Jump to content
Machines

IEM opinions please

Recommended Posts

I've recently joined a band where they exclusively use IEM and a PA. I had one gig with them last week where I took my rig (Elf & Eich 112) and they DI'd it out and it seemed OK, I used my rig as a monitor as well as having a PA monitor for the guitar/vocals.

They are now requesting I acquire a wireless pack and some IEMs. I'm a little reluctant as i've only just joined them and don't want to spend money on a 'new' band that may not work out for me (I'm still working them out).

Any experiences here of using them and do you still take your rig ? For me, having my amp there flapping my trousers has always seemed necessary and the thought of not being in control of my sound as much a little daunting (I can till EQ from my Zoom B3n but it's not as easy as having the head there).

Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There’s more to wireless than just buying a wireless pack and there you go. If wireless is not coordinated properly, likelihood is you’ll have drop outs and interference. The gear you buy greatly influences how many channels of wireless you can run.

Id go P2 wired with some ZS10s (without mic version). Will get you a great feed and give you an idea of how IEMs are.

Edited by EBS_freak
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As i don't  use a wireless for my bass, then wireless IEMs would not gain anything, so I go wired and have done solidly with a busy band for over two years now. It meant that I could sink more money in to moulded IEMs rather than coughing up for a top spec wireless system.

Like above posts I have a headphone amp - the one that Behringer used as a basis for their P2, known as the Fischer Stick. I use this for gigs when i'm not with my usual band.

However, we the band do have a Behringer XR18 mixer, which allows me to use a Behringer P16m, which I love and is a dead easy way to get a stereo mix to my ears that I can adjust whilst I'm playing. All sounds complicated, but when set up, no one has been able to give me a better sounding mix than our own (yet)! Yup, we don't need a monitor mix engineer and now we have everything set up, we don't need a seperate FOH engineer either! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A note on the ZS IEMs. I have small ear canals and found that like all other buds, they keep falling out, even with premium tips. They are pretty good for the money though. Will give you an idea of what can be achieved. There is a world of difference if you spend the same amount of money that you would on an  active monitor or bass cabinet on IEMs though! If you get moulded IEMs that really suit you, there's nothing like it. Mine (and mix) sounds like listening to music in a cinema! (Sorry, this will do your GAS no good whatsoever! But I blame @EBS_freak and @tonyf for helping me empty my wallet!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, stingrayPete1977 said:

KZ ZS10 and a Behringer P2 belt pack, it's the default bass chat setup. 

Just bought some as they're quite keenly priced and should be here Friday. I can borrow a belt pack from the guitarist to start with however. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Dood said:

As i don't  use a wireless for my bass, then wireless IEMs would not gain anything, so I go wired and have done solidly with a busy band for over two years now. It meant that I could sink more money in to moulded IEMs rather than coughing up for a top spec wireless system.

Like above posts I have a headphone amp - the one that Behringer used as a basis for their P2, known as the Fischer Stick. I use this for gigs when i'm not with my usual band.

However, we the band do have a Behringer XR18 mixer, which allows me to use a Behringer P16m, which I love and is a dead easy way to get a stereo mix to my ears that I can adjust whilst I'm playing. All sounds complicated, but when set up, no one has been able to give me a better sounding mix than our own (yet)! Yup, we don't need a monitor mix engineer and now we have everything set up, we don't need a seperate FOH engineer either! 

I would prefer they take the signal from my amp than the bass but get it back into my ear via the IEM, looks like this is possible with the right signal chain ? Obviously using the bass cabled into the head.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, the in-ears feed will come from the PA.

I'd run bass into B3n then into a DI box to the PA.  The head needn't be in this chain at all.  

To give confidence in your new in-ears setup: you could set up your backline as usual, ready to go but with volume turned to zero.  Then you know it's there, should you need it.   Conveniently, the B3n has dual outputs, so this can be independent of your line to the PA.


 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Machines said:

I would prefer they take the signal from my amp than the bass but get it back into my ear via the IEM, looks like this is possible with the right signal chain ? Obviously using the bass cabled into the head.

Ah yes I should have said! That is what happens in my case. “Everything” goes in to the PA, each band member is able to have their own specific mix of what they hear coming back to their IEMs or floor monitors. The FOH mix is completely independent of each member mix. It has become so good for me now I haven’t used backline with this band since, well, shortly after getting my IEMs. we saved up and bought a decent PA from gig money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Dood said:

Ah yes I should have said! That is what happens in my case. “Everything” goes in to the PA, each band member is able to have their own specific mix of what they hear coming back to their IEMs or floor monitors. The FOH mix is completely independent of each member mix. It has become so good for me now I haven’t used backline with this band since, well, shortly after getting my IEMs. we saved up and bought a decent PA from gig money.

