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MoJoKe

In Ear Monitors - help needed...

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Update - We did our first gig with all three of us using In ears on Saturday night. We were playing in "Bugsy's" at Haven, Devon Cliffs in Exmouth. Quite a reasonable sized venue, but which has a rather impressive PA, so we submixed our desk into two channels on their system, so the FOH sound was quite awesome.

On stage? It was an interesting experience! I think it was made the more interesting because we let one of the other acts use our desk for their backing tracks and maybe something got knocked on the desk and this was a contributory factor in the general opinion that it all "felt better" while we were soundchecking, but not so good when playing live. The drummer and guitarist were using the LD buds shipped with the kit, I was using my new SE315's

We had guitar amp mic'ed, bass DI'd and the kick drum and an overhead. These were auxed into the "left" side, and the three vocals were in the "right" side giving us all the opportunity with the LD MEI1000 to individually balance the two inputs using the "Focus" mode.

The verdict:-

The drummer could hear all three voices quite well, but felt he couldn't hear what [i]he [/i]was playing at all.

The guitarist was over the moon, and could hear everything but felt that he should also have the "HiFi" experience I had with my SE315's, so he and the drummer have already ordered a pair each for the next gig.

As for me, I found the "isolation" effect (compared to using cheaper, simple but reasonable quality buds) was quite disturbing and very, well, "isolating"! I had a reasonable and usable mix, and though I couldn't hear much bass through the in ears, as our sound is very clean, this wasn't a problem as my MB rig was plenty loud enough and as I use 2 x 15's plenty of feel from behind. I also didn't want the bass to swamp the foldback mix unnecessarily, so I could hear everything very well on stage.

Once I got used to the earpieces the biggest problem was actually not hearing the audience! There is always lots of interplay between us and the audience and this was hard to maintain without hearing them properly. There was a moment where one of the crowd came up to the stage and wanted to speak to me, and, as we were part way through a song, I couldn't stop playing to unplug an ear to listen to what he had to say, which must have seemed quite rude to him! When we finished the song I managed to get his attention and explain my difficulty!

I cannot think of a way of overcoming this except by mic'ing the audience! Maybe some boundry mics on the front of the stage, or even shotgun mics high up pointing out, as boundry mics are more likely to be saturated by band noise.

Our first experience did confirm that we do need to mic up the whole drum kit, which isn't a problem except we don't currently have enough XLR channels, so we either need to buy a small submix mixer or upgrade the main desk, which currently only has 6 XLRs, so will need to be at least doubled if we are to also mic up the audience too!

Anyone got any further thoughts? Edited by MoJoKe

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my suggestion for your mixer issue would be to go digital and run your in ears straight from the aux's i know theres been a little bit of talk about it earlier on in the thread but realistically if your eventually going to want to run individual mixes then digital is best something like a yamaha 01v96 can be picked up for less than a grand these days (i know its very easy to spend other peoples money). With all the onboard facilities (comps,eq,fx) you can really craft your sound. also with this you are able to save your in ear mixes so once you have found a mix your happy with you can recall it and it will be the same at any gig. the same applies for your foh mixes as well if you have regular venues you visit which saves on set up time.

something like this would be ideal imo
[url="http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Yamaha-01V96-Mixing-Console-/300908296809?pt=UK_Mixers&hash=item460f883a69"]http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Yamaha-01V96-Mixing-Console-/300908296809?pt=UK_Mixers&hash=item460f883a69[/url]

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Micing up the audience, or using ambient mics to give them their common name when using IEMs is not something new. A lot of pro setups use this to remove the isolation they experience.

You have found out quickly the main gotchas - in order to hear everything properly, everything has to miced... the full kit, every instrument and the vocals. No getting around it... if your buds are good, they are gonna cut so much ambient sound, you'll need to add it to your ears via the mix. As for the drums, a decent overhead and a bass and snare drum mic should be enough... but it may not be enough for the drummer... you shall have to have a play to see how it works out best for everybody. I tend to mic the whole kit if the room is big enough - purely because its sounds better through the PA than not.

One of the things we have found as a band is that talking to each other can be a bit problematic - but it's the drummer that leads the gig so for example if he chooses to reorder the setlist on the fly or anything like that, it can be difficult to lip read what he is saying. The solution? Like the audience mic, he has a mic that is sent to auxes only and not the front of house. It can also be quite amusing to hear what he has to say if anybody screws up mid song! :P I read somewhere that the Dave Matthews bands each have seperate wireless lavlier mics especially for on stage communication so they can talk to each other through the monitor feeds. Pretty pricey... but also pretty awesome.

