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IEM mix setup questions

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by pglaser01, Dec 26, 2015.


  1. pglaser01

    pglaser01

    Mar 19, 2013
    St. Louis, MO
    If only I were that good....
    Good day all!!

    Hope everyone had a merry Christmas (or whichever holiday you celebrate!) mother in law snagged me a Line 6 G30 so not bad!!!

    Question regarding IEMs and mixes. I've been researching as much as I can, but still a little confused. I'm looking at the Shure PSM 300 or the Sennheiser 300. I already have the PSM 200 but I'm not a fan of the limiter and I'd like "stereo" option. Here lies my misunderstanding....how exactly are these stereo? Doesn't stereo depend on the ability of the send from the board? Does it only do stereo by receiving two signal feeds? I feel like I'm not understanding how the whole stereo vs mono feed works...especially as lately the FOH at places we've played the sound guys are telling me they only have mono sends....how could I work around this?
     
  2. pglaser01

    pglaser01

    Mar 19, 2013
    St. Louis, MO
    If only I were that good....
    I should also mention I'm asking this as a lead vocalist for one of my bands. I feel like my ears get fatigued using mono and the separation would help me with pitch and separation.
     
  3. WayneP

    WayneP Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2004
    Corpus Christi, Texas

    Yes, stereo requires two signal feeds.

    You can only do a stereo mix if you have a digital system like Aviom 360 or Behringer PM16. If you’re getting an analog signal from a mixing console that would otherwise feed a traditional amplifier / stage monitor, you’re limited to what the FOH can send you. Not many consoles are set up for stereo monitor sends, as least nothing that’s likely to appear at a club.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt


    Administrator, Pedulla Club #45
    Administrator, Tobias Club #133
    Fretless Club #943
    Big Cabs Club #23
    My Rig: Stage and FOH Friendly
    My Basses


     
  4. pglaser01

    pglaser01

    Mar 19, 2013
    St. Louis, MO
    If only I were that good....

    Thanks for the info....so where exactly is the difference between the two signals as a stereo mix vs dual mono?
     
  5. WayneP

    WayneP Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2004
    Corpus Christi, Texas
  6. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Not necessarily.. you can do stereo with wireless mixes quite happily.. however, you DO need TWO feeds (L+R) going into your IEM xmitter (PSM300, Senn G3).
    How you get that will depend on the console being used... most consoles have that capability, but are limited by the number of required stereo mixes and available output/Aux busses. Each stereo mix requires 2 outputs.

    In our case, we have an X32 producer.. It has 8 physical XLR output busses (7/8 are usually assigned to FOH L/R) and 6 AUX (TRS) output busses - for a total of 12 usable outputs, or 6 stereo IEM mixes.. More stereo IEM mixes can be added by adding an S16 device.
    Similar possibilities exist with other digital consoles.
    However, if the OP has to rely on feeds (and a mix controlled by) FOH, then it's likely to be a mono (single input) feed.
    We get around this by ALWAYS patching our inputs into out X32 - by using a snake splitter for house provided PA/console, or connecting directly to the X32 when we provide the PA. Our IEM xmitters are housed in the X32 rack and permanently connected.. power up and go.
    This avoids the OP's dilemma, gives us a consistent IEM mix with full control over them from our iDevice or Android interfaces.

    This is not an optimal solution for everyone.. but since we played 75-ish gigs in 2015, with maybe more next year, we invested in a system that provides us consistency. We mic/connect everything the same at every gig - even if a backline is loud enough and the FOH channel is [basically] off - so our IEM mix is consistent no matter the location.
     
    dheafey and Geri O like this.
  7. pglaser01

    pglaser01

    Mar 19, 2013
    St. Louis, MO
    If only I were that good....

    That's very interesting....can you tell me a little bit more about these types of external devices?

    And what about something like the Rolls PM 351? Would that sum the signal if I ran my mic thru to the stage snake and received an aux feed? This way I could have two signals to my IEM transmitter?

