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IEMs and stage volume


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We use IEMs and I still use an amp. We don't play real loud because we let the PA do the work. WE also don't use our IEMs correctly. We usually just use them in one ear. This can be dangerous if you are not careful with the volume. The big advantages are less gear to move,no feedback, and better front of house sound since you are not dealing with monitor wash.

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We use IEMs and I still use an amp. We don't play real loud because we let the PA do the work. WE also don't use our IEMs correctly. We usually just use them in one ear. This can be dangerous if you are not careful with the volume. The big advantages are less gear to move,no feedback, and better front of house sound since you are not dealing with monitor wash.

 

 

Maybe you're not the right guy to ask since you do the "one ear" thing (something I'd like to avoid since I'm fully aware of the potential hazards.) But since you're a bass player, maybe you ARE the right guy---

 

why have the bass or keys or anything else that runs direct to the FOH using any stage volume AT ALL? Is it common for bass players using IEMs to still have a bit of stage volume?

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I'm in a band that uses all IEMs, and I run a bass amp too, mainly because I like to feel the bass a bit, and even the best ear buds won't give you that. But purely electronic stuff has no stage sound. If push came to shove, I suppose I could run bass direct and only monitor it through the IEMs, but I don't think that would be optimal. I haven't tried it, though . . . maybe at our next rehearsal.

 

I don't think IEMs have brought our overall volume down much, because they also sort of work like ear plugs so when they're in we don't sound loud to ourselves. But as I see it, they're mainly about feedback control, and being able to control our own individual monitor mixes.

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We use IEMs but we don't use amps and the drummer uses a TD-20 kit. Generally when I run sound for bands with IEMs and amps, the amps are actually quite quiet on stage and the SR and IEM systems do all the heavy lifting. They mostly use the amps because that is what they are used to and it does give them the "feeling" of live music. Some bass players, like drummers, need to feel the sound. We are OK without that in my band but I know others can't deal with not "feeling" it.

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We use IEMs but we don't use amps and the drummer uses a TD-20 kit. Generally when I run sound for bands with IEMs and amps, the amps are actually quite quiet on stage and the SR and IEM systems do all the heavy lifting. They mostly use the amps because that is what they are used to and it does give them the "feeling" of live music. Some bass players, like drummers, need to feel the sound. We are OK without that in my band but I know others can't deal with not "feeling" it.

 

 

What's your guitarist use? A Line 6 processor or something similar?

 

I'd love to get away from stage volume altogether. The drummer still plays an acoustic kit, but is considering going to pads. Cost IS an issue with ALL this stuff, of course.

 

Another consideration is that our show involves a good deal of having audience members get up on stage with us. With no amps, we'd probably have to have at least SOME sort of stage monitoring so it still sounds like something on stage. Although maybe the FOH would provide enough of that? I have no idea until we tried it out.

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I'm sure IEM's would be a godsend for your FOH guy, running one monitor(maybe two) with a basic mix onstage wouldn't be a problem, if their is enough Aux's to do so.

 

 

It would be a godsend in MANY ways: lower stage volume, preserving what's left of our aging ears, less gear to haul around. The biggest issues are A) adjusting to the new sound enviornment. I imagine after 30+ years of listening to a stage mix, IEMs can be a bit of an adjustment. B) cost. We'll need a minimum of 5 monitor sends, so that immediately shoots up the cost another $2K just for a separate monitor mixer. We COULD probably get by with our present 4 monitor mixes if 2 of us are willing to share a mix. But I'm sure we'd all rather not, plus I'm not too sure how much I really want to run an IEM monitor mix from the FOH-board position. I've seen bands do it where they'll put the monitor mixer somewhat in the middle of the stage (back near the drummer) making it possible for each member to control his own mix rather than having to try to relay signals back-and-forth to the sound guy in the middle of songs or taking extra time between songs.

 

Seems like the best system overall to me.

 

How are others here running their IEM mixes? Separate monitor mixer? Players sharing mixes? Running monitor mix from onstage or from FOH-board position?

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A friend's band has their monitor mixer on stage for tweaking. I'm sure once it's set, it doesn't vary too much from gig to gig.

 

 

PROBABLY not. Then again, all it likely takes is for the one of the guys on stage to send a bit hotter signal this gig than he did the last one for the whole mix to be thrown off?

 

Again, I have no experience with them, but I can only imagine that through an isolated earbud mix that the mix needs to be nearly perfect as opposed to "real world" listening where you can just sort of tune-out or deal-with a bass player that's too loud, or change your position on stage to hear the guitarist a bit better or some such.

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One other thing to think about if you all go with IEMS. Put out a mic on stage with a switch on it that will let anyone in the band talk to the others without everybody having to scream at each others. Obviously this mic would not be sent to FOH.

