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Dialing tones for use with IEMs

Curious, how many people are using the Axe III with in ear monitors? Anyone have any tips or tricks to share? Personally, I’ve been creating separate signal paths for FOH and my IEM’s. This way I can add more bass, and be more aggressive with reverbs and delays. In my experience, you sacrifice the feeling of power for clarity. Wondering if anyone has a creative solution for feeling a bit more of that power beyond adding subs.
 

Semih Yanyali

Experienced
when i play with inears and have the option, i add a little bit off stereo-room reverb to my mix. the stereo image and space gets you closer to being in the room with a cabinet.
 

Chad Beattie

Experienced
I've been using IEM's for many years. After having the III, my ear mix has never sounded better. I started messing with an alternate path for IEM's, but eventually realized what I was sending FOH sound wonderful as is.
 

Hooligan

Inspired
I’m having the same experience as Chad. With the 2, I had separate send from each patch with a stereo enhancer and a 15ms delay to counteract the “flat” sound in my iems. With the 3, I have just been using the same signal that I send to FOH, and it sounds great.
 

chris

Legend!
in my opinion, you shouldn't have to dial a fundamental tone differently for different speakers. if we mic a real amp/cab, that signal is going to all speakers, IEMs, etc. you don't use a separate amp for your in-ear tone.

what people may not realize or try is to EQ each speaker send specifically for the speaker. FOH always EQ's the mains, stage monitors are always EQ'd to prevent feedback (and hopefully to sound good). there's no reason an IEM send shouldn't be EQ'd as well.

for example, here is the curve i use for the Shure SE215:

IMG_0085.jpg

these are the $99 IEMs, but i prefer them in most situations because of how predictable they are. in my experience, having way too much Low Frequency in an IEM send is what kills the experience for many. yes, we want to feel the bass and all of that, but the driver/speaker is millimeters from our ear drum - there isn't enough space to feel anything there. so i dump a bunch of lows. even after this major cut in lowend, i still feel the fundamental and great bass tone from either my guitar, or a bass guitar, kick drum, etc. you'll have to experiment with how much to cut.

once this low end is out of the way, everything else above it feels like it opens up suddenly, with much more clarity than before. i then take care of the most irritating mid frequencies that i hear - set a small Q, then boost and move around till it's the most irritating, then cut it. for me it's around 250 and 2k on the SE215. and with this particular IEM, i feel there isn't enough high end, so i boost the high shelf to taste.

i don't have a picture of it on me now, but my curve for the Westone UM30Pro is completely different. i think i leave the high end alone, don't cut as much bass, and the mid notches are way different. i actually have more trouble dialing in the UM30Pro than the SE215. they both end up sounding great to me.

a thing to remember is that these are monitors so we can hear what we are doing clearly, and perform well. i feel they shouldn't be used to "sound like a recording." listening to music and performing music are 2 different things.

dial in your guitar tone to sound good on your speakers. then EQ the other speaker systems to balance out their own voicings, and make THAT sound like your original tone, instead of redialing your tone.

and yes, a touch of reverb or room sound goes a long way for the entire IEM mix. just a bit.
 

jlynnb1

Fractal Fanatic
using with IEM's for years, always happy with my tone, never felt the need to hear it differently.
 

ccroyalsenders

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
dial in your guitar tone to sound good on your speakers. then EQ the other speaker systems to balance out their own voicings, and make THAT sound like your original tone, instead of redialing your tone.
This. But dial in the ears with a speaker in the room to feed audio back into the guitar. Otherwise it won't translate the way you want.

Also try the Enhancer (try the Stereoizer type). I've ended up throwing it on almost every ears mix I've ever dialed.
 

bdrepko

Power User
Personally, I cant get myself to like IEMs. FOH sounds great, wedge monitor sounds great, IEMs have this weird sound that is imparted on the highs. It is hard to explain. It is like a tinny chorusy sound. These are not cheap IEMs. I dont remember the brand as I havent used them in years. But they cost a lot of money.
 

chris

Legend!
Personally, I cant get myself to like IEMs. FOH sounds great, wedge monitor sounds great, IEMs have this weird sound that is imparted on the highs. It is hard to explain. It is like a tinny chorusy sound. These are not cheap IEMs. I dont remember the brand as I havent used them in years. But they cost a lot of money.
I’ve never experienced that but we all interpret audio differently. Maybe it was summing to mono? Or some other setup thing. I wouldn't say that’s a function of IEMs that always happens.
 

boltrecords

Fractal Fanatic
I’ve been using in ears for years now with my axe. Never been 100% satisfied. I was thinking recently of trying to run a separate Signal path so that I can tweak it slightly for the in ears.