My “Amp” is my Line 6 Helix btw. My settings and levels never change and we don’t have problems with miking up amps in difficult spaces. Oh and less gear for me to carry ha ha!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, stingrayPete1977 said:

I have nothing other than the active preamp in my basses between me and the mixer, I love it! 

That is both a scary and liberating thought. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started with an amp and cab, then left the cab at home, then tried a Behringer bddi mainly for the xlr output to the desk previously on the Genz heads, then decided I preferred the sound when it wasn't switched on so I've got a phantom powered di box, a lead and my bass! 

Digital desk allows me to send the bass signal to two channels, one mixed for FOH, the other for the in ear mixes only. 

EBS_freak sorted it all out, I wouldn't have a Scooby! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, stingrayPete1977 said:

I started with an amp and cab, then left the cab at home, then tried a Behringer bddi mainly for the xlr output to the desk previously on the Genz heads, then decided I preferred the sound when it wasn't switched on so I've got a phantom powered di box, a lead and my bass! 

Digital desk allows me to send the bass signal to two channels, one mixed for FOH, the other for the in ear mixes only. 

EBS_freak sorted it all out, I wouldn't have a Scooby! 

Is why I love this sort of set up! - Especially with a lot of desks having on board effects which includes the kinda things us bassists need. Maybe Eq, Compression and in some cases amp simulations too. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Machines said:

That is both a scary and liberating thought. 

Depends on the pa and who's mixing. A good modern digital mixer will have far better tone shaping than your amp and quality pa speakers are streets ahead of most bass cabs so as long as whoever does the foh mix knows what they're doing then your bass will sound great.

Like Dood, I use a helix. Its extreme overkill but I do like to use a lot of different overdrive settings for different songs so I find it to give me endless control.

If you're unsure about the band then just use your new in ears and a behringer p2. Sounds like they're experienced at working with in ears so get someone to spend some time helping you get a good mix and teaching you how to make adjustments. 

Good luck. In ears are absolutely brilliant when  you get it right. I do over 100 gigs a year and never get home with ringing in my ears. I can always hear everything in my mix and when it's a terrible venue with hideous acoustics I just pop my in ears in and it's the same sweet sound as every other gig.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

There’s more to wireless than just buying a wireless pack and there you go. If wireless is not coordinated properly, likelihood is you’ll have drop outs and interference. The gear you buy greatly influences how many channels of wireless you can run.

Id go P2 wired with some ZS10s. Will get you a great feed and give you an idea of how IEMs are.

Yep, I got this set up a while ago to test it out and still using it as it works so well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IEMs are something we’ve been talking about recently, but I’ll openly admit I haven’t a clue where to start. We’re an acoustic band and only use a small pa; we usually do our own mixing too.

Edited by 4000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 4000 said:

IEMs are something we’ve been talking about recently, but I’ll openly admit I haven’t a clue where to start. We’re an acoustic band and only use a small pa; we usually do our own mixing too.

A very good place to start is the brilliant thread in the accessories and misc section of this very site.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, 4000 said:

IEMs are something we’ve been talking about recently, but I’ll openly admit I haven’t a clue where to start. We’re an acoustic band and only use a small pa; we usually do our own mixing too.

I think only you can judge this. One of my bands is a noisy acoustic band and I use floor monitors for us.

There are three reasons to use IEM's in my opinion, roughly in order of importance:

  • they protect your hearing
  • you can hear everything better so you play better
  • it keeps all the backline out of vocal mics and cleans up your sound

Obviously if you volume levels are so low that your hearing isn't under stress and you can hear everything anyway then I personally would not worry about monitoring. The glory of acoustic music is that you can hear everything and you have the ability to organically work together, over-complicate things and you could lose something. We are just loud enough to need to hear the vocals through monitoring, most venues it is overkill but a few have tricky acoustics hence we take monitors. It also helps because we mix from on stage and we now hear what the audience hear. We also leave the backline at home and just use monitors.

If you do go for in ears then you'll need everything miked up, If everything is already going through it's own feed to the PA that won't be a problem but if IEM's are working properly they block off outside sounds so all you hear is what you put in. The only way round that with IEM's would be to use an ambient mic, a dedicated mic positioned to pick up the sound the audience hear which should of course be a balanced sound. That can work well and if you feed it back to the desk you can mix it in with other things (vocals?) and give people their own monitor mix.

