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In Ear Monitor Help! Mixers (Digital)
Old 8th September 2011
  #1
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In Ear Monitor Help!

Okay, so I get 4.5k in a few months, and I was wondering.. What is the best In Ear Monitor decision?

Here's my problem with the idea of IEM..

I have a band of 5 people, and to my knowledge there is no IEM system that you can set up 5 different mixes in one, for the separate members..

Can someone post some ideas?

Like full setups, of earphones, and the mixing console or whatever..

Thanks so freakin' much for the help guys! You guys are all really intuitive!

And it's going to be WIRELESS.

I'm really looking forward to seeing a full IEM rig comment, since on every other forum the guys just sent me random stuff xP
Old 8th September 2011
  #2
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Do you mean each of you have a different mix in your own earphones?

Im not 100% but I believe you should be able as many IEM as wedges, all depends on your monitor board.
Old 8th September 2011
  #3
Gear Head
 

Get a mixer with at least 5 Auxiliary sends and everyone can have their own mix.

If you are gonna be wireless each person needs their own transmitter & receiver.
Old 8th September 2011
  #4
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And looking for boards you could look at the Midas Siena for your monitor board, idk if its the "best" or not, but I used it and liked it.
Old 8th September 2011
  #5
Old 8th September 2011
  #6
Registered User
If you can't afford Axiom, you'll have to look at these ... seriously ...

BEHRINGER: P16-M
Old 8th September 2011
  #7
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Does anyone have a mix-board that has 5 aux sends or w/e for me to connect transmitters/receivers?
And does anyone know any good transmitters/receivers?
Old 8th September 2011
  #8
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The board I suggested has 16 I believe.
Old 8th September 2011
  #9
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Is it less than 5k?
Old 8th September 2011
  #10
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by GageRenn View Post
Does anyone have a mix-board that has 5 aux sends or w/e for me to connect transmitters/receivers?
And does anyone know any good transmitters/receivers?
I recently bought the Sennheiser EW 300 IEM system, which many people consider the minimum standard. It will be adequate, but i'm personally not impressed with the relatively high white noise level - you'll find plenty of comments about this on the net too.

So check out the Shure system - I should have done this, but now I don't really want to know how much better it might be. I guess i'm a style victim, and I just like the look of the Senhheiser packs ...

And seriously - the new digital personal monitoring mixers like Axiom and the Behringer rip off seem like the perfect solution ... do you want to give control to the performers, or do you want to haggle over a monitoring mixing desk with 5 egomaniacs instead of concentrating on FOH?
Old 8th September 2011
  #11
Best in-ear solution I've found (and use constantly) is to get a pair of UE7 Pro Ultimate Ears custom molded to your ears, and if you want to go wireless, a Shure PSM900 system (without the earbuds of course).

As far as the 5 separate mixes for a wireless system, unfortunately that means you'll need 5 PSM900 systems which will put you over the budget. However, if you can get away with sharing mixes (and believe it or not, once you have a really great in ear mix the separate mixes tend to be very small adjustments for the most part), a single PSM900 can handle somewhere in the neighborhood of 5000 receivers from what Shure explained to me. That means all you need is 4 more belt pack receivers and everyone is good to go.

Then, when you get more money you can purchase additional transmitters and everyone can have their own. You'll also need a nice console that can handle 5 separate monitor mixes like the Midas suggestion above.

It's an expensive endeavor and there's lots to think about but I can honestly say it's been of the best decisions I've made.
Old 8th September 2011
  #12
Lives for gear
The drummer doesn't need wireless, unless he's going to run around the stage with a marching snare.
Get two transmitters, that will give you a mix for the singer/leads and a mix for everyone else.
Give the drummer a wired IEM with his own mix straight from the board.

Any soundguy worth his salt should be able to interface this for you at a venue, but since most of them aren't worth their salt, put it in a rack and take care of it yourself onstage.
This is what I do in my band. We mix ourselves instrumentally and our IEMs at rehearsal, and when we play we don't need **** from the soundguy. It's painless and fast.

Also, I use Alien Ears, and Audio Technica M2. They are fine. Stuff on the road gets so trashed, I think that anyone who isn't Aerosmith who is spending a ****-ton on the latest and greatest IEM systems is a little silly. It IS going to get trashed at some point.
And I have no doubt that the most expensive IEM systems and in ear monitors are really great, but the fact remains that any mid-tier system is going to be better than the house monitors unless you're playing really awesome venues (which you probably aren't if you're a touring band that no one has heard of). And won't cost you nearly as much to replace when it gets dropped down the stairs at the possum pouch in West Virginia.

Just my .02c
Old 8th September 2011
  #13
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Went though this, and have posted before. I also helped the FOH guy for All Time Low put together a similar set up for their tour posting on the ProSoundWeb.

