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Question for the IEM gang


y-o-y

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So, I am really interested in getting my band in on the IEM party. Our income level doesn't really justify spending thousands of dollars on a proper system, but I was thinking we might be able to get away with a wired system to test the waters for a fraction of the price.

 

Has anyone done this?

 

Assuming we all used used the same mix, I'm thinking something along the lines of:

 

Board > 4 channel Headphone amp >[via cable]> ear buds

 

We are a boring "stand in one place and play our instruments" kinda band so mobility and getting all tangled up in cords is not a huge issue.

 

Thoughts?

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You could do it, but make sure you've got a proper limiter setup inline before the headphone amp. Even then, headphone amp may allow you to blast too much sound. One of the best things that IEM rigs have built-in is a limiter, so you don't accidentally pop your eardrums to bits.

 

I'd look into getting used gear, so you don't have to break the bank, but be careful with cheap alternatives. There is a reason more bands don't do it that way..

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+1. Even basic PA's have 2 or 3 sends. Beyond that, it'd end up being a 'everything louder than everything else' contest.

 

 

OK, maybe I oversimplified the description. We do have the capability to provide 4 monitor mixes....so forget about the "if we all shared the same mix" statement. So maybe my idea requires multiple headphone amps, which are cheap.

 

Is the only difference between what I propose and what, for example, YFC is doing, the wires (or lack thereof)?

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I still vote no. For me, wiring all that up just so I can have another set of wires hanging off of me just makes my skin crawl.

 

 

I can totally dig on that. The idea is to provide an inexpensive "test case". If after a few gigs everyone digs on the sound (which I hope to be the case) we make a plan to go all in and invest in the wireless setup. If it is a huge failure..we are only out a few hundred bucks instead of a few thousand bucks.

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If you want to go with one mix, the Galaxy AS-ALS-4 is the cheapest way to do it.

 

Then you'll need to get quality earbuds.

 

 

In short, it cannot be done well on the cheap.

 

 

 

You could definitely do it the way you are talking about and it will work if you guys don't move much on stage.

 

Then again, there is not a good and cheap monitoring solution.

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I can totally dig on that. The idea is to provide an inexpensive "test case". If after a few gigs everyone digs on the sound (which I hope to be the case) we make a plan to go all in and invest in the wireless setup. If it is a huge failure..we are only out a few hundred bucks instead of a few thousand bucks.

 

 

 

That makes sense.

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I'll have to echo the thoughts about everyone sharing a single mix. Having just one monitor mix in "normal" situations is bad enough, but IMO the problems are actually compounded when using IEMs. You really do want to be able to have seperate mixes. Especially if you are using a mono mix. IEMs are great (I am a true believer and won't go back to wedges), but by their nature they are a lot less forgiving of less-than-ideal mixes than traditional monitors.

 

But.......you don't HAVE to spend "thousands of dollars". I built up my whole IEM rig (actually my entire PA and light rig too) piece by piece over a long period of time. I scoured and scrounged for deals/closeouts/used/sales/etc. and picked up each piece one at a time whenever the right deal came along. It took a while, and a fair bit of patience (which is hardly a strong suit for me), but in the end I built up a pretty nice rig for a small fraction of what it would have cost going for it all in one shot at full retail.

 

One nice benefit is that I learned a lot along the way, and was able to ease into going "full IEM".

 

Unfortunately, it seems that E(vil)bay has gone to absolute sh*t so that avenue is no longer as useful as it was even a year or two ago. Still, there are many other ways to find killer deals (C-list, bands upgrading or packing it in, "fire sales", end of the year blowouts, trade ins on gear you can get rid of, etc.).

 

Like I said, I'm a big fan of IEMs and highly recommend going that route if you can. And while it's definately possible to get into it cheaper than it might seem initially, there IS a certain level you've got to go with (and pay for) to make it worthwhile. Unfortunately I'd have to also vote "no" to the method you propose. Don't give up though, with a bit of creativity, a fair amount of luck, and some patience and work, you might find that doing it the right way is still within your means. Good luck.

 

 

 

 

All that said, I HUGELY lust after Tbroom's rig. Dang that would be nice if I had the dineros.

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