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Discussion: Guitarists' use of IEMs
by HDProJohn on 2012-11-19 19:04:40.2790

Looking for others' opinions on the matter. My band, and me personally, would love to swap to IEM use and do away with wedges; BUT, being poor and only a guitarist (no vocals), is it really necessary? We play progressive metal type stuff/metalcore, and are strictly set to a click with heavy use of electronic backing tracks (also have the computer run patch changes). We aren't touring but hope to be within a year.

The drummer has obvious need for click and desired mix, as do the vocalists. What are your inputs from a guitarist stand point? Is it worth the investment of single/dual driver CIEMs and a $1000 Senheisser transmitter? I ask because with the world of digital modelling, we theoretically don't need to run cabs on stage. I get the loss of vibe/mojo/air movement/whatever you want to call it, but let's face it, not hauling 100 lbs of 4x12 or a rack amp/head is sweet. Likewise, you see plenty of "pro" bands going this route (queue Periphery/TesseracT and the sorts).

Sorry, it's not an L6 question per se, but it is still applicable here.

Re: Discussion: Guitarists' use of IEMs
by DarthHollis on 2012-11-20 04:03:52.7970

Lots of variables here.  Many people use IEMs only because they have to. 

Things to think about:  Is your drummer playing an electric or acoustic kit?  I think if he is using an acoustic kit, it would be much harder for you not have wedges, at least.

My last band had the loudest drummer I have ever played with and both the bass player and I went direct into the PA.  He used a POD XT or Korg multi-fx and I used the POD HD 500.  After months of practicing with a DT-50 and 4x12 and even playing the first gig with that (I could barely turn it up) we found they were not needed.  My drummer broke a stick about every 4 songs and he used the thickest sticks he could get (like Alex VH size). 

If you have IEMs that block out the room sound that helps.  This is a tough question that cannot be answered in a forum.  If you have never tried out IEMs you should.  I have seen time and again where people have tried them and could not get used to them.  Others say it is a revelation to finally be able to hear things so clearly.

My biggest advise would be to get a really good mixer or some kind of Jam Hub thing so you can all have your own individual mixes.  Also, try to break everything up evenly so if the band breaks up you can take your share and use it in the next band.  Unless you are willing to keep the equipment for yourself. 

Here's an interesting thread from TPG.  I suggest you do a search there in the Recording/Live Sound forum.">">

Re: Discussion: Guitarists' use of IEMs
by Jeffsco on 2012-11-20 07:09:13.1820

My band is just making the switch to IEM's after decades of live playing via Conventional means. (amps onstage, acoustic drums, vocal wedges etc.) I've purchased a set of Shure SE315 (about $200.00). They sound very good. I A/B them with my studio headphones and they are very close. They are a single driver and so they might not work well for a drummer or Bass player desiring a heavier bottom end that comes when using dual or triple drivers, but for me...It's like listening to a CD...(I don't like an over ephmasis on the bottom anyways...I like what goes in to come accurate representation. These Shure units do that).

We each have a small Netbook at our mic positions and it enables us to have control of our own monitor mixes. Our drummer is playing a dampened Acoustic kit with custom built triggers / sensors into a Yamaha drum brain. I'm using an XTLive and an HD500 (I'm transitioning sounds at the moment....). Bass player goes DI and is using a bass amp SIM in the mixer.

I should mention that we can do a lot of this due to the fact that our FOH Mixer is a digital mixining system from RML Labs called SAC (Software Audio Console). One of the best digital mixers I've used and that includes many dedicated hardware consoles.">">

With our drummer playing a triggered kit we've had a very low stage volume so the transition to IEM's and running my POD's direct to house (No stage amps..)....our sound tech will have total control of our sound as there will be no stage bleed.

I'd say go for it but you've got to maintain the ability to control your onstage mix and that's where things can get expensive. However, with SAC, each monitoring station  cost me $80.00 as I am using some 2nd hand Netbooks... A considerable savings over the Aviom or even the Behringer monitor control systems. With SAC we can run the Remote's wireless or Wired via CAT5 cable. FOH is wired via digital snake as well so there's no losses. (ADAT extenders from Appsys  )">">

Good luck...">">

Re: Discussion: Guitarists' use of IEMs
by malnack on 2012-11-20 08:59:01.8020

We're headed towards IEM. Our lead vocalist just switched and it has made a big difference for her. Our setup to support this is somewhat complicated. We're looking at using a JamHub as a stage monitoring solution. A few months back I saw a show in a great club with the B-52's and Squeeze. The B-52's opened the show and used a traditional wedge setup. We were right against the stage and could clearly see that they suffered from being able to hear themselves clearly.

Then Squeeze came on. All floor monitors were removed. The stage was clear of the typical clutter. Their stage volume was so quiet that I could hear the acoustic drum kit clearly from about 30 feet away. (I've played gigs where I've been standing 3 or feet from our drummer and I can barely hear the kit). The mix out front was amazing and it was clear that the band could hear themselves perfectly.

In looking at the JamHub, we're hoping to bypass the need for the wedges which will reduce feedback and allow us to go with a much lower stage volume. The only problem is that we need to source each voice and instrument both into the FOH sound and the JamHub. With instruments, we can just run our own mics into the hub. With voices, we'll need to split the signal so we can have it in both locations. We're still working out the details and I'll report back in the future once we've ironed them out.