Custom molded ear buds. Personally I like Sensaphonics but you can use anything from LiveWires to Ultimate Ears as long as they fit well, are comfortable for the folks wearing them and of reasonable quality.

Sennheiser G3 wireless systems at a minimum. The better Senn, Shure or Lectrosonics if you can afford them. As pointed out, there's really no need for a wireless for the drummer unless they have to get up and move around the stage as part of the show. For that matter, I've used a hardwired set up with the feed tie wrapped to my guitar cable. It's not like I'm going anywhere the guitar cable isn't going. Wireless never sounds as good as hardwired. And there are always other issues.

The more wireless things/channels you have going, the more headaches you are going to have. Urban areas have all kinds of RF things going on. And it's more than just finding a clear channel (which may not stay clear halfway though the set). Multiple RF signals generate beat frequencies that will cause interference on channels you thought were clear. Big time events have a wireless coordinator who scans the area, looks up known transmitters in the FCC database, and works out the best channel allocation for all the things they are going to run. There is a free program on the Sennheiser website (there may be equivalents at Shure and Lectrosonics but I haven't looked) that contains the FCC database and lets you plan however many channels you're going to use accordingly. There may still be something else going on, but it gives you the best chance.

I'm not doing this anymore but there was an upcoming change where the FCC was taking away large chunks of bandwidth used by things like wireless mics and IEMs, and giving it to broadband ISPs. Worth looking into to make sure that the venues you will be playing at and the wireless systems you're contemplating, will all work.

Now to mixing. You will need an FOH person as people will have no idea how loud they are relative to each other. If you are playing live amps and acoustic drums, folks need to take their ears out for a soundcheck so there's some resemblance of a stage balance. There's only so much FOH can do in a smaller than arena venue with balancing a really out of whack stage sound.

I'm not a fan of the Aviom and similar systems on stage. They sound like a great idea. But everyone I've seen using them is distracted by playing with them, to the detriment of the show. Ideally you have a monitor mixperson. In a pinch someone who can play with one hand like a keyboard or trumpet player (who knows how) can manage. If folks keep to the program and don't keep changing their levels all night, it shouldn't take that much effort.

You either want a small digital mixer like an 01v or the Allen & Heath MixWiz-M which is what ATL went with even though the FOH guy is a big fan of digital mixers. They needed to run it themselves on stage, not being able to afford a touring monitor mixer, and it was easier for the musicians to adapt to.

The reason for this is that you want to run things in stereo, for several reasons. A mono IEM mix sounds like you are living in a box. Everything is shoved into the middle of your head. The spatial effect of having two ears is lost. You want to run ambiance mics in stereo so that there is some familiar sense of the venue. Otherwise you are isolated from the audience and the rest of the band. People who are used to playing on small stages are very accustomed to listening to different instruments at different times. Kind of polling around the stage depending on what they are playing, who they are trying to lock to or counterpoint with. The ability to shift attention around a space is often called the cocktail party effect. You can listen to one conversation while ignoring others, and then shift to listening to a different conversation. IEM's destroy this. Most musicians don't realize how much they do this until it's taken away. How many times have you seen major acts yank their ears out in the middle of a performance? And they have giant monitor consoles, often with several people manning them at once. Typically, one person mixes only the front person and one or two others mix the rest of the band. And still folks yank their ears out.

Running in stereo will give you a fighting chance. Each persons individual monitor mix should have them in the middle and other things panned off to the sides. This makes it easier for them to shift their focus of attention in a more natural way. Without calling for the monitor mixer to turn something up, and then turn it back down. Or fiddling with an Aviom box.

I've tried ambiance mics in configurations from a crossed pair at the middle of the stage to a pair of 58's at the backline. Spread mics work better. The stereo pair may give a nice ambiance feeling by itself, but when things get going, it will get lost. Plus a 58 on each side of the stage pointed back at the audience make for handy talkback mics for the band. Remember, you're not going to be able to talk to each other anymore unless it's though a mic plugged into a monitor channel.

Patching in: You should have sub snakes for all your on stage inputs patched to your monitor board. And another 30-50' snake that takes the split to wherever the FOH stage box is. An isolated splitter is best. I've run into ground loop issues between stage power and whatever the FOH board is plugged into more times than not. Most smaller venues have no concept of having the FOH area star grounded with the stage and FOH power amps. The ATL guys put these snakes in a rack together with the monitor board, transimitters and a reverb for some extra ambiance in the cold direct mix. Then you open the rack, roll out the snakes and patch in. You should be able to do this as quickly (or more so) than a normal stage set up. If all the FOH feeds are marked, you let the house guy (or your FOH guy) patch to FOH. And you will know where everything on stage goes if you planned out you sub snake stage boxes and marked them well.