Do most of you run the guitar in stereo to the in ears and mono to the FOH? I’ve never ran my foh signal in stereo before therefore I’ve always kept my IEM signal mono as well.

I’m curious as to how some of you run your axefx iii outs. Right now i run Out 1 left to my speaker. Out 2 Left to FOH. That way i can have separate volumes to each if need be. Does anyone run a separate set of outs solely for the in ears ?
 

ccroyalsenders

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
I’ve been using in ears for years now with my axe. Never been 100% satisfied. I was thinking recently of trying to run a separate Signal path so that I can tweak it slightly for the in ears.

Do most of you run the guitar in stereo to the in ears and mono to the FOH? I’ve never ran my foh signal in stereo before therefore I’ve always kept my IEM signal mono as well.

I’m curious as to how some of you run your axefx iii outs. Right now i run Out 1 left to my speaker. Out 2 Left to FOH. That way i can have separate volumes to each if need be. Does anyone run a separate set of outs solely for the in ears ?
Yes, Output 1 XLR left to FOH if the PA is mono. Otherwise, I give them both. Output 1 1/4" stereo to our ears rack (X32 with iPads for each person to dial their mix). FOH can tweak the sound as much as they want and I'll always hear exactly what I want to hear. You could obviously use Out 1 and 2 as well so your EQ changes don't change what's going to FOH, but I can't remember the last time I changed something during a show. YMMV.
 
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chris

Legend!
I’ve been using in ears for years now with my axe. Never been 100% satisfied. I was thinking recently of trying to run a separate Signal path so that I can tweak it slightly for the in ears.

Do most of you run the guitar in stereo to the in ears and mono to the FOH? I’ve never ran my foh signal in stereo before therefore I’ve always kept my IEM signal mono as well.

I’m curious as to how some of you run your axefx iii outs. Right now i run Out 1 left to my speaker. Out 2 Left to FOH. That way i can have separate volumes to each if need be. Does anyone run a separate set of outs solely for the in ears ?
even with a single speaker on the floor, we have 2 ears and "sense" things due to space, the difference between the audio arriving at our left ear vs right, etc. that's why i run my IEM sends in Stereo.

most of the instruments are Mono, but i can pan them to give that sense of space. my guitar is usually in Stereo - with chorus, delay, or even just reverb (usually from the mixer) being the stereo components. this also gives a great amount of space to interpret, even though i'm plugged up with IEMs.

if i'm using IEM, i typically always use my own mixer for the band IEM send only, or for both IEM and FOH. with that setup, i send one signal to the mixer (Out 1 in stereo) and use the Mixer to EQ and adjust mixes as necessary.

i can't imagine using IEMs just for my own guitar and nothing else. so at some point, some mixer has to send me the rest of the band. i suppose you could use Out 1 for FOH, Out 2 for your own IEM send, and somehow mix a send of "everything else" with your own guitar. then you control your own guitar level directly on the Out 2 knob, and blend it with whatever signal you're getting from the band mixer.

there are so many ways to accomplish this. but to me, Mono IEM just doesn't work long term. in a pinch, quick gig, etc. sure i'll do it. but if it's 2+ hours, i want that spatial sound.

i've actually stumbled on a really affordable hard-wired IEM setup that works anywhere, as long as the mixer has 2 available Aux sends for you. it's an XLR insert cable, then to the Behringer PM1 or P2. this special XLR insert takes 2 XLR sends and merges them to ONE XLR male, sending a stereo signal to the headphone box. full discreet stereo over a single cable (after the Y end at the mixer), with no chance of wireless interference because it's hard-wired. of course, this depends on the features of the Mixer, but with many bands and venues using digital mixers, this is usually easy to achieve. about $50 for this setup (plus IEMs of your choice) and you can take it anywhere, again considering mixer features.
 
in my opinion, you shouldn't have to dial a fundamental tone differently for different speakers. if we mic a real amp/cab, that signal is going to all speakers, IEMs, etc. you don't use a separate amp for your in-ear tone.

what people may not realize or try is to EQ each speaker send specifically for the speaker. FOH always EQ's the mains, stage monitors are always EQ'd to prevent feedback (and hopefully to sound good). there's no reason an IEM send shouldn't be EQ'd as well.

for example, here is the curve i use for the Shure SE215:

