In-Ears...pointers anyone?

jerryfan6

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,367
Just got back from my first rehearsal with in ears, the Shure PSM200 to be exact. It was a train wreck. I could hear myself fine, but the rest was really strange. I had my vocal mic running into the PSM and then out to the PA. My band mates swore that it was quieter than normal in the wedges...not sure if passing through the PSM caused the volume drop, or if it was because I could finally sing instead of scream. I tried to split the Mon Send out from the PA into channel 2 of my PSM (split also going to another PSM for a band mate), but it didn't seem to work right as I couldn't hear it. Not sure if the cable wasn't right, or if I don't have it hooked up right.

Anyway...looking for any advice in ears. Here are some questions, but I'll take any advice you want to give.

1. Do we need to mic all instruments? We weren't and it made it difficult to hear everything in the correct proportion. I found myself getting lost in my vocals at times.
2. What's the best way to setup a two input PSM, if you are a vocalist and guitarist?
3. How long does it take to become comfortable?
4. Is there a risk in under projecting my vocals now that I have them in my ears? If so, what do I do about it?

Long story short, these cost a lot of money, and I want them to work. What do I need to do?
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,344
To do it correctly, you need to spend several thousand dollars on a splitter/console rig, mic everything including the audience and expect to spend about 3x longer sound-checking.

Any less will be a series of compromises.

I found that when a singer in a band I ran sound for switched to IEMs, she backed off a lot, but her voice held out better and her pitches were spot on.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,009
even "going cheap" by comparison with IEMs like my band does still means everything miked and a discrete, "real" mix for each person.
 

jrsmiles

Member
Messages
627
To do it correctly, you need to spend several thousand dollars on a splitter/console rig, mic everything including the audience and expect to spend about 3x longer sound-checking.

Any less will be a series of compromises.

I found that when a singer in a band I ran sound for switched to IEMs, she backed off a lot, but her voice held out better and her pitches were spot on.

This! ^^^^


We started off with 2 transmitters and 4 packs using the AT M2 systems. After a couple of shows and a number of rehearsals we found this:

1. We need better equipment with auto channel changing/scanning features. Better transmission. It is a total PITA to try and find a clear channel on stage, or even during soundcheck. You have to take off the pack, open it up, get the little screwdriver out, turn the knob on the pack, then turn the knob on the transmitter to match.

2. Everyone needs better earbuds. A couple of us sprung for custom sets and they are such a big difference.

3. We need a pro grade splitter box/snake in order to maintain a real chance at having a real monitor mix when running a PA other than our own.

4. We eventually had to expand to 3 transmitters and now have plans for a 4th. It's tough sharing mixes.

Consider all of these issues and we still have the luxury of using a Presonus SL 24 with 10 mixes or 5 stereo, with all the scenes saved to help with soundcheck. We thought we went "big" when purchasing but it was barely scratching the surface. To really play in the IEM world, it is expensive.

I think you really have to evaluate needs and environment. If you are getting ears for a church or other permanent setting, there is a lot you can get away with by compromising gear and options. If you are gearing up to play many different venues and interact with different sound systems, then you are going to feel it financially if you want to do it right and avoid problems.

Another thing to stay consistent is to travel with your own mics and mic up the same every time. The more consistent your source sound is the more consistent your monitor mix will stay show to show.
 

jerryfan6

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,367
Roger on the mic'ing everything. After last night's rehearsal, I sort of presumed that was needed. I also understand that there is more flexibility and sound quality the more money you spend, but it seems like these Shure PSM200s are fairly common and get good reviews. There has to be a way to make them work. I'm also thinking that we may need a new PA, one that has more than one Mon Send, to provide more flexibility of mix. Any other thoughts/suggestions?
 

speakerjones

Member
Messages
2,299
Start with a console with enough channels to mic everything (a couple left over for growth and/or ambient mics is ideal), and enough pre-fader aux outs to give everyone their own mix. Mic everything. Even if somebody doesn't sing, give them a mic so you can communicate with them. If you have your ears in correctly, you won't hear them speak. PSM200's are OK, but I would upgrade ASAP. I'd highly recommend replacing the buds ASAP with something better. Either get molded buds, or get the triple flange type inserts for best isolation. If you're singing too softly, you may just have yourself too loud in your ears. You still need to project your voice.

Pre-rack and wire everything to save time on set-up. Digital consoles are ideal, as you can save your settings for rehearsals, shows, etc. You generally still need to tweak stuff for sound-check, but having that starting point makes it quick.
 

strumminsix

Member
Messages
4,082
To do it correctly, you need to spend several thousand dollars on a splitter/console rig, mic everything including the audience and expect to spend about 3x longer sound-checking.

