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  • Pros & Cons to In Ear Monitors?

    Question for the forum, I am a drummer who gigs regularly. I currently use some simple Sony ear buds that are connected to my Tama Rhythm Watch that I use for a click during all songs. As all venues monitors are different, I am thinking about going to an In Ear Monitor to eliminate those with poor monitors. I'd like to hear some pros & cons of using them, some that are a good buy without breaking the bank, and if other drumers here use them along with a click of some kind.

    Thanks for any feedback on this.


  • #2
    We currently have three of the Shure PSM 200 units and they work well. We are a variety band playing 2 shows a month average. My opinion the Sennheiser IEM is far superior but it is also another 1/3 to 1/2 more. I found our last unit on Craigslist for $300 and came with buds which was a really good deal. You want an inear that has limiters in them if they don't stay away. The Shure has this as well as two input channels which being a drummer myself I have a sampler with a click track that I plug into channel two. You can operate separate volumes from say the main monitor mix on ch1 and click track on ch2. Your overall volume is operated via the belt pack. You can also just buy the belt pack which is called a hybrid meaning your can go wired or wireless if you have a transmitter. I think it's a Shure H2R. Their are a few other IEM units that I would stay away from which are under $500 range. Last thing is don't skimp on the ear buds they are not created equal. Hope that helps.

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    • #3

      In ears will definately give you consistancy from gig to gig.  There is a big difference in low frequency responce between custom molded ones and off the shelf buds, especially in the lows (much better with custom molded). You also will have a lot more isolation with custom molded.  I use mine to actually cut the volume on stage and listen at a lower level.

       

      As you are a drummer you should be able to work with wired units and stay away from the whole wireless mess about to happen.  Besides, wireless units sound a bunch worse than wired units (except for Lectrrosonics at about $2500 ea).  You can also achieve a 2 input mix using something as simple as a Rolls PM50 (for about $50).  It has a mic and a monitor input so you can input the click on the mic input and the monitor send from the board on the monitor input and belnd between them.

      Don Boomer

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      • #4
        That sounds like what I need man. And I'm assuming most of these units come with a peak limiter to prevent a soundman hurting you or a feedback issue?

        Comment


        • cappttenron
          cappttenron commented
          Editing a comment

          Personally I dont understand what the big deal is with them.  Wonder how all those great bands of the past sounded so good without them. More wireless more complications IMO.


        • Craig Vecchione
          Craig Vecchione commented
          Editing a comment

          dboomer wrote:

          They pretty much all do.  But having one is not the same as actually getting protection from one.  Most people have a false sense of security about it IMHO.





          The Rolls PM50s doesn't have a limiter.


        • Craig Vecchione
          Craig Vecchione commented
          Editing a comment

          cappttenron wrote:

          Personally I dont understand what the big deal is with them.  Wonder how all those great bands of the past sounded so good without them. More wireless more complications IMO.




          The ability to hear well on stage and keep stage volume down is a real asset. Less stage volume from wedge monitors keeps all that gak out of the vocal and instrument mics. All things considered, it actually is kindof a big deal. And yes, lots of bands sounded good without them, but it's much easier to get there with them.


      • #5
        Yes also have custom ear molds as well. They have great bass response and isolation. I run my ears at very very low volumes when I play. It would pay you to be wired and invest more in the ear buds than a wireless unit in my opinion. Plus custom molded ear buds can be repaired. I have had one side go out and sent it for repair. I keep a $100 pair of Westones as backups.

        Comment


        • OneEng
          OneEng commented
          Editing a comment

          +1 on wired for a drummer.

          As for buds, the SE215's from Shure are very good sounding IEM's and run around $100.00.

          There are tons of advantages (Pro's), so I am not going to go over them all here again.

          Some cons:

          1. Detachment from the band and audience.
          2. I had a drummer that lost dynamics when wearing IEM's since things didn't sound nearly as loud as they do ambiently.

          My entire band uses them and I would never go back to carrying around wedges and amps and dealing with feedback issues again.


      • #6

        I'd definitely put more money towards the buds rather than whatever unit you go with.  Our drummer uses a behringer MicroMon as his headphone amp which works fine.  There are other options. 

         

        As for the buds...I'm a guitar player and used Shure SCL5s until the cable broke.  Just picked up a pair of Shure 425s with the detachable cable and they are great. 


        To me the buds in the $300-$500 range are the best option for performance/price and well worth shelling out a bit more over the cheaper jobs.  I could never justify anything more expensive.  Go with the foam inserts and you'll get a great seal without the extra expense of custom molds.

        geetarz: Nashville Tele w/Fralin and Lollars, Gibson Les Paul Studio, Music Man Luke w/piezo, Music Man Albert Lee HH
        mapz: Mesa Mark V, Jet City JCA50H, Mesa Mini-Rectifier
        efx and such: RC Booster, BB Preamp, Nova System

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        • #7
          Cool guys, thanks for the input. What about the speed and efficiency of using them? Most shows I do are split bill shows that typically gives about 20 minutes to tear down opening bands kit and set up second bands drums and be ready to go. I'm assuming my coverband gigs though will be much easier since I'd be the only drummer there that night.

          Comment


          • Fiveafterfour
            Fiveafterfour commented
            Editing a comment
            Note that nothing I said conflicts with anything you replied...

            Again, there's no struggle to hear anything for me, and it's consistently been the most enjoyable playing time, in no small part due to the ease and comfort of monitoring, of close to three decades kit time for me.

          • cappttenron
            cappttenron commented
            Editing a comment

            How big a room do you typically play to?  I really dont see hardly anyone using in ear monitors unless they are playing in rooms that seat 500 plus in my area.  Even then not that often.  On the other hand I have seen a few people in rooms that dont hold 75 so stage volume shouldnt be a huge issue.


          • OneEng
            OneEng commented
            Editing a comment

            cappttenron wrote:

            How big a room do you typically play to?  I really dont see hardly anyone using in ear monitors unless they are playing in rooms that seat 500 plus in my area.  Even then not that often.  On the other hand I have seen a few people in rooms that dont hold 75 so stage volume shouldnt be a huge issue.


            We use vDrums and keep our volume well under control.  As a result, IEM's actually work out great for smaller gigs.  There is less stuff on the pitifully small stages we are asked to play on, and we don't have cymbals and snare rim shots killing people in a small area.

            The majority of the better bar bands in my area use IEM's.



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