    Sorry but I'm still learning technology, and I have a wife and a 6 month old so my days of buying and trying just for fun are over hahaha
     
  8. How ever you do it, you need two feeds (L and R) and someone has to create the mix between L and R. If both mixes are exactly the same, then you are essentially working in Mono. This is how I might do it using my analog mixer if i was the singer(for example):
    Plug monitor send 1 into the L of the transmitter
    Plug monitor send 2 into the R of the transmitter
    Lead vocal mic high on send 1 and 2
    Reverb effects for lead vocalist medium on send 1 and low on send 2 (to add a depth)
    Left vocalist mic volume medium on send 1
    Right vocalist mic volume medium on send 2
    Bass medium on send 1 and 2
    Left side guitar player medium on send 1
    Right side guitar player medium on send 2
    Drums: Left overhead, Tom 2 and Tom 3 medium on Send 1 and low on send 2
    Drums: Kick, snare medium on send 1 and 2
    Drums: Right overhead, Tom 1 medium on Send 2 and low on send 1

    Then adjust to taste. For all this work, the end result is that you will hear the singer and guitar on your left side on your left ear and the guitar and vocalist on your right side in your right ear. The drums will sound great, and the depth in your vocals will sound better in your head than it would in mono. Will this make you a better singer? Maybe. Will a house engineer go to all this trouble for you? Maybe. I suggest doing your own mixing or hiring your own sound guy if you need this.
     
  9. dheafey

    dheafey

    Jul 22, 2012
    Cow Hampshire
    Awesome advice; honestly, this should be a STICKY! :thumbsup:

    This is EXACTLY how we do it, albeit with different gear. My guitarist/tech guy (aka: Captain Cable) setup a self contained rig that's a beauty. We have a stage snake that sits to the side of the drummer's kick and connects via a few military connectors to the back of the rig. From there, to a splitter that sends to the FOH and our onstage IEM rig. As @s0c9 mentioned, we never leave home without it, no matter what size gig we're playing.
     
    s0c9 likes this.
  10. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Sorry.. just now seeing this...
    FYI - I'm up to speed on the Behringer gear 'cus we have it, tho' other vendors have similar devices.

    In the case of the Behringer X32 and X series, they ALL have the capability to use digital "snake" I/O interfaces, like the S16, S32, SD8 and SD16. This allows users to expand their I/O capabilities with those mixers. They connect to the consoles via AES50 ports (CAT5 cable) and allow you to control/config additional input channels and output busses from the mixer. In the case of the S16, on gets an additional 16 inputs and 8 outputs. With our X32 Producer, that adds an additional 8 (XLR) output busses (or 4 stereo IEM mixes) to the 8 on the console.. all configurable via the routing matrix on the Producer. Single CAT5 cable to connect between the 2 devices.
    There are too many other configuration options to go into here, so go to this link
    I/O Interfaces | MUSIC Group and read up on Behringer's capabilities.

    There's so-o-o many different ways to do what you are asking, all at varying price points with varying complexities, depending on wired vs wireless and so on.
    YES!.. the Rolls is one approach.
    There are folks who run their signal into a rolls-like device, then out to FOH, getting a feed back from FOH to mix with theirs, then go wired (or wireless) IEM from there.

    Other vendors with "small" digital console offerings:
    Presonus has their RM series - PreSonus | StudioLive RM Series
    Soundcraft has their UI series - Soundcraft Ui16
    Allen and Heath has the QU - Qu-16 - Rackmountable Digital Mixer for Live, Studio and Installation
    Mackie has the DL*R - DL32R 32-Channel Wireless Digital Mixer - Mackie
    Yamaha has the LS series - LS9 | Mixers | Products | Yamaha

    Keep in mind that many/most vendors have their own expansion protocols which may or may not be industry "standards" - including AES and Dante, which might limit your choice based on price point/vendor. Beyond that, you're into pro gear and pro pricing!
    $$ can buy all sorts of solutions :)

    Hope this was helpful..
     
  11. popgadget

    popgadget Commercial User

    Sep 4, 2005
    Eastern, PA USA
    Authorized Greenboy Designs Builder, Scabbey Road
    The A&H MixWiz has 6 aux's that can all be set to pre, but that would still be only 3 stereo mixes.
     