ACS have a solution for the isolation problem with their "live" series. The ear buds have mics in them and with the live pack, you can mix in ambient sounds as received by these mics within the ear pieces. I say "have a solution", they still haven't hit the market yet... but it's going to be "soon"... but it has been "soon" for considerable time! There is another company who have this sort of approach - I forget their name at the moment but there is a DJ who is posting regularly about them on his blog. (EDIT: found it - [url="http://serato.com/forum/discussion/325426"]http://serato.com/fo...scussion/325426[/url] / [url="http://www.sensaphonics.com/?p=363"]http://www.sensaphonics.com/?p=363[/url]) There is also a mic system at [url="http://dreamearz.com/products.php"]http://dreamearz.com/products.php[/url] but I'm kinda perplexed why they stopped with only one mic. Sense of position/direction is one of the big advantages of running mics in your ears... but they decided to go mono anyway... ?

I'm looking forward to getting the ACS "live" option as the odd time, somebody has come up to me and tried to shout in my ear. Of course, the regularity of this depends upon the gig - on a theatre stage, the chances of this happening is near enough nil... but play a wedding, you are bound to get the odd person come up to you.

Just remembered - Audio Technica also has the feature to plug in a mic for ambient sound on their M2 and M3 packs. I can't remember off the top of my head whether this is mono or stereo - I've not used that feature when I tried out the Audio Technica M3 but maybe Gunsfreddy has used this feature on his M2.

Stick with it though, you'll get used to them before not too long. If you are liking the quality of the transmission to your ears, you are more than half way there. If you like the idea of playing along with a CD, this really is the route to go. The rest of it is getting the mix right - although due to be a shared mix, this may always be a bit of a compromise. For example, in my band, I really like lots of bass drum and a really compressed snare (for obv reasons) with tons of bass guitar and shed loads of my own vocal. Conversely, the lead singer likes to hear not much band but loads of everybody's vocals.

Chrismanbass hits the nail on the head... you will eventually want to go to a digital based mixer - and no doubt you'll be wanting that QU16 sooner rather than later! :P That Yamaha is a good option for the right money although out of 8 auxes, 4 will most likely be used for fx processing - which you must make use of if you are going to make the most of your digital desk... (4 mono auxes will probably be enough for you... but running a stereo rig, I must admit that I like the stereo image in my head... gives for a more natural sound) There's no getting around it, if you want to do IEMs properly, you'll need to drop the cash. As to how much you want to get towards a perfect solution... well, I guess that depends upon budget. For me, I decided it was the route I wanted to take... hence my investment in the digital desk, the T1 Lives, the PSM900 and when it comes out, I am hoping the ambient pack from ACS will be the absolute icing on the cake. So depending on how you look at things, I could actually gig without a rig now... it's just there for visual purposes. The preamp on my GLD80 is far superior than you'll get on any bass amp... and I can control that off an iPad that is mounted to my stand. All I need is a DI box into the stage box... job done.

I love my inears... can't you tell?! :P Edited by EBS_freak

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If you want to go digital on a budget and the channel count is enough for you, you can pick up a Yamaha 01v (original, not the newer '01v96' models) for £300 or less. I've just got one for our band for £160 with the optional ADAT card installed! It's got 12 mic channels plus another two stereo channels with jack inputs, two onboard effects units, four aux sends you can route to analogue outputs for your own IEM/wedge mixes and 4 band EQ and dynamics on every channel. Total recall and motorised faders too. The mic pres aren't the greatest in the world, it's a little bit dated compared to current (but much pricier) digital consoles and there's a bit of a learning curve to using it if you're not a techy type (I learned to mix on a linked pair of Yamaha 02r's back in my teens so it's familiar for me!) but the features to price ratio is pretty ridiculous at current used prices.

I'm without a monitor of my own in our current function band setup but as I'm starting to contribute backing vox I'm looking at either a wedge or going wired IEM. More often than not I'm wired with my guitar so seems little point in spending all that money on wireless when I can just tape the wire to my guitar lead and go with that!

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The original O1V - wow, I played in a band where they had that desk for a bit. It's pretty capable if I recall. £160 is an absolute steal for that - if I came across one for sale at that, I'd defo buy it, especially with the ADAT card. Nice find.

