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In Ear Monitors

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by fastplant, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    Anyone else use these? My band just got these and I'm not sure how easy it will be for me to adjust to them versus floor monitors.
  2. maybe you should explain a little about them to everyone.....
  3. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    They're basically monitor headphones, they're little headphones that you wear instead of using floor monitors. They're supposedly crystal clear and you can crank them as loud as you need and you won't get any feedback like you would if you cranked floor monitors, I'm going to try them out tonight. I'll let you know how they work.
  4. Watch it with the volume levels. I have never used them but I remember seeing a couple of threads that warned about hearing loss after prolonged exposure.

    If your ears are ringing after using them, they are too loud and you will eventually lose some hearing.
  5. fireworks_god


    Oct 30, 2002
    How much would these things cost?
  6. Yeah you should definately find out how much they cost....
  7. Siggy

    Siggy Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Actually I'll be using In the Ear Monitors for the first time on stage tonight. I'm trying out the Shure E2's. In practice they work great. I can hear everything clearly and at a volume level thats a little above normal conversation. I was amazed at how loud everything was when I took them out.

    We're considering going to IEM's because our wedges are the weakest link in the PA and need to be replaced. so for the price of 4 decent monitors we can go the Shures, get better control, less hearing damage and less gear to hump.

    Like I said this is an experiment and I'm the test dummy.


    Cost: $80 to $4000

    Wired or wireless: I'm going wired to keep initial cost down. Wireless with your own mixer can run over $1000. Right now we have a headphone amp that we'll plug into. I wired a seperate vol control into my setup for a little more control. I have a wireless guitar setup but don't use it because I don't move around too much but for a real frontperson wireless would almost be a necessity.


    As comfortable as musicians earplugs. The E series comes with both foam and Silicone covers in 3 different sizes.


    I'm concerned about on stage comunication. Not sure how we'll do this.

    Most questions can be answered on the Shure website www.shure.com


  8. Siggy

    Siggy Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    I used the SHURE E-2 in the ear monitors Saturday night and was pretty impressed. I was the only one using them as mentioned before. I placed the headphone amp on my amp and monitored my own feed. I could hear everything coming over the ear monitors clearer then ever with the floor wedges and the volume was easily ½ of the stage volume. It is a lot like using headphones in the studio only they’re not too noticeable and more comfortable.

    I only sang in one song and it was a little weird trying to find the pitch without hearing yourself. Once I found my pitch everything was fine (You can’t hear your voice unless it’s over the PA). This may be remedied by using the foam inserts instead of the silicon.

    I will say that it may take a little time getting used to these and may not be suitable for everyone, but I liked them and will continue to use them. I purchased these at Guitar Center and they assured me a full refund within 30 days if not satisfied.

    If planning to use IEM’s I’d recommend using them at a few practice sessions before performing with them.

  9. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    Yeah, we started using them too. It is alot quieter than the floor monitors. It does take some getting used to. Ours are Shure also, possible E2's, not sure. We each have our own mix, so there's no problem not hearing ourselves. They cost about $600 a piece (wireless) Not a bad price if you ask me. If you have any questions, fire away!
  10. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    By the way, they're the PSM 200's.
  11. We've been using in-ear monitors for quite some time now. They have eliminated 95% of our problems we used to have with feedback squeals during the gigs.

    Everybody has a wireless setup with Shure E1 buds except for me. Mine is hard-wired, and I'm currently using Koss "The Plug" - they are very cheap (I pay only $10), and guaranteed for life (ok - you have to pay $5 for a replacement). They are not very reliable, though - I've been getting about 4 shows or so out of them before they die. The sound man has 4 separate monitor mixes (but we have 6 players in the band).

    I tried using the E1 the other night and I found the bass response to be horrible. I just ordered an E2C to try out, and I'll let you know how it compares to my "cheapies". At $71 (on eBay), I hope they are worth it. I hope I don't need to go to an E5 (which has a separate bass driver), as they cost over $450!!

    I run a headphone amp - ok, it's really a 4-channel stereo mixer with a headphone jack - it takes up one space in my rack. I have a biamp setup, so on channel 1 I have my lows, in channel 2 I have my highs, in channel 3 I have the "monitor" mix from the board, and in channel 4 I have my own mic that I stick near the bass drum. I find that really helps me synch up with the drummer.