  12. pglaser01

    pglaser01

    Mar 19, 2013
    St. Louis, MO
    If only I were that good....
    thanks guys...so since these are going to be free thru work (points system working in sales), I wanted to know which would be a better upgrade first? Would the stereo capable iem rig be better with my shure 215's? or would it be better to get triple driver earbuds and use the psm200 for now?
     
  13. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Tough choice... I'd go for triple drivers first, then upgrade the PSM200 later.
    The drivers - even tho you get a mono/blended mix vs stereo - will sound better (IME) than going with a stereo mix and single driver buds.
    That's my $0.02

    Which triples are you aiming for?
    And.. do you also play bass?
    I re-read ur OP.. not sure that going stereo first would relieve the perceived ear fatigue (with single driver E215's) better/sooner than a better sound stage and definition with triples (but mono).. again, tough call.. I said what I would do (having been there).
    idk.. pick one ??
     
  14. pglaser01

    pglaser01

    Mar 19, 2013
    St. Louis, MO
    If only I were that good....
    it really is a tough call....I do play bass in one band, but honestly the musicians in the band I sing in are much better. I also feel like I'm a better singer than I am bass player. I really have narrowed my search down to getting the 1964 A3 series.

    The main thing is, this is free, so it'll be quicker to get the PSM300 now and save up for the ear buds more quickly later (we make a good amount in the band I sing in and play 1-2 times a month). As I mentioned I can't buy and try as I'm even more poor as we just now bought a house last week too.....the days of music gear being my only purchases seem so far gone haha
     
    s0c9 likes this.
  15. BassGuyFL

    BassGuyFL Formerly known as RichardCranium Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    Boynton Bch FL
    I wish more people would get a set up like this it's so much easier and better although there is an initial cost in the setup. The tribute band I do tech work for has a similar setup with the X32 compact board but they also have the Behringer P16 personal monitor setup. A Cat 5 cable comes out of the board into a splitter and everybody runs a cat 5 cable into it. That way everyone runs their own mix and they don't need an iPad or some similar device. They don't run their own sound so they have the same setup with a splitter snake. It's so much easier for the sound guys because the setup time is cut drastically plus they only have to worry about FOH instead of running monitor mixes as well also your IEM monitor mix is much more consistent which helps your playing immensely.
     
    s0c9 likes this.
  16. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    For sure there is an entry expense, and every band needs to factor that into their cost/benefit analysis.

    As I mentioned, we gig regularly/frequently using either our own or house PA's. Set up time is minimized - other than physically connecting/mapping the house channels to our X32 - and it's basically plug-n-play once configured.

    We (I) did the P16 route in my prior band.. had a Presonus 16.4.2 that connected to the P16I (sending unit) via 2 * 8-ch DB25->1/4" cables, then out to the P16M's. Extra time needed to run CAT5 to each station, but excellent for drummers.. can use wired cans/buds.
    For me (wireless then also) I had to put my wireless transmitter UNDER the P16M, run the CAT5 from console to station, hookup 2 cables from P16M OUTS into wireless L/R (for stereo IEM mix) and do that at every gig - plus tear down and stowage.
    Sure, the controls were right there (as they are at my church gig - where I'm wired) but they are also right there with an iDevice/Android.

    To be honest, I prefer having an iPad/Android device there for the X32, because they are not limited to just the X32 apps. I also run OnSong on my iPad, and only use it at a gig if we do a song (of about 140 on our list) we haven't played in a while.

    Absolutely, one SHOULD look at the [potential] extra expense of those device types against a P16M ($249?) w/ included CAT5 cable and compare!!! But - what price the intangible costs - time saved during setup, fewer pieces parts to carry/store between gigs, power-up-n-play ??? Consider that for +$50 you can get a Galaxy Tab A ($299). In my case it was a no-brainer as [like many folks] I already had a [Gen 2] iPad.

    Again, one has to look at entry costs versus perceived benefit. For less than 4+ gigs a month, IME it's NOT worth the expense.
    YMMV
     

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