In ears to hear a guitar onstage?

tjstrat

Member
Messages
64
Hi. Thoughts on using in ears to hear myself more clearly onstage? My bassist can't stand my stage volume necessary to her myself clearly, and he's an extremely loud bassist. I jusyt need something to plug in to hear myself clearly and attenuate some of his bass...
 

Stokely

Member
Messages
1,979
IMO, monitoring is a whole-band effort, and I've always used in-ears to get a whole mix in my ears and not just one instrument. One instrument means that everything else is coming in via bleed--bass, sure, but what about vocals/keys/etc? Those would have to be very high volume to bleed through good earbuds, which defeats the purpose.

In other words, the way I've seen in-ears normally used is to get a feed from the main mixer (or a monitor mixer if you have a separate one) that contains all instruments and vocals. the IEMs block out as much stage volume as possible. Then of course the question becomes, if all the instruments are miked and we are using IEMs, why does the stage volume need to be so loud, but that gets into holy war territory so YMMv. My band all goes direct except drums and we love it, while others hate it, so....

To be fair, I've played a lot of gigs with IEMs with no bass in my mix because the bleed gives me enough. Drums too if I'm close to the kit, though I won't hear cymbals. Bleed won't sound great but it's enough to hear cues. But I'd absolutely need guitars keys and vocals in my mix especially because I do a lot of singing.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
37,128
Do you already have it set up so your guitar amp is pointed at your head? If not, get an amp stand or something to tilt the speakers at you, then the guitar is "in ears" automatically.
Usually, stage positioning can keep your beam to yourself and out of another player's space.
Looks like it works for Yngwie:dude lots of stage room needed.:)
 

62Tele

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,938
We use in ears, and when they're dialed in correctly they can work really well. An absolute blessing for vocals (we all notice we're not hoarse at the end of the night and recordings sounds way better), and helps a lot with the guitar, although guitar tone through earbuds isn't terribly satisfying. Our board allows everyone to control their own monitor mix from their phones, which is incredibly helpful when we have to run our own sounds. A couple of weeks ago however we had a great example of what can go wrong with in-ears; sound guy at a local club, using their system, didn't bother to label who was on what channel in terms of the in-ear mix, so when one of us would ask for more or less of someone else, he'd adjust the wrong channel. At a certain point, I got a better mix off of the main that was about 4 feet away from my head :rolleyes:

With the firm belief that anything that can go wrong will go wrong, I always bring a couple of extra powered speakers to use as backup stage monitors when we run our own sound. Has proven itself useful.

My bass player likes to bitch about my amp volume too, no matter how I set it - and he plays too loud as well. So I put him next to the horns at the last gig, and now he wants to come back. They always do ;)
 

Stokely

Member
Messages
1,979
I'm very hesitant to use in-ears with sound companies, although my last few times have been fine. If they have a digital mixer and give me access to do my own mix (as most seem to lately), then I'll give it a shot. If I'm at their mercy, I don't think I'd risk it. At the very least, I'd make sure I have a limiter in my headphone amp before I let someone else control my monitor mix to my ears. A wedge can hurt if someone cranks something way too far up, but not as much as speakers sitting in your ear canal.

I also go by the "have a backup plan" principle. I have backup earbuds, cables, adapters and headphone amp. I run wired so I don't need to worry about the wireless components. Having a wedge or two is not a bad idea especially when you are just starting out with in-ears. They take a while to get used to. I agree with the thought that guitar generally doesn't sound as good in an in-ear mix, but you'll just know that out front it has a bit more life and room sound. I play keys so I'm probably more used to hearing a "canned" sound than many live guitarists, I haven't used an actual amp since the late 80s :D
 

poppunk

Member
Messages
1,462
I've mostly had problems with levels in rehearsal settings (usually in a small room).

Even if I'm the only person using IEMs, I can use them to hear my vocals and guitar enough regardless of whatever else is going on. I've been in bands with people who just keep turning up (usually the other guitar player) to the point that I can't hear my guitar/vocals in that setting at all.

If you've played long enough at live shows you've probably had quite a few where you basically couldn't even hear the instrument you were playing. You just make sure it's tuned and know how to play the song and go with it. Having an IEM setup keeps this from happening.