View attachment 51340

these are the $99 IEMs, but i prefer them in most situations because of how predictable they are. in my experience, having way too much Low Frequency in an IEM send is what kills the experience for many. yes, we want to feel the bass and all of that, but the driver/speaker is millimeters from our ear drum - there isn't enough space to feel anything there. so i dump a bunch of lows. even after this major cut in lowend, i still feel the fundamental and great bass tone from either my guitar, or a bass guitar, kick drum, etc. you'll have to experiment with how much to cut.

once this low end is out of the way, everything else above it feels like it opens up suddenly, with much more clarity than before. i then take care of the most irritating mid frequencies that i hear - set a small Q, then boost and move around till it's the most irritating, then cut it. for me it's around 250 and 2k on the SE215. and with this particular IEM, i feel there isn't enough high end, so i boost the high shelf to taste.

i don't have a picture of it on me now, but my curve for the Westone UM30Pro is completely different. i think i leave the high end alone, don't cut as much bass, and the mid notches are way different. i actually have more trouble dialing in the UM30Pro than the SE215. they both end up sounding great to me.

a thing to remember is that these are monitors so we can hear what we are doing clearly, and perform well. i feel they shouldn't be used to "sound like a recording." listening to music and performing music are 2 different things.

dial in your guitar tone to sound good on your speakers. then EQ the other speaker systems to balance out their own voicings, and make THAT sound like your original tone, instead of redialing your tone.

and yes, a touch of reverb or room sound goes a long way for the entire IEM mix. just a bit.
Thanks a bunch for your insight, Chris! I’m gonna try your these suggestions next rehearsal.
 

boltrecords

Fractal Fanatic
even with a single speaker on the floor, we have 2 ears and "sense" things due to space, the difference between the audio arriving at our left ear vs right, etc. that's why i run my IEM sends in Stereo.

most of the instruments are Mono, but i can pan them to give that sense of space. my guitar is usually in Stereo - with chorus, delay, or even just reverb (usually from the mixer) being the stereo components. this also gives a great amount of space to interpret, even though i'm plugged up with IEMs.

if i'm using IEM, i typically always use my own mixer for the band IEM send only, or for both IEM and FOH. with that setup, i send one signal to the mixer (Out 1 in stereo) and use the Mixer to EQ and adjust mixes as necessary.

i can't imagine using IEMs just for my own guitar and nothing else. so at some point, some mixer has to send me the rest of the band. i suppose you could use Out 1 for FOH, Out 2 for your own IEM send, and somehow mix a send of "everything else" with your own guitar. then you control your own guitar level directly on the Out 2 knob, and blend it with whatever signal you're getting from the band mixer.

there are so many ways to accomplish this. but to me, Mono IEM just doesn't work long term. in a pinch, quick gig, etc. sure i'll do it. but if it's 2+ hours, i want that spatial sound.

i've actually stumbled on a really affordable hard-wired IEM setup that works anywhere, as long as the mixer has 2 available Aux sends for you. it's an XLR insert cable, then to the Behringer PM1 or P2. this special XLR insert takes 2 XLR sends and merges them to ONE XLR male, sending a stereo signal to the headphone box. full discreet stereo over a single cable (after the Y end at the mixer), with no chance of wireless interference because it's hard-wired. of course, this depends on the features of the Mixer, but with many bands and venues using digital mixers, this is usually easy to achieve. about $50 for this setup (plus IEMs of your choice) and you can take it anywhere, again considering mixer features.
Thanks chris. Just to clearify, I am running my iem in stereo from my X32. I pan all the instruments independently. I just don't run my axe fx left and right to my x32. That is what I am trying to figure out. What cooper explained is what I am trying to do,

One other question I have is, if im running out 1 xlr Left to FOH and out 1 1/4" left and right to the x32, shouldn't I be making Output 1 block stereo? if so, then wouldn't the FOH be missing some signal only getting the left channel? how do you run your presets to make sure the FOH Is getting the correct feed from the left side? normally I would just run SUM left and right so that the left side is sending the same mono signal direct to FOH.
 

chris

Legend!
if im running out 1 xlr Left to FOH and out 1 1/4" left and right to the x32, shouldn't I be making Output 1 block stereo?
i want to make sure we're discussing the same thing here: if you send LEFT to FOH and RIGHT to your x32, you realize you're not hearing a "stereo signal" right? and you're not "sending FOH a stereo signal" right?

