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Ambient In-Ear Mix on a budget. Zoom H2n recorder and In-Ear Monitors

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The best thing to do is to simply watch the video footage as it describes my 'small system' for when I am not plugged in to a full IEM stage mix. This system can also be used as a recording monitor or as part of the ambient mix in a larger system.

All I will say though, at this early stage, is that it just works, it really does!

I am using the rather awesome 64 Audio http://www.64audio.com A8 In-Ear Monitors isolating me from the outside world and I am feeding them directly from the 'always live' earphone socket on the Zoom H2n. The Zoom H2n is an AWESOME filled recorder that has the ability to record both from the front of the device in stereo, or the rear - or a mix of all four microphones for a 360 degree monitoring experience. Can also record separate files for later processing in 'surround' Very cool!

Here's my video:


https://www.youtube....h?v=osfmCcVfllo

Do comment below!

Edited by dood

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[quote name='Ba55me15ter' timestamp='1493211264' post='3286537']
How do you hear your bass? Are you using an amp?
[/quote]

Absolutely! Yes! My point is that this system essentially acts like a set of 'active ear plugs' which get rid of all the problems that people suffer with cheap generic plugs. No muffled sound, occlusion seems to disappear and there's no struggle to hear details. The added bonus being that you can turn the volume up and down to the level YOU want.

It relies on having a 'good' on stage sound if you are using backline so this is ideal for those who haven't gone full IEM but are sick of ringing ears or struggling with generic ear plugs (which are often pretty rubbish in comparison).

I've called this set up a 'personal ambient monitor' as the idea is that it picks up sound in the same area that you are standing - which gives you a much more natural experience. My ambient mix 'in tests' has been great as I have a better sense of direction when it comes to sound. A problem if for example a band uses just 1 microphone on stage to pick up the ambient sound.

I suppose the main thing is that this is a cheap system! Effective, clear and will not distort oh yeah and the recorder is really useful too!!!



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Oh, p.s. There's nothing stopping a user from putting the unit in the middle of the stage I guess then feeding the output via a mixer of some sort (headphone distribution amp) to multiple members etc.

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Got it. I like the thinking, but how much better would it be than a nice pair of good, moulded earplugs?

Edited by Ba55me15ter

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[quote name='Ba55me15ter' timestamp='1493220322' post='3286649']
Got it. I like the thinking, but how much better would it be than a nice pair of good, moulded earplugs?
[/quote]

Having tried it? Much better. I have some amazing moulded plugs - but you have no control over what goes in to your ears. You could of course add a little mixer with EQ in between if you wanted that would then give access to boosting and cutting of specific frequencies too.

I use a headphone extension cable to my moulded monitors when I need to be a bit further away.

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[quote name='EBS_freak' timestamp='1493218646' post='3286624']
Nice vid.

Cheers for the name check! :P
[/quote]

Well deserved chap :)

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[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osfmCcVfllo[/media]

I've embedded the video now.

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I love my zoom and record all my gigs (and a large amount of the practices) but I can't really imaging using it as a monitor, as all it would give me is the sound on stage, whereas I am trying to hear mostly the things that i am responsible for.
If I could hear that where I was I wouldn't need the monitor would I?

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[quote name='Woodinblack' timestamp='1493551917' post='3289041']
I love my zoom and record all my gigs (and a large amount of the practices) but I can't really imaging using it as a monitor, as all it would give me is the sound on stage, whereas I am trying to hear mostly the things that i am responsible for.
If I could hear that where I was I wouldn't need the monitor would I?
[/quote]

one reason to go that way is that you control the volume (i.e: reduced, if it's loud), essentially acting like a set of earplugs, but with a much clearer sound than you get from any earplugs.

You can also add complexity to the minimal equipment shown here by adding some kind of EQ, and/or feeding in further signals if you add a small mixer: you could add your own instrument, or another microphone elsewhere onstage, or a monitor mix and then the zoom adds 'ambience'...

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[quote name='Woodinblack' timestamp='1493551917' post='3289041']
I love my zoom and record all my gigs (and a large amount of the practices) but I can't really imaging using it as a monitor, as all it would give me is the sound on stage, whereas I am trying to hear mostly the things that i am responsible for.
If I could hear that where I was I wouldn't need the monitor would I?
[/quote]

[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1493558528' post='3289092']
one reason to go that way is that you control the volume (i.e: reduced, if it's loud), essentially acting like a set of earplugs, but with a much clearer sound than you get from any earplugs.

