In ear monitor system for band

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by Samer, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. Samer

    Samer Dybbuk

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    So currently we have 4 band members, (singer / guitars (x2) / bass)

    Its hard for us to hear each other during practice because of the volume, is there a a good in ear monitor system we can use when we practice so that we can hear everything.

    Something that would work for both practice and a live environment preferably, thanks alot guys!
     
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  2. Randy

    Randy Ooh, Degrasse Tyson-son Super Moderator

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    +1 to this

    I've been wanting to get my hands on in-ear monitors but the price difference between el cheapo and something better is HUGE.

    One thing I know for sure, though, is that a good pair of in-ear headphones on the end of your receiver makes a huge difference (check dB and frequency response range). I mention this, because 90% of the bad reviews you read can be traced to the shitty pair of headphones they put in the 'rock bottom' and 'low-end-of-the-average' sets that you buy. There's no sense spending another $300 on a full set just because it has better headphones, when you can probably find a similarly better pair for $20-$30.
     
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  3. Samer

    Samer Dybbuk

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    How would the entire set up work and what would we need?

    So we have a PA system and each of us have an amp, the only one plugged into the PA is our drummer currently.

    Can we DI from the amp to a mixer and then hook up the in ear sound from there, or how do bands do this live?
     
  4. Randy

    Randy Ooh, Degrasse Tyson-son Super Moderator

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    Well, I was thinking you meant wireless... if you mean a wired setup, that's a little different (albeit similar).

    Wireless system:

    PA system monitor out/line out(line level)->wireless transmitter->wireless receiver->in-ear headphones

    Wired system:

    PA system monitor out/line out(line level)->separate mixer->wired receiver->in-ear headphones

    Most people I know that run an in-ear mix mic. everything (even if they don't run any of it out the frontend). If mics., channels, or overall setup are a concern, you could always run just the vocals and the drums (potted down in the monitor mix) through your in-ears and just leave one ear open.
     
  5. Scar Symmetry

    Scar Symmetry Ex Whiny Bitch

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    In ear monitors are so expensive. If you're not a pro band playing gigs every day then they're not worth getting really. Most bands who play gigs on and off can't hear each other on stage, it's a worldwide problem :cheers:
     
  6. Samer

    Samer Dybbuk

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    Well i would like it to be wireless im just not sure how the whole config would work.

    So would we need one wireless transmitter for every one or could every member share one?

    I never though of that, how expensive are they (for 4 band members)? I tried doing a search but couldnt find exactly what we are all looking for.
     
  7. Cheesebuiscut

    Cheesebuiscut Loves his Q-tuners

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    Have you tried just using hifi ear plugs?
     
  8. Randy

    Randy Ooh, Degrasse Tyson-son Super Moderator

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    Yeah, you'd all work off of one transmitter. There's some REALLY expensive multi-channel systems out there that might let you dial in a different mix for everybody, but for the most part, you're looking at transmitting the same feed to everyone on stage.

    So, it'd be one transmitter for everybody and a different receiver for each person on stage. Most sets come with one or two receivers. It's worth pricing out how much an additional receiver for your specific set will run you before purchasing it, because they can be upwards of $200 per body pack depending on what brand/model you purchase.
     
  9. Samer

    Samer Dybbuk

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    Tried this last week, it was very hard to hear specific riffs, we ended up playing off time for the really tight parts because its hard to hear, so we figuring this might be a good alternative.

    Randy could you like me to an example to one of these systems?
    And would i direct out from my amp to this system?
     
  10. Randy

    Randy Ooh, Degrasse Tyson-son Super Moderator

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    Because you'd be running your system device-> device, you're going to want a 'line-level' output. So, you'd connect the "monitor out" on your mixer directly to the wireless transmitter, with no amplifier in between. Your individual levels (instrument, mic, etc.) would be set from the mixer, and then that mix would be sent to everybody on stage via the transmitter. You'll just uses the 'monitor level' (or volume, or whatever they call it) on your mixer and/or a 'gain level' knob on the transmitter to determine the overall volume being broadcast; and then each person would use the volume knob on their receiver to determine how loud they're hearing the mix in their headphones.

    Here's the entry level option:
    Buy Galaxy AS-900 Wireless Personal Monitor System | In-Ear Wireless Systems | Musician's Friend

    Pretty basic. It'd work (more or less) the way I described in my walkthrough. If you browse the rest on there, the price and "quality" pretty much goes up from there. If you read the reviews or even look at the headphones that comes with most of the entry level systems, you'll see what I meant about using your 'everyday' in-ear headphones instead of the ones the set comes with.

    EDIT: The part I've been sketchy about is where the price-point is between an 'adequately priced system' and too cheap. Example: Buy Nady E03 In-Ear Personal Monitor System | In-Ear Wireless Systems | Musician's Friend and the additional receivers: Buy Nady Wireless Receiver for E03 In-Ear Personal Monitor System | In-Ear Wireless Systems | Musician's Friend

    The general consensus is that package is 'too cheap' quality wise (although, I've used enough Nady gear to know what to expect and probably get it to work reliably).

    But if you bump yourself up to the next step: Buy Shure P2T-H2 Personal Monitor TransMixer | In-Ear Wireless Systems | Musician's Friend (which is only modestly more expensive), the receivers that go to it JUMP: Buy Shure P2R Personal Monitor Hybrid Bodypack Receiver | In-Ear Wireless Systems | Musician's Friend easily quadrupling the total cost of the system for a full band. :(

    So, I was hoping somebody might be able to chime in on that. :wavey:
     
  11. Scar Symmetry

    Scar Symmetry Ex Whiny Bitch

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    Expensive enough to forget about doing unless you're on tour everyday.

    If you can afford them and would prefer to have them though then go for it :yesway: I'd say it was overkill though.
     
  12. Lethe

    Lethe SS.org Regular

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    The cheap-ass way:

    I wrapped a 1/4"-extension cable around my guitar cable and taped both ends together so it will never unwrap by itself (looks like an umbillical cord now). Then I put an adapter to headphone jack in the me-end and use creative ep-630 headphones (16€ a pair, I buy them in bulk, with stage and practice use they last about half a year, but I treat them like shit). The good thing is that they provide just enough dampening so that your ears never get tired or start ringing, but you still hear everyone else just fine. I run the extension cord (about 60cm longer than the guitar cable) through my belt loops to my left hip, where I connect the headphones, which go up along my back, around the neck and, well, to the ears, moron. The other end of the extension cable goes into a small 20€ mixer with a headphone-out, because I need my vocals and my guitar on there. The mixer is with me on stage, no soundguy that I need to rely on. The soundguy receives mic and guitar seperately, giving him all the freedom he needs to fuck everything up, as soundguys so often do. :lol:

    It takes a while to get used to, but if you find the correct level, the phones give you back some high.end and definition and also a bit of bass from the guitar while keeping the high volumes out. It sounds so much clearer, and my ears never ring, even after 8 hours of practice. Plus, hearing yourself that well gives you a ton of confidence, and there are no variables no matter what venue you play in.

    Let me lean out the window a bit: No monitor, no matter how expensive, will match the clear definition that cheap in-ear buds will deliver in a loud stage environment, where you would otherwise need ear protection (which muffles the high end a lot). Trying to retain some high end by eq'ing the monitor signal will give you the worst feedback problems you can imagine. Plus, your FOH sound will be crap with all of that monitor garbage sound flying around.

    Edit: The band is soon going to buy a 4-channel Samson headphone amp (connects up to three headphones per channel for a total of 12), which allows everyone to mix "himself" more loudly than the rest. 130 bucks on thomann.
     

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