Note that varsity tours still use wedges playing a monitor mix. I think this is even more important in a smaller venue/bar situation. Most often, the folks you want to hear things the best are the people dancing in front of the stage. Typically, they don't hear the mains as much as they do the monitors. Bands that eliminate the wedges effectively eliminate the vocals and anything else that isn't loud on stage from the primary part of the audience. This is even worse for bands who play direct to the PA using modelers and edrums. The pit in front of the stage is the deadest part of the room. At least have some front fills or something. But the other thing is that IEMs are best at attenuating the overall stage level for the musician (some 20-30 dB) and then bleeding back just enough of things to sound clear again. Running IEMs loud enough to swamp the stage sound defeats the purpose and makes the monitor mix much more critical. Use them as supplements for clarity, not a substitution for having a fundamentally good stage sound.

Okay, that's been my experience. As always YMMV.
Old 8th September 2011
  #14
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Guitfiddle's Avatar
Shure PSM 900 are very nice. I like mine a lot. I sing, drum, and we break it down for some acoustic songs, in which I play acoustic guitar during the gig. I wish I could have gone hardwired, saves a lot of money, but I move around too much. I get a balance with the stage monitors and the in-ears together, depending on stage size. Sometimes I need the in-ears depending on the sound and the room. I don't want to go deaf and in-ears can help you keep your hearing intact as long as you don't crank them too high, sound quality is excellent. I have played many gigs in many different areas and never once experienced any interference yet with the PSM 900. The rest of the band is in the process of getting their in-ears now, can't wait to get rid of those monitors. You can run 2 separate mono mixes or one stereo mix with one PSM 900. Make sure you check out the Lectrosonics also, really cool product. http://www.lectrosonics.com/Wireless...rs/quadra.html Nice video for info.

I wish I had known about the Lectrosonics before buying my Shure PSM 900, however I am still very happy and content with my PSM900.
Old 8th September 2011
  #15
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There are already some detailed system descriptions and a few plugs for the Shure PSM900 in the replies here. I agree that it makes sense to put the drummer on a hard-wired pack like the P6HW. If the other four players each need their own MONO mix, you'd need 2 PSM900 transmitters (which can transmit 2 mono mixes or 1 stereo mix) and 4 receivers. If they each need their own STEREO mix, you'd need 4 transmitters and 4 receivers. You could easily start with the mono setup and then later upgrade to stereo mixes by adding 2 more transmitters (as long as they're in the same frequency band as the first two.)

Another approach is to transmit a mono "vocals" mix and a mono "instruments" mix, which each player can then blend in their own pack to suit their needs. You hear both vocals and instruments in both ears, but you control the level of each individually.

If you can, try to demo a PSM900 at a local dealer or even rent one. The clarity, low noise floor, and RF performance amaze people.

Shure has a free booklet called Selection and Operation of Personal Monitor Systems that has a lot of setup diagrams, info on planning each player's mix, number of Aux Sends you'll need, etc. which you may find helpful. You can also call our Applications Engineering department and get personal assistance by phone (800-516-2525) or email ([email protected]).

chris_at_shure
Old 13th September 2011
  #16
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Question on running one transmitter with multiple receivers.

I'm new to the IEM world and about to purchase Sennheiser's ew 300 G3 with Ultimate Ears' UE 7s. The other guys in the band aren't sure they want to go with in-ears quite yet so we wanted to at least get a few extra receivers to test it out.

My concern is specific channel/frequency variances for each receiver. Say we all buy channel A receivers to run from the one channel A transmitter initially, then in a few months the guys decide they want their own personalized mixes, so they'll need to get their own transmitters. Do they also need to purchase new receivers to be on a separate channel from myself and each other? Or can we all stay with channel A receivers and transmitters, and just run different frequencies within that channel, with no interference?

Wireless guitar systems will also be added shortly after, so we'll need to coordinate for that as well.

Any info helps. Thanks!
Old 13th September 2011
  #17
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I have a similar situation, I'm looking for a 3 channel personal mixer. I just bought some Future Sonic mg6pro's, which are absolutely amazing, but I am a DJ so I need a very small mixer, hopefully passive.
Old 13th September 2011
  #18
Gear Head
 

Just a reminder for anyone reading this in Europe, All the UK frequencies are changing, just after the 2012 olympics from channel 69 to ch38.
Depending on the models, your radio kit will need to be re-chipped or in the worst case will become illegal.
This does not affect kit that uses the European deregulated band, 863-865MHz.
Some newish multifrequency models already include the new frequencies, but these are not cheap.
Just look out if you're buying secondhand - there might be a reason it's cheap!
2012 Digital Switchover Resource Centre

Last edited by steverispin; 13th September 2011 at 08:54 PM.. Reason: clarity
Old 13th September 2011
  #19
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In Ear Monitor Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ContrastStudio
Question on running one transmitter with multiple receivers.

