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Bass Mix & IEMs

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by pshep68, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. pshep68


    Sep 21, 2006
    Trying to figure my way through my new IEMS... Can't seem to get a good bass mix in my ears... all the other instruments sound fine. I just have a direct signal from my bass... no way to eq the signal, just volume control. I have the Shure PSM 300 & a American Jazz Bass. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    You probably need better IEMs. The buds that come with that pack look like cheap ones. You need to get better two or three driver buds.
    JackNasty likes this.
  3. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    sounds like you just don't like the tone of a dry passive bass direct in (i don't either).

    look into some nice preamp-type pedals to create a direct tone more like a real bass amp, maybe even adding a nice compressor pedal. the sansamp is a classic for this exact job, but there are lots of others, most all of which will serve as the direct box and as a preamp to drive a stage bass amp if you want.
  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Which earphones do you have with them? It comes with several different ones. That is the component you likely will have to upgrade.
  5. JPaulGeddy


    Sep 19, 2007
    South Carolina
    Most likely the seal in your ears. For some, default buds work fine. Others (like myself), lose bass in a hurry with normal buds. Bass is the first thing to go if you don't have a good seal in the ear.
  6. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    As other say, if we're reading your comment right, it's *probably* the seal.

    But just checking that we're not jumping to coclusions about what you intend to say: in the OP, you say everything else sounds good in the mix except your bass.
    • Does kick drum sound good in the IEM mix?
    • Does your bass sound good in the IEMs if you listen to it soloed?
  7. pshep68


    Sep 21, 2006
  8. pshep68


    Sep 21, 2006
    Kick is ok.
    No, the bass does not sound good soloed.
  9. pshep68


    Sep 21, 2006
    It came with SE215
  10. pshep68


    Sep 21, 2006
    An additional trouble... when I strike a note without any of the other instruments being played, there is a slight hiss as soon as the note is heard and the hiss stops when the note can no longer be heard.
  11. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    SE215 are single driver buds. When I used them (for a short time) I would also lose the bass, because there's only so much you can get from a single speaker. If you read any of my IEM posts on here, you'll know that I'm a HUGE proponent of MULTI-DRIVER buds for bass use. That way the bass frequencies are kept separate from the rest of the audio spectrum.
    I also recommend custom mold IEM's as the seal is better..however, that's mostly a budget issue.
    Look at upgrading the buds to DUAL drivers (at a minimum, eg. Westone ) and using a DI with EQ control so you can blend the bass.
    dheafey likes this.
  12. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Sweetwater was running a sale on 2 driver Westones ($179).
  13. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    IME panning is your best friend, Sending some instruments to left channel and others to right will help the bass to be hear.

    I use shure SE215 and other ones that I cant remember the brand but I paid $40 USD. I dont have any problem liatening the bass.
    H2okie likes this.
  14. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    I agree with everything said so far. Without a preamp the sound is likely to.suffer. The hiss is probably due to the single driver. I'd be skeptical about even the dual driver. I think I read a review putting the 215's on par with westone, but maybe that was single driver as well. I have the SE215's and like them but all I put through them is vocals, guitar, and a bit of backing tracks. I play in a duo with DI guitar and MIDI backing. My buddy won't give up his wedges. So I just use my bass amp and the IEM'S protect my ears and give me a bit of clarity on what I need to hear most and point the wedges away from me. The bass isn't exactly tasty to me, same as using foamies, but that's the compromise I make to protect my ears.

    So you have live drums but everything else is run direct with no wedges on stage or at rehearsal? You may be able to get by with a bass amp pointed at you and the drummer. The problem may be opening the door for guitar amps.

    Best solution: high quality IEM'S (if your band is committed to using them).
  15. musicman7722

    musicman7722 Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2007
    York, ME US of A
    I bought a pair for backup and am letting my drummer use them. They are well worth the money.
  16. musicman7722

    musicman7722 Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2007
    York, ME US of A
    Hello - i just checked and the Shure PSM 300 is stereo. I recommend (and have done in the past) that you go purchase a small 2 to 4 channel. mixer. A good example would be an Alesis Multi Mix 8, I use one now. Now take your monitor send from the board and run that into channel one of the mixer and pan it to the right to say 1:00. Now plug your bass signal from wherever you get it and plug it into channel 2 and pan it to 11:00. Now you can say your bass goes to 11:00 :) Next run the left and right out of the mixer into your Shure making certain tht the mixer is set to stereo and not mono. . Now you will have a stereo mix and the panning will solve a lot of issues. Also each channel now has tone control and a nice mike preamp to help enhance your sound. Last of all apply some big hall reverb sparingly to the over all mix. Now if the 215 buds are sealing well enough you should at least have a better sound overall. Good luck,
    craigie likes this.
  17. Grumry


    Jul 6, 2016
    A preamp to shape your tone will help, but I think a good set of ears will help even more. I practice while playing to Spotify through my cheap interface into my UE900 IEMs and they sound fantastic with no other processing on the bass.

    Edit; and as far as real life live application, my IEMs seal almost perfectly with the generic buds they came with and the bass is tight and articulated, while running monitors by 100+db of festival PA.

    Tldr - Find a better pair of ears.
  18. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Still could be the earbud's fit and seal or just the design of the earbud drivers. But if the kick sounds good w/ healthy low end, there's probably something else going on.

    The hiss you describe sounds like the signal chain involves a noise gate, and possibly compression. Your OP sounds like you're sending the bass via DI to the mixer, and the PSM 300 is being fed from an aux send (or in stereo from a pair of auxes). If that's so, have you talked w/ whoever is operating the board about how the bass channel is being processed?

    Before I went out and bought anything I'd want to hear the bass fed w/o additional processing or eq back into the Shure transmitter. That is, disable whatever is happening at the board on your channel other than gain.

    Then listen to the bass via the board's headphone out using your buds. If that doesn't sound good, try listening w/ headphones from the board. If it's bad w/ buds but fine with headphones, then your buds are the problem. If it's bad with buds and w/ headphones, then the problem is either with the mixer channel or upstream b/w bass and board.

    OTOH, if when you disable any inserts and processing on your bass's mixer channel, your earbuds sound good from the mixing board's headphone output, then try monitoring via the Shure. If you get good sound via the board but lose the bass via the transmitter/receiver, then the problem might be the gain structure, your IEM limiter settings, or a problem w/ the transmitter or reciever. (TBH, neither IEM hardware malfunction nor an overly active IEM limiter seems likely, b/c the kick drum and the rest of the mix aren't compromised, but stranger things happen.)
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
  19. rogerb


    Aug 31, 2010
    I have a am jazz bass I was pretty shocked at how lousy ot sounded without eq through a headphone amplifier. Awsome with some eq but not really usable without it. Also you need good close with ear buds for bass as others mentioned.
  20. H2okie


    Jan 30, 2014
    Jacksonville, FL
    This works well if you can't get pricey multi driver. I put band in one and bass in another. And balance according. I have since done the Westone multi driver and I can now blend more. Much more enjoyable experience

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