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Solving the in-ears puzzle...

Discussion in 'Rigs and Routing' started by somata, May 25, 2018.

  1. somata

    somata
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    I'm looking to maybe add a set of in-ears to my rig. My band got back together this winter and we're starting to look toward booking some shows, and I'd like to not have engage in volume wars both there and at practice. Here's the catch, I only want to use the in-ears for myself. I play in a tech-y death metal/grind band, so there's little hope of being able to grab a monitor mix from the board, I literally just want to be able to turn myself up a bit in balance with the rest of the band as needed, without turning up my amp/cab.

    Live, I run my Axe FX 2 into a Matrix GT800>cab via output 2. I'm thinking I can take output 1 XLR outs into an in-ear receiver, and then give myself a bit of a mix as needed. I've tried this with an inexpensive Galaxy Audio system with mixed results. Sound was just thin and not happening. That may have been due to using cheap earbuds (so I can return the good ones I bought if this idea doesn't work out.)

    So this morning I'm thinking about grabbing the Shure PSM300 system with the 215 earbuds. Will that give me better sound? Can I pan the PSM300 so I have nothing in 1 ear and everything in the other? I was surprised at how quickly I could lose our drummer with the mix in both ears.
     
  2. REDD

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    Westone Am pro _30's
     
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  3. lqdsnddist

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    I would not use IEM’s as a personal monitor without the ability to control the band mix.

    As you move around stage your going to hear more or less of the drummer etc and your then going to want more or less volume for your own monitor levels. Too loud and you can’t hesr anyone else, too soft and you can’t hear yourself well.

    Whole point of IEMs is to give yourself an ideal mix, hearing yourself and everyone else, mixed to taste, anywhere on stage.

    IMO, IEM’s just aren’t worth the expense and bother if you can’t run a band mix through them with the ability to adjust the relative levels
     
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  4. lqdsnddist

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    Likewise, trying to use a monoaural IEM to hear the drummer acoustically and then your guitar in the other ear would drive me crazy
     
  5. FreeMind

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    You know what's also cool? Having your own on stage mixer, so you don't have to rely on the sound engineer to do your headphone mix.
     
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  6. #6 Paperjace, May 25, 2018
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
    Paperjace

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    I've been through this myself and with my band.

    So IEMs are tricky. Tricky in the sense that they're typically built to isolate yourself from the rest of the band and rely solely on what's coming through your IEMs. To get the very best use of them is to go all out and have the entire band use them. That'll require you building a whole rack, have everyone's instruments miced up and going direct into a mixer, adjusts everyone's levels on a mixer, and send that mix to the wireless IEM transmitters. This is what we ended up doing. It was expensive and took time to save money, build, and set up, but it was totally worth it and we love it. No more lugging cabs to band practice. Msg me if you want more details on everything we did.

    But you just want to use your own IEM system right now and find the perfect balance between hearing yourself vs. the rest of the band. I recommend either:

    1) Getting ear buds or custom mold IEMs that have a live sound bleed in them. (It's literally just a hole in the side of the ear piece that allows sound to come in). I've never used these, but I know they exist. I can't say how effective and useful the bleed hole is.

    2) Getting a super cheap 2 or 4 channel mixer, cheap condenser microphone, and short mic stand. Use the mic to pickup the band. Take the output of the mixer into one of your inputs on your Shure PSM300. Send your Axe FX output into one of the other Shure PSM300 inputs. Blend between the two to get the right levels.
    The issue with this setup is you're going to have a difficult time finding the right placement of the mic to pick up everyone and every instrument equally. It could sound messy and boomy, but you could just roll off all the low end. You get the most control with this setup, but it's also just a lot of shit to carry around and set up for each show.
     
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  7. dpeterson

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    Another way would be a whirlwind director direct box you can tap off a wedge and get a line signal to go to a mixer. Then blend your guitar with it. I would suggest you hard panning guitar and the mix down the middle will give you some space.
     