Re: Discussion: Guitarists' use of IEMs
by JTSC777 on 2012-11-20 09:10:49.3440

The little units made by Ross allow you to have a monitor mix and your instrument/vocal mixed in at whatever level you want. Lot's of musicians using them in my area. My drummer does it this way and mixes his vocal-sequences from an i-pod and the bands' monitor mix in his IEMs' or regular headphones in large or small rooms and he loves it.I play guitar and guitar synth and a talkbox so I need something wireless. 1,000 bucks for wireless unit is something I won't spend the money on. I use a small powered wedge or a giant-heavy- 15 in. full range monitor for bigger rooms. All the big churches I have worked at use IEMs'. Some with great results and some not so good. You have to have a soundman who knows what he is doing to make them work well.Good Luck!

Re: Discussion: Guitarists' use of IEMs
by HDProJohn on 2012-11-21 08:16:09.4980

Thanks everyone for your experiences and the links.

To answer a few points brought up, the drummer is on an acoustic kit with a triggered kick (Truth kit into a Roland SPD-SX). He's already purchased a set of CIEMs from Ultimate Ears and will be getting the transmitter soon. The rest of us are holding out because we have other things to finance first, like a professional level EP, merch and video, but I'm trying to gage in advance what I should be saving for (lusting after a G90 as well - haha). Also, we have a mixer since we have a PA, so we'll probably pick up a splitter snake and use our board's AUXs for setting personal mixes without having to rely on the FOH guy. This applies for our current use of wedges or an IEM system.

Hollis pointed out exactly what I was trying to get at though. I've read about IEMs being either a 'love it' or 'hate it' type of thing. I imagine I'd be a 'love it' guy, but that's a hefty chunk of change to put down if the benefit isn't all that great in a guitarist's context. While it might not be something easily answered on a forum without trying first, I was going to see if there were any of you out there that had conviction on which side of the fence you stand, and why.

Re: Discussion: Guitarists' use of IEMs
by Jeffsco on 2012-11-21 08:40:43.3650

I'd try going with wired IEM's to start if you are wary of the big dollar wireless investment. You can pick up Behringer MA400 Micro Monitors for around $25.00 each. You can run your IEM mix into them as well as your vocal mic and have the ability to add "more of me" if you see fit. The IEM's are one chunk of money...the wireless transmitteres are the biggest chunk.

Also...consider digital mixers as opposed to analog mixers. It'll make your life a lot easier in terms of being able to get a mix. You want a stereo IEM feed in order to replicate what you are acoustically hearing. Most analog boards do not have that ability. It's just too expensive. A mono mix is going to leave you disappointed with the IEM experience. prepared for an adjustment cycle. Most people i've talked to have told me it took around 4 sessions with them in order to feel comfortable with them. It's NOT the same as playing in a  traditional manner. it's not..."What your used to hearing...only quieter..". A Sound tech who knows what he's doing REALLY HELPS. He needs to be aware of positioning ambient mics to help you overcome the isolation. The ability to apply a reverse gate to the ambient mics can help. Having the right reverb applied to the vocal send can help you overcome Bone conduction and a slight phasing you might hear due to a digital mixer's 5 millisecond latency. To regress..that is where an analog board has an edge over a digital mixer...there is no latency due to the A/D/A processing.

Re: Discussion: Guitarists' use of IEMs
by HDProJohn on 2012-11-21 08:58:11.9460

Those are really good points. We've definitely been eyeing the 24 channel PreSonus board with 5 stereo AUXs. You also brought up other interesting topics, dry vocals and 26 dB of isolation. I forgot to mention those initially, thanks. Really liking your idea of setting up a wired system with our current gear to get a feeling for it all. No harm in having a a few practices with this setup. A lack of stereo field could really bring down the whole experience and show us that we need even more gear, rendering the idea pointless until later on (if we achieve the level of success which warrants such a system).

Re: Discussion: Guitarists' use of IEMs
by Jeffsco on 2012-11-21 10:03:30.7870

The Presonus Live boards are an excellent introduction into the digital mixing realm.They have an intuitive interface that lends itself more to analog style boards than the more complex digital mixers. It's a lot easier to learn than say...the Yamaha LS9. I've mixed on both of those...and the Presonus was a joy to work on. Can't say I care to mix on the LS9 again (lol). Yamaha tried...

The Presonus has a great entry price as well.

Re: Discussion: Guitarists' use of IEMs
by Octo777 on 2012-11-24 02:03:12.9500

I'm in the process of putting together a lve rig which will consist mainly of the Line 6 Dream Stage with the M20d and tow L3m's for FOH.

It's mostly going to be used for acoustic work to begin with and we practice with headphones just now and I had been considering a couple of sets of the Shure PSM200's for live work.

However, my singer pointed out that the types of gigs we do, sometimes we  have guest performers and if our PA didn't have a monitor of some type of monitor, it could end up being a problem as no one want's to share IEM buds!!!

So instead we are simply opting for another L3m to use in Monitor mode for now and we may look into the IEM's again in the future.

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