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IEM advice for newbies? Rig set up?

Discussion in 'Rigs and Routing' started by Dealmaker, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. Dealmaker

    Dealmaker
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    So we are all sick of having terrible ringing in our ears after a gig...combination of somewhat over-enthusiastic back-line/drums volume and a singer who likes a LOT of stage volume.....plus many of the gigs we do - the sound guys like to ramp everything up and we end up with the PA bouncing back at us.....

    Anyway - we think its time we embraced IEM - to save our hearing and be able to hear what we actually want to hear.......

    However we are totally naive about it .....we each have our own rigs - 2 x Guitar (both on AXE) - bass player , vocalist x 2, and drums.

    Usually at most gigs we have the AXE's to FOH - and use our own FRFR as monitors on output 2...the bass rig goes DI to FOH and the rig itself is used for monitoring.......the vocalist use either Shure Mic's or sometimes wireless mic, and the drums are sometimes mic'd up - and sometimes, dependent on venue - they aren't.......

    So can someone give me a REALLY simple synopsis of how we'd use IEM - where do we get the respective feeds from - where do we mix what everyone wants in their own IEM - what sort of reasonably priced IEM we could buy, and whether we can mix "on the fly" ?? I've seen some mega-rigs on the Fractal Axe Facebook page (theres a lovely one in there at present) - where they are using I think, Logic Pro (that we also know nothing about!) and an iPad to mix their IEM feeds??

    Would be great if someone could sort of paint me a mental picture of the gear we would need and how we would wire it.....compunding the issue - a lot of gigs we play we do a 1 hour set as part of a 5 or 6 bad line-up - so we need to get on and set up quickly ......

    Thanks for any ideas!
     
  2. zionplayer

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    I can explain what I have, but as usual there are multiple ways to do it - probably only limited by your funds. One thing you said may be a major limiter - "...reasonably priced..." will have a direct impact on sound quality/flexibility, which is where I focused to make sure my rig met both requirements.

    Ears - you can do anything from iPod buds to custom molds. My on stage satisfaction is directly related to sound quality, so I have custom mold Gorilla Ears 5 driver. Sounds so good... not cheap. Worth every penny tho.
    Connection - I have a mix of units: several wireless Shure systems (lead vox, guitar, bass), but you can also do wired for much less $$. I do have drummer and keys running wired to a headphone amp (ART Pro6, was $130, can run 6 different headphone mixes if I want).
    Brain - I use Behringer x32 - works great: Allows me to run 16 xlr/6 TRS in, 8 xlr/6 TRS out. With this I can run FOH in stereo, and still have 6 stereo IEM sends (or 13 mono if you prefer mono. Stereo works much better for me, esp. with ears.)
    Split - I recently added two ART 8 channel Mic splitters: so now I can run whole system with x32 running FOH, OR I can run as monitor board only and split to House system if needed. Plus, all my xlr's are now in rack front. So flexible.

    All this is in one 14 space rolling rack, so we roll it in, plug in amps to FOH feed (or plug into house snake from my splitters) and we are golden. Plus, monitor mix doesn't change much from place to place. And each player can mix their own IEM with iPad, iPhone or Android (up to 10 devices). nice... flexibility, great sound quality... probably not "reasonably priced" depending on your definition, but is how I did it.

    And - no FRFR or bass rig on stage, so volume goes way down. And so does setup time and load in/load out. If we could just get the drummer to do electronic, would be golden! You do need to mic the drums every time this way, not for house but for ears. And we do use a couple of stage mics for "ambient/audience" so we are not completely isolated. Good luck!
     
    pjrake and Randy4Guitars like this.
  3. #3 s0c9, Apr 27, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
    s0c9

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    Bolded items are pretty much us also.. .
    Except, my buds are 1964 Ears Qi's (quads) and have a Senn EW300 G3 IEM system while the others are all on pure PSM200 systems. Stereo vs Mono mix and all that.. but it works well!

    Yes, rack mounted X32 with IEM mixes going from busses 1-5 into wireless units mounted in rack.
    Likewise, power up and go.. either our feeds to our FOH, or snake split from House.
    Same IEM mix no matter the gig.. and I manage my IEM mix from my iPad, thru the router connected to the X32.