You can also add complexity to the minimal equipment shown here by adding some kind of EQ, and/or feeding in further signals if you add a small mixer: you could add your own instrument, or another microphone elsewhere onstage, or a monitor mix and then the zoom adds 'ambience'...
[/quote]

WIB, McNach has hit the nail on the head and has reiterated my own point. It won't do the job of a full on In-Ear Mix, hence the reason why I have specifically called it 'Personal Ambient' rather than specifically a 'Monitor Mix'. This is a cheap (ish) solution to an active ear-plug. You can turn the volume up or down in small increments, something you can't do with ear plugs and not only that, you'll get a nice crystal clear sound to boot.*


* Do not expect a decent sound if you are trying to use cheap ear buds!! Probably more likely to do damage. You need to be able to block out as much sound in the first instance!

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The H4 also has two 6mm jack/XLR inputs in addition to the built in mikes, so you could take a signal off the desk and a DI off your bass and balance the whole lot up. I'm assuming that the earphones are always on, I'll have a listen next time and see if it does. No reason it should be any different to the H2 that I can see.

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[quote name='pete.young' timestamp='1493661696' post='3289822']
The H4 also has two 6mm jack/XLR inputs in addition to the built in mikes, so you could take a signal off the desk and a DI off your bass and balance the whole lot up. I'm assuming that the earphones are always on, I'll have a listen next time and see if it does. No reason it should be any different to the H2 that I can see.
[/quote]

Indeed! The Q8 I have also has two XLR inputs as well as the stereo microphones. The only reasons I chose not to go straight with that as a 'solution' was that I didn't want to take a delicate camera that would only provide audio and of course, the 4 microphones on the H2n do a great job of an 'omnidirectional' pickup.

Let me know how you get on! - After last night, I'm actually thinking about going ahead with my idea on the video that I would feed the output of the H2n in to our IEM mix and control it via the iPad remote control. I think we have a spare input or two!

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Dood, Great idea! I tried it at rehearsal using my Sony PCM-M10 Linear Recorder last week and it is a revelation! Really clear reproduction.

I have ordered some moulded in-ear monitors and bought a Rolls PM55P personal monitor amp. The PM55P has a mic (XLR) input and mic through output with mic/line switch, a monitor (6.35mm phone) input with option for stereo (TRS) or mono, both with adjustable level control and it can be powered by an onboard 9v battery or from a pedal board power source.

I don't sing with my band so I intend to run from the DI out from my amp through the mic in/outs and the ambient from my Sony PCM into the monitor input. I hope that it works and that there isn't too much delay.

I will report back.

BTW, Rolls also make a PM351 which has an extra input/output for an instrument.

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[quote name='GrahamT' timestamp='1493724560' post='3290111']
Dood, Great idea! I tried it at rehearsal using my Sony PCM-M10 Linear Recorder last week and it is a revelation! Really clear reproduction.

I have ordered some moulded in-ear monitors and bought a Rolls PM55P personal monitor amp. The PM55P has a mic (XLR) input and mic through output with mic/line switch, a monitor (6.35mm phone) input with option for stereo (TRS) or mono, both with adjustable level control and it can be powered by an onboard 9v battery or from a pedal board power source.

I don't sing with my band so I intend to run from the DI out from my amp through the mic in/outs and the ambient from my Sony PCM into the monitor input. I hope that it works and that there isn't too much delay.

I will report back.

BTW, Rolls also make a PM351 which has an extra input/output for an instrument.
[/quote]

Hey GrahamT!

That sounds lie a superb set up! Yes please, I'd love to hear how you get on with it. I played a gig with just normal ear plugs at the weekend and in comparison it was really awful! I missed the clarity and stereo field I get with this little 'active set up'. A Revelation!

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The in-ears won't be arriving in the UK for another 5 weeks or so. I have played around with the system at rehearsal using standard earbuds. It is good but there isn't enough isolation to really tell.
Can't wait to try it all out.

G

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21 hours ago, MikanHannille said:

Thanks for this. It gave me an idea!

Bo problem at all! That's why I made the video. If you need any help, drop me a line :) 

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