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First experience with I.E.M.'s. Not impressed.

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by glocke1, Nov 27, 2018.


  1. glocke1

    glocke1

    Apr 30, 2002
    PA
    BL for one the groups i play with is insisting we transition to these instead of using real monitors.

    I tried, but midway through the first song of the first set I yanked them out. I eventually put one back in to hear vocals better though.

    Biggest issue for me is that I "need" to have that big bass sound/fullness behind me. Im not talking about overpowering the stage with volume I am talking about having a full/round tone from my bass and I just wasn't getting that with IEMs. The sound guy did his best but I just wasn't getting that fullness I like to have.

    Than there is the fact that I do like to feel some of the air behind me from my cabinet move.

    Not sure how you IEM proponents are able to do this....
     
  2. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Germany
    What kind of ear pieces did you use?
     
  3. Spidey2112

    Spidey2112

    Aug 3, 2016
    I haven't worked with them, yet... but, as with anything, I'd try and give them some time...

    ... the first time isn't always the best.
     
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    1) Don't do the one-ear thing anymore. You will wind up jacking the volume up and damage that ear.

    2) It's all about the buds. If you can't afford nice ones, tell the BL you just can't go in-ears right now. Running super cheap buds is worse than nothing at all. What ear buds do you have now?

    3) Yeah, the whole huge air-moving bass thing may have been part of the problem and one if the factors driving the BL toward in-ears to begin with. You need to be sending the board some clarity. And your stage volume doesn't need to move your pants. Brighten up your tone some. It'll cut through the mix better and allow you to hear yourself in you in-ears better too.

    4) It takes some getting used to. Stick with it. IEM are like driving a stick shift. It's really wonky at first. But a month in you wonder why it ever felt wonky at all. Try practicing at home using your buds. You can get a tiny mixer off of Amazon for something like $40. Run your music into one channel and your bass into another. Turn the bass knob down some in the music channel. You'll get used to it.

    But, again, if you're using cheap ear buds, you'll never like them. If you can't afford some good ones, tell the BL you just can't right now. Or see if the band will buy them, or at least buy them initially and take a part of your pay each show to pay them back. But proceeding with bad ear buds will only cause you to hate them more.

    It's a new world out there. Good luck with it. :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  5. There are alot of factors that go into getting good bass tone with iems. Gear being the first culprit start at the source if you are using single driver iems you are most likely not going to like it for bass i have found you need triple drivers or above. Next are you running direct and/or with a pedal board or thru a amp? If running direct i highly reccomend getting preamp and cab sim/Impulse loader. These will allow you to dial in your bass tone and a impulse loader not only gets rid of the buzziness but adds air and impact back into the sound. Finally adding a haptic strap or platform to the mix will give you the rumble back. If not add a powered sub that handles just lowend behind you.
     
    armybass, HolmeBass and s0c9 like this.
  6. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Talkin' about my old gf again, huh?:roflmao:
     
  7. Spidey2112

    Spidey2112

    Aug 3, 2016
    She was in the neighborhood, we had some drinks, we played lawn darts until the wee hours of the morning... no big whoop. :)
     
  8. BassGuyFL

    BassGuyFL Formerly known as RichardCranium Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    Boynton Bch FL
    All good advice. One more factor is can you control your own mix? If you're just all sharing one mix or having the soundman control it you're not gonna have the best experience. Being able to tweak your mix on the fly is huge.

    Also as stated above I can't stress enough how vital the quality of your earbuds are. You don't have to spend a ton of money the Shure SE 215's are $99. But you need dedicated IEM earbuds just using regular music earbuds won't cut it. I've seen a of people make this mistake and have poor results.

    It does take some adjustment especially if you've been playing the "old" way for many years.
     
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Oh that's a great point I forgot!

    @glocke1 are you guys running a digital board? Do you have your own mix?

    If so, it's as simple as downloading a free phone app to give you total control over what you do and don't hear. I've never tried it, but I'm assuming you could even EQ the bass in your ears. But I could be wrong about that.

    So, if you're gonna have to go down this road, you need a long soundcheck to set your mix up. A rehearsal would be even better. Just tell the band "I'm gonna drop out from time to time and tweek my mix. You guys keep going and I'll jump back in."