I'm new to the IEM world and about to purchase Sennheiser's ew 300 G3 with Ultimate Ears' UE 7s. The other guys in the band aren't sure they want to go with in-ears quite yet so we wanted to at least get a few extra receivers to test it out.

My concern is specific channel/frequency variances for each receiver. Say we all buy channel A receivers to run from the one channel A transmitter initially, then in a few months the guys decide they want their own personalized mixes, so they'll need to get their own transmitters. Do they also need to purchase new receivers to be on a separate channel from myself and each other? Or can we all stay with channel A receivers and transmitters, and just run different frequencies within that channel, with no interference?

Wireless guitar systems will also be added shortly after, so we'll need to coordinate for that as well.

Any info helps. Thanks!
The receivers are settable to multiple frequencies. All you need are additional transmitters and the monitor mixes to feed them. You can try the mono A/B thing mentioned above. Although I don't recommend it for the reasons I've listed.
Old 7th April 2013
  #20
Gear Head
 

Does anyone know if you can just go from Mic XLR to receiver in on the M2? Or does it have to be powered by a mixer?
Old 1st May 2013
  #21
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in ear AES input

Is there an in ear monitor system that has the option of using an AES input. I'm working on an SD8 console that only has 8 analog outputs and for stereo ear inputs thats not much. However I do have 8 AES outputs, but I have not come across a unit that can use AES.
Old 2nd May 2013
  #22
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Wysicom
Old 3rd May 2013
  #23
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Adebar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jburd317 View Post
Is there an in ear monitor system that has the option of using an AES input. I'm working on an SD8 console that only has 8 analog outputs and for stereo ear inputs thats not much. However I do have 8 AES outputs, but I have not come across a unit that can use AES.
If you are looking for a personal monitor mixer this could be done with the Mamba Mix MMX16x8
MMX16/4L Line Level Mix

You can get it with Line IN, Adat IN, MADI IN
AES/EBU IN maybe.
Old 1st August 2013
  #24
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6 x Stereo monitor mixes with more me.

This is how I do 4 x stereo (gives you more space/definition) monitor mixes with a more me setup.
Old 1st August 2013
  #25
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I use the Hear Technologies Mix Back Mixer. Mics go into board, a small snake goes to the foh.

I have 6 stereo mixes.
Old 1st August 2013
  #26
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I have it rack mounted with my in ear monitor transmitters.
all one unit.

I was thinking about the remote controls, but its easier (except for the drummer) to walk over there and tweak thier headphone mix.
Old 2nd August 2013
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

From what I understand JH Audio or Ultimate Ears make the 'best' in ear monitors. I'm looking at the JH16, but I'm not sure what wireless I'd be likely to get. What is known as the best wireless system?

It's interesting from a mixing point of view, having to mix not only the front of house but somehow adjust the five mixes from a mixing board. Surely this would be impossible on an analogue board? Even with a digital board I'm not entirely sure how it would work, do you just adjust the level relative to the main mix, that is, give each monitor mix a little bit of 'more me' or what they need and then somehow set and save this?

I'm looking to do something a little differently with my solo work, and hopefully my band which has yet to be formed. What I'm hoping is to go from the Apogee Symphony system through a computer where the mixes will be created in Mainstage or Logic and then sent back out to the monitors and FOH. This will mean we will have all of the levels set in rehursals and once we get on stage all we'd have to do is EQ for the room at the start of the gig.
Old 5th August 2013
  #28
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Unless you are playing large shows and have your own sound person you're bringing along for your shows, I would be VERY weary of investing a lot into an IEM system.

$4000 might sound like a lot, but if you're looking for professional wireless IEM, and custom molded earbuds, your budget is going to disappear real quick.

Just to give you an idea, even a single used wireless system is going to run you ~$600+. And you'll need one for every distinct mix that you want (as stated above, drummer can get a wired pack and not need a transmitter, they are only a few hundred, same for maybe keys).

Custom molds can run anywhere from $400-$1500+ depending on what you get. I wold suggest everyone start with something like the shure SE215, which are only $100.

A lot of people want to jump into using IEMs because it's what the pros are doing, but on the smaller scale shows, they can end up causing more problems than they solve. A lot of musicians have trouble getting a good mix dialed in when it's a "set and forget" rig. This is why there is a dedicated sound person to mix just the monitors on larger shows.

In your situation, I would look into the Behringer X32 ($3000), and the p16m personal mixers ($250 each). That setup would scale nicely, and you would be able to add wireless IEMs to the personal mixers as well. You may also want to look into hiring someone to do sound for you.....
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