    I used to plug both ears with these things, but lately, I've just been using one ear and have the other one open to hear the stage volume.

    The negatives, other than the other wire I have to deal with (I use a mini-plug 25' extension cord with gold ends) is communication on stage. Even though all of us only have one ear plugged, communications on-stage is a big problem, especially when our lead singer wants to do something off the set list, or skip around based on requests from the audience.

    If anyone has ideas on how to improve on-stage communications, I would appreciate them! One idea I had is to run a separate mini-mic up for the lead singer as a "talk-back" mic - but this sounds like a lot of extra work for the sound man/setup crew.

  12. Siggy

    Siggy Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2003
    Columbus Ohio

    I don't want to be an alarmist here, but please go to the shure site and read about using only one plug.

    I can't find it now but in short it says that in order to hear well with the monitor in one ear the volume has to be boosted to a dangerous level to compensate for stage volume.

    They gave an example of " If the stage volume is 100 db the one ear monitor would need to be boosted to 106db, which causes damage in half the time."

    What you do is none of by business but I had to say something.

  13. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    I have had some live experience with in-ears and I love them. Some people love 'em/ some people hate 'em. I took to them like a duck to water.
    The clarity on different stages was a revelation. Anyone who has toured enough will tell you that inconsistent monitoring situations are enough to drive you crazy. The in-ears really helped eliminate that problem. You do have to be careful, you can damage your hearing. They are just like listening to really powerful headphones.
  14. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Are you guys using these for bass monitoring, or just vocals?
  15. Siggy

    Siggy Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    I'm using them to hear everything, instruments & vocals.

    We're in the experimentation stage right now. We have all the instruments running through the PA and mix down through the monitors. We're not fully equiped yet. Only one mic on the drums and we don't have an ambient mic set up yet either.

    An ambient mic, according to Shure, makes up for the absence of stage presence and audiance "feel".
    (the sense of ISOLATION that people have mentioned). An ambient mic will also aid in on stage communication, which I'm concerned with.

    In short, yes I hear all the music and have the capability changing any insrument/vocal level to my preferences.

    I found out the Carvin has introduced an IEM system. Wireless for $299. I haven't see them yet so I can't vouch for their quality, but it's another choice.

  16. I just wanted to let you all know that I got my Shure E2C's ($71 on eBay), tried them out for bass/stage monitoring, and found them to be FANTASTIC! I just ordered a second set (from http://www.music123.com/) as a spare.

    I'm plugging both ears now, to heed the warning posted above - and yes, I find that I can turn the volume down when I do that.

    I am using the foam surrounds instead of the plastic ones.

    Just get 'em!

  17. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I saw nickel creek over the weekend (they were great and the show was free:))and they were using in-ear monitors. They had a mic set up at the back of the stage that they talked into between songs to communicate with each other. The mic only went to the in-ear monitors, and not to the FOH, so none of the audience could hear what they were saying.
  18. Our band has been using the wireless in-ear monitors for about two years now. We usually play small to medium size clubs and finally found the best method for us.

    Every instrument is mic'd into the PA (mains and monitors) except my bass. This includes two guitars, a Roland, a Hammond, a mic'd Leslie, a snare and kick drum mic. What we discovered was that we had lost some of the ambient stage sound by eliminating the floor monitors. After experimenting on several gigs we decided on the following approach.

    Our two lead singers (guitar and keyboards) use the in-ear system and the drummer and myself use floor monitors. We've been using this set-up for about 18 months now. The guys using the in-ear system are picking up the same sound as the mains. The drummer and myself are picking up the monitors which are set at slightly different levels.

    For example, we don't run the snare or kick drums into the mains at all, just the monitors. I sing a few back up vocals so I can turn my monitor channel as loud as I need it to be without effecting the vocal mix in the club or in the in-ear monitors.

    Sometimes we sound a bit loud on the stage due to everything being mic'd and the two floor monitors, but the sound in the room is very balanced. And when the club manager tells us to turn it up or turn it down a bit, I can literally adjust the entire band volume by adjusting the volume on the PA.

    They're cool!
  19. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Be sure to run a limiter too!

    I've heard some horror stories how some fellas at larger venue had used in-ears without any kind of limiter/comp and some performer had dropped live vocals mic on the floor.. Instant popped eardrums :eek:

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