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Thread: in ear monitors

  1. #1

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    Looking at buying some in ear monitors for playing out. I didn't realize there are about 150 different types out there. Anyone use these and what is the difference between the in ear monitors vs. noise canceling ear buds? Other than #250.00

  2. #2

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    Default Re: in ear monitors

    Hey IG,

    I have the Shure PSM 400 IEM system. IEMs are to help you to hear the mix clearly without having to become deaf in the process. I can adjust the mix I'm hearing at the mixer itself, and then adjust the volume at my belt pack. So I'm hearing the vocals (and any instruments) crystal clear, without sacrificing my ears to excessive volume. It's much more focused than using a stage monitor, and can be much quieter as well, since you control the volume.

    To get an idea of how much noise is eliminated - when I have my ear buds in, I can't hear any of my bandmates talking to me unless they speak into their mics. Obviously I can still hear the guitars, and I can hear my drums, but they are very muted. So it's necessary when using the IEMs that you have everything running through the mixer. If the drums aren't mic'd, I can hear everything else clearly, but I can't hear any of the intricacies of sound produced by my hats, cymbals, or drums. It's just very muted.

    The only noise cancelling earphones that I've used have been similar to wearing ear plugs. They reduce the volume and ambient noise dramatically, but don't help you to hear the instruments more clearly (the ones I used at least).

    IEMs do take some time getting used to however. Like I said, anything not coming through the mixer is very muted, and you do have something in your ears. I don't use them all the time, but when I do it's kind of a strange feeling. But it really does help to hear everything more clearly - kind of like having your headphones on and listening to a cd of yourself and your band playing.
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  3. #3

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    I have used them a couple of times and experienced everything that Norske stated. They are nice for lessoning the effects of stage volume but they do take some getting used to.

  4. #4

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    I tried them for a couple gigs back in 2004, To be honest I hated them, I felt like I was in a box and detached from the band and crowd..Just very weird and I did not like it at all..I also had the shure.

  5. #5
    Larrysperf Guest

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    Your ears will thank you later in life, what did you say didnt hear you lol. But is not really funny, hear loss

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by billnolan View Post
    I tried them for a couple gigs back in 2004, To be honest I hated them, I felt like I was in a box and detached from the band and crowd..Just very weird and I did not like it at all..I also had the shure.
    I have to agree. I didn't like them at all. "Detached" is the perfect word.

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  7. #7

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    Let me say, I should have added that I am not advocating a loss of hearing! I wear (although loosely) heros etc..I prefer an old fashioned floor monitor next to me...I just kind of freaked when I tried the in ears...I guess you have to really like them to be comfortable in them, I like thet "live" sound and everything that goes with it if you know what I mean..I also had trouble with in ears with hearing my own drums for softer stuff how hard I was hittig etc...Alot to get used to. The kind of stuff I do which is mostly in small nightclubs and bar rooms, the in ears are just not pratical , for me anyway.

    Something that alot of bands and musicians dont talk about much is "stage volume" To loud and it sucks, it has to be just right, also for front of the house stuff, I see alot of young talented bands who play way to loud, its to a point where you cant enjoy it and thats when you start to lose hearing...sound is very important, dynamics!

    Playing and learning Dynamics is as important or more so than how fast your pedals are or how loud your snare is it all works together!

    I once had the rare privledge to spend a night backstage, acually on the stage with Kansas you know, carry on wayward sun etc..Anyway, I was amazed at how quiet it was on stage, you may be getting blasted out front but those guys are totally relaxed and not doing much hearing damage, I could acually talk with the guy next to me up there!
    Last edited by billnolan; 11-07-2008 at 07:24 PM.

  8. #8

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    My band tried them for a while. I know the Detachment feeling too. I think they are great, but everyone should wear them. Our guitarist would let them hang off his shoulders and it was impossible for him to stay on time.

  9. #9

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    I agree if your going to use them then the whole band should..and now your talking a whole separate mix! and all the money that goes with it...dump everything to another board and send it out...lots of work!

  10. #10

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    Default Re: in ear monitors

    A separate mix is not that tough:

    Personal Stereo Monitors

    When coupled with personal monitors, the P4M allows performers the ability to adjust personal mix levels onstage - even during a performance - without affecting the front-of-house system. This enables users to create and maintain consistent monitor mixes, regardless of what the venue can provide for monitors. The P4M is available individually for use with Shure PSM 600 and PSM 700 Personal Monitor Systems; or packaged with Shure's PSM 400 Hardwired and Wireless Performance Packs.


    It's really a matter of getting accustomed to new equipment and learning to use it properly. And a PM4 costs less than an individual monitor, so the cost is not prohibitive.
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  11. #11

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    We (my band) are still working it out and I have learned a few things.
    There are pros and cons! I was at a Todd Sucherman (Styx) clinic last month and we talked about this for about 10 minuets! What a great guy!

    Anyway, The Isolation thing can be eliminated by adding an ambient mic. I tried it and it works. He said they actually add an audience mic. I don't think I need that, but a stage mic is important. You might want to hear that there is a set list change or something important like free beer or a cat fight.
    I sometimes take out one ear when I want to hear the drums true sound but not as much now that i added that mic to the stage. I have mine run through a little 4 channel that sits next to me so I can control my own volume.
    They actually make an in ear monitor with a mic built in! They probably cost a million dollars though. I read a story about them in Drumhead magazine.

    Hearing is much better now. No more ringing ears! wow! If you sing they are a huge advantage.

    Stage volume is greatly reduced because we don't have 6 monitors blaring back at us. Also feedback goes away! Monitors and Mic's don't play well together.

    It takes time to learn how to play with them but it is getting better every show.

  12. #12

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    I think they are pretty useful if you can get over the detachment. But pretty useless if your going to have to get a soundman to control/set them up for you. It also may distract him from his own job. Also the rest of the band should be taking the lead from you so if anything they should be buying them first. You might look down the line of active ear plugs... These are ear plugs that block out the physical harm of soundwaves but they have a small microphone on the outside and a speaker on the inside that "plays" at an even volume...

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