It's all common sense really. Pretty obvious that if you don't have a mic on the fiddle player and then you put in noise blocking in-ears you won't hear the fiddle. Only you can judge if you can all hear enough so it doesn't limit your performance or what you would lose by longer hearing that acoustic sound. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Phil Starr said:

I think only you can judge this. One of my bands is a noisy acoustic band and I use floor monitors for us.

There are three reasons to use IEM's in my opinion, roughly in order of importance:

  • they protect your hearing
  • you can hear everything better so you play better
  • it keeps all the backline out of vocal mics and cleans up your sound

Obviously if you volume levels are so low that your hearing isn't under stress and you can hear everything anyway then I personally would not worry about monitoring. The glory of acoustic music is that you can hear everything and you have the ability to organically work together, over-complicate things and you could lose something. We are just loud enough to need to hear the vocals through monitoring, most venues it is overkill but a few have tricky acoustics hence we take monitors. It also helps because we mix from on stage and we now hear what the audience hear. We also leave the backline at home and just use monitors.

If you do go for in ears then you'll need everything miked up, If everything is already going through it's own feed to the PA that won't be a problem but if IEM's are working properly they block off outside sounds so all you hear is what you put in. The only way round that with IEM's would be to use an ambient mic, a dedicated mic positioned to pick up the sound the audience hear which should of course be a balanced sound. That can work well and if you feed it back to the desk you can mix it in with other things (vocals?) and give people their own monitor mix.

It's all common sense really. Pretty obvious that if you don't have a mic on the fiddle player and then you put in noise blocking in-ears you won't hear the fiddle. Only you can judge if you can all hear enough so it doesn't limit your performance or what you would lose by longer hearing that acoustic sound. 

Sorry, I should clarify.  The band setup is cajon, acoustic guitars, mandolin, bass and three vocals (including me). Except at tiny gigs, everything goes through the pa. The only back line is (occasionally) my VT500 and Barefaced One10, although more often I use a VT Bass pedal and go through the monitors. The trick is the 3 part harmony, which runs through many of the songs. All 3 of us who sing occasionally struggle to hear ourselves clearly (we’re all now in our 50s which doesn’t help) depending on the room, which I figured IEMs would help with. We’re not usually sufficiently quiet that we can hear the acoustic instruments themselves, we’re hearing the instruments through the monitors. 

I am aware of the ambient mic thing as a sound man I know mentioned it recently. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, 4000 said:

Sorry, I should clarify.  The band setup is cajon, acoustic guitars, mandolin, bass and three vocals (including me). Except at tiny gigs, everything goes through the pa. The only back line is (occasionally) my VT500 and Barefaced One10, although more often I use a VT Bass pedal and go through the monitors. The trick is the 3 part harmony, which runs through many of the songs. All 3 of us who sing occasionally struggle to hear ourselves clearly (we’re all now in our 50s which doesn’t help) depending on the room, which I figured IEMs would help with. We’re not usually sufficiently quiet that we can hear the acoustic instruments themselves, we’re hearing the instruments through the monitors. 

I am aware of the ambient mic thing as a sound man I know mentioned it recently. 

This sounds like an excellent setup in which to run IEMs assuming you have the auxes available. Running vocals through IEMs (particularly if you can run them in stereo) is brilliant - easy to pitch, easy to make little adjustments... and gives you loads more confidence. If everything is miced up already, just think of it as ditching the monitors and replacing those monitors with IEMs. You'll have less problems with bleed into open mics. It'll all be glorious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was going to write this in the other thread but will include it here.

I'm going to be helping Paul of the Custom IEM company out at the Manchester Drum show (21/22 September - yes, I know it's on the same weekend of the Guitar and Bass show in London... which numpty thought that was a good idea?) - so if you want to try a load of really nice custom IEMs (there are universal versions of each model available to try) - do pop down and have a look. Then you'll realise that all not IEMs are equal (far from it)... and those apple iphone earbuds you thought were actually quite good... well... yeah. Nah.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update: Still waiting for my IEMs to come but the guitarist lent me a spare set of the same type for Saturday's gig.

Mixed result, great mix of the guitars/drums and vocals but struggled a bit to really hear myself unless I turned my cab up a bit. They use X Air as a mixer so I will be able to edit my mix going forward hopefully. 

Edited by Machines

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...