    Yes, there is a cost associated with going wireless. But you still NEED good buds no matter the route.
    Over the last 6 yrs of local gigging, I've been down the wired, semi-wired, Aviom/P16M and now wireless routes. Like most, that was TOTALLY based on available budget and wanting to hear ourselves better and SAVE our hearing.. In retrospect, I would bypass all other variations (and had the knowledge I gained along the way) and go for a wireless system.
    Start simple but decent (PSM200/300 or Carvin EM900) and go from there. Get GOOD ears!! Most that come with entry level are single driver and cause issues with instrument separation.

    Wireless is by FAR the easiest to get working - not the cheapest tho.
    But...once you buy it, set it up, the only challenge is managing frequencies and AA batteries.
    I'm completely wireless and mobile - L6 G90 in, Senn G3 IEM's out...

    Simple, elegant, works, and power up and go...
    Save up your $$.. buy a GOOD system.. you will thank yourself!! :eagerness:
     
    Randy4Guitars likes this.
  4. Zwiebelchen

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    If it's just about preventing hearing-damage after longer sessions and not really about actually having IEM - and this is what I extracted out of your post - then the solution is plain and simple: get ear buds. They filter out the dangerous frequencies just fine (above 2khz) and you can freely adjust how much volume/frequencies you actually want filtered out by simply not pushing them in all the way.

    If you want to be more fancy, get custom ear buds.


    IEM is fine if you actually want the benefits of IEM. But that's not the impression I got from reading the TO. If it's only about hearing damage, then there is no reason to dismiss all the good that comes with volume (like feedback).
     
    s0c9 likes this.
  5. dpeterson

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    Keep in mind that some musicians will not like it at all and refuse to use. If nobody has ever used them in your band it might behoove you to get one system and let people try it out and see if it works before sinking a bunch of coin on it. We have been using a jamhub for practice so it's very similar using IEMs. We have had guys come down and audition and was great, but couldn't get used to practicing with headphones.

    We went full in, rack, x32rack, sennheiser g3's, splitter snake, and drum mics, and it's very consistent gig to gig, no ears ringing, and I can hear everything.
     
    s0c9 likes this.
  6. #6 s0c9, Apr 28, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015
    s0c9

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    +1000 !!!!
    Over the various types of IEM use I mentioned in my post above (with various bands and members) there have been those who simply will NOT (or CANNOT) adjust from wedges and loud stages to actual IEM use!
    They are what I call the "pant leg flapper brigade" and have consisted of bass, guitar and vocals - even drummers.

    Biggest complaints are -

    • isolation (can't hear/feel myself)
    • can't hear/distinguish others in my mix.
    Much of this can be addressed with 3rd party multi-driver buds (universal or custom), decent IEM system hardware (NOT entry level, tho' budget is always a constraint) and "stereo" IEM mixes.
    As with much.. YMMV.


    And..as Zwiebelchen above mentioned... maybe you just need ear plugs..
    However, if you have ringing in your ears at practice, that is a WARNING sign...
    REMEMBER - HEARING LOSS CANNOT BE RECOVERED !!!
    Once it's gone, it's gone.. PROTECT YOUR EARS!!!
     
    dpeterson likes this.
  7. xrist04

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  8. Zwiebelchen

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    This is nore entirely true. In fact, both the physical (hair cells) and neural system of our hearing mechanism have a certain self-repair and protection mechanism. As always, younger people have a higher chance of recovering from any temporary damage.

    Obviously, it can't and won't restore your initial hearing capacity, but at least to a certain extent, you can actually recover from hearing loss.
     
  9. jlynnb1

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    What is a non fractal rig?
     
  10. s0c9

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    To a certain physiological extent that may be true,.. but it varies from person to person.

    I would never promote that hearing damage is recoverable (even if only a small percentage was) because people tend to believe what they read on the interweb (it must be true) and the world is full of idiots who will do the damage and not recover from it.
    At that point, it's too late!
     
  11. Zwiebelchen

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    I was just pointing out some factoids here. No judgement. ;)

    And it's good to know that some damage is revertable when you already lost your hearing.


    The fun part? Most of modern day hearing damage doesn't come from rock concerts. It comes from this:

    [​IMG]
     
    s0c9 likes this.
  12. matador86

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    The benefits are you can lug your whole rig around in one case, mostly connected, just plug in your speaker cab, guitar and midi controller and off you go. The other benefit is that you can preset your tones, and recall them with the touch of a button. Granted, there is some setup time involved, but in the grand scheme of things, it's negligible.
     

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