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  • Considering IEM for lively rooms

    I'm considering marshalling an IEM system for the band I play in.  I'm considering this move for basically one reason, which is to improve the sound to the audience in lively rooms.

    During the 9 months or so of the year that's "indoor season" for gigs, it's common that the venue acoustics are awful or worse than awful (painful).  We play a lot of "shop parties"... and it's common that the "shop" is a rented empty "shop" in a light industrial mall or similar, typically being one large room, bare walls and floor, typically a fairly high ceiling (20ft. is common).  We prefer using wedge monitors because sometimes we share the stage with another band (and our band resists change unless there's a compelling reason to change)... but I believe I've come to the realization that wedge monitors are a contributing bane to bad sound in a lively room.  I also believe it will be in the band's best interest to do what we can to deliver the best sound we can in acoustically awful rooms rather than attempt to insist that customers rent venues that have better acoustics.

    I expect a decent IEM rig for the band will be some "real money".  I currently have a Shure PSM-200 rig with custom buds... I probably have somewhere around $600 into my IEM rig... but I'm the only member of the band currently with an IEM rig.  There's 5 members in our band... so I'm guessing somewhere around $3K - $4K will capitalize a decent IEM system.  We run an X-32 board, and everyone (but me) has the smartphone monitor mix app happening... so going to IEM should be relatively simple for the band from a logistics standpoint.

    Anyhoo:  Does anyone here have direct first-hand experience with similar situations:  real lively rooms and running wedge monitors vs. in-ear monitors and do the in-ear monitors make a noticeable (worthwhile) difference?

    I need to catch up with those guys, for I am their leader.

  • #2

    I don't have a whole lot to add other than I just recently started experimenting with IEM's.  I decided to start with wired IEM first before diving full into wireless.  It was a much less expensive method to try it out.  If your band stays mostly to the stage, wired might be a first step?

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    • #3

      Take a good look at Audio Technica's M2 and M3 systems.  Top of the line features and less than you'd think.

      Thanks,
      Bill Cronheim
      Enterainment Systems Corporation
      Back stage since 1973

      Comment


      • RoadRanger
        RoadRanger commented
        Editing a comment

        Yup, IEM's do make a difference as does anything else that keeps sound off the walls and ceiling (down tilts, 60 or 90x45 degree horns toed in). IMO the cheaper IEMs like my single channel AS900's ($175 each) are fine if you don't live in a high rf usage area. Where you are at you just have to make sure the cows ain't transmitting on your frequencies  .


    • #4
      In lively rooms having a band on in ears instead of wedges is great, for foh, and usually for the band. One thing I always suggest though is 2 open mics to mix in with the iems to help with the isolated feeling that seems to keep a lot of people from going in ear full time.

      Comment


      • RoadRanger
        RoadRanger commented
        Editing a comment

        Crownman wrote:
        In lively rooms having a band on in ears instead of wedges is great, for foh, and usually for the band. One thing I always suggest though is 2 open mics to mix in with the iems to help with the isolated feeling that seems to keep a lot of people from going in ear full time.

        Do you mute them during the songs or leave them open?


    • #5
      You may also want to consider that the FOH mix will be effected by the wedges
      With Greater Knowledge Comes Greater Understanding

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      • Audiopile
        Audiopile commented
        Editing a comment

        OneEng wrote:
        You may also want to consider that the FOH mix will be effected by the wedges

        Yes, no doubt... but how it always seemingly is in lively rooms (or any room) is that "soundchecks" are first concerned with getting the monitors up to the performer's comfort level, and then do triage with the FOH mix. 

        In my demonstration (in a lively room), I intend to first get the wedge monitors up nice and spanky hot where they like them, then have the performers put in their IEM's and mute the wedges and then get FOH "right"... the IEM system won't be a player in the FOH mix... and then, mid-stream of a song while running on in-ears and FOH with an audience mic into the IEM mix... hit the button to put the wedge monitor mix in with the "right" FOH mix and see what ensues.  I expect the consensus will be "shut those damn wedges off"... and that should be that for that.


    • #6
      That would be my guess too
      With Greater Knowledge Comes Greater Understanding

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      • Audiopile
        Audiopile commented
        Editing a comment

        Update:

        We had our shake-down cruise for our new AT M3 IEM rig yesterday afternoon.  The session went well, especially considering it was a whole new thing to approx. 150 years of wedge monitor experience performers standing on stage.  Admittedly the IEM's will take some getting used to and additional tweaking, but I doubt we'll be going back to wedges anytime in the future.

        Our stage volume dropped by 20 (+?) dB.  And our BE could actually hit a very tasteful/fat-punchy/clean-uncluttered mix in a 25' x 30' room... and that's never been possible before.

        One thing though:  We'll be running all the IEM's in stereo in the future... during the shake-down cruise we ran 2 in mono, and 3 in stereo... the stereo mix clearly seems to be worth the extra patching.

        Oh yea:  and I think I preferred the factory M3 earbuds to my Livewire custom mold's... both sounded equally acceptable, but the M3 earbuds were much more comfortable.


    • #7
      My band now has 3 out of 5 on in ears... Drummers on a wired setup using shure 535 buds, male singers on m2 system with shure 215's, and female is on psm200 with 215's. Me (bass) and guitarist are both on wedges. I'm only on wedge until the singers find a decent set of there own (both are my sets but they each need them more then me)

      guitarist is really hesitant to change but I'm gonna work on him a little bit... Just let him try them in practice and see how he digs them

      Comment


      • Audiopile
        Audiopile commented
        Editing a comment

        stangconv wrote:

        guitarist is really hesitant to change

        you don't say

        BTW:  You're among good company here.


    • #8
      I should add that, we really dig them. I like the m2 better then the shure for nothing else then it takes AA batteries vs the psm200 9v

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