Considering going to IEM for the first time

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Laklandfan, Dec 4, 2020.


  1. I have been using custom molded westone filters for years and they’ve saved my ears, but they do make conventional monitoring a little different for me. Thinking about getting into IEM, but don’t know what equipment I need besides the ear plugs and a pack to wear on my back? For the experienced users, Is there any proprietary technology involved where brand or designs matter? I don’t have an active band right now, but is it easy to reuse the same IEMS no matter what kinds the other members are using? I’m using shure wireless for my bass, would this present a conflict? Thanks.
     
  2. I use Shure PSM300 rig with Westone AM30 IEMs (filters built in so you can hear people talk but still blocks loud noise and has 3 drivers - including a dedicated bass driver). I also have a wireless rig for my bass (Line 6 g50) and my guitar player uses a Line 6 G10 wireless rig. We also use a SoundCraft Ui16 digital board. That's quite a bit of wireless but if you plan it out they all get along.

    With the PSM300 (a great rig btw) you have a choice of 14 (1-9, A-D) channels to broadcast and receive so it is pretty adjustable when other people are using wireless IEMs and packs. The PSM can also broadcast separate outs through the A/B switch on the receiver so you can have one PSM300 transmitter with 2 different Aux mixes. There is a when on the receiver pack that lets the user pick A (counter-clockwise) or B (clockwise) or stereo (middle).

    Here's what I have configured:

    Soundboard - set to Channel 10
    Home Wifi - set to Channel 12
    PSM 300 - set to Channel D
    Bass wireless - set to Channel 8
    Guitar wireless - auto-adjusts to Channel 2

    As you can see the PSM 300 doesn't stand a chance of stepping on the others as it is essentially running on channel 14.

    Also, understand when you play out be ready to make adjustments if necessary as mucho things can conflict with a 2.4 ghz signal (appliances, etc.).

    Be careful when you join a band. Other people using cheap wireless can step on anything. I have had issues with people who refuse to adjust their wireless on cheap rigs (for example, the G10 in another band) and step on other people's channels. But if configured properly, it is awesome. Oh, and bring lots of batteries.
     
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  3. Any issues with the universal fits coming out? So better equipment like the psm300, offers more channels to give more flexibility?
     
  4. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Let’s be clear... if you go WIRELESS IEM... the transmitters do NOT operate in the 2.4G band, so you don’t need to worry about interference with your (or guitarists) wireless units. The PSM300 operates (depending on region and model version) from 488 - 937.5 MHz... nowhere near 2.4G and in the US, PROBABLY in the 437 - 618 MHz range.. as rest of 600 - 900 MHz has been sold off by the FCC. Check the link in my sig ...it contains URL’s to Shures site. Make sure you get the right frequency range for where you live. If not, local TV stations (not wireless units on stage or at the venue) will cause interference, dropouts and other artifacts in your IEM mix.
    Get rechargeable AA batts... you’ll save $$.

    if you’ve been using the custom fit Westones for years.. I recommend you stick with custom fit IEM’S.
    TRIPLE drivers or better, so you can bump up the bass.

    No, “better” equipment gives you more features (and generally more robust wireless) than the cheaper stuff. For example.. adjustable limiters vs fixed brick wall settings, EQ on the receiver, more channels, etc.
    My Senn G3 has all that + 1100 “channels” in x# of banks, plus it will scan for the best “open” channels and let me choose one, then sync up xmitter/receiver. I STILL (after choosing the right model for where I live) have to figure out which was the best frequency to use to avoid TV station interference, cuz open at scan time doesn’t mean that can’t change.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2020
  5. musicman7722

    musicman7722

    Feb 12, 2007
    Hampton NH
    All that sco9 said plus you might consider going wired at first. Much less outlay of $ in the beginning. Get a Rolls PM type mixer to start with for your own volume. Then it depends on your bands mixer for your actual mix control. I have som basic info on the website in ,y SIG as well.
     
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  6. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    that makes you a perfect candidate for IEMs. ideally you'd just get the same thing, custom molds that now have drivers inside them (i vote 3 minimum).

    the main thing is you need a way to control a complete mix of our own with everything in it! without a good mix IEMs are pretty much intolerable. these days it's easy with digital mixing boards, you can get your own mix and adjust it with your phone.
     
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  7. musicman7722

    musicman7722

    Feb 12, 2007
    Hampton NH
    What mixer does the band use?
     
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  8. I should have clarified. 2.4 interferes with the wifi on my Soundcraft Ui16. I got my frequencies crossed. I'm old, it happens.

    My point was, the environment you play in is not necessarily the environment you practice in.
     
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  9. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    that's why you get an outboard router for the mixer and set it to 5GHz only, to avoid just this problem
     
  10. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    I totally agree with practice vs play... but...
    What @walterw said!
    The internal WiFi on most small-footprint digital consoles is 2.4G only and garbage.. added for marketing purposes. Spend the extra $$, get a decent dual-band router, set it to 5G and watch your problems (mostly) vanish!!
    It will stop interference from your 2.4G instrument wireless units.. and 5G works great for line of site on most stages for clubs/bar size gigs. Wandering around with an iPad in a stadium might not give you flawless results.. but you’ll be fine for the average band gig.
    Read the band wireless for beginners doc in my sig...it covers the basics pretty well.
     
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  11. musicman7722

    musicman7722

    Feb 12, 2007
    Hampton NH
    Like Dave from Storage Wars says "YUUUUP"
     
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  12. Thanks. Will read it.

    BTW, agree on the garbage WiFi on a Ui16. Love the board otherwise.
     
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  13. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    I can assure you - based on experience - that the Ui16 is far from alone in that WiFi category!!
     
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  14. Would the big mixer come back to me from the pm351? So my in ears would be wired to the pm351 instead of a back pack?
     
  15. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Yes.. but you still need a controllable feed going to it from the mixer.

    The PM can sit on your amp or pedalboard and you run a stereo "headphone extension" calbe from it to your belt, loop it thru and connect your buds up to it! Volume controls, etc. are on the PM.
    Get the PM55P - it's the only one with a built-in limiter. ALL wireless IEM systems have limiters built in. Many WIRED system do NOT! You need one - to protect your hearing if someone drops a mic!
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2020
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  16. So something between the big mixer and the pm351? Signal Chain is something like IEM>PM351>???>big mixer?
     
  17. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Well yeah.. a long XLR cable! ;)
    If the output from the mixer doesn't have a compressor/brick-wall limiter available on the output buss, then you really NEED to have one between the mixer and the PM - if not using a PM55P.
    Remember, there's nothing between that feedback/dropped mic and your ears except a limiter, to protect your ears.. and those buds are right next to your ear drum!
     
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  18. musicman7722

    musicman7722

    Feb 12, 2007
    Hampton NH
    Again can you tell us the male and model of the mixer? It will help us help you.
     
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  19. I won’t know the particular model until I’m in a band.
     
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  20. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    The Shure PSM300 and Line6 G30 operate in different parts of the frequency spectrum (eg 488-512MHz vs 2.4GHz). You run more risk of interference in the 2.4GHz band since that is where Wifi lives. Many of the newer digital mixers operate on 2.4GHz for their external controllers (eg tablet or phone).
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2020
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