feed the FOH P.A.
    You'll need a reverb too, to make the monitor sound less dry, and some compression for the vocals.
    This means: lots of money!!

    Yet another approach (compromise between the first two) is giving each band member his own monitor system, like a Shure PSM.

    Of course you will have to acquire made-to-fit earphones too, pretty expensive.

    My band used IEM a couple of years (2nd approach: separate monitor mixer). And we had a totally silent stage: electronic drums, line outs, no speakers (I used a load box). The FOH sound rocked. But it was a drag to setup, always adjusting levels, the IEM sound was less than satisfactory. In the end we just missed the speakers moving air, the sound-in-your-face experience a.k.a. rock'n'roll! So we went back to the old monitors and we're happy.
    Once in a while our singer uses IEM, just for his vocals. That's easy to set up.
     
  13. Play by Tone

    Play by Tone Member

    Messages:
    920
    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Depends on the day.
    www.aviom.com

    You buy the 16 channel an-16/i. You can pass 16 channels of audio through it, so you're not having to use auxes (also your board probably has a direct out for each channel, kinda like a Y splitter inside). The module gives you a cat5 output, so all the audio travels down a single cat5 cable.

    Now you get A-16II control surface, for as many personal mixes as you want. Its a 16 channel mixer with stereo panning, mutes, grouping, etc. You just plug the cat5 into the mixer and thats it. You can daisy chain off of them or buy their router.

    There really isn't any better personal monitoring solution out there. I use IEMs for consistency, and when you're micing your amp right, and using high quality IEMS, you can have an enjoyable experience!
     
  14. ButchR

    ButchR Komet Player Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,858
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Location:
    Alexandria, LA
    We use the Aviom A16II in church and we have been able to bring our stage volume down dramatically. I can hear better than ever. It just takes a little while to adjust to hearing everything through IEM.

    I have my Komet running about halfway up and the speaker cab is under the stage so as not to bleed over into the vocals. I'm very pleased with the outcome. With the Aviom, if you have trouble hearing, you can't blame the soundman. You adjust mixes yourself.

    With all of this said, you can start spending a lot of money on some elaborate set ups. I know that no one around here ever spends much money on gear!:D
     
  15. John_M

    John_M Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,028
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    New England
    We use the Shure PSM600 and I prefer them greatly now - they also cut down on tinnitus as you are sealed and you will only blow out your ears if you CHOOSE to.

    The PSM system has 2 inputs, and transmits on one channel. You only get ONE mix per transmitter.

    The drummer and I go wired - I don't run around alot and am tethered to my pedalboard anyway so I run a cord - - WAY WAY better dynamics than wireless, which tends to compress and squash and comparatively sounds like poo. If I'm playing a monster stage and go wireless, I have another transmitter for myself.

    Supposedly, with the Shure transmitter, you can chain the 2 channels together to get better headroom.

    You feed the transmitter or bodypack with an AUX send from your board. PRE fader.

    Shure body pacs get wireless AND wired signals at the same time - many people plug lavalier mics into the packs to get stage sounds / hear members talking.

    We have a mic setup on stage that captures stage volume and we mix it in to the monitors only - we also use this for communication - like what song is up next - - without having to read lips.

    Another problem is you hear EXACTLY what your guitar tone sounds like - - you will be tweaking mics, amps, pedals strings pickups - EVERYTHING!
     
  16. gearboy

    gearboy Member

    Messages:
    497
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    EVerything that Yek said!...

    ....my old band (5 members) used the Shure system. We had vocal and instruments mixes, had a separate rack (on wheels, no less) for the separate board and effects...we all could dial in what we wanted to hear. But...as already stated, your guitar tone in-ear will not be what is coming from your amp and that is disheartening and takes some getting used to. I used to play with one earpiece in and one out, so I could still "feel" things. I wouldn't want to use them again....
     
  17. waxnsteel

    waxnsteel Member

    Messages:
    3,131
    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    That's not really much cheaper, you'll find. And they're right. You'll all start to want different mixes, which is a pain in the ass. More tweaking, less performing.

    I know a lot of people like to say that they're not hearing the same sound that's coming from the amp, and they don't like the sound. Well, that IS the sound. If you take out one earbud, you'll have most of what you really want. Vocal mics are picking up what the amp is doing in the room, but not as well as your ears do. After all what you love is probably not the sound of your amp, but more likely the sound of your amp in a room.

    If you're micing your amp, the crowd is hearing that sound, too. A lot of the "dynamics" of the amp are lost on the crowd with a mix going on, unless you're in a 3-piece, and there's a lot of room for the guitar in the mix. If everything's EQ'd properly, what you're hearing in-ears is close to what the crowd hears. Only, now YOU hear it so well that you tend to put yourself under the microscope. Every little thing. Every little slip. Every subtle phrase you didn't quite nail, well, you WILL hear it better, now. It really will make you a better player, hearing yourself better.

    A lot of people find earbuds just plain uncomfortable, and to me, that's a good reason not to like them. The fact that people "just deal" more often when they're using wedges or no monitors, making for less work on tweaking, that's a good reason, too. But it's just so much easier to carry around the little box and bodypack instead of a separate amp, and speakerbox for everyone. And it's not that much more expensive, either. Just makes too much sense to me.
     
  18. John_M

    John_M Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,028
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    New England
    100% Agreed - - - you are hearing what the mic is hearing. And that is what the audience is hearing thru the PA. These transducers are pretty good - garbage in, garbage out.
     

Share This Page