 

Also, put up 3 or 4 mics around the stage and facing the crowd. This will help big time with the isolated feeling you can get with IEMs. The most important reason for these mics though ( and this is from experience ), if you have audience members up front trying to talk to you or get your attention.... You don't hear them, but they'll think you're just some asshole that's ignoring them. It happened to me, I had some girl tell me I was a {censored}ing asshole because I kept ignoring her in between songs. I couldn't convince her that I didn't hear her, she was with a group of about 15 chics. I bought them a round of shots and patched things up. The word of mouth from 15 chics telling their friends your band is a bunch of arrogant dicks has the real potential to spread like wirlfire.

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That might be the way to do it but it also complicates things, depending on what level you're playing at.

 

I swear, there is always someone looking for an open mike at every gig, hate to give them 3 or 4 options to sing out of tune.

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We're considering switching to IEMs, but I have a general question for bands here who use them:


How loud do you play on stage? For people like the bass player and keyboard player, do you have any stage volume AT ALL? If so, why and how much?

 

 

In my case - because I'm the only band member using IEMs - I have to "move air on stage" so that my bandmates can hear me. IF we had a powerful enough monitor system - that would perhaps be a different story. However, our monitor wedge setup is really sized to be a "vocals only" type setup.

 

As far as setting my stage volume goes - I play the first couple of tunes without my IEMs (listening to stage volume only). Once I get a sense that the mix (both FOH and monitors) is good and the volume is about right - I put in my IEMs (where it's virtually always much lower in terms of volume than the stage!) and forget about it. My guitar player knows which fader on my mixer control my keyboard rig stage volume - and knows that he's got an open invitation to set it wherever he and the rest of the band want to so that they hear what they want of me on stage.

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At least one (I never thought of needed 3 or 4) "ambience" mics would be essential, I would think. I can't imagine doing a live gig without "hearing" the room at all. A mic for talking to each other? I never thought of that. I would think just pulling one ear bud out so somebody could talk into it would be sufficient?

 

People being able to come up and talk to you....yeah...never really thought about that before.

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At least one (I never thought of needed 3 or 4) "ambience" mics would be essential, I would think. I can't imagine doing a live gig without "hearing" the room at all. A mic for talking to each other? I never thought of that. I would think just pulling one ear bud out so somebody could talk into it would be sufficient?


People being able to come up and talk to you....yeah...never really thought about that before.

 

 

some IEM systems you can use a lavalier mic that you clip to your shirt. So if someone is talking to you then are able to hear them.

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What's your guitarist use? A Line 6 processor or something similar?


I'd love to get away from stage volume altogether. The drummer still plays an acoustic kit, but is considering going to pads. Cost IS an issue with ALL this stuff, of course.


Another consideration is that our show involves a good deal of having audience members get up on stage with us. With no amps, we'd probably have to have at least SOME sort of stage monitoring so it still sounds like
something
on stage. Although maybe the FOH would provide enough of that? I have no idea until we tried it out.

 

 

The guitarist uses a Line 6 PODxt Pro. We have no sound on stage but the sound of drumsticks on a pad and singing. We can do full sound checks and rehearsals with virtually no sound at all. FOH is very easy to hear on stage because there is nothing for the sound to compete with. With the IEMs in (I wear custom molds) I really couldn't hear much sound on the stage anyway.

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At least one (I never thought of needed 3 or 4) "ambience" mics would be essential, I would think. I can't imagine doing a live gig without "hearing" the room at all. A mic for talking to each other? I never thought of that. I would think just pulling one ear bud out so somebody could talk into it would be sufficient?


People being able to come up and talk to you....yeah...never really thought about that before.

 

 

The lav mic works much better then the ambient mics around the stage. When someone wants to talk to me they just talk to me. I put my earbuds in before the show and very rarely take them out until we start packing at the end of the night. We tried ambients but they only let you hear what is happening around the mic even if it is across the stage. The lav really helps when people come up with requests.

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Well, I just bought an A&H WZ3 12M mixer, so we're "all in" at this point. Scary, actually.

 

Since we use more than 16 channels at FOH, I'm guessing I'll have to figure out a way to submix the drums before the monitors, but not before the mains.

 

Anyone else have this sort of issue?

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How many mics are you using for drums now? You might be able to get by with just the kick and a couple of overheads in the monitor mix since the drums will probably bleed into the vocal mics.

 

 

We use 6 drums mics now and occasionally an overhead or two at bigger gigs. I didn't think of just using the kick and overheads. good idea.

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Have you decided what brand/model IEMs you are going to get? The Shure PSM200 is about as cheap as you can go and get good quality. EDIT If you decide to buy used do some research because some of the older models are now illegal to use because they are in arestricted frequency range,

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Have you decided what brand/model IEMs you are going to get? The Shure PSM200 is about as cheap as you can go and get good quality. EDIT If you decide to buy used do some research because some of the older models are now illegal to use because they are in arestricted frequency range,

 

 

Looking at the Galaxy AS-1100s. They got a lot of good marks over at Live Sound.

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Have you decided what brand/model IEMs you are going to get? The Shure PSM200 is about as cheap as you can go and get good quality. EDIT If you decide to buy used do some research because some of the older models are now illegal to use because they are in arestricted frequency range,

 

 

The older 200s were safe. I believe it was the older 400s that were in the forbidden zone.

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