Any less will be a series of compromises.

I found that when a singer in a band I ran sound for switched to IEMs, she backed off a lot, but her voice held out better and her pitches were spot on.
Or spend the same and get a Sensaphonics 3D Active Ambient:
http://www.sensaphonics.com/?p=363

I've got a set and while I've needed a few adjustments it's a killer setup, does exactly what it promises.

I usually take an Aux feed, drop the room by 8db and happy camper!

This weekend I'm going to expand my usage, plug my mic directly in, then feed out to a soundboard, then take the mains feed back, give control of the 1 monitor mix to the rest of the band, and mix in my own vocals with the house mix and see how it goes!
 

jerryfan6

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,367
Start with a console with enough channels to mic everything (a couple left over for growth and/or ambient mics is ideal), and enough pre-fader aux outs to give everyone their own mix. Mic everything. Even if somebody doesn't sing, give them a mic so you can communicate with them. If you have your ears in correctly, you won't hear them speak. PSM200's are OK, but I would upgrade ASAP. I'd highly recommend replacing the buds ASAP with something better. Either get molded buds, or get the triple flange type inserts for best isolation. If you're singing too softly, you may just have yourself too loud in your ears. You still need to project your voice.

Pre-rack and wire everything to save time on set-up. Digital consoles are ideal, as you can save your settings for rehearsals, shows, etc. You generally still need to tweak stuff for sound-check, but having that starting point makes it quick.
Thank you...that is very helpful. Aside from the PSM200 being limited, I think one of the major issues is that we only have one Aux send on our board. Will need to upgrade that pretty quickly.
 
Messages
6,114
I've introduced our church worship team to IEM's, key things for us were individual mixes (we are using 5 Auxes for ears and 2 for BV wedges), spending time during sound check to make sure mixes are good, and finally encouraging team members to invest in decent ear pieces.

100% of the people who 'don't like' IEM are the people who are using cheap rubbish earpieces. The people who have stepped up to Westone UM2s and Shure SE215s love IEM, as do I (I have custom 1964-T's)
 

rokpunk

Member
Messages
1,819
the shure se215's sound surprisingly good for stock earphones. i just bought a bunch of pairs to go with my new PSM700's.
 

AD3

Member
Messages
37
Hey buddy, my band just went with in ear as well. We are only getting our feet wet before everybody goes out and takes the plunge to buy wireless sets. We've got a Bearinger head phone pre amp and we are using our headphones from mp3 players to monitor the entire band. We are on week 4 of this headack. What I've learned so far....

1)If I don't mic my amp I can't hear anything I play on guitar.
2) Even when I mic my amp I'm stuck with the sound I'm given unless I stop the practice and take time away from the band... gotta get it close to begin with.
3) If anybody tries to talk you into individual mixes make sure they do that after you've mixed the mains. NEVER try to just fix it with the preamp because if you record your practice like we did all you'll hear is the vocals and some drum sound that bleed into the mics.
4) Never let your bass player touch the mixing board, he might think he knows what he's doing but he doesn't. No seriously he doesn't.
5) Don't make it too easy for you to sing over the music. Sometimes the fight is what makes singers push themselves. Our singer is great and wins singing contests at bars all the time last practice he was turned up so loud in the mix that he had to hold back a little. The holding back is what made his singing sound flat!

Anyway I wish you good luck on the in ear world I hope your struggles pay off at the gigs!
 

strumminsix

Member
Messages
4,082
In case folks don't know, the 3DAA I mentioned above his mics on the earpieces which bring in everything around you and you can then set your filter from 0-24db in 4db increments. Hence, you can be the only guy with IEMs.
 

jmoose

Member
Messages
4,732
1. We need better equipment with auto channel changing/scanning features. Better transmission. It is a total PITA to try and find a clear channel on stage, or even during soundcheck. You have to take off the pack, open it up, get the little screwdriver out, turn the knob on the pack, then turn the knob on the transmitter to match.

~~~ We thought we went "big" when purchasing but it was barely scratching the surface. To really play in the IEM world, it is expensive.
There's at least a handful of ways to deal with clearing RF channels; software etc that runs off a laptop... some of which require an FCC license...

http://www.kaltmancreationsllc.com/

All I can say in addition to everything already said is that to make IEM really work and be a hassle-free endeavor the investment is probably on the minimum threshold of $10k when its all up and running. Racks & cases; console; splitter; snakes & cabling; etc
 




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