  8. REDD

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    Thats what I do, I have a small mixer with My guitar ran stereo, my vocal mic and an ambient room mic and thats it. I don't like or need to hear much of the other members and the ambient mic along with the Am-30's give me everything I need.
     
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  9. trancegodz

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  10. Desmo808

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    If you can't get a feed from the board, I would suggest ambient condenser mics and the Axe FX into a small mixer just for yourself.

    If you can't hear the drums, put the mics closer to the drums. You'll just have to experiment with the best placement. Cut some HF if the cymbals are too deafening.

    Get the best earbuds you can afford. The buds make all the difference.

    Stereo also makes a huge difference. Pan the ambient mics L/R, and your Axe FX in the center. Spatial separation really helps with reducing brain fatigue.
     
  11. Tremonti

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    I second these. Great in ears! Sweetwater will sell them for like $370, if you ask them.
     
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  12. s0c9

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    I guess "expensive" is a relative term.
    We used an X32R with a 16-chan splitter snake - with one leg (end) attached to the X32.
    We always used our own mics, and either hooked directly to OUR splitter snake (using other leg or L/R feeds to FOH) OR hooked into FOH snake and mapped their split back to our box.
    External router - 5G
    Senn G3 IEM - with our own buds (1964 A8's, A12's and others).
    Remote control of our IEM mixes via tablet(s) or phone.
    Hook up, power up and go.
    No messing with monitor mixes, totally separate from FOH.
    Same setup at EVERY gig !!
    Ran like this for TWO YEARS - some 170 gigs!!


    IEM_rack_front.jpg

    IEM-config-2.png
     
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  13. unix-guy

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    Our rig is very similar except we use a Mackie DL32R... And we use 2 ART S-8 splitters in the rack, but I've been thinking of switching them out for a "hardwired" splitter to reduce the number of connectors inside the rack.

    With the S-8s we have 16 channels of snake running to the DL32R input and 16 running out for FOH. Then we've got 8 channels out from the DL32R to the 4 wireless for IEM and 2 more feeding a headphone amp that the drummer uses.

    That's 40 XLR connections in the rack for a 5-piece band before we plug in our 15 channels of inputs to the splitters :eek:
     
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  14. fractalz

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    X32 with P16 for each player = bliss
     
  15. s0c9

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    yeah.. def the cheaper option, however.. we went wireless because we go tired of running CAT5 cable all over the stage and needing to plug each of the P16M's into power. Not really too big a deal on small stages, but it's bad enough hooking up all the mics/DI's. :(
     
  16. somata

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    Many thanks for the info all! Been giving it a try and it's not really doing what I had hoped. I agree a full band mix would be ideal, but having access to something like that isn't practical for the venues we play. Just going to have to have a "volume intervention" lol!!!
     
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  17. dpeterson

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    To derail a bit but not, I had the whole X32, splitter snake, ipad all that. I would go into venues and sound guys would literally recoil in horror. I eventually got sick of that and my band mates always looking at me for help, when it's so easy to use. So there are two coins to everything, and you have to know who you are dealing with, and the tech level of all of those involved. IMHO.
     
  18. Rob13

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    My setup is an XR18, 5ghz external router & everyone in the band has some form of IEM. Keys & drums use wired IEMs; the rest of us use wireless. Not enough auxes for anyone to have a stereo mix, but we get by. I also have a splitter snake, but we haven't had to use that (yet). Only issues we've ever had is when everyone wants to be on their tablet/phone adjusting their mix at the same time.
     
  19. s0c9

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    We ran mono IEM's for a while due to the limited number of output busses on the X32R.
    We added an S16 (not mentioned in my post above) to the rack, next to the splitter. That gave us a full 32 inputs and 16 output busses. Each one of us had stereo IEM mixes, and the drummer used a P16M.
    Yes, one can get by on MONO, but dang, STEREO lets you pan/place the instruments/vocals relative to your position on the stage. with judicious use of effects on each instrument, you can get a MASSIVE spatial sound.
     
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