the concept of a "stereo signal" doesn't simply mean "2 things." it typically means 2 different signals that work in tandem to make a particular result. so those 2 signals need to go to the same place (same mixer) to create that stereo signal.

as you mentioned, you want to make sure FOH gets the "full" signal, because giving it left only doesn't give it any of the right-side information. that's where you would change the Output Mode in the Axe to Sum L+R. but that's a mono signal now.

do you want to send a stereo signal to FOH and to your x32? if so, a Stereo signal is two signals, so you'd send a pair of cables - left and right - to FOH, and they'd hard pan those signals on the board. and then another 2 signals - left and right - to your x32, hard panned. why hard panned? because your Axe-Fx is taking care of the panning.
 

boltrecords

Fractal Fanatic
i want to make sure we're discussing the same thing here: if you send LEFT to FOH and RIGHT to your x32, you realize you're not hearing a "stereo signal" right? and you're not "sending FOH a stereo signal" right?

the concept of a "stereo signal" doesn't simply mean "2 things." it typically means 2 different signals that work in tandem to make a particular result. so those 2 signals need to go to the same place (same mixer) to create that stereo signal.

as you mentioned, you want to make sure FOH gets the "full" signal, because giving it left only doesn't give it any of the right-side information. that's where you would change the Output Mode in the Axe to Sum L+R. but that's a mono signal now.

do you want to send a stereo signal to FOH and to your x32? if so, a Stereo signal is two signals, so you'd send a pair of cables - left and right - to FOH, and they'd hard pan those signals on the board. and then another 2 signals - left and right - to your x32, hard panned. why hard panned? because your Axe-Fx is taking care of the panning.
incorrect. as cooper stated in the previous post, out 1 XLR is only left going to FOH. Then OUT 1 quarter inch left and right to the x32.

I don't want to run stereo to FOH, at least ive never played anywhere to where stereo would work live at FOH. mostly small clubs that are mono. so running to FOH in mono is fine. I mainly want stereo guitar for my IEM
 
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chris

Legend!
incorrect. as cooper stated in the previous post, out 1 XLR is only left going to FOH. Then OUT 1 quarter inch left and right to the x32.

I don't want to run stereo to FOH, at least ive never played anywhere to where stereo would work live at FOH. mostly small clubs that are mono. so running to FOH in mono is fine. I mainly want stereo guitar for my IEM
Ok. Well I run “half-stereo” all the time. That’s when you keep the Output as Stereo, but only send Left (or right). I know my presets don’t have “missing data” on the other side and that it sounds good like that. Then when I do add the other side, it is stereo, just adding to the sound.

Majority of presets won’t have issue with half-stereo. If you pan your clean amp full left and your lead tone hard right, then you’d have issue.
 

boltrecords

Fractal Fanatic
Ok. Well I run “half-stereo” all the time. That’s when you keep the Output as Stereo, but only send Left (or right). I know my presets don’t have “missing data” on the other side and that it sounds good like that. Then when I do add the other side, it is stereo, just adding to the sound.

Majority of presets won’t have issue with half-stereo. If you pan your clean amp full left and your lead tone hard right, then you’d have issue.
due to the way I'm running my outputs it makes more sense for me to run Output 2 left and right to my x32. This requires me to get XLR to 1/4" adapters. the only ones that I see are XLR to TRS. Will the TRS 1/4 end matter even though I'm running it to just a mono 1/4 connection? I don't see any XLR to TS adapters. Im assuming this adapter will still run in mono just the same. does anyone know if this is correct?
 

boltrecords

Fractal Fanatic
Yes, Output 1 XLR left to FOH if the PA is mono. Otherwise, I give them both. Output 1 1/4" stereo to our ears rack (X32 with iPads for each person to dial their mix). FOH can tweak the sound as much as they want and I'll always hear exactly what I want to hear. You could obviously use Out 1 and 2 as well so your EQ changes don't change what's going to FOH, but I can't remember the last time I changed something during a show. YMMV.
Cooper,

When you run 1/4" cables from out 1 to the x32, are you simply using standard 1/4" cables? my concern is that I want to make sure I have long enough cables for any scenarios. Sometimes our x32 is in a rack on the other side of the stage and if the stage is large enough I need to have long enough cables to reach. I can buy larger 1/4" cables but I'm not sure how a 30-50' 1/4 cable would sound and if there would be any signal loss. would I be better going with long xlr cables and then using xlr to 1/4" adapters on the end? Would one way have less possible signal loss than another. Xlrs are obviously easier to extend if need be as well.
 
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