I have had a personal splitter/IEM setup for awhile that I can attach into the bigger mixer setup in 2/3rds of the bands I'm in now. Regardless of what is going on I can always monitor my stuff. Sometimes this means i use one IEM on one side and a custom earplug on the other side so I can hear everything.
 

DunedinDragon

Member
Messages
1,502
Quite honestly in-ears in your case is just a bandaid for not fixing the real problem which is the band members playing for themselves rather than trying to blend as a band and play actual music. It might get you where you can function, but I wouldn't lose sight of everyone getting together and coming to an understanding about professional volume discipline on stage or in rehearsal if the band really wants to be successful.
 

tjstrat

Member
Messages
64
Do you already have it set up so your guitar amp is pointed at your head? If not, get an amp stand or something to tilt the speakers at you, then the guitar is "in ears" automatically.
Yup. I've tilted it back, set up plexiglas sound shields, put packing blankets within a foot or so of the open back of the cabinet... and I still get it from the bassist.
 

tjstrat

Member
Messages
64
Usually, stage positioning can keep your beam to yourself and out of another player's space.
Looks like it works for Yngwie:dude lots of stage room needed.:)
Problem is that no stage positioning has worked. I've suggested that one of us move, but the party involved needs me to help cue him.
 

tjstrat

Member
Messages
64
Quite honestly in-ears in your case is just a bandaid for not fixing the real problem which is the band members playing for themselves rather than trying to blend as a band and play actual music. It might get you where you can function, but I wouldn't lose sight of everyone getting together and coming to an understanding about professional volume discipline on stage or in rehearsal if the band really wants to be successful.
We have over 75 gigs booked this year so far... we have people who are EXTREMELY comfortable with the ways things have been done all their playing careers.
 

Endr_rpm

Member
Messages
3,423
We have over 75 gigs booked this year so far... we have people who are EXTREMELY comfortable with the ways things have been done all their playing careers.

Old dogs and new tricks comes into play here. And as long as you keep getting booked back to the same places, why change?

I mean, other than tinnitus of course
 

DunedinDragon

Member
Messages
1,502
We have over 75 gigs booked this year so far... we have people who are EXTREMELY comfortable with the ways things have been done all their playing careers.
Well that's pretty good I suppose for a band in which the bass player needs you to stand near him to cue him. However I'm guessing I won't be seeing your band in any of the elite music marketplaces like Vegas, LA, Nashville, Memphis, Austin, NY, New Orleans, Orlando, Cruise Lines...etc.
 
Messages
1,291
I'm planning to try IEMs because the drummer in the band I'm in plays way too loud, and everyone else turns up to compensate, so he plays even louder . . . I have to wear earplugs anyway to keep from going completely deaf, and the earplugs make everything sound so weird and muffled that IEMs will probably be a huge improvement.
 

onwingsoflead

Member
Messages
2,382
I'm a big fan of in ears. Well mixed in ear monitoring makes it much easier to hear what you need, and not hear what you don't. I've noticed it being especially helpful with vocals.

To the OP, there are two things to consider. What are you using to create your IEM mix, and then is this going to be a full band change over or not. The simplest way to do it is to slap a headphone amp like one of the Rolls units on one of monitor sends. As long as you trust the sound guy to give you what you need, you'll be fine. But if you want more control.....it gets a bit more complex.

At that point you would definitely want to have a full band set up to make it more cost effective. There are a number of videos that detail how to build out a rig using something like the Behringer X Air 18 and a few other peripherals. The advantage here is that it opens up the possibility of click tracks (and cues), as well as setting mixes up ahead of the gig, so that any sound check is really just for your FOH guy.

Once you've crossed those bridges I'd be glad to help you even further.
 

Chic-Pop

Member
Messages
1,335
Set up your guitar amp close and angled toward you. Set up the bass amp a distance away and angled at him/her. Once you find that magic sweet spot in the sine hump for the bass, that player will begin to realize that they were actually louder than they thought. (But maybe they like that)...
 

tjstrat

Member
Messages
64
Well that's pretty good I suppose for a band in which the bass player needs you to stand near him to cue him. However I'm guessing I won't be seeing your band in any of the elite music marketplaces like Vegas, LA, Nashville, Memphis, Austin, NY, New Orleans, Orlando, Cruise Lines...etc.
Uhhhhh... No. Archetypal "Why does everyone like THIS band so much?"
 




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