    It takes time to dial them in. And you'll still need to make adjustments from time to time.

    Don't give up until you have good buds and really make an effort to dial in your mix.
     
    TrevorR and Garret Graves like this.
  10. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I found them no harder to adapt to than getting used to headphones in the studio. I don’t personally care for either. But they do serve a real purpose so it’s best to learn to work with them.

    FWIW I’ll take IEMs over desperatly trying to discern my bass among the roar of a cranked guitar amp, a heavy foot on a kick drum, and the seismic rumble of the house subs bleeding into all that. Setting up a good stage mix without monitors is pretty much a lost art these days. I’ve given up bemoaning the loss and just roll with the tech of the times. It’s only rock & roll, right?
     
  11. dlb1001

    dlb1001

    Jan 30, 2007
    I just bought a pair of SE-425 earbuds and a Presonus HP2 to give IEM's a try. Trying wired first since I'm not ready to go wireless yet. However, I am a little worried that the Presonus doesn't have a limiter so I have been going through various TB threads to find a cheap solution.
    The reason for the worry is that BL has a bad habit of plugging and unplugging his guitar, without hitting his tuner first. And he is running through the PA so there is a big pop every time he changes to a different guitar. I mentioned to him and he just waves it off, like it ain't no big thing.
     
  12. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Just put a compressor on his channel and that solves the problem.
     
  13. dlb1001

    dlb1001

    Jan 30, 2007
    That's a good idea...less trouble than putting a thump on the BL's head!
     
  14. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    00 images2b3.
    OP: "change" can be difficult. good luck! :thumbsup:



    edit for clarity
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
    Wisebass, s0c9 and two fingers like this.
  15. AndyLES

    AndyLES

    Aug 25, 2008
    New York
    Do it to him and ask him how much he likes it.
     
  16. bfields

    bfields

    Apr 9, 2015
    I feel like getting good bass out of IEMs is 99% about how they fit in my ear. They're supposed to really poke into the ear canal and make a good seal against it, like earplugs. If they don't, I get no low frequencies, and no amount of upgrading the drivers or fiddling with EQ will help.

    So, I'd get hold of as many different types of tips as you can (they're cheap) and experiment with how you insert them. Personally I like triple-flange silicone tips, and I have to pull on my ear and twist them around a bit to get them in. Don't try to figure this out on a gig. Plug into your phone/mp3 player/whatever at home and put on some music and keep trying stuff till you find something comfortable that sounds good.
     
    Robb Fesig, djaxup, JeffC23 and 7 others like this.
  17. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    IMO, panning the mix is crucial. I run my bass and the kick dead-center, then everything else (including vocals) get panned increasingly left and right. I usually place the the "lead" instruments hard left and right. For me, this creates space for every instrument and greatly increases clarity.
     
  18. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    :D

    Yeah I get it. Oddly enough, the older I get the more I embrace it. I own, and love, and SVT stack. But I'm OK if the artist/band/project/church I'm working with wants all IEMs. I go with whatever makes the gig work. Sometimes I get to move my pants with my rig. Sometimes I don't. :cool:
     
    armybass and djaxup like this.
  19. I have done a few no amp IEM gigs recently and it does take some getting used to but, the fact that I can run my pedal board to FOH and the crowd is getting a great tone from me is the plus side. I will work through any personal issue I have going amp less :), oh and it is also nice having what you want to hear in you ears and able to control it yourself. I will say one thing for me anyway that is a plus, hearing myself clean and at a comfortable volume really helped me to lock in with the drummer, because there is no unwanted sonic noise from the stage. meaning things that can hide what the drummer is doing.
     
    HolmeBass and SoCal80s like this.
  20. sawzalot

    sawzalot Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    I use IEMs 100% of the time now. The key is having a digital mixer and I control my own mix. I have my bass ridiculously high. The other thing is my stage position, which generally is located very close to the main PA subwoofers, so I feel them through my feet, body, bones, etc. It took a while to get used to them but I hate gigging without them now. I can knock down the stage volume so I don't go deaf and what I do hear is exactly what I want/need. And I don't piss off the sound guy either, which is always a huge bonus.
     
    mikewalker likes this.

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