Any experience with in-ear monitors?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by hensonbass, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. hensonbass

    hensonbass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    I am curious to know if any of you have used these in-ear monitors with the upright bass. I would think this could be a great line of defense during battle with a noisy ride cymbal. :D
  2. I use in-ears - the moulded type which fit my ears exactly. However, I only use them in concert situations where I can get a mix sent to the in-ears from the monitor desk or front of house desk. They work for me in this situation, reducing onstage levels by 25db and although this is a lot, I still get a little ambient stage noise, which, with my own mix in the in-ears, adds up to a pretty pleasant and a lot less harmful, playing environment. Expect to pay $600-$800 for decent in-ears plus another $300 for a small headphone amp to plug them into which is then connected to the desk either by cable or by wireless.

    If you can't get a separate mix sent to you why not try ear-plugs? There are loads to choose from these days. For example it's possible to buy a pair with interchangable high and low frequency filters. It's also possible to have moulds taken and made into ear plugs. I would suggest if you go this route you should opt for a pair with -15db reduction as -25 is pretty extreme. For jazz gigs (and as protection against shed builders ;-) ), I just use a pair of cheap 'fits all' $15 plugs and find they really work.
  3. hensonbass

    hensonbass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    I was thinking of using one ear piece with just my bass fed in so you can really hear your intonation and not have to over play when you feel like your getting swamped by less sensitive players.

    I sometimes will put my ear to the neck of my bass to get a sense of where the pitch is. I thought if you had a ear piece in with the bass going at a somewhat low volume it might work.

    Obviously if you are playing with people that can keep a balence it should not matter, but I play so many gigs where the volume just gets out of control. I figure why add to the s**t-pile and keep turning up when you could be content just hearing yourself.

    Just another crazy idea.
  4. junglebike

    junglebike Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    My experience: you've gotta be willing to go all the way with in-ears. You need a reliable stage mix, reliable in-ears, reliable gate/limiters. That generally means bucks, and a sound guy willing to work with you. I had the bucks, but not the sound guy, and it didn't work. All the pros use these now, for good reason -- they've got both. If all you've got is the bucks, you're gonna be fighting some stoner getting paid $25/night to "man the board" and putting your ears in even greater danger than they were in before.

    Bottom line: it's easier to get the volume under control by working with your bandmates. This is extra important with an upright!