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How much blowback do you get behind mains?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by craigie, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    unfortunately on our last gig last Friday and Saturday it was too loud and my tinnitus has substantially increased. I use IEM’s to try and block out the sound but unfortunately am subject to the monitor bleed of a somewhat deaf guitarist and the singer between us. Funny thing is everything is direct: guitar, electronic drums. Well not so funny considering the result. He has been making baby steps towards using IEMs but now I will unfortunately have to give him an ultimatum that I will not play any gig with a monitor wedge since he will always pump up the volume to a level that risks further hearing damage to me and the rest of the band. It’s his band (100%). So the only option for me is to have him adopt IEM’s.

    At last gig the stage was pretty small with ceiling mounted monitors. I unplugged the one facing me but the other two were also in close proximity. The sound was so bad for me I couldn’t hear $hit. I tried earplugs (Vic Firth) the second night and that one song was excruciatingly painful. They are probably only 15 dB of reduction.

    The mains only on one side of the stage on top of the sub, and I was right behind them. I’m wondering how much of my problem was related to that. Even if we’re all IEM’s I don’t want that kind of situation again. Would a plexiglass shield behind the speakers help?

    I’m not looking for advice on managing band relationships. I’m looking for advice on how best to manage stage volume for me so that I don’t incur more hearing damage.

    Thanks y’all!
  2. Way back in the ice ages, my band played the "Big Easy" which became "The Knitting Factory" in downtown Spokane. We opened for an old school metal band (Dokken).

    Couldn't hear my stage amp or vocal monitor.... because the FOH was so insanely loud.

    Venue is a 1500 capacity with a bazooka-watt PA.
    craigie likes this.
  3. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Ceiling mounted monitors close to your ears sounds like maximum brutality. IMHO carry a set of 29-33dB foamys for worst case scenarios like this. The sound is awful, but who cares when it's this loud...save your ears!

    Most of the blow back from the mains should be low frequencies that are omni-directional wrapping around the cabs, or possibly low mids if the rear panels of the cabs are not well braced. I really doubt plexiglass shields will help much with this frequency range. Low frequencies can cut through your hearing protection as well through bone conduction :mad:.
    craigie likes this.
  4. nbsipics

    nbsipics It's the Bass that makes them Dance Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    They make $300 active electronic ear protection made for musicians similar to those used in shooting ranges. I have tried them and they are great. But...

    Just turning things down reasonably? Priceless.
    Nashrakh, Johnny Crab and Wasnex like this.
  5. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    Was wondering about those for use at:

    Work(Our EHS Dept has approved the ones I sent them)
    Band(face the same situation as the OP except it's only the guy to my right)
    Range practice

    Using IEM's for now but when things get too loud to my right, I go to the other side of the stage and stand next to the drummer's floor wedge(a lot of bass in it) and turn my IEM's way down or all the way down. No more ringing ears after gigs.
    LowActionHero likes this.
  6. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    The expensive ones work but I would ultimatum him. I'd be afraid that those new plugs would keep him from actually trying too hard.

    Not enamored of his behavior anyway, my friends would be far more respectful.

    I would also run s decibel meter close by and if it exceeds a predetermined set point, turn his amp down or worse.
  7. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    He has no amp. All direct. We went all in ears tonight though and it was great! Just a world of difference. It’ll take him some time to get used to it but he’s willing. I did tell him I can’t do any more gigs that aren’t full IEM.
  8. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    In the OP, were all the ceiling mounted monitors on the same mix? It's always challenging to hear on a small crowded stage...pretty much impossible if everyone is sharing a single mix.
  9. tshapiro

    tshapiro Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Jax Florida
    PA blowback and loud monitors are something I deal with on a regular basis. I use the largest Shure black foam buds on my IEM's and jam them in my ears air tight. I find this blocks out the most ambient sound.
    LiquidMidnight likes this.
  10. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    I do exactly the same thing but it wasn’t near enough.
  11. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    They were different mixes but the singer and guitarist’s mixes added up for me to a wall of sound. I wish I had thought of it before but I should have asked the singer to take everything out of her mix except her vocals
    Wasnex likes this.
  12. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    I have custom molded ear monitors. They really are a huge upgrade over standard universal fit ear buds.

    They also seal out sound very well. If you or your band haven’t tried them it might help with the singer getting used to them.
    bpmben, tshapiro and craigie like this.
  13. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    Yes, I have been thinking about it for my shure’s and wondering if they would in fact block more sound. I guess you get molds made at an audiologist and then send them out to westone or such?
    tshapiro likes this.
  14. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    Yes. I went with 1964 ears about 4 years ago, triple drivers per ear. They sent a box, where you would get a set of molds made at an audiologist. Just plop the molds in the box and send to the company you are getting the earpieces made at.

    They still work great and sound better than my actual amp half the time. Absolutely worth every penny. I could actually set the sound of my mix lower because the inserts canceled out the foh and stage volume.
    craigie and tshapiro like this.
  15. Medford Bassman

    Medford Bassman Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Medford, Wisconsin
    Yes! I use Shure 535s. I had ear molds made for them. They work great blocking majority of sound and I run my IEMs basically at sane iPod levels. We are ampless as well
    craigie and tshapiro like this.
  16. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    I feel bad that you have to experience such a bad situation.

    In this modern era, I don’t understand why bands play with mega stage volume levels.

    Subs located on or too near stage makes the performance suffer IMO.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
    craigie and tshapiro like this.
  17. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    When the crowd also has to wear them, it's getting too much.
    craigie, tshapiro and nbsipics like this.
  18. Hambone70

    Hambone70 Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2018
    Tucson, AZ
    These: P-Series

    They're 50% longer than the normal tips. Squeeze them into a tight cylinder, jam them in as far as they can go, and hold them in place until they expand in your ear canal.

    Not quite as slick as custom-fits, but a heck of a lot cheaper. And MUCH quieter than "standard" foam/rubber tips.
    craigie and tshapiro like this.
  19. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I used to play with a band leader who had something against monitors and would forego them to base his singing off the mains. Unsurprisingly, he often had timing problems. Also unsurprising, he was a moron.
    mesaplayer83, JGbassman and Wasnex like this.
  20. tshapiro

    tshapiro Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Jax Florida
    Do you know if these fit on Shure earbuds. I have the 425’s

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