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[quote name='EBS_freak' timestamp='1369141289' post='2085308']
The original O1V - wow, I played in a band where they had that desk for a bit. It's pretty capable if I recall. £160 is an absolute steal for that - if I came across one for sale at that, I'd defo buy it, especially with the ADAT card. Nice find.
[/quote]

Yeah, I'm made up! It's more than capable for our purposes (5 piece function band mixing own sound from stage) and although recording types will tell you the preamps are a weak spot I think they perform more than adequately in a live setting.

I'd been looking at analogue options but was struggling to stretch our budget as far as an A&H MixWizard (which was my first choice). That probably would have had the edge in terms of mic pres and EQ but costs upwards of 500 quid on the s/h market.

I can bodge together a phone/tablet remote by connecting the 01v to my laptop and sending midi over WiFi from an app on my phone so can nip out the front during soundchecks to mix too. The only problem will be teaching my resolutely non-techy bandmates how to drive it! Edited by mike257

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[quote name='mike257' timestamp='1369172918' post='2085942']
The only problem will be teaching my resolutely non-techy bandmates how to drive it!
[/quote]

If you fail and want to move it on, you know who to call!! (and no, that won't be ghostbusters!)

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[quote name='mike257' timestamp='1369172918' post='2085942']

Yeah, I'm made up! It's more than capable for our purposes (5 piece function band mixing own sound from stage) and although recording types will tell you the preamps are a weak spot I think they perform more than adequately in a live setting.

I'd been looking at analogue options but was struggling to stretch our budget as far as an A&H MixWizard (which was my first choice). That probably would have had the edge in terms of mic pres and EQ but costs upwards of 500 quid on the s/h market.

I can bodge together a phone/tablet remote by connecting the 01v to my laptop and sending midi over WiFi from an app on my phone so can nip out the front during soundchecks to mix too. The only problem will be teaching my resolutely non-techy bandmates how to drive it!
[/quote]

Perfect. The quality of preamps are of less importance in a live situation compared to recording. In fact you are more likely to hear the shortcomings in your in ear buds!

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http://basschat.co.uk/topic/208208-in-ear-monitoring/

Thread crossover alert. Interesting link to A&H ME-1 use featured.

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[quote name='bjelkeman' timestamp='1372145940' post='2122060']
Excellent thread. Thank you all, but specially EBS freak.
[/quote]

No problem!

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[quote name='bjelkeman' timestamp='1372145940' post='2122060']
Excellent thread. Thank you all, but specially EBS freak.
[/quote]

+ 1

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[quote name='bjelkeman' timestamp='1372145940' post='2122060']
Excellent thread. Thank you all, but specially EBS freak.
[/quote]

Couldn't agree more for two reasons:-

1. wouldn't have known where to start, and
2. cannot possibly imagine how I got through the last 35 years gigging, both big and small without them! They really were a revelation!

We are now using a single LD MEI1000 transmitter and each have a receiver and Shure SE315 headphones. Our current desk is just about to be replaced with a bigger analogue desk with more channels to accommodate the whole drum kit instead of just bass, snare and an overhead, and in addition two audience condenser mics (which only go into the monitor mix!). Next step will be to get 2 more transmitters so each can have their own mix, and then when feeling really rich we will upgrade to a digital desk.

I'm now no longer wondering why this mystical stuff costs so bl**dy much, but instead I now know that every ££ spent will make the monitor mix and the whole band sound and perform better for our paying punters. THAT is the point!

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Thanks for the kind comments. I'm glad that people are getting it - and the power of the in ear monitor!

How are you finding the LD MEI1000 quality wise? I'd be interested to know - hows the RF interference, compounder and limiter? Really glad that it's working out for you. When you have it nailed, it really is bliss as it sounds like you are finding!

I'm just expanding on my monitor solution myself - I've got some buffered A/B XLR boxes on order, the idea is that each player can switch their mic inbetween front of house and monitor mix. That way we can talk to each other with ease over the monitor mix and the MD (the drummer) can call any changes to the set etc. Pretty neat and it stops any "what? what you say? can't hear you! eh? uh?" type of conversations. Being able to grab the guitarist's attention who is over the other side of the stage is pretty useful. And of course, it's great for shouting abuse if somebody messes up. Just waiting for the first time somebody is on the wrong mix when they drop the C bomb or something!

Granted it is a lot of money... but any band with lots of vocals in it will realise the big advantage straight away.

What desk are you going for this time? Mixwizard by any chance? Edited by EBS_freak

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The MEI1000 is very good, the output is strong and good quality and not had any issues with noise or dropout, so all good so far. I like the sound of a talkback system, that sounds interesting. it's definitely a problem which we'll need to address too!

Desk - the only consideration at the moment is to add extra channels and auxes, so we'll save our money for the big upgrade. The Mixwizard sure looks a beast, but well out of our "pro tem" budget at the moment, even a used one! We're looking at a used Mackie or Soundcraft at the moment.

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Good stuff. I shall keep you informed about the talk back success when I've given it a proper road test! - it's certainly a way to eat up channels on your desk anyway!

Hows your band going anyway? You getting the gigs in you wanted yet?

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We are out about once a week at the moment, but planning to plug in a scaleable outfit to include brass and more singers and some vocals/dancers to offer more varied choices, including soul, which will put us closer to the wedding/function market... all good!

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[quote name='MoJoKe' timestamp='1372330049' post='2124325']
We are out about once a week at the moment, but planning to plug in a scaleable outfit to include brass and more singers and some vocals/dancers to offer more varied choices, including soul, which will put us closer to the wedding/function market... all good!
[/quote]

Good stuff - great to hear that things are working.

I love the large scale stuff - although sadly, it doesn't go out half as much as I would like. My band is usually out as the 5,6 or 7 piece. The 13 piece is a once in a blue moon affair. My desk loves that though - percussionist is 8 channels alone!

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Did a bit of recording tonight (funnily enough, monitoring with in-ears! to get some nice "live" sounding drum tracks down for some new demos - and yes, I will post them when done!), and have taken a band decision that we should junk the digital idea for a while and just get a decent analogue desk now after all, so looks like Mixwizard 16:2 here we come unless anyone has a better idea?

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[quote name='MoJoKe' timestamp='1372369512' post='2125083']
Did a bit of recording tonight (funnily enough, monitoring with in-ears! to get some nice "live" sounding drum tracks down for some new demos - and yes, I will post them when done!), and have taken a band decision that we should junk the digital idea for a while and just get a decent analogue desk now after all, so looks like Mixwizard 16:2 here we come unless anyone has a better idea?
[/quote]

For a smidge more than the MW, there is always the [url="http://www.presonus.com/products/StudioLive-16.0.2"]http://www.presonus.com/products/StudioLive-16.0.2[/url]

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I've got a 16.0.2 and it's ace. The Capture software is very handy for recording, I simply get all the gains set, open capture on my laptop, select the tracks to arm for recording and hit record. The desk is fully featured too, dynamics, fx and para eq on each channel. Very easy to use. They're cheap too ~£600 2nd hand?

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[quote name='ben604' timestamp='1372408588' post='2125296']
I've got a 16.0.2 and it's ace. The Capture software is very handy for recording, I simply get all the gains set, open capture on my laptop, select the tracks to arm for recording and hit record. The desk is fully featured too, dynamics, fx and para eq on each channel. Very easy to use. They're cheap too ~£600 2nd hand?
[/quote]

[i]I really like the look of this, is it rackmountable? [/i]

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[quote name='MoJoKe' timestamp='1372412051' post='2125367']
[i]I really like the look of this, is it rackmountable? [/i]
[/quote]

Just had another good hard look... it IS rack mountable, but not enough channels for us, we need 14 mic pres and a stereo channel if were' gonna do this properly, but that puts us up to the 16:4:2, which is a heapload (for us at the moment) more money and definitely not rack mountable...

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If you have an iPad, Mackie DL 1608 is also another option, with the channel count you need - wouldn't suggest it unless you already have an iPad because if you factor in the cost of an iPad, pricewise, that pushing you towards the Qu16... which is what you really want.

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Yeah, I've got mine in a rack case. You're right about the channel count though, if we're doing anything bigger, I've got access to an X32 with an S16 (which is awesome, if a little difficult to get your head around initially).

My only concern with having an iPad (which I trialed with our Presonus desk, although you need a computer inbetween which is a pain in the arse, although it worked well) is that I don't really want to be stood in some occasionally dodgy pubs with a £400 device, looking like a bit of